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Reflections on Tafsir Surat al-Naazi`aat

Review of Ramadan Series 2015

Shaykh Nour Kabbani

26 June 2015 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Fajr Suhbah

Alhamdulillahi Rabbi 'l-`Alameen, wa ’s-salaatu wa ’s-salaamu `alaa ashrafi 'l-mursaleena Sayyidina wa Nabiyyina Muhammadin wa `alaa aalihi wa sahbihi ajma`een. wa laa hawla wa laa quwwata illa billahi ‘l-`aliyyi ‘l-`azheem. Mashaa-Allahu kaan, wa maa lam yashaa lam yakun. Dastoor yaa Sayyidee, yaa Sultan al-Awliya.

A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem. As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh.

Alhamdulillah we had the honor of sitting in the presence of a holy man, a saint [Shaykh Hisham Kabbani], who explained commentary of Surat an-Naazi`aat, Chapter 79 of the Holy Qur'an. Inshaa-Allah we will try to sum up what we understood in previous lectures and insha’Allah they will reveal to us through this majlis, association.

Allah (swt) says in the Holy Qur’an:

مَا كَانَ لِبَشَرٍ أَن يُؤْتِيَهُ اللّهُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحُكْمَ وَالنُّبُوَّةَ ثُمَّ يَقُولَ لِلنَّاسِ كُونُواْ عِبَادًا لِّي مِن دُونِ اللّهِ وَلَـكِن كُونُواْ رَبَّانِيِّينَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تُعَلِّمُونَ الْكِتَابَ وَبِمَا كُنتُمْ تَدْرُسُونَ

No human to whom Allah has given the (Holy) Book, Judgment, and prophethood would say to the people, "Be worshippers of me, other than Allah," but rather (they would say),"Be of the Lord, for that you teach the Book, and in that you have studied." (Aali `Imraan, 3:79)

Our teacher, Grandshaykh Nazim, may Allah bless his soul and raise his stations higher and higher, has told us in a previous suhbah that the order has come to become Rabbaniyyeen, which Allah (swt) decribes as divinely or lordly, someone that has been dressed from the Lights of the Attributes of Allah (swt). That means not bashari, human; that characteristic of humanity is gone and now a characteristic from the Lights of Allah (swt) has been dressed on them. Allah (swt) says about them, koonoo rabbaniyyeena bimaa kuntum tu`allimoona ’l-kitaaba wa bimaa kuntum tadrusoon, “Be divinely, be godly, get dressed by the Divine Lights of Allah (swt) and teach and study the Book.” Allah (swt) has given us the Holy Qur'an and He knows how many other books He revealed to His other messengers.

Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem.

وَالنَّازِعَاتِ غَرْقًا وَالنَّاشِطَاتِ نَشْطًا وَالسَّابِحَاتِ سَبْحًا فَالسَّابِقَاتِ سَبْقًا فَالْمُدَبِّرَاتِ أَمْرًا يَوْمَ تَرْجُفُ الرَّاجِفَةُ تَتْبَعُهَا الرَّادِفَةُ قُلُوبٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ وَاجِفَةٌ أَبْصَارُهَا خَاشِعَةٌ يَقُولُونَ أَإِنَّا لَمَرْدُودُونَ فِي الْحَافِرَةِ أَإِذَا كُنَّا عِظَامًا نَّخِرَةً قَالُوا تِلْكَ إِذًا كَرَّةٌ خَاسِرَةٌ فَإِنَّمَا هِيَ زَجْرَةٌ وَاحِدَةٌ فَإِذَا هُم بِالسَّاهِرَةِ

(Surat an-Naazi`aat, 79:1-13)

The first verse: Wa ‘n-naazi`aati gharqan. Allah (swt) is swearing by a group among Creation, saying, “By the extractors.” This is one explanation, but it’s an unknown group among Creation. Wa ‘n-naazi`aati, those who extract. Who and how many are they? Allah (swt) has unlimited knowledge, so we cannot say it’s only one group of Creation that Allah (swt) is mentioning in the first verse.

