Go to media page

Tafsir Surat An-Naazi`aat

Ramadan Series, Volume 2

Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

20 June 2015 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Fajr Suhbah

As-salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh.

Nawaytu 'l-arba`een, nawaytu 'l-`itikaaf, nawaytu 'l-khalwah, nawaytu 'l-`uzlah,

nawaytu 'r-riyaada, nawaytu 's-salook, lillahi ta'ala al-`Azheem fee hadha 'l-masjid.

أَطِيعُواْ اللّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِي الأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ

Atee`oollaha wa atee`oo 'r-Rasoola wa ooli 'l-amri minkum.

Obey Allah, obey the Prophet, and obey those in authority among you. (Surat an-Nisa, 4:59)

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.

Those who did not see the first lecture in this Ramadan, it was about Surat an-Naazi`aat and we will continue inshaa-Allah. I will ask Shaykh Sahib to read the first part:

وَالنَّازِعَاتِ غَرْقًا وَالنَّاشِطَاتِ نَشْطًا وَالسَّابِحَاتِ سَبْحًا فَالسَّابِقَاتِ سَبْقًا فَالْمُدَبِّرَاتِ أَمْرًا يَوْمَ تَرْجُفُ الرَّاجِفَةُ تَتْبَعُهَا الرَّادِفَةُ تَتْبَعُهَا الرَّادِفَةُ أَبْصَارُهَا خَاشِعَةٌ يَقُولُونَ أَئِنَّا لَمَرْدُودُونَ فِي الْحَافِرَةِ أَئِذَا كُنَّا عِظَامًا نَّخِرَةً قَالُوا تِلْكَ إِذًا كَرَّةٌ خَاسِرَةٌ

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

We explained in detail about the meaning of the Naazi`aat, a group of angels that take the soul out of the body. Then we said the Naashitaat are a second group of angels that take the souls of mu’mins, of Muslims. So there is a special group of angels that take the souls of Muslims and a special group that take the souls of non-Muslims and their work is completely different. For the Muslim or Believer, the taking out of his soul is very easy, according to his `amal, and the one who is unbeliever or the Muslim who has bad `amal, who did not pray or fast or give sadaqah and did not make Hajj will suffer severe pain, and we explained some of that pain.

An-Naashitaati nashtaa, the angels that are with Sayyidina Azra`eel (a) are carrying a lot of mercy and rewards with them, and when they come to a mu’min they will dress him to go with that light, that mercy, to Paradise. For the mu’min with weak imaan, when the angels are taking his soul from his toes and then all the way to the throat, garghara, Iblees will appear and try to disorient him, to make him believe in him. At that time, the mu’min and the non-mu’min will be thirsty and Iblees will try to buy from him his imaan with a trick! It is related that Iblees came to the Prophet (s) with a pitcher of water and he said to Prophet (s), “I can sell that for the imaan an-naas, belief of the weak person”, which means the price of that water is people’s imaan. “I come to a mu’min who has weak imaan and say to him ‘I will give you water if you sell me your imaan’”, or he will that person’s his mother, father and ancestors from death and say, “All of them believed in me, so believe in me!” He plays with that person, so if our imaan is weak we must be very careful that Iblees might play with us.

At that time, Sayyidina Muhammad (s) began to cry and then Allah (swt) told him “Yaa Muhammad! I will protect My servant from the trick of Iblees and I will order My angels to cover that deceased person gently with silk covers from Paradise.” So at that time the Prophet (s) was a little bit happy, but he was still crying and said:

لا اله الا الله ان للموت سكرات

Laa ilaaha illa-Llah, truly there is pain in death! (Bukhari)

He said Kalimat at-Tawheed, “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah! For death there is a miserable, painful time that the person feels.” As we described before, it is heavy on the non-believer and lenient on the Believer. When Prophet (s) was on his death bed, he put his holy hand in the cup of water and rubbed his radiant face, saying, “Wa karbaa, O the affliction!” He was not feeling severe pain, but he was feeling some pain of the soul coming out.

People will think and many will say, “How was the Prophet (s) feeling pain and he is ma`soom, infallible? Why the pain of death, the affliction he is feeling, coming to the Prophet (s)?”

Sayyida Fatimah (r) said to him, “O my father, you have that? I cannot believe it!”

He said, “Yaa Fatimah, I am so lateef, subtle, anything can make me feel anything; even if it is small I feel it big and not only that, I am asking Allah (swt) to let me carry the pain my Ummah will face so that they will never see pain when their soul is being taken away. I am carrying that on their behalf and that is why I am feeling this pain.”

It was acceptable pain because Allah reduced it completely for the Prophet (s). That is why Sayyidina Azra`eel (a), Malak al-Mawt, says, “If I knew how painful the taking of the soul truly is, I would not have taken the soul of the mu’min except leniently.” That is because he know the pain of taking the soul when Allah orders him to take his own soul, and some scholars say that he was seeing the pain of all the people in this world whose souls he took, and he was crying, “Yaa Rabbee forgive me, because I took their souls with force based on their deeds and not on Your rahmah!”

