Background: Surah Nazi ‘at
ENGLISH NAME: The Snatchers or Those Who Tear Out or The Draggers
Name taken from Verse 1 where there is a mention of the word “Nazi’at”. But it does not mean that this name is the actual topic discussed in the whole Surah. There are diversified topics discussed in this Surah.
CHAPTER NUMBER: 79
ORDER OF REVELATION: 81
SURAH NAZIAT TOTAL VERSES: 46
REVELATION PERIOD: Meccan, Approx. 615 – 618 AD.
MAIN CHARACTERS: God, Angels, Man, Righteous, Deniers/Disbelievers, Moses, Pharaoh.
SURAH NAZIAT MAIN TOPICS: Description of the Last Day, God Called Moses in Sacred Valley of Tuwa, and God’s Favors on Man.
Theme and subject matter
The sūrah is known by its opening word: an-Nāziʽāt. It was revealed in Makkah following Sūrah an-Naba' and further affirms the Resurrection and life of the Hereafter. At the outset of the sūrah, Allah (s) swears an oath by some of the angels who perform various tasks. They are neither negligent of their duties nor sluggish. They are racing with one another in honoring Allah’s commands. In so doing He confirms the certainty of the Resurrection. Then He presents glimpses of the terrors of the Last Hour and of man's distress at that time.
The story of Prophet Mūsā and Firʽawn (Pharaoh) is related to show the consequence of arrogance and denial of Allah's messengers. Allah seized the tyrant and his followers with severe punishment for his claim to be their god, in addition to their many previous transgressions – drowning them in the sea. This was to be an example to others in the future and a lesson for any who would fear Allah.
Then the Creator points out the weakness of mankind in comparison to the strength of many of His other creations. He describes His limitless creative power and how He developed the earth until it was suitable for man's habitation and a source of sustenance for him and his cattle. The implication is that such a power, being none but Allah, Most High, is surely able to re-create anything at will. The Prophet (s) was sent only as a warner to resurrection. On Yawm al-Qiyāmah life on earth will be shown to have been extremely brief as if we lived for just a morning or evening, so all people are being warned to prepare for it while the opportunity still remains.
Tafseer Nouman Ali Khan