Some scholars have interpreted the naazi`aat...that verb is from naza`, which can mean “extract”, but it can also mean naza` ilaa shayy, “to take yourself to a specific place or person”, not only to extract. When Allah (swt) says “wa ‘n-naazi`aati,” He is swearing by those who are leaning towards His Presence. This is only one of the meanings; we cannot limit the meanings of the Holy Qur’an. Allah (swt) is swearing by those who are yearning to go to His Presence. That verb “naza`” also means “to lean” and “move towards”, “to go forward to a specific place”.

So Allah (swt) is giving us the characteristic of the human spirit. Each one of us has a soul and each one of us that is sitting here in this association is leaning towards going to Allah's Presence. Each one of us here is sitting in this association, making dhikr and praying Fajr, because our spirit wants to move towards Allah’s Divine Presence; that is naza`, when you are leaning and moving towards a certain place. In our case, we are all yearning and moving towards Allah's Divine Presence. Wa ‘n-naazi`aati, “those who are moving towards the Divine Presence”, and this is the characteristic of each one of us here, gharqan, “drowning” or “to be deep”. Each one of us here is drowning in the love of Allah (swt) and the Prophet (s) or else why are we here?

So our spirits are moving towards the Divine Presence, drowning in the love of Allah (swt)! This is a very valuable Creation, where Allah (swt) is promising and taking an oath by us mu’mins, Believers, and inshaa-Allah we are from them, but those who are the lovers of Allah (swt), the spirits that are moving, leaning towards taking that road to the Divine Presence with the love and shawk, yearning, to the Divine Presence and the Holy Presence of the Prophet (s).

Mawlana Shaykh (q) gave three meanings. There are three stations that we have to understand: the station of the nafs, the lower self, which all of us are in; the station of the heart, which some of us are in and some are not; and, the station of the soul, spirit. When human beings are in the station of the inner or lower self, the ego, one of the meanings of this verse is “the angels that come to extract the soul of that human being”, the one that is stuck in the ego station, following the desires, hurting, harming, lying, etc. All of this we know because we are all in it.

The second meaning that was given by Mawlana Shaykh Hisham (q) in this association is about the people who are in the station is the heart and a special group of angels that come down to the heart and take out its illnesses. Among the diseases we all have in us, and the most important one is doubt in Allah’s Manifestations and Attributes, is the envy, jealousy.

The third meaning is the one we gave, about the souls moving toward the Divine Presence. Another meaning of Wa ‘n-naazi`aati gharqan is about the spirits of the Believers drowning in the love of Allah (swt), moving toward the Divine Presence. The example of them is like those sitting here and whoever is doing their worship, praying Fajr, doing their dhikr, fasting, etc., we are all moving toward the Divine Presence, drowning in that love of the Holy Ones, the love of the Prophet (s) and the love of Allah (swt). Inshaa-Allah we will continue to move on that road, Siraat al-Mustaqeem, the Straight Path, and it is hard to continue, but inshaa-Allah, Allah will give us strength.

The second verse: Wa ‘n-naashitaati nashtan. The explanation of naashitaa given here is “to draw or pull out.” The meaning given here is Allah (swt) is swearing by those who gently draw out the souls of the blessed, which Mawlana Shaykh Hisham (q) explained. Also, he said about nashata, “to draw out”, is like the example of drawing out the bucket from the well. So nashata is to draw out something that is in a certain place; the meaning that is given here by the commentator is “to draw out the soul that is in the body”. Once Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) mentioned that the saint draws out the bucket full of knowledge from the well of knowledge and waters the people who are with and around him; by watering around himself he makes an oasis, and saints are an oasis in the deserts, and the oasis is where water is. So Allah (swt) is giving an oath by the saints that draw out the water of knowledge and water their followers, their mureeds, disciples, and they water the place they are in to make it into an oasis where people who are traveling in the desert, which is life, can find an oasis, which is a saint, a prophet, a messenger, and they can sit in that oasis and enjoy the fruits and drink the water, means to learn from the saint.

Another meaning of “naashitaat” is to move our egos from where it is now. We were talking about the three levels: the lower self, heart and spirit. All of us are stuck in the level of the lower self, the ego. When we have the love of Allah (swt) and our spirits are moving toward the Divine Presence our ego gets drawn out from where it is. All that our ego wants is enjoyment of this live, so when the spirit is moving toward the Divine Presence, it is drawing out the ego from where it is staying. So it’s taking it away from its pleasures, from what it enjoys to what the spirit enjoys.

