In the Name of Allah, the Most Kind, the Most Merciful
- By those [angels] who harshly pull out [the souls of the disbelievers and the wicked],
- And by those [angels] who gently take out [the souls of the righteous believers],
- And by those [angels] who glide serenely,
- And by those [angels] who race one another in a race [to deliver the believers’ souls to Paradise],
- And by those [angels] who arrange [each] matter to do the command of their Lord, you, the disbelievers, will be called to account!
- On the day when the first blast [of the Horn] will make [the earth and the mountains] shake [violently and every one will die],
- And the second blast will follow it, [and everyone will be resurrected];
- [Some] hearts that day will shake with fear and anxiety,
- And their (i.e. the disbelievers’) eyes will be downcast!
- They [mockingly] say, “Are we going to be restored to our former state of life, it Even after we are crumbled bones?”
- They also say, “It would then be a return with loss!”
- Indeed, there will be one great blast only,
- And at once they will be woken up to be present in the open plain!
- Has the story of Moosaa reached you,
- When his Lord called him in the sacred valley of Juwaol
- “Go to Pharaoh; truly, he has transgressed all bounds [in crimes and acts of disbelief],
- And say to him, ‘Would you like to be purified?
- And that I guide you to your Lord, so that you may become heedful of Him?'”
- Then he showed him the Great Sign,
- But he denied it and disobeyed,
- He then turned his back, striving [against Allah],
- Then he gathered [his people] together and called out,
- Saying to them, “I am your most exalted lord.”
- So Allah seized him with punishment for his last and first [transgression];
- Surely, in this is a lesson for whoever fears [Allah],
- Are you more difficult to create than the heaven which He has created?
- He raised it high and perfected it;
- And He has made dark its night and brought forth its light of day;
- And after that He spread the earth;
- And He brought forth from it its water and its pastures,
- And He made the mountains stand firm,
- As a means of livelihood for you and your animals.
- But when the Overwhelming Calamity (i.e. Day of Judgment) comes to pass,
- The day when man will clearly remember what he has striven for,
- And Hell-fire will be made apparent in full view for [every] one who sees;
- Then for those who have transgressed all bounds [in sins and acts of disbelief],
- And preferred the life of this world [by following evil lusts and desires],
- The blazing Fire will truly be their abode.
- But as for those who feared standing before their Lord, and held back their inner selves from base desires,
- Paradise will truly be their abode,
- They ask you about the Last Hour, “When will it come to pass?”
- But you have no knowledge to say anything about it;
- For to your Lord belongs [the knowledge] of its term;
- You are but sent to warn those who fear it;
- The Day they see it, it will be as if they had remained [in this world] for an afternoon or its morning!
This surah, which consists of forty-six verses, was revealed in Makkah and takes its name from the word an-Nazi’at, which occurs in the first verse. The theme of this surah is also resurrection and judgment. It begins with a series of oaths. Allah swears by any of His own creation. According to the scholars of the Quran, it is appropriate for Allah to swear by anything from His Creation. It is, however, not appropriate for men to swear by anything except by Allah. He is Supremely Great. Nothing in the universe is equal to Him. This means swearing by any of His creatures will be considered an act of shirk – setting partners with Allah.
The oath in the first five verses of this surah, according to most of the Quranic scholars, is by Allah’s angels that carry out different tasks: Those who violently extract the souls of the disbelievers, roughly tearing their souls from their bodies at the moment of their deaths; those that gently pull out the souls of the believers; those that speed about to execute Allah’s commands; and those that arrange all matters according to Allah’s decree, in total obedience to their Creator.
The middle section of the surah mentions part of the story of Prophet Moosa with the arrogant Pharaoh who stubbornly refused to follow Moosa’s advice and submit his will to the Lord of the lords, Allah the Almighty. Rather, he arrogantly turned away from Allah’s clear signs with which He sent Moosa to him and blatantly claimed that he was ‘the lord, most high’. Then it shows the severe punishment he received in this life by having him drown in humiliation in the Red Sea and the eternal punishment that awaits him in the hereafter. The story provides a good lesson for all the arrogant people who turn away from the truth.
Verse twenty-five speaks of two major transgressions Pharaoh committed, apart from the horrible treatment and bondage to which he subjugated his people. The first transgression refers to his saying to his people, 1 am your most exalted lord.” O eminent ones, I have not known you to have a god other than me.”( Quran, 28:38)
The last part of the surah speaks of the Last Hour. Indeed, No one can identify the exact date and time of the Day of Resurrection, for its knowledge rests only with Almighty Allah. This part also shows us that the earthbound nature of man’s concept of time will lose all its meaning in the context of the ultimate reality of the hereafter. On that Day, it will seem to them as if they had lived in this world no longer than one evening or one morning!