79:1 CONSIDER the yearning ones proceeding violently;
79:1 The sūrah derives its title from the mention of nazi‘at (lit. who tear out, who yearned for) in the first verse. The word is derived from naza‘a meaning to pluck out, to extract, to draw something sharply (as drawing a bow to shoot arrow). The verse begins with a solemn divine oath ‘wa’ to emphasize the certainty of the Day of Awakening and continues to stress the oath in the subsequent four verses. Most of the early commentators implied the oaths are aimed at angels who are appointed to draw out the souls of dying person (Ibn ‘Abbās, Mujāhid, Sa’īd bin Jubayr, Qatādah all quoted by Tabari, Ibn Kathīr). Accordingly the participles an- nazi‘at, an-nashitāt, as-sabihāt, as-sābiqāt and al-mudabbirāt are interpreted to signify various activities of the angels (Yusuf Ali). Muhammad Ali maintained that these participles signify the spiritual advancements of the future believers in Madinah and beyond them to those who would continue to spread Islam. Asad maintained that the participles indicate to the movement of stars, sun and moon in their orbits and their setting. The word garq can be interpreted to mean something exaggerated, suddenly, violently, drowning (Lisān al-‘Arab, Lane, Mawrid). Since the oaths do not identify the specifics of the participles, the meaning will continue to remain an open discussion among the exegetes.