May Allah save us from suffering that pain. It is said that the Prophet (s) asked Allah to load everything on him, that heavy load of death when the soul is going out, that he will feel it in order to be light on his Ummah, as Allah described him (s) in Holy Qur'an:

لَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيصٌ عَلَيْكُم بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَءُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ

A messenger has come to you from yourselves; it grieves him that you should perish [so he is] constantly looking out for you [and is] most kind and merciful to the Believers. (Surat at-Tawbah, 9:128)

Allah has sent the Prophet (s) as a mercy to humanity. Why did He create Creation then, to punish them? Why is He letting Iblees run after everyone? This is muhayyar li ‘l-`uqool, mind-boggling! Why Allah (swt) with His Wisdom wants to when He has all the mercy with Him and He dressed the Ummat an-Nabi (s) with that and forgave the Ummah completely for sake of the Prophet (s). So why did He create punishment? the answer is, Allah did not create punishment, we created it when we were in the back of Sayyidina Adam (a), when we listened to what Iblees said and made Sayyidina Adam (a) move to eat from the Forbidden Tree. All the realities of human beings moved in Sayyidina Adam's back and extended his hand to eat from the tree, because we were pushing his hand with our desire to disobey Allah (swt)! With all that, in order not to punish us Allah gave that power to the Prophet (s) with his shafaa`ah, so be happy that inshaa-Allah we will not see that heaviness on our day of death! Then Allah (swt) said:

وَالسَّابِحَاتِ سَبْحًا

And by those who glide along (on errands of mercy), (Surat an-Naazi`aat, 79:3)

Wa ‘s-saabihaati sabhaa: the saabihaat are those who swim in water or air; He is describing these angels as those who are moving either in space or in water, running to fulfill whatever order they received from Allah (swt). He mentioned when the order comes to these angels from Heaven, beyond this universe, as-saabihaat reach that person who is dying. What kind of speed they are moving in? They don't make mistakes, because there are too many deceased every day and they know precisely the souls they have to take. Who gave them that power? Allah gave it to them. People swim with a certain speed, but when these angels are swimming in this universe to reach a person, that is beyond any kind of physics, it is impossible to understand.

فَالسَّابِقَاتِ سَبْقًا

and yet overtake [one another] with swift overtaking (Surat an-Naazi`aat, 79:4)

Fa ‘s-saabiqaati sabqaa: they compete with their quickest power to reach that one whose soul they are ordered to take. Allah is giving an oath by these four different groups of angels: an-naazi`aat, an-naashitaat, as-saabihaat, as-saabiqaat, which Allah ordered to run the affairs of people on Earth. The words in this surah are very technical and difficult to translate.

فَالْمُدَبِّرَاتِ أَمْرًا

Then arrange to do (the Commands of their Lord), (Surat an-Naazi`aat, 79:5)

Fa ‘l-mudabbiraati amraa: this group of mudabirraat are the organizers of your affairs, they fix and arrange for you. They are Muwakkileen bi umoor ad-dunya wa ‘l-akhirah, the angels in charge of arranging the affairs of people in this life and the Next.

So how many are there? An-naazi`aat, an-naashitaat, as-saabihaat, as-saabiqaat, al-mudabbiraat. So five different groups of angels, meaning Five Levels of the Heart. In the spiritual meaning, before we die, like Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (r), as the Prophet (s) said, “If you want to see a person who died before he died, look at Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (r).” It means he had complete submission to Allah (swt), because he is like a dead person, he has no desires of his own, except for Prophet (s).

وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُوا

Leave what Prophet (s) forbade and take what he ordered. (Surat al-Hashr, 59:7)

Whatever Prophet (s) gives you, you take. So he was always looking at Prophet (s) to take from any order without using his mind or intelligence, even though he is the most intelligent person, but Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (r) and all Khulafaa ar-Raashidoon were always looking to the Prophet (s) to fulfill what he wants. So when a person cuts his desires, the first group of angels in the heart, the an-Naazi`aat, take all the desires from their body. This is the spiritual, interpretational meaning. So anyone who surrenders himself in the level of Annihilation, Maqaam al-Fanaa, the Station of Fanaa’un Fillah, to annihilate completely, has no questions and is submitting completely to Allah (swt). They have no ego, no desires, and Allah sends an-Naazi`aat to take all the bad characteristics they developed in life and that is how he becomes a saint from among Allah's Saints. Allah makes him a saint, that is why He said:

بَلْ أَحْيَاء عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ يُرْزَقُونَ

No, they live, finding their sustenance provided in the Presence of their Lord. (Surat Aali-`Imraan, 3:169)

They are alive and provided in the Divine Presence, Allah provides them with heavenly food like He provided the Virgin Mary (a). Allah will provide them and order these angels to take the bad characteristics from all parts of their body, just as these angels take the soul even from very deep in the body, for the unbeliever, but for mu’min Allah will take all the bad desires out. When you surrender completely and struggle to reach that level, then Allah will send these angels to take all that Iblees planted there and then dress you with Allah’s Mercy, and that Noor will come out and you will become a spotlight to guide people to way of the Prophet (s)!