So in these two verses Allah (swt) is talking about multiple things and we cannot limit it to them, but that is the knowledge we are getting from our shuyookh. Allah (swt) is swearing by those who are moving toward His Divine Presence with love and they are drawing out their egos from where they are staying now, and we know where our egos are. All they want is to disobey Allah (swt). So when the spirit is moving, it’s drawing out the the ego from the field of disobedience to the field of obedience to Allah (swt) to reach the Divine Presence. In order to reach this Divine Presence we are taking a course.

Allah (swt) is explaining this in the third verse: wa ‘s-saabihaati sabhan, “and by those that are swimming.” So when our spirit is moving toward the Divine Presence with love and drawing out the ego from where it is staying, we are swimming in the Oceans of Allah’s Mercy and Love, in the Oceans of Allah (swt), we are moving in that beautiful manifestation, power and love oceans. Until where?

The fourth verse: fa ‘s-saabiqaati sabqaa. We are swimming and pressing forward until we reach an end, the Divine Presence. What happens when we reach the Divine Presence? You are not there anymore; that is fanaa, annihilation. No one is in existence. If you look at the reality of things, no one is in existence except Allah (swt). If we were in existence why can’t we live for 200, 1000 or 1 million years? Why can’t we extend our life that long? Suppose we live for 1 billion years: we will die in the end, which means we are not in existence. In reality, Allah (swt) is The One Who is Always in Existence, Al-Hayy, al-Qayyum. We are all living and standing up by The Living One. So all of us here are standing up, moving, walking with the life that Allah (swt) has given to us from His Life Oceans, from the beautiful manifestation of that Name, al-Hayy. Or else we don’t have life; we don’t buy, keep or store life. So, fa ‘s-saabiqaati sabqaa, when we reach the Divine Presence and we are now in full annihilation, because He is The Only One in Existence--that is what they call fanaa fi ’l-wahdaa, the annihilation in the Unity of Allah (swt)--then what happens?

The fifth verse: fa ‘l-mudabbaraati amraa. When the prophets, messengers and saints reach that level of annihilation of Allah (swt), what happens after death? There is baqaa, to be subsistent by Allah’s Power? Allah (swt) keeps you and sends you back. The example is al-Mi`raaj.

The Prophet (s) went to the Divine Presence, yearning and burning with the love of Allah (swt)! He was moved up by Allah (swt), swimming in the Ocean of Allah’s Mercy and Power, until he reached Qaaba Qawsayni aw Adnaa (the Station of Two Bows' Length or Nearer [to Allah]). He was very close. How close we don’t know, because Allah (swt) left it open, but what happened he reached? He was sent back.

So when the saints reach the Divine Presence and the level of fanaa’, annihilation, they are given life to go back and to fa ‘l-mudabbaraati amraa, to arrange. Arrange what? What does our shaykh arrange for us? What do the prophets arrange for their nations? How to live. Al-mudabbaraati amraa, those who arrange the affairs. So when each of our soul is burning with Allah’s love and we are moving and pulling our ego with us, because the soul is moving with the heart and the ego and the whole being, and we are swimming in the beautiful oceans of Allah (swt), we reach the Divine Presence, then we become perfect humans. Then Allah sends us back as saints and the order that is given to the saint is: perfect who is not perfect yet!

So when we follow a teacher or a saint or a prophet, allahumma salli `ala Sayyidina Muhammad, or the Companions (s) or the Ahlu ‘l-Bayt, they are all perfect humans who are trying to perfect us and arrange the way we live. So we consult with them, asking, “What should I do about this or that?” They become the beacon of light for us, because we are still not seeing things as they see. Fa ‘l-mudabbaraati amraa, so they come back in the station of baqaa, subsistence, to arrange the affairs of the human beings that are following them and seeking the guidance to their Lord through them.

The sixth verse: yawma tarjufu ‘r-raajifa. After Allah (swt) has spoken about these holy ones, now He is coming to those who are not holy, from those who are seeking perfection to those who did not seek perfection. So He is saying, “The ones that are seeking perfection will come to My Presence and be dressed with the orders and commandments of Allah (swt) to go back and bring more people to the Divine Presence.” Al-Anbiya, all prophets received orders from Allah (swt) after reaching their Lord. For example, Sayyidina Ibrahim (a) who, from when he was very young he was looking at the stars and saying, “This is my Lord.” Sayyidina Ibrahim (a) was seeking, trying to find out his Lord, and what did Allah (s) say about him?

