وَ اِنَّ عَلَیۡکُمْ لَحٰفِظِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۱۰﴾

  And undoubtedly, above you, are some guardians.


 کِرَامًا کٰتِبِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۱۱﴾

  Honourable, scribes.


 یَعْلَمُوۡنَ مَا تَفْعَلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۲﴾

  They know what you do.

Tafsir al-Baghawi                                                     تفسیر البغوی                            

{وَإِنَّ عَلَيْكُمْ لَحَافِظِينَ} رُقَبَاءَ مِنَ الْمَلَائِكَةِ يَحْفَظُونَ عَلَيْكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ.

And undoubtedly, above you, are some guardians i.e. the chosen angels who preserve your deeds.

{كِرَامًاكَاتِبِينَ} يَكْتُبُونَ أَقْوَالَكُمْ وَأَعْمَالَكُمْ.

Honourable Scribes (Kiraman Katibeen) who write down your words and actions.

{يَعْلَمُونَ مَا تَفْعَلُونَ} مِنْ خَيْرٍ أَوْ شَرٍّ.

They know what you do; the good and the bad thereof.

Tafsir al-Baghawi (Ma’aalim al-Tanzeel) of Muhiyy al-Sunnah Imam Abu Muhammad Al-Husain ibn Mas’ood al-Baghwi al-Shafe’I t D. 510 A.H.

Tafsir al-Kabeer                                                                                                             التفسیر الکبیر                        

مَلَائِكَةُ اللَّهِ مُوَكَّلُونَ بِكُمْ يَكْتُبُونَ أَعْمَالَكُمْ حَتَّى تُحَاسَبُوا بِهَا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ

 وَنَظِيرُهُ قَوْلِهِ تَعَالَى:

عَنِ الْيَمِينِ وَعَنِ الشِّمالِ قَعِيدٌ

مَا يَلْفِظُ مِنْ قَوْلٍ إِلَّا لَدَيْهِ رَقِيبٌ عَتِيدٌ

وَقَوْلُهُ تَعَالَى:

وَهُوَ الْقاهِرُ فَوْقَ عِبادِهِ وَيُرْسِلُ عَلَيْكُمْ حَفَظَةً [الْأَنْعَامِ: 61]

The angels of Allah who are appointed upon you to write down your actions until you account for them on the Day of Judgment.

Its example is the following statement of the Almighty:

عَنِ الْیَمِیۡنِ وَ عَنِ الشِّمَالِ قَعِیۡدٌ ﴿۱۷﴾

One sitting on the right side and another at the left.

مَا یَلْفِظُ مِنۡ قَوْلٍ اِلَّا لَدَیۡہِ رَقِیۡبٌ عَتِیۡدٌ ﴿۱۸﴾

  Not a word he utters but there is sitting a watcher ready by him.

(Qaaf 50, Verse 17-18)

Also the following statement of the Almighty:

وَ ہُوَ الْقَاہِرُ فَوْقَ عِبَادِہٖ وَ یُرْسِلُ عَلَیۡکُمۡ حَفَظَۃً

  And He is the Dominant over His bondmen, and He sends guardians over you.

(Al-An’am 6, Verse 61)

Tafsir al-Kabeer (Mafateeh al-Ghaib) of Imam Fakhruddin Muhammad ibn Umar al-Raazi al-Shafe’i t D. 606 A.H.

Tafsir al-Qurtubi                                                                                                                                                                                      تفسیر القرطبی                                                    

رُوِيَ عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ (أَكْرِمُوا الْكِرَامَ الْكَاتِبِينَ الَّذِينَ لَا يفارقونكم إلا عند حدى حَالَتَيْنِ: الْخِرَاءَةِ أَوِ الْجِمَاعِ، فَإِذَا اغْتَسَلَ أَحَدُكُمْ فَلْيَسْتَتِرْ بِجِرْمِ حَائِطٍ أَوْ بِغَيْرِهِ، أَوْ لِيَسْتُرْهُ أَخُوهُ).

Hadeeth:  Honour the Kiraman Katibeen.  They do not leave except in two situations; one, whilst you answer the call of nature and two, while you are engaging in intercourse.  When one of you has a bath he must consider privacy behind a wall or any screen, or at least get someone to block.

وَرُوِيَ عَنْ عَلِيٍّ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: (لَا يَزَالُ الْمَلَكُ مُولِيًا عَنِ الْعَبْدِ مَا دَامَ بَادِيَ الْعَوْرَةَ)

Sayyiduna ‘Ali – may Allah be pleased with him – is reported to have said:  The angel keeps his face in aversion for as long as his private parts stay revealed.

اخْتَلَفَ النَّاسُ فِي الْكُفَّارِ هَلْ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفَظَةٌ أَمْ لَا

فَقَالَ بَعْضُهُمْ: لَا، لِأَنَّ أَمْرَهُمْ ظَاهِرٌ، وَعَمَلَهُمْ وَاحِدٌ، قَالَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى:

يُعْرَفُ الْمُجْرِمُونَ بِسِيماهُمْ [الرحمن: 41]

 وَقِيلَ: بَلْ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفَظَةٌ، لِقَوْلِهِ تَعَالَى:

كَلَّا بَلْ تُكَذِّبُونَ بِالدِّينِ.

وَإِنَّ عَلَيْكُمْ لَحافِظِينَ.

كِراماً كاتِبِينَ.

