Here, the object for which an oath has been sworn by beings having five qualities has not been mentioned; but the theme that follows by itself leads to the conclusion that the oath has been sworn to affirm that the Resurrection is a certainty, which must come to pass, when all dead men shall be resurrected. Nor is there any mention as to what are the beings possessed of the qualities. However, a large number of the Companions and their immediate successors and most of the commentators have expressed the opinion that they are the angels. Hadrat `Abdullah bin Mas`ud, Hadrat `Abdullah bin `Abbas, Masruq, Sa`id bin Jubair, Abu salih Abud-Duha and Suddi; say that "those who pluck out from the depths and those who draw out gently" imply the angels, who wrench out the soul of man at death from the very depths of his body, from its every fibre. "Those who glide about swiftly", according to Hadrat Ibn Mas`ud, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubair and Abu Salih, also imply the angels, who hurry about swiftly in execution of Divine Commands as though they were gliding through space. The same meaning of "those who hasten out as in a race" has been taken by Hadrat `Ali, Mujahid, Masruq, Abu Salih and Hasan Bari, and hastening out implies that each one of them hurries on his errand as soon as he receives the first indication of Divine Will. "Those who conduct the affairs" also imply the angels as has been reported from Hadrat `Ali, Mujahid, 'Ata' Abu -Salih, Hasan Bari;, Qatadah, Rabi` bin Anas and Suddi. In other words, these are the workers of the Kingdom of the Universe, who are conducting all the affairs of the world in accordance with Allah's Command and Will. Though this meaning of these verses has not been reported in any authentic Hadith from the Holy Prophet, while this meaning has been given by some major Companions and their immediate successors and pupils, one is led to form the view that they must have obtained this knowledge from the Holy Prophet himself.
Now the question arises: On what basis has the oath been sworn by these angels for the occurrence of the Resurrection and life after death when they themselves are as imperceptible as the thing for the occurrence of which they have been presented as an evidence and as an argument. In our opinion the reason is (and Allah has the best knowledge) that the Arabs were not deniers of the existence of the angels. They themselves admitted that at the death the soul was taken out by the angels; they also believed that the angels moved at tremendous speeds; they could reach any place between the earth and the heavens instantly and promptly execute any errand that was entrusted to them. They also acknowledged that the angels are subordinate to Divine Will and they conduct the affairs of the universe strictly and precisely in accordance with Divine Will; they are not independent and masters of their will. They regarded them as daughters of Allah out of ignorance and worshipped them as deities, but they did not believe that they possessed the real authority as well. Therefore, the basis of the reasoning from the abovementioned attributes for the occurrence of the Resurrection and life after death is that the angels who took the soul by the order of God, could also restore the soul by the order of the same God; and the angels who conducted the affairs of the universe by the order of God could also upset this universe by the order of the same God whenever . He so ordered them and could also bring about a new world order. They would not show any negligence or delay in the execution of His Command.
*2 The first jolt implies the jolt which will destroy the earth and everything on it, and the second jolt at which all dead men will rise up from death and from their graves. This same state has been described in Surah Az-Zumar, thus: "And when the Trumpet shall be blown on that Day, all those who are in the heavens and the earth shall fall down dead except those whom Allah may allow (to live). Then the Trumpet shall be blown again and they will all stand up, looking around." (v. 68)(79:8) On that Day some hearts shall tremble (with fright),3
*3 "Some hearts", because, according to the Qur'an, only the disbelievers, the wicked people and the hypocrites will be terror-stricken on the Resurrection Day, the righteous believers will remain secure from this tenor. About them in Surah Al-Anbiya' it has been said: "The time of great fright will not trouble them at all; the angels will rush. forth to receive them, saying: `This is the very Day which you were promised'." (v. 103)(79:9) and their eyes shall be downcast with dread.
*4 That is, when they were told that they would surely be raised back to life after death, they started mocking it, saying to one another, "Well, if we have really to be restored to our former state of life, then we would certainly be doomed. "(79:13) Surely they will need no more than a single stern blast,
*5 That is, "They are mocking it as an impossibility, whereas it is not at all a difficult task for Allah for the performance of which He may have to make lengthy preparations. For it only a single shout or cry is enough at which your dust of ash will gather together from wherever it lay, and you will suddenly find yourself alive on the back of the earth. Thinking this return to be a return to loss, you may try to escape from it however hard you may, but it will inevitably take place; it cannot be averted by your denial, escape or mockery."(79:15) Has6 Moses' story reached you?
*6 As the denial of the Resurrection and Hereafter by the disbelievers of Makkah and their mockery of it was not, in fact, rejection of a philosophy but belying Allah's Messengers, and the tricks that they were employing against the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) were not against an ordinary man but were meant to frustrate the mission of Allah's Messenger, the story of the Prophet Moses and the Pharaoh is being related before giving additional arguments for the occurrence of the Hereafter so that they are warned of the consequences of fighting with the Messenger and resisting the God Who sent him.(79:17) and directed him: “Go to Pharaoh, he has rebelled,
*7 According to general opinion among the commentators "the sacred . valley of 'Tuwa" means "the sacred valley which was named Tuwa". But, besides this, two other meanings of it also have been given: (1) "The valley that was blessed and made sacred twice" . for it was first made sacred when Allah spoke to Moses in it for the first time, and it was blessed and made sacred for the second time when the Prophet Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt and brought them into it; and (2) "called out to him in the sacred valley in the night," and this is according to the meaning of tuwa in the Arabic idiom.(79:19) that I may direct you to your Lord and then you hold Him8 in awe?' ”
Here, one should understand a few things well:
(1) The dialogue that took place between the Prophet Moses and Allah Almighty at the time of appointing him to the office of Prophethood has been related at some places briefly and at others in full detail in the Qur'an as the occasion demanded. Here; brevity was the need; therefore, only a resume has been given. Fuller details are found in Ta Ha: 9-48, Ash-Shua`ra': 10-17, An=Naml: 7-12, AI-Qasas: 29-35.
