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The Arabic term al-mu'aqqibat (commonly encountered in the definite plural, Arabic معقبات "those who follow one upon another") is a term occurring in the Quran (Q.13:11) which some Islamic commentators consider to refer to a class of guardian angels who keep people from death until its decreed time.
In Islamic tradition a guardian angel or watcher (angel) (raqib "watcher") is an angel which maintains every being in life, sleep, death or resurrection. The Arabic singular for mu'aqqibat would be a mu'aqqib "a person which follows." These angels are included in the hafazhah ("the guards") and the concept of the guardian angel in Islam is similar to the concept of the guardian angel in some Jewish and Christian traditions.
The word al-Mu'aqqibat is the plural of the word al-mua'qqibah. The word is derived from the word 'aqiba meaning heel, from here the word is understood in the sense that it follows the following as his heels at the heels of putting the race. Pattern names used here meaning an emphasis and referred to is the language of the angels who were assigned to follow every creature of God in earnest.
The mu'aqqibat of the Qur'an
The angels assigned to keep a servant in all ihwalnya, stated in the Qur'an Al-Ra'du (Q13.10-11), which reads: "For each (such person) there are (angels) in succession, before and behind him: They guard him by command of God. Verily never will God change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls)."
For humans there are angels who always take turns, in the face and behind it, they keep the commandments of God. " (Al-Raad: 10-11)
- Surah 13. Ar-Ra'd, Ayah 11 Alim.org http://www.alim.org/library/quran/ayah/compare/13/11 "The rendering of the above passage hinges on the meaning given to the term mu'aqqibat - a double plural of mu'aqqib, which signifies "something that comes immediately after another thing" or "succeeds another thing without interruption".
- The message of the Quran Muhammad Asad 1984 The rendering of the above passage hinges on the meaning given to the term mu'aqqibat - a double plural of mu'aqqib, ... mu'aqqibat "hosts of angels", ie, the recording angels who attend on every human being, succeeding one another ...
- Holy Quran Maulana Muhammad Ali 2011 "Mu'aqqibat (sing. mu'aqqib) is derived from 'aqqaba, meaning he looked to the consequence, or result of the affair (LL). The word may also be translated as meaning those following one another. Such are the angels, who are mentioned as ...
- F. A. Klein The religion of Islam 1985 - Page 66 "As these Angels are said to succeed each other in their watch they are called the Mu'aqqibat (معقبت), Muhammad is reported to have said that every man has ten angels (according to some traditions twenty or as many as four hundred), "
- Thomas Patrick Hughes -A Dictionary of Islam 1996 Page 366 AL-MU'AQQIBAT
- Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics: Part 8 - Page 618 James Hastings, John A. Selbie - 2003 ".. Tabari (Tafsir, xiii 68, line 16) shows that Qur'an xiii.12 was read by 'All ben-Ka'b with the following variants "he has in front of him mu'aqqibat, and behind him a raqib.""
- R. Khanam - Demonology: socio-religious belief of witchcraft 2003 -Page 192 The Qur'an uses the word raqib to denote the guardian angel of men, and Tabari shows that Qur'an xiii.12 was read by Ali ben-Ka'b with the following variants "he has in front of him mu 'aqqibat, and behind him a raqib."
- Jane Dammen McAuliffe Encyclopaedia of the Qurʼān: Volume 5 2006 "For his sake there are those who follow one another [mu'aqqibat, angels, according to Ibn 'Abbas] , before him and behind him, who guard him by God's commandment" (q I3:1O-Il). The concept of "guardian angels" had already been developed ..."