يَعْلَمُونَ ما تَفْعَلُونَ

 وقال:

وَأَمَّا مَنْ أُوتِيَ كِتابَهُ بِشِمالِهِ [الحاقة: 25]

 وَقَالَ:

وَأَمَّا مَنْ أُوتِيَ كِتابَهُ وَراءَ ظَهْرِهِ [الانشقاق: 10]

فَأَخْبَرَ أَنَّ الْكُفَّارَ يَكُونُ لَهُمْ كِتَابٌ، وَيَكُونُ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفَظَةٌ.

فَإِنْ قِيلَ: الَّذِي عَلَى يَمِينِهِ أي شي يَكْتُبُ وَلَا حَسَنَةَ لَهُ

 قِيلَ لَهُ: الَّذِي يَكْتُبُ عَنْ شِمَالِهِ يَكُونُ بِإِذْنِ صَاحِبِهِ، وَيَكُونُ شَاهِدًا عَلَى ذَلِكَ وَإِنْ لَمْ يَكْتُبْ. وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ.

People have differed over their opinions with regards to whether or not the infidels have angels protecting over them.

Some are of the opinion that they do not have, because their affair is straightforward and there actions are the same (infidelity).  Allah Almighty has stated the following:

یُعْرَفُ الْمُجْرِمُوۡنَ بِسِیۡمٰہُمْ

  The culprits shall be recognized by their faces.

(AL-Rahman 55, Verse 41)

It is also said that they do have the guarding angels over them, due to the following statement of the Almighty:

کَلَّا بَلْ تُکَذِّبُوۡنَ بِالدِّیۡنِ ۙ﴿۹﴾

  Nothing but you belie the judgement.

وَ اِنَّ عَلَیۡکُمْ لَحٰفِظِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۱۰﴾

  And undoubtedly, above you, are some guardians.

 کِرَامًا کٰتِبِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۱۱﴾

  Honourable, scribes.

 یَعْلَمُوۡنَ مَا تَفْعَلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۲﴾

  They know what you do.

(Al-Infitar 82, Verse 9-12)

They also present the following verse in their argument:

وَ اَمَّا مَنْ اُوۡتِیَ کِتٰبَہٗ بِشِمَالِہٖ ۬ۙ

  And as for him whose record shall be given in his left hand.

(Al-Haaqqah 69, Verse 25)

And the following one as well:

وَ اَمَّا مَنْ اُوۡتِیَ کِتٰبَہٗ وَرَآءَ ظَہۡرِہٖ ﴿ۙ۱۰﴾

  And as to him who is given his record behind his back.

(Al-Inshiqaaq 84, Verse 10)

Allah Almighty has made us aware that they have their book of deeds and the guarding angels as well.

Objection:      Then what would be the purpose of the angel on the right shoulder if he is not recording any good deeds?

Answer:          The purpose could just be so the angel on the right can witness on whatever the one the left records, even though he himself does not record anything.

                        And Allah knows best.

سُئِلَ سُفْيَانُ: كَيْفَ تَعْلَمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ أَنَّ الْعَبْدَ قَدْ هَمَّ بِحَسَنَةٍ أَوْ سَيِّئَةٍ قَالَ: إِذَا هَمَّ الْعَبْدُ بِحَسَنَةٍ وَجَدُوا مِنْهُ رِيحَ الْمِسْكِ، وَإِذَا هَمَّ بِسَيِّئَةٍ وَجَدُوا مِنْهُ ريح النتن.

Sufyan was asked, “How do the angels know whether a servant is doing a good deed or committing a sin?”  He replied, “When a servant does something good they find the fragrance of musk emanating from him and when he commits a sin they find the a stink emanating from him.”

وَعَنِ الْحَسَنِ: يَعْلَمُونَ لَا يَخْفَى عليهم شي مِنْ أَعْمَالِكُمْ.

وَقِيلَ: يَعْلَمُونَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْكُمْ دُونَ مَا حَدَّثْتُمْ بِهِ أَنْفُسَكُمْ. وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ.

Sayyiduna Hasan – may Allah be pleased with him – is reported to have said:  They know i.e. it is not hidden from them whatever it is that you do.

It is also said that they know what you apparently but not what you perceive within your inner selves.

And Allah knows best.

Tafsir Qurtubi (Al-Jame’ Li Ahkaam al-Quran) Imam Shamsuddin Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Qurtubi t D. 671 A.H.

Tafsir Rooh al-Bayaan                                                                                              تفسیر روح البیان                                                

وفى فتح الرحمن وصفهم بالكرم الذي هو نفى المذام

وقيل كرام يسارعون الى كتب الحسنات ويتوقفون فى كتب السيئات رجاء ان يستغفر ويتوب فيكتبون الذنب والتوبة منه معا

It is mentioned in Fat’h al-Rahman that Allah Almighty has negated any evil from being attributed to them by bestowing the honour upon them.

It is also said that the KIraman Katibeen hasten towards writing the good deeds whereas they delay in recording the evil deeds, hoping that the servant repents and seeks forgiveness so they could write down the repentance together with the sin.

وعن الفضيل انه كان إذا قرأ هذه الآية قال ما أشدها من آية على الغافلين ففيها إنذار وتهويل وتشديد للعصاة وتبشير ولطف للمطيعين

It is narration about Sayyiduna Fudhail – may Allah be pleased with him – that whenever he recited this verse, he would say:  How tough this verse is upon the negligent but for the obedient, it is a glad tiding whereas for the disobedient, it is a warning and caution.

Tafsir Rooh al-Bayaan of Imam Isma’eel Haqqi ibn Mustafa al-Istanbuli Hanafi t D. 1127 A.H.

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