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Selected Tafsir of the Qur`an
  Tafsir of Surah an-Nazi`aat
Author: Various Authors (Ibn Kathir, Baghawi, Tabari etc.)
Source: Compiled by Dawud Burbank
Article ID : TFS020001  [25332]  
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Wan-Naazi’aati Gharqaa

Waa – Oath: "By …"
Naza’a – Pull/pluck: e.g., pulling the string of a bow
Gharqaa – To the utmost, forcefully

Allaah, the Most High, swears an oath in confirmation of the Resurrection.

  • As-Sa’dee said, "They are the Angels, those who forcefully pluck out the souls, and pull them out with great force until the soul comes out, and is then requited according to its deeds."

  • At-Tabaree and Ibn Katheer quote various meanings for what it refers to.

(i) The Angels who take out the souls.

(ii) Death

(iii) The stars which move from one horizon to another

(iv) The draw-string of the bow.

At-Tabaree says in summary that nothing from that is particularised, so it is left for all of that to enter into the oath.

Ibn Katheer says that what is correct and is held by most is that it means the Angels which pluck out the souls, and he quotes this as the saying of Ibn Mas’ood, Ibn ’Abbaas, Masrooq, Sa’eed ibn Jubayr, Aboo Saalih, Abud-Duhaa and as-Suddee. And Ibn Katheer says, "The Angels when they pluck out the soul of the descendants of Aadam. Some of them they pull out with difficulty, so they use the utmost force and others they take out with ease."

  • Al-Baghawee said, "Meaning the Angels which pluck out the souls of the Unbelievers from their bodies, just as an archer pulls at the bow-string, stretching it to the limit …"

Wan-Naashitaati Nashtaa

Nashataa: draw forth gently (like a bucket is pulled out of a well)

  • At-Tabaree again quotes different sayings and leaves it without restriction to one particular meaning.

Al-Baghawee said, "It is the Angels who gently take out the soul of the Believer, just as a tying-rope is loosened from the camel gently."

Ibn Katheer says that what is correct is that it refers to the Angels gently taking the soul of the Believers, and he attributes this to Ibn ’Abbaas.

Was-Saabihaati Sabhaa

Sabaha: swim along, glide along (swiftly) e.g., a swift horse

  • At-Tabaree mentions different sayings as to what is referred to: (i) Death, (ii) the stars which glide along their courses, (iii) ships, (iv) the Angels, and he does not restrict it to any one in particular.

  • Ibn Katheer quotes these sayings and attributes the saying that it refers to the Angels to Ibn Mas’ood and also to ’Alee, Mujaahid, Sa’eed ibn Jubayr and Aboo Saalih

  • As-Sa’dee said, "(The Angles) who pass to and from in the sky, according and descending."

  • Ibn al-Qayyim mentions (in at-Tibyaan fee Aqsaamil-Qur‘aan, pp. 132-) that most of the scholars hold that these aayahs (1-5) refer to the Angels. And he says regarding as-Saahibaat, "Those which fly through the air, passing to wherever they are ordered to proceed to, just as birds fly through the air."

  • Ash-Sahwkaanee also said that the majority from the Companions, Taabi’een and those after them hold that it is the Angels who are referred to in these Aayahs.

Fas-Saabiqaati Sabqaa

Sabaqa: to advance, precede, precede others in a race

  • Ibn Katheer said, "It is related from ’Alee, Masrooq, Mujaahid, Aboo Saalih and al-Hasan al-Basree that it means the Angels." Al-Hasan said, "They preceded in eemaan and affirmation."

  • Al-Baghawee said, "Mujaahid said, ‘They are the Angels. They preceded the son of Aadam in good and righteous action.’ Maqaatil said, ‘They are the Angels they hasten with the souls of the Believers to Paradise …’"

  • As-Sa’dee said, "(They precede others) carrying out Allaah’s commands, and they precede and outstrip the devils in conveying the Revelation to the Messengers of Allaah, so that they should not be able to take by stealth." Ash-Shawkaanee quotes this last saying as being one saying of Mujaahid and Masrooq.

Fal-Mudabiraati Amraa

  • At-Tabaree said, "The Angles who carry out whatever orders of Allaah they are commanded". Qataadah said, "They are the Angels."

  • Ibn Katheer mentions this as the saying of ’Alee, Mujaahid, ’Ataa‘, Aboo Saalih, al-Hasan, Qataadah, ar-Rabee’ ibn Anas and as-Suddee. He mentions also that they did not differ about this.

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