وَإِذِ ابْتَلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ رَبُّهُ بِكَلِمَاتٍ فَأَتَمَّهُنَّ ۖ قَالَ إِنِّي جَاعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا ۖ قَالَ وَمِنْ ذُرِّيَّتِي ۖ قَالَ لَا يَنَالُ عَهْدِي الظَّالِمِينَ

And (mention, O Muhammad), when Abraham was tried by his Lord with commands and he fulfilled them. (Allah) said, "Indeed, I will make you a leader for the people." (Abraham) said, "And of my descendants?" (Allah) said, "My covenant does not include the wrongdoers." (Surat al-Baqarah, 2:124)

Allah (swt) has given Sayyidina Ibrahim (a) trials. He was looking for his Lord, coming out from the cave looking and seeing the stars; then coming out and seeing the moon; and then coming out and seeing the sun. He was looking for the Lord when he was young. That is our example, as we are all young in spirituality, all seeking our Lord.

Allah (swt) says, “I tried Ibrahim and he completed all the tests, all the trials,” which means there are levels that we are going to go through. What happens after we go through these levels? Fa’atammahun, qaala innee jaa`iluka li ‘n-naasi imaaman, “Now I am making you an imaam for people.” So when a human being seeks his Lord’s pleasure and presence, Allah (swt) will test him or her, He will try them, and when they reach the Divine Presence and complete their journey, as Allah (swt) told Sayyidina Ibrahim, “Now I’m making you an imaam for the people.” That means you are going to go and be imaam for the people. Or else why did Allah (swt) say:

وَاتَّخِذُواْ مِن مَّقَامِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ مُصَلًّى

And take the Station of Abraham as a place of prayer. (Surat al-Baqarah, 2:125)

“Take from the Station of Ibrahim a prayer or a place to pray,” which means, “follow Ibrahim (a) as he is there to take you to My Divine Presence.” As Allah (swt) is explaining in the first five verses when the human spirit reaches perfection, reaches the Divine Presence, completes what Allah (swt) has prescribed on it from tests and trials and tribulations and all the other things that Allah (swt) can test His servant with, He says in verse five, fa ‘l-mudabbaraati amraa, now is the time for them to go back and arrange the affairs of the people.

So He told Sayyidina Ibrahim (a), “Now I am making you an imaam for the people.” And what did Sayyidina Ibrahim (a) say? Qaala wa min dhurriyyatee, “O my Lord, and also from my dhurriyyah, my generation, my children?” This is a sign that there are imaams, guides from his generation. This means, the same way he reached the Divine Presence, imaams or guides from his children will also reach the Divine Presence and be guides to people. The most complete son of Sayyidina Ibrahim (a) was Sayyidina Muhammad (s), the Perfect and Most Complete Guide!

So they go back and they start arranging the affairs of people. Our shaykhs, our guides--that is their description by Allah (swt)--that these guides have taken the path of love, wa ‘n-naazi’aati gharqan, drowning in the love. The love is what takes the spirit. So these shaykhs, theses guides have taken that road, have reached the Divine Presence like Sayyidina Ibrahim (a), but Allah (swt) told them to start arranging the affairs and being imaams and guides for the the people.

Allah (swt) has given human beings time to perfect themselves, but when does that time end? Yawma tarjufu ‘r-raajifa, on The Day when “the shaker” is shaking, on the earthquake day, which is explained by death, the day of dying. The day of dying is when your body and all your organs shake and tremble because they are giving up their life, the soul is being taken out. It’s a very difficult situation. Yawma tarjufu ‘r-raajifa, so when the soul is taken out by the First Blow, the body is shaking, the organs are shaking.

The seventh verse: Tatba`uhaa raadifa, and this is followed by raadifah, the one that comes behind it, which is the Second Blow. The First Blow, the soul is taken out and the Second Blow, the soul is put back in the body, this is the resurrection. So Allah (swt) is talking about the Judgment Day, the Day of Death: when your judgment is being given, what did you do and what didn’t do; how you behaved and how you didn’t behave, all of that will be questioned.

