What is the Tafsir (explanation/exegesis) of the part of the Ayah in Surah Al-‘Imran (3:125) saying, “الملائكة المسومين” (meanings of which are translated as): “...Angels having marks (of distinction)”?
Ibn Kathir and many other Mufassirs (exegetes of the Qur’an) explained the meaning of this phrase.
Ibn Jarir stated that the word “Musawwimin” (i.e. Having marks of distinction) can be recited in two different styles: (Part No. 4; Page No. 206) (i) one in the passive voice, by pronouncing the letter "و" (Waw) with Fath (vowel point that sounds like "a") (ii) and the other in the active voice, by pronouncing the letter "و" (Waw) with Kasr (vowel point that sounds like "i"). He advocated the second Qira’ah (recitation style), saying, “The more correct of the two Qira’at (recitation styles) is the one in which the letter "و" (Waw) is pronounced with Kasr (i.e. The one in the active voice). This is based on reports related from the Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet), particularly the Mufassirs among them, and the Tabi‘un (Followers, the generation after the Companions of the Prophet) that it was the angels who distinguished themselves, without ascribing their having these marks of distinction either to Allah (Exalted be He) or any of His creation.”After mentioning some of the views describing the distinguished marks of the angels,
Ibn Jarir stated that
Abu Ja‘far said that these reports from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and others affirm the validity of this recitation. Examples of these reports include the Prophet’s saying to his Sahabah:
Mark yourselves (with battle clothes) as the angels marked themselves
and the saying of
Abu Usayd that the angels engaged in the battle were wearing yellow turbans trailing on their shoulders. Accordingly, the marks of distinction were made by the angels themselves as previously stated.We recommend that you refer to the interpretations of this Ayah given by
Ibn Jarir and
Ibn Kathir for more details.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.