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79. [Soul-]Snatchers

THIS CHAPTER of 46 early Meccan verses was revealed after Prophets 21 and before Bursting Apart 82. Its soaring message is mystic in content and poetic in form. Moses and Pharaoh are discussed in section i, while ii concerns creation and the final Hour.

In the name of God, the Mercy-giving, the Merciful!

(i) * By those who snatch [men's souls] away
at their last gasp * and others
who act more nimbly
* as well as those floating by,
* and still others racing past,
** to regulate some matter!
* Some day a rumbling will be felt;
* another will follow on its heels!
* Hearts will be pounding on that day;
* their sight will be downcast.
** They will say: "Will we be restored to our original state
* once we are crumbled bones?"

*They say: 'That would then be a losing proposition! * There would only be a single rebuke * and then they would never be able to sleep again!

Moses and Pharaoh

** Has Moses' story ever come to you, * when his Lord called to him by the sacred valley of Tuwa? * "Go off to Pharaoh; he has acted arrogantly. * SAY: 'Would you care to be purified * and for me to guide you to your Lord so you may [learn to] dread [Him]?"'

** He showed him the greatest sign. * Yet he denied and defied it; * then he turned away to try his best. * He summoned, and called out, * and said: "I am your supreme Llord!" ** God seized him as an example in (both) the Hereafter and from the First [life]. * In that there lies a lesson for anyone who dreads [retribution].

(ii) * Were you harder to creat, or the sky He has raised? * He has lifted its canopy up and smoothed it off. * He darkens its night and brings forth its morning glow; ** and the earth has He spread out besides, * and produced its water and its pasturage from it. * The mountains has He anchored * as an enjoyment for you and for your livestock.

* When the greatest calamity comes along, ** on the day when everyman will remember whatever he has tried to accomplish, * and Hades will loom forth for anyone to see, * anyone who has acted arrogantly and preferred worldly life * will have Hades for a dwelling place. ** Anyone who has been afraid to stand before his Lord and restrained himself from passion, * will have the Garden for a dwelling place.

The Final Hour

* They will ask you about the Hour: "When will it come to pass? * Why are you reminding us about it?" * It lies up to your Lord to set it. ** You are merely a warner for anyone who dreads it; * just as some day they shall see they have hung around for only an evening, or its morning glow.


Published with authorization from Dr.T.B.Irving .