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Surah An-Nazi'at

Ayat/pg: 5 | 10 | 15 | 20 | All

Maududi's Commentry (Tafseer) on Surah An-Nazi'at

Mecca Mecca (81)
46Total Ayat: 46
2Total Ruku: 2


It is derived from the word wan-nazi`at with which the Surah opens.

Period of Revelation

According to Hadrat Abdullah bin Abbas, this Surah was sent down afterSurah An-Naba. Its subject matter also testifies that it belongs to theearliest period at Makkah.

Theme and Subject Matter

Its theme is affirmation of Resurrection and the life hereafter; Italso warns of the consequences of belying the Messenger of God.

TheSurah opens with oaths sworn by the angels who take the soul at deathsand those who hasten to carryout Allah's Commands, and those whoconduct the affairs of the universe according to Divine Will, toassure that the Resurrection will certainly come to pass and thesecond life after death will certainly take place. For the angels whoare employed to pluck out the soul today can also be employed torestore the soul tomorrow, and the angels who promptly execute Allah'sCommands and conduct the affairs of the universe today can also upsetthe order of the universe tomorrow by orders of the same God and canalso bring about a new order.

After this the people have been told, soas to say: "This work which you regard as absolutely impossible, isnot any difficult for Allah, for which He may have to make lengthypreparations. Just a single jolt will upset this system of the worldand a second jolt will be enough to cause you to appear as livingbeings in the new world. At that time the same people who were wont todeny it, would be trembling with fear and seeing with awe struck eyesall that they thought was impossible.

Then, relating the story of theProphet Moses and Pharaoh briefly, the people have been warned to theeffect: "You know full well what fate the Pharaoh met in consequenceof belying the Messenger and rejecting the guidance brought by him andendeavoring to defeat his mission by trickery and deceit. If you donot learn any lesson from it and do not change your ways and attitudeaccordingly, you also will have to meet the same fate.

Then, in vv.27-13, arguments have been given for the Hereafter and life afterdeath. In this regard, the deniers have been asked the question:"Isyour resurrection a more difficult task or the creation of the hugeUniverse which spreads around you to infinite distances with myriadsof its stars and planets? Your recreation cannot be difficult for theGod for Whom this was an easy task. Thus, after presenting in a singlesentence, a decisive argument for the possibility of the Hereafter,attention has been drawn to the earth and its provisions that havebeen arranged in it for the sustenance of man and animal and of whicheverything testifies that it has been created with great wisdom forfulfilling some special purpose. Pointing to this the question hasbeen left for the intellect of man to ponder for itself and form theopinion whether calling man to account after having delegatedauthority and responsibilities to a creature like him in this wisesystem would be more in keeping with the demands of wisdom, or that heshould die after committing all sorts of misdeeds in the world andshould perish and mix in the dust for ever and should never be calledto account as to how he employed the authority and fulfilled theresponsibilities entrusted to him. Instead of discussing this question,in vv. 34-41, it has been said: "When the Hereafter is established,men's eternal future will be determined on the criterion as to whichof them rebelled against his God transgressing the bounds of serviceand made the material benefits and pleasures his objective of life andwhich of them feared standing before his Lord and refrained fromfulfilling the unlawful desires of the self." This by itself providesthe right answer to the above question to every such person whoconsiders it honestly, free from stubbornness. For the only rational,logical and moral demand of giving authority and entrustingresponsibilities to man in the world is that he should be called toaccount on this very basis ultimately and rewarded or punishedaccordingly.

In conclusion, the question of the disbelievers of Makkahas to when Resurrection will take place, has been answered. They askedthe Holy Prophet this question over and over again. In reply it hasbeen said that the knowledge of the time of its occurrence rests withAllah alone. The Messenger is there only to give the warning that itwill certainly come. Now whoever wishes may mend his ways, fearing itscoming, and whoever wishes may behave and conduct himself as he likes,fearless of its coming. When the appointed time comes, those verypeople who loved the life of this world and regarded its pleasures asthe only object of life, would feel that they had stayed in the worldonly for an hour or so. Then they will realize how utterly they hadruined their future for ever for the sake of the short lived pleasuresof the world.

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114. An-Nas
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