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The Angels smite the Disbelievers upon capturing Their Souls Print E-mail

Allah says, if you witnessed the angels capturing the souls of the disbelievers, you would witness a tremendous, terrible, momentous and awful matter,

﴿يَضْرِبُونَ وُجُوهَهُمْ وَأَدْبَـرَهُمْ﴾

(they smite their faces and their backs), saying to them,

﴿وَذُوقُواْ عَذَابَ الْحَرِيقِ﴾

("Taste the punishment of the blazing Fire.'')

Ibn Jurayj said that Mujahid said that,


(and their backs), refers to their back sides, as happened on the day of Badr. Ibn Jurayj also reported from Ibn `Abbas, "When the idolators faced the Muslims ﴿in Badr﴾, the Muslims smote their faces with swords. When they gave flight, the angels smote their rear ends.''

Although these Ayat are describing Badr, they are general in the case of every disbeliever. This is why Allah did not make His statement here restrictive to the disbelievers at Badr,

﴿وَلَوْ تَرَى إِذْ يَتَوَفَّى الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ الْمَلَـئِكَةُ يَضْرِبُونَ وُجُوهَهُمْ وَأَدْبَـرَهُمْ﴾

(And if you could see when the angels take away the souls of those who disbelieve (at death); they smite their faces and their backs,)

In Surat Al-Qital (or Muhammad chapter 47) there is a similar Ayah, as well as in Surat Al-An`am,

﴿وَلَوْ تَرَى إِذِ الظَّـلِمُونَ فِى غَمَرَاتِ الْمَوْتِ وَالْمَلَـئِكَةُ بَاسِطُواْ أَيْدِيهِمْ أَخْرِجُواْ أَنفُسَكُمُ﴾

(And if you could but see when the wrongdoers are in the agonies of death, while the angels are stretching forth their hands (saying): "Deliver your souls!'') ﴿6:93﴾

The angels stretch their hands and smite the disbelievers by Allah's command, since their souls refuse to leave their bodies, so they are taken out by force. This occurs when the angels give them the news of torment and Allah's anger. There is a Hadith narrated from Al-Bara' that when the angel of death attends the disbeliever at the time of death, he comes to him in a terrifying and disgusting shape, saying, "Get out, O wicked soul, to fierce hot wind, boiling water and a shadow of black smoke.'' The disbeliever's soul then scatters throughout his body, but the angels retrieve it, just as a needle is retrieved from wet wool. In this case, veins and nerve cells will be still attached to the soul. Allah states here that angels bring news of the torment of the Fire to the disbelievers. Allah said next,

﴿ذلِكَ بِمَا قَدَّمَتْ أَيْدِيكُمْ﴾

(This is because of that which your hands forwarded.) meaning, this punishment is the recompense of the evil deeds that you have committed in the life of the world. This is your reckoning from Allah for your deeds,

﴿وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ لَيْسَ بِظَلَّـمٍ لِّلْعَبِيدِ﴾

a(And verily, Allah is not unjust to His servants.)

Certainly, Allah does not wrong any of His creatures, for He is the Just, who never puts anything in an inappropriate place. Honored, Glorified, Exalted and Praised be He, the All-Rich, Worthy of all praise. Muslim recorded that Abu Dharr said that the Messenger of Allah said;

«إنَّ اللهَ تَعَالَى يَقُولُ: يَا عِبَادِي إِنِّي حَرَّمْتُ الظُّلْمَ عَلَى نَفْسِي وَجَعَلْتُهُ بَيْنَكُمْ مُحَرَّمًا فَلَا تَظَالَمُوا، يَا عِبَادِي إِنَّمَا هِيَ أَعْمَالُكُمْ أُحْصِيهَا لَكُمْ فَمَنْ وَجَدَ خَيْرًا فَلْيَحْمَدِ اللهَ وَمَنْ وَجَدَ غَيْرَ ذَلِكَ فَلَا يَلُومَنَّ إِلَّا نَفْسَه»

(Allah, the Exalted, said, `O My servants! I have prohibited injustice for Myself, and made it prohibited to you between each other. Therefore, do not commit injustice against each other. O My servants! It is your deeds that I am keeping count of, so whoever found something good, let him praise Allah for it. Whoever found other than that, has only himself to blame.)

