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CHAPTER LXXIX.

ENTITLED SURAT AL NAZIAT (THOSE WHO TEAR FORTH).

Revealed at Makkah.

INTRODUCTION.

THIS chapter consists of three parts; vers. 1-14 containing a declaration concerning the certainty of the approach of the resurrection and judgment-day, vers. 15-26, giving a brief account of the call and ministry of Moses, and vers. 37-46, also relating to the doctrine of the resurrection and judgment-day.

The second of these parts is too detailed in its character to belong to the very early Makkan Suras, where Jewish history and legend are alluded to in a vague way. It is probably a fragment of a later Sura inserted here by the compilers.

Probable Date Of the Revelations.

NoŽldeke places this chapter immediately before chap. lxxvii. Muir places it at a later period, i.e., about the sixth year of the Call. We would follow NoŽldeke for the first fourteen verses; vers. 27-46 perhaps belong to a period somewhat later, but from vers. 15-26 we would follow Muir.

Principal Subjects.

Oaths by the messengers of death that there will be a resurrection and judgment-day ...1-7
Infidels shall be restored to life notwithstanding their unbelief. . . 8-14
The story of Moses and his mission to Pharaoh . . . 15-26
The Creator can raise the dead . . . 27-33
The righteous and the wicked in judgment, their various condition . . . 34-41
No one knows the time of judgment, but whenever it comes it will be soon for the infidels . . . 42-46


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IN THE NAME OF THE MOST MERCIFUL GOD.

R 1/3.

(1) By the angels who tear forth the souls of some with violence; (2) and by those who draw forth the souls of others with gentleness; (3) by those who glide swimmingly through the air with the commands of God; (4) and those who precede and usher the righteous to Paradise; (5) and those who subordinately govern the affairs of this world: (6) on a certain day the disturbing blast of the trumpet shall disturb the universe; (7) and the subsequent blast shall follow it. (8) On that day men's hearts shall tremble: (9) their looks shall be cast down. (10) The infidels say, Shall we surely be made to return whence we came? (11) After we shall have become rotten bones, shall we be again raised to life? (12) They say, This then 'will be a return to loss. (13) Verily it will be but one sounding of the trumpet, (14) and, behold, they shall appear alive on the face of the earth. (15) Hath not the story of Moses reached thee? (16) When his LORD called unto him in the, holy valley Tuwa, (17) saying, Go unto Pharaoh; for he is insolently wicked: (18) and say, hast thou a desire to become just and holy? (19) and I will

(1, 2) The angels who tear forth. "These are the angel of death and his assistants, who will take the souls of the wicked in a rough and cruel manner from the inmost part of their bodies, as a man drags up a thing from the bottom of the sea; but will take the souls of the good in a gentle and easy manner from their lips, as when a man draws a bucket of water at one pull.

"There are several other interpretations of this whole passage some expounding all the five parts of the oath of the stars, others of the souls of men, others of the souls of warriors in particular, and others of war-horses; a detail of which, I apprehend, would rather tire than please."- Sale, Baidhawi.

(10) Shall we be made to return, i.e., "shall we be raised from the dead and be restored to our former condition?"

(13) One sounding, viz., "the second or third blast, according to different opinions."-Sale.

(14) They shall appear alive, &c. "Or, 'they shall appear at the place of judgment.' The original word al Sabira is also one of the names of hell."- Sale.

(16) See references in chap. xi. 8-10.

(16-26) See notes on chap. vii. 104-136.


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direct thee unto thy LORD, that thou mayest fear to transgress. (20) And be showed him the very great sign of the rod turned into a serpent: (21) but he charged Moses with imposture, and rebelled against God. (22) Then be turned back hastily; (23) and he assembled the magicians, and cried aloud, (24) saying, I am your supreme LORD. (25) Wherefore GOD chastised him with the punishment of the life to come, and also of this present life. (26) Verily herein is an example unto him who feareth to rebel.

R 2/4.

(27) Are ye more difficult to create, or the heaven which God hath built? (28) He hath raised the height thereof, and hath perfectly formed the same: (29) and he hath made the night thereof dark, and hath produced the light thereof. (30) After this, he stretched out the earth, (31) whence he caused to spring forth the water thereof, and the pasture thereof; (32) and he established the mountains, (33) for the use of yourselves, and of your cattle. (34) When the prevailing, the great day shall come, (35) on that day shall a man call to remembrance what he hath purposely done: (36) and hell shall be exposed to the view of the spectator. (37) And whoso shall have transgressed, (38) and shall have chosen this present life, (39) verily hell shall be his abode; (40) but whoso shall have dreaded the appearing before his LORD, and shall have refrained his soul from lust, (41) verily Paradise

(30) The earth. "Which had been created before the heavens, but without expansion."- Sale, Jalaluddin.

(35) Purposely done. Sins committed without intent are not recognised by Muslims.

(40) Shall have refrained his soul from lust. "Without going the length of Dr. Prideaux and others, who seem to think that Mahommed thought more of gratifying his lust than anything else, it seems on the whole that he was, judge him by what standard you like, a lustful man, and one who, as the Prophet of God, did not check his passions so much as he ought to have done."- Brinckman in "Notes on Islam."

The Muslims will not, however, admit that their Prophet can be charged with immorality, inasmuch as he had the Divine permission for all he did. Looking at this matter from their standpoint, the


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shall be his abode. (42) They will ask thee concerning the last hour, when will be the fixed time thereof? (43) By what means canst thou give any information of the same? (44) Unto thy LORD belongeth the knowledge of the period thereof: (45) and thou art only a warner, who fearest the same. (46) The day whereon they shall see the same, it shall seem to them as though they had not tarried in the world longer than an evening or a morning thereof.

Christian will abstain from urging this question against the prophetic claim of Muhammad. Many inspired writers were polygamists.


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