So these kinds of angels, al-Mudabbiraati Amra, those who arrange for us how to live in dunya and Akhirah, Allah gave power to them to send inspirations to the heart and what they have arranged for you to do you follow. If you are from the mu’min, they will arrange for you to raise you more and more in imaan, and if you are not a believer in Allah (swt) as Creator with no partner, they leave you and they arrange a bad life for you! If you don't do any obligations that Allah ordered you, meaning tawheed, prayer, zakaat, fasting, Hajj, if you don’t do that the Mudabbiraat will prepare your place in Hellfire!

People will say, “Where is Hellfire? Can we see it?” We have to believe in the Unseen; that is the whole Islamic faith, to believe in what Allah said, but Allah gave examples of Hellfire. People say, “How will it work? Is it a burning pit and they dump you in? Where is it burning, is it on Earth? If it is in the universe, who is carrying it?” The example is very simple. I don't know how many years before now, but recently they showed you the Sun with all its atomic reactions, explosions known as “solar flares”. The Sun’s heat at its core is 50 million degrees Centigrade, and it does not crack nor break. You see in documentaries that the Sun is still in its place although there are explosions on its surface and it is burning and exploding, and you can see solar flares coming from within the boundary of the Sun but they do not spill from its boundaries, and these waves of fire have been coming out as non-stop fire since Creation began, since Allah created Heavens and Earth the Sun has been burning. The One Who made that can have Hellfire in certain states! I was surprised when I saw the Sun like that, no spilling on the sides of its circumference, in the center it is boiling and explosions stronger than on the sides, but the whole Sun is producing heat and flames and fire and still it is there in its place for millions of years. Who can do that? The One Who can do that has the Hellfire ready and you will be worried that you will be taken and thrown in the Sun. Its temperature is less than the temperature of Hellfire as that is for punishment and the Sun is for curing. Without the Sun everything dies, it is for cure. Hellfire is for punishment, but still after you have been cleaned in Hellfire you will be sent to Paradise.

So the Mudabbiraat, those angels who fix your life, if you follow them and what they have arranged for you, you will be saved and if you don't follow them you will be in a problem. Allahumma salli `ala Sayyidina Muhammad (s)!

Allah (swt) gave an oath bi ‘n-nufoos al-mushtaaqa, by the selves that are yearning to Him. Look how much He honored them to give an oath by them! These souls that migrated from what they have been before in dunya towards Akhirah to become annihilated in Allah's Divine Presence are in the Ocean of `Ishq, the Ocean of Love, where the angels come to them and help them after al-Mudabbirraat comes. The Naashitaat take care of them and raise them up, because they have this tendency, mentioned about anyone who follows the way of the Prophet (s):

قلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Say (O Muhammad), "If you (really) love Allah, then follow me! Allah will love you and forgive your sins, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surat Aali-`Imraan, 3:31)

“If you really love Allah then follow me, Allah will love you.” When He loves you, He takes you from the hands of these angels that are in the first, second, third, fourth levels and puts you in the fifth level. As we said, each group of these angels are in different levels of the heart: Heart, Secret, Secret of Secret, Hidden and Most Hidden. Qalb (Heart), is where all these bad desires come in and where the Naazi`aat come in. The Sirr (Secret) is planted with the secrets that Allah wants you to know and is where the Naashitaat enter. The Sirr as-Sirr (Secret of Secrets) is for awliyaullah of higher levels and is where the Saabihaat enter. The Akhfaa (Hidden) is for the Prophet (s) and then the Most Hidden (Khafaa) is for the Divine Presence.

When you swim in these oceans of Allah's Beautiful Names and Attributes you will be running through different procedures and struggles, until you reach Maqaam al-Fanaa. One of these main struggles that Allah put on human beings, which some accepted and others did not accept, is Ramadan. Those fasting Ramadan before leaving dunya will reach Maqaam al-Fanaa, the Station of Annihilation. May Allah make us to reach that Level of Annihilation, to be able to hear what people cannot hear and see what people cannot see and talk what people cannot talk. May Allah forgive us and make us strong, because:

يَوْمَ تَرْجُفُ الرَّاجِفَ

The day the Earth will shake. (Surat an-Naazi`aat, 79:6)

What will happen that day? We will see.

Wa min Allahi ‘t-tawfeeq bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.

It is a very complicated explanation because the surah has highly technical meanings and a lot of Arabic grammar. As we are on the edge of entering that surah, by ourselves it does not work, but may Allah (swt) manifest the Reality of that surah in order to help us avoid anything wrong in our lives.

Wa min Allah at-tawfeeq bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.


© Copyright 2015 Sufilive. All rights reserved. This transcript is protected

by international copyright law. Please attribute Sufilive when sharing it. JazakAllahu khayr.