This is why Allah said,

﴿كَدَأْبِ ءَالِ فِرْعَوْنَ وَالَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ كَفَرُواْ بِآيَـتِ اللَّهِ فَأَخَذَهُمُ اللَّهُ بِذُنُوبِهِمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَوِىٌّ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ ﴾

(52. Similar to the behavior of the people of Fir`awn, and of those before them -- they rejected the Ayat of Allah, so Allah punished them for their sins. Verily, Allah is All-Strong, severe in punishment.)

Allah says, `The behavior of these rebellious disbelievers against what I sent you with, O Muhammad, is similar to the behavior of earlier disbelieving nations. So We behaved with them according to Our Da'b, that is, Our behavior ﴿or custom﴾ and way, as We did with them with what We often do and decide concerning their likes, the denying people of Fir`awn and the earlier nations who rejected the Messengers and disbelieved in Our Ayat,'

﴿فَأَخَذَهُمُ اللَّهُ بِذُنُوبِهِمْ﴾

(so Allah punished them for their sins.)

Because of their sins, Allah destroyed them

﴿إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَوِىٌّ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ﴾

(Verily, Allah is All-Strong, severe in punishment.)

none can resist Him or escape His grasp.

﴿ذلِكَ بِأَنَّ اللَّهَ لَمْ يَكُ مُغَيِّراً نِّعْمَةً أَنْعَمَهَا عَلَى قَوْمٍ حَتَّى يُغَيِّرُواْ مَا بِأَنْفُسِهِمْ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ - كَدَأْبِ ءَالِ فِرْعَوْنَ وَالَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ كَذَّبُواْ بآيَـتِ رَبِّهِمْ فَأَهْلَكْنَـهُمْ بِذُنُوبِهِمْ وَأَغْرَقْنَآ ءَالَ فِرْعَونَ وَكُلٌّ كَانُواْ ظَـلِمِينَ ﴾

(53. That is so because Allah will never change a grace which He has bestowed on a people until they change what is in themselves. And verily, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.) (54. Similar to the behavior of the people of Fir`awn, and those before them. They belied the Ayat of their Lord, so We destroyed them for their sins, and We drowned the people of Fir`awn for they were all wrongdoers.)

Allah affirms His perfect justice and fairness in His decisions, for He decided that He will not change a bounty that He has granted someone, except on account of an evil that they committed. Allah said in another Ayah,

﴿إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّى يُغَيِّرُواْ مَا بِأَنفُسِهِمْ وَإِذَآ أَرَادَ اللَّهُ بِقَوْمٍ سُوءًا فَلاَ مَرَدَّ لَهُ وَمَا لَهُمْ مِّن دُونِهِ مِن وَالٍ﴾

(Verily, Allah will not change the (good) condition of a people as long as they do not change their state (of goodness) themselves. But when Allah wills a people's punishment, there can be no turning it back, and they will find besides Him no protector.) ﴿13:11﴾

Allah said next,

﴿كَدَأْبِ ءَالِ فِرْعَوْنَ﴾

(Similar to the behavior of the people of Fir`awn,) meaning, He punished Fir`awn and his kind, those who denied His Ayat. Allah destroyed them because of their sins, and took away the favors that He granted them, such as gardens, springs, plants, treasures and pleasant dwellings, as well as all of the delights that they enjoyed. Allah did not wrong them, but it is they who wronged themselves.

﴿إِنَّ شَرَّ الدَّوَابِّ عِندَ اللَّهِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ فَهُمْ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ - الَّذِينَ عَـهَدْتَّ مِنْهُمْ ثُمَّ يَنقُضُونَ عَهْدَهُمْ فِي كُلِّ مَرَّةٍ وَهُمْ لاَ يَتَّقُونَ - فَإِمَّا تَثْقَفَنَّهُمْ فِى الْحَرْبِ فَشَرِّدْ بِهِم مَّنْ خَلْفَهُمْ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَذَّكَّرُونَ ﴾

(55. Verily, the worst of living creatures before Allah are those who disbelieve, -- so they shall not believe.) (56. They are those with whom you made a covenant, but they break their covenant every time and they do not have Taqwa.) (57. So if you gain the mastery over them in war, then disperse those who are behind them, so that they may learn a lesson.)


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