Exposition of the Holy Quran – 79 Al-Naaziaat (G A Parwez)

Surah 79: Al-Naaziaat
(Those Who Tear Out)

(1) The tyrant forces crush the oppressed ones. So much so that the potentialities and energies of the oppressed are totally suppressed; and they end up looking like the barren land which has no trace of life. However, with obedience to the divine laws the revolutionary forces come into being. These can pull up to eminence the subdued potentialities of this oppressed class.
(2) And all obstacles created along the way by the tyrant class are removed by these forces, thus undoing the bonds of slavery of the weak. The weak then become active in a free atmosphere.
(3-4) And in this way they (the weaker class), floating swiftly in the sea of activity, move onwards without any obstacles in their way;
(5) Until the time when power and command are snatched away from the tyrants and passed on to the weaker class, who can then themselves plan and direct their affairs in the light of the divine laws.
(6-7) This revolutionary class of momineen, which uplifts the oppressed, stands testimony to the fact that the revolution is bound to come. The revolution will cause violent jolts, one following the other; and with every jolt the lower classes will climb a step higher, while the upper classes will descend.
(8) On that day the hearts of tyrannical and aggressive leaders will pound fast. They will be greatly perturbed.
(9) Their eyes will be downcast (due to embarrassment over their failure and defeat).
(10) (At present, they are so proud and arrogant that whenever they are reminded of the Law of Mukafat they say) “They say that all the wealth, power and authority which you have usurped from the weaker classes shall be confiscated from you; and that you will return to the same old position from where you started.
(11) “And become hollow crumbling bones(1).”
(12) And they say, “If this does happen and we revert to the original state, then it will be an awful reversal causing us extreme loss.” (They say such things tauntingly.)
(13-14) Tell them that it is not at all difficult for Us to do so. It would be such a threatening call that everyone would be out in the open. (All matters would be decided in that battleground.)
(15) This would be one more in the series of revolutions which have been occurring since the beginning; for tyrannical forces have always suppressed the weaker ones. The anbiya and their companions and followers have always endeavoured to uplift the weaker classes. Take as an example the episode of Moses’ conflict (with the Pharaoh).
(16) Begin this story from when the lengthy process of trial and error by human intellect had ended, and Moses had reached the stage when guidance through wahi had begun (20:12); and he was bestowed with nabuwwa. At that time his Rabb called him and said;
(17) “Go to the Pharaoh, who has become rebellious. He has created chaos and has suppressed the weak.”
(18) “Go and tell him, (You have amassed wealth and strength but you have never thought of the intrinsic value of your self.) Do you not desire that your human dignity be nourished and developed?

(19) “Should I tell you about the way leading towards Allah’s universal Rabubiyya?” (Tell him this and) It is quite possible that he may understand and stop the erroneous ways which are leading him towards the doom of jahannam. (At least this will exhaust all possibilities of his reform.)
(20) Moses went to him and presented before him the divine code which could bring about such a revolution (20:23).
(21) But the Pharaoh ignored him and remained rebellious.
(22) He turned his face away and started planning how to defeat Moses;
(23) And for this purpose he gathered all his chiefs and nobles around him and proclaimed,
(24) “I give you nourishment (and provide you everything to eat and drink). Thus I am your supreme Rabb. (Moses’ contention that Allah alone is your Rabb is wrong).”
(25) (When he transgressed all bounds) Allah’s Law of Mukafat seized him completely, destroying him in his present life as well as the future one. This was the outcome of crimes he had committed prior to Moses’ arrival; and even of those he had continued thereafter.
(26) In this historical struggle between Moses and the Pharaoh there are lessons for those who are afraid of being seized by the divine Law of Mukafat
(27) (O Rasool! Having narrated these historical episodes to your people, tell them once again to ponder over the creation of the cosmos and of themselves. Then ask) “As a creation, are you tougher and stronger than the celestial bodies We have created?”
(28) Allah created these huge bodies high up in space. He then gave them balance and equilibrium so that they would remain stable and continue on their path.
(29) And in space, He made the night dark and brought forth light during daytime.
(30) Next look at the earth. The earth and all the other celestial bodies were one mass, a nebula. The earth was taken and thrown out of this, just like a stone being propelled away by a catapult (21:30)(2).
(31) The water was taken from the oceans by distillation (to regions of dry land). Thereafter, We made vegetation grow in these regions;
(32) And raised huge and firm mountains in these regions.
(33) And We fashioned the entire system in a way that it would produce means of sustenance for you and your cattle. (Land is the source for producing sustenance. One can benefit from it but not become its owner.)
(34) (However, if the established system is so unjust that instead of making land a source of nourishment for human beings, it oppresses and subjugates weak people, then) A great revolution will come (like that which has been mentioned in the opening verses).
(35) Through this revolution a society in which no one will be able to usurp the labour of others, shall be established. Everyone will see the fruit of his labour; and none of it shall go waste (20:15, 53:39, 56:63-73).
(36) At that time jaheem will become visible to those who are capable of seeing it. (Jahannam still exists, but is invisible. At that time it shall emerge and become visible – 29:54, 39:48, 82:16).
(37) Remember! Whoever rebels against Our law of Rabubiyya;
(38) And gives preference to immediate gains in this life, over the pleasures of life;
(39) (Will find that) His abode is jaheem, a place where further development of the human self stops.
(40) But the one who understands that one day he has to stand before the divine court (where the results of his deeds will come before him, then he) has to keep in check his desires and feelings from going against the divine laws.
(41) Then he will be the one whose abode is janna, in this world and in the hereafter.
(42) (After hearing all this about the revolution) They ask you, “When will that revolution occur?”
(43) (O Rasool! Tell them), “This is not within the sphere of my knowledge; I do not know when that will happen – (7:178, 33:63, 42:17).”
(44) Determining the time of this revolution rests only with Allah Almighty. He alone knows it. All these matters will ultimately be settled according to His Law of Mashiyya (53:42).
(45) (O Rasool! Tell them that) Your duty is only to warn the one who is conscious of the divine Law of Mukafat and fears the destructive results of an erroneous way of life.
(46) When those who are anxious about knowing the time of this revolution actually face it, they will cry and pray, “We got very little time for respite; no more than an evening or a morning.” (If we had more time we would have changed our ways. However, at that time such excuses shall be of no avail.)


(1) These verses can also refer to life after death. However, since the revolution that was brought about by the struggle between Moses and Pharaoh has been mentioned in Verse 15, we have preferred explaining these verses with reference to revolutions that appear in this world.

(2) In verse 2:29 the word thumma is not for sequence. The sequence of creation of celestial bodies is the same as has been described here. Modern day knowledge has revealed that the rapid rotation of the Nebula resulted in the scattering of matter that eventually became these bodies. The meaning of the Qur’anic parable may be easily understood from this. That is, the earth separated from the Nebula just as a stone moves out of a catapult, and while spinning, moves away.

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