The eighth and ninth verses: Quloobun yawmaidhin waajifah, absaaruhaa khashiyya. There will be a lot of hearts that will be shaking and trembling, upset, afraid and their eyes will be humiliated in humbleness, looking down. This is the example of those who did not reach perfection because now they lost that chance to reach perfection. That is why their hearts are trembly and agitated and their eyes are looking down in shame and humiliation, because they have not reached perfection.

The tenth through twelveth verses:

Allah (swt) is explaining in these first five verses those who reached perfection and then in the next verse, when that Day comes and those who did not reach perfection they start feeling ashamed and humiliated, all wishing to go back. That is why in the following verse it says:

يَقُولُونَ أَإِنَّا لَمَرْدُودُونَ فِي الْحَافِرَةِ أَإِذَا كُنَّا عِظَامًا نَّخِرَةً قَالُوا تِلْكَ إِذًا كَرَّةٌ خَاسِرَةٌ

They are (now) saying, "Will we indeed be returned to (our) former state (of life)? Even if we should be decayed bones? They say, "That, then, would be a losing return." (Surat an-Naazi`at, 79:10-12)

The English explanation says these people who did not reach perfection, those who don’t believe in the Day of Resurrection, they will say, “When our bodies are old, rotten and disintegrated are we going to come back? Because if we do, then we are returning to a loss, we have lost.” That’s why they are trembling, because they realize they have lost. We hope that we are not from them, but a lot of human beings that don’t believe in Allah (swt) and don’t follow the Sunnah of Prophet (s) or don’t take guides to teach and show them the way will be in that situation and will say, “We are at a loss, we have lost because there is no second chance of coming!” Allah (swt) clearly states it in the Holy Qur’an, they don’t get a second chance; you get one chance in this life to reach perfection.

The thirteenth and fourteenth verses:

فَإِنَّمَا هِيَ زَجْرَةٌ وَاحِدَةٌ فَإِذَا هُمْ بِالسَّاهِرَةِ

Indeed, it will be but one shout. And suddenly they will be (alert) upon the Earth's surface.

(Surat an-Naazi`at, 79:13-14)

It is but one blow or one cry; this is the Second Blow. When people die, Allah (swt) is saying that He will resurrect us by Sayyidina Israfeel (a) blowing in the Trumpet a second time. So these people who are at a loss, the imperfect Ones, when Sayyidina Israfeel (a) blows for them to be resurrected with one blow, now they are in a place called saahira, meaning, “Verily, it will be a single cry (shout, blow), and behold when they will be brought out to the open.” So this as-saahira that Allah (swt) talks about is a place.

When these people are resurrected, they are going to be on an open land, of which some of the scholars say is the spiritual world, not in the Heavenly realm, but the Earthly realm. Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (qs) used to say, “Look up to Heavens, don’t get stuck on Earth.” So this is the open land, which means they are on Earth. Why? Because they have not perfected their spirits so they got stuck on Earth with material, physical life,compared to the spiritual realm the Perfect Ones will be in.

We ask Allah (swt) to make us from the Perfect Ones! It is a longshot for us, we know that, but nothing is impossible for Allah (swt). We ask on this Friday morning in this blessed Fajr time that Allah (swt) make us to be from the Perfect Ones who are moving toward His Divine Presence with love, pulling their egos behind them, swimming in the Oceans of Allah (swt), reaching the Divine Presence of Allah (swt), who are imaams and guides for people. Ameen, ameen, ameen, bi hurmati Taahaa wa Yaaseen!

Allahumma laa taj`alnaa min al-khaasireen!

Allahumma laa taj`alnaa min al-mahroomeen!

Allahumma laa taj`alnaa min al-mahjoobeen!

Allahumma laa taj`alnaa ma`al qawmi ‘zh-zhaalimeen!

Allahumma laa taj`alnaa min al-qawmi ‘l-kaafireen!

Allahumma ja`alnaa ma`alladheena an`amta alayhim min an-nabiyyeena wa ‘s-siddeeqeena wa ‘sh-shuhadaai wa ‘s-saaliheen wa hasuna oolaaika rafeeqaa! Subhaana rabbika rabbi ‘l-izzati `ammaa yasifoon wa salaamun `ala ‘l-mursaleen wa ‘l-hamdulillahi rabbi ‘l-`alameen.

Wa min Allahi ‘t-tawfeeq, bi hurmati ‘l-Fatihah.


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