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Qaf: Shoulder Angel/Devil. It’s like a cartoon!

September 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Devil+and+angel+homer2 17: Remember that the two recording angels, seated on the right and on the left, receive and record.
18: Not a word does he utter but there is a watcher by him, ever-present.
21: And every person will come (before the Supreme Court) with one (angel) driving, and one (angel) bearing witness
23: And the one (the witnessing angel) who accompanies him say: "This is (his record) that I keep ready with me."
27: His companion (the devil who accompanied him into the world and seduced him into evil) will say: "Our Lord! I did not cause him to rebel and transgress, but he himself was far astray."

Seriously, did this sura just put an angel and a devil on every person's shoulder? How cool is that! That's such an iconic image. I'm sure someone has written a Ph.D. on where that first came from. Probably some Greek god thing or something.

Anyhoo, this whole sura covers exactly what will happen on the Day of Judgment (after a bit of recap on the validity of the revelation, fallen civilizations, etc.). First, these two "angels" have been eavesdropping on everything–even doing a little nudging and pushing sometimes–and they bear witness to one's deeds. The baddies, God asks "is Hell full yet?", but Hell replies "there's always room for one more." The goodies… I think this may actually be the first reference to what Paradise will look like:

31: And Paradise will be brought near for the God-revering, pious…
32: This is what was promised for you — for everyone who was penitent, careful in keeping his duties (to God).
34: Now enter [Paradise] in peace. That is the Day of immortality
35: Therein will be for them everything that they desire, and in Our Presence there is yet more.

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