(2) The rebellion of the Pharaoh referred to here relates to his transgressing the bounds of service and rebelling both against the Creator and against His creatures. As for his rebellion against the Creator, it is being mentioned a little below when he gathered his people together and prolaimed: "I am your lord, the supreme." As against the creatures his rebellion was that he had divided his subjects into classes; he treated the weak classes tyrannically and had reduced his entire nation to slavery as has been mentioned in Al-Qasas: 4 and Az-Zukhruf: 54.
(3) The instruction given to Moses was: "Go, you and your brother Aaron, to Pharaoh for he has transgressed all bounds. Talk to him gently; maybe that he is convinced by admonition or is imbued with fear." (Ta Ha: 44). One model of the gentle speech has been given in these verses, which shows what right method a preacher should adopt when preaching to a perverted man. Other models are given in Ta Ha: 49-52, Ash-Shua`ra': 23-28, and Al-Qasas: 37. These verses are of those in which Allah has taught the correct methods of preaching Islam in the Qur'an.
(4) The Prophet Moses had not been sent to Pharaoh only for the deliverance of the children of Israel as some people seem to think but the primary object of his appointment was to show Pharaoh and his people the right way, and the second object was that if he did not accept the right way, the children of Israel (who in fact were a Muslim people) should be taken out of his slavery and from Egypt. This thing becomes plain from these verses too, for there is no mention whatever in these of the deliverance of the children of Israel, but the Prophet Moses has been commanded to present the message of the Truth before Pharaoh, and this is confirmed by those verses also in which the Prophet Moses has preached Islam as well as demanded freedom of the children of Israel, e.g. see Al-A`raf 104-105, Ta Ha: 47-52, Ash-Shua ara': 16-17, 23-28. (For further explanation, see E.N. 74 of Yunus).
(5) Here, "to adopt purity" means to adopt purity of belief, morals and deeds, or, in other words, to accept Islam. Ibn Zaid says: "Wherever in the Qur'an the word tazakka (purity) has been use, it implies acceptance of Islam." As an example of this he has cited the following three verses: "And this is the reward of him who adopts purity", i.e. accepts Islam; "and what would make you know that he might adopt purity", i.e. becomes a Muslim (`Abasa:3); "And you would not be responsible if he did not adapt purity", i.e. did not become a Muslim (`Abasa: 7). (Ibn Jarir).
(6) "That I may guide you to your Lord so that you may have fear (of Him)" means: "When you recognize your Lord and come to know that you are His slave, and not a free man, you will inevitably have fear of Him in your heart, for fear of God is the thing on which depends the right attitude of man in the world. Without the knowledge and fear of God no purity of the self can be possible."
*9 "The great Sign" : the turning of the staff into a serpent, as has been mentioned at several places in the Qur'an. Obviously there could be no greater sign than that a lifeless staff should turn into a living serpent right in front of the eyes of the people, that it should devour the artificial serpents produced by the magicians out of their staffs and cords, and vKhen the Prophet Moses should pick it up, it should become a walking stick again. This was proof that it was Allah, Lord of the worlds, Who had sent Moses as a Prophet.(79:21) but he denied it as false and disobeyed,
*10 According to the details given at other places in the Qur'an, he summoned skilful magicians from all over Egypt and made them produce serpents out of sticks and cords in front of the assembled people so that they were convinced that Moses (peace be upon him was not a Prophet but a magician, and that the miracle worked by him of turning a staff into a serpent, could also be worked by other magicians. But this device of his recoiled upon himself and the defeated magicians themselves admitted that what Moses (peace be on him) had displayed was no magic but a miracle.(79:23) and gathered his people and declared:11
*11 This proclamation of Pharaoh has been mentioned at several places in the Qur'an. On one occasion he said to the Prophet Moses: "lf you took another one as a deity beside me, I would cast you in the prison." (Ash-Shua`ra': 29). On another occasion he had addressed his courtiers, saying: "O chiefs, I do not know of any other god of yours than myself. (Al-Qasas.: 38). By this Pharaoh did not mean, nor could he ever mean, that he himself was the creator of the universe and he had made the world, nor that he denied the existence of Allah and claimed to be lord of the universe, nor that he regarded only himself as a deity of the people in the religious sense. In the Qur'an itself there is a clear testimony that as regards religion he himself worshipped other gods. Once his courtiers said to him: "Will you leave Moses and his people free to spread chaos in the land, and let them discard you and your deities?" (Al A`raf: 127). And in the Qur'an itself this saying of the Pharaoh also has been cited: "Had Moses been sent by Allah, why were not bracelets of gold sent down to him, or a company of angels as attendants?" (AzZukhruf: 53). Thus, in fact, he called himself a god and supreme deity not in the religious but in the political sense. What he meant was that he possessed the sovereign rights: no one beside him had the right to rule in his kingdom and there was no superior power whose orders could be enforced in the land. (For further explanation. see E.N. 85 of Al-A`raf, E.N. 21 of Ta Ha, E.N.'s 24, 26 of AshShua'ra', E-N.'s 52, 53 of Al-Qasas E.N. 49 of Az-Zukhruf).(79:25) Thereupon Allah seized him for the chastisement of the World to Come as well as of the present.
*12 "...who fears": who fears the consequences of denying God's Messenger, which the Pharaoh experienced in the past.