Al-Quran Surah 74. Al-Muddaththir, Ayah 31

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وَمَا جَعَلْنَا أَصْحَابَ النَّارِ إِلَّا مَلَائِكَةً ۙ وَمَا جَعَلْنَا عِدَّتَهُمْ إِلَّا فِتْنَةً لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لِيَسْتَيْقِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ وَيَزْدَادَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِيمَانًا ۙ وَلَا يَرْتَابَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ ۙ وَلِيَقُولَ الَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ مَرَضٌ وَالْكَافِرُونَ مَاذَا أَرَادَ اللَّهُ بِهَٰذَا مَثَلًا ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ يُضِلُّ اللَّهُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۚ وَمَا يَعْلَمُ جُنُودَ رَبِّكَ إِلَّا هُوَ ۚ وَمَا هِيَ إِلَّا ذِكْرَىٰ لِلْبَشَرِ


Asad : For We have caused none but angelic powers to lord over the fire [of hell];16 and We have not caused their number to be aught but a trial for those who are bent on denying the truth17 - to the end that they who have been granted revelation aforetime might be convinced [of the truth of this divine writ];18 and that they who have attained to faith [in it] might grow yet more firm in their faith; and that [both] they who have been granted the earlier revelation and they who believe [in this one] might be freed of all doubt; and that they in whose hearts is disease19 and they who deny the truth outright might ask, "What does [your] God mean by this parable?"20 In this way God lets go astray him that wills [to go astray],and guides aright him that wills [to be guided].21 And none can comprehend thy Sustainer's forces save Him alone: and all this22 is but a reminder to mortal man.
Khattab :

We have appointed only ˹stern˺ angels as wardens of the Fire. And We have made their number only as a test for the disbelievers,1 so that the People of the Book will be certain, and the believers will increase in faith, and neither the People of the Book nor the believers will have any doubts, and so that those ˹hypocrites˺ with sickness in their hearts and the disbelievers will argue, “What does Allah mean by such a number?” In this way Allah leaves whoever He wills to stray and guides whoever He wills. And none knows the forces of your Lord except He. And this ˹description of Hell˺ is only a reminder to humanity.

Malik : We have appointed none but angels as wardens of the fire; and We have made their number a trial for the unbelievers, so that the People of the Book may be convinced and the faith of the true believers may be increased, and that no doubts will be left for the People of the Book and the believers, and that those in whose hearts there is a disease and the disbelievers may say: "What could Allah mean by this parable?" Thus, Allah leaves to stray whom He wills and guides whom He pleases. No one knows the forces of your Rabb except Himself, and this (Qur'an) is nothing but a reminder to mankind.
Pickthall : We have appointed only angels to be wardens of the fire, and their number have We made to be a stumbling block for those who disbelieve; that those to whom the scripture hath been given may have certainty, and that believers may increase in faith; and that those to whom the Scripture hath been given and believers may not doubt; and that those in whose hearts there is disease, and disbelievers, may say: What meaneth Allah by this similitude? Thus Allah sendeth astray whom He will, and whom He will He guideth. None knoweth the hosts of thy Lord save Him. This is naught else than a Reminder unto mortals.
Yusuf Ali : And We have set none but angels as guardians of the Fire; and We have fixed their number only as a trial for Unbelievers in order that the people of the Book may arrive at certainty and the Believers may increase in Faith and that no doubts may be left for the People of the Book and the Believers and that those in whose hearts is a disease and the Unbelievers may say "What symbol doth Allah intend by this?" Thus doth Allah leave to stray whom He pleaseth and guide whom He pleaseth; and none can know the forces of the Lord except He and this is no other than a warning to mankind. 5794 5795 5796 5797
Transliteration : Wama jaAAalna ashaba alnnari illa malaikatan wama jaAAalna AAiddatahum illa fitnatan lillatheena kafaroo liyastayqina allatheena ootoo alkitaba wayazdada allatheena amanoo eemanan wala yartaba allatheena ootoo alkitaba waalmuminoona waliyaqoola allatheena fee quloobihim maradun waalkafiroona matha arada Allahu bihatha mathalan kathalika yudillu Allahu man yashao wayahdee man yashao wama yaAAlamu junooda rabbika illa huwa wama hiya illa thikra lilbashari
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Asad   
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Asad 16 Since it is by virtue of his powers of conscious perception and conceptual thinking that man can arrive at a discriminating cognition of good and evil and, thus, rise to great spiritual heights, these powers are described here as "angelic" (lit., "angels" - this being the earliest occurrence of the term malak in the history of Qur'anic revelation). On the other hand, since a neglect or a deliberately wrong use of these angelic powers is at the root of all sinning on the part of man and, therefore, of his suffering in the hereafter, they are spoken of as "the lords (ashab) of the fire [of hell]", which complements the expression "over it" in the preceding verse.
Asad   
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Asad 17 This is apparently an allusion to the allegorical character of this passage, which "those who are bent on denying the truth" are unwilling to recognize as such and, hence, fail to grasp its real purport. By speculating on the reasons which allegedly induced Muhammad - whom they regard as the "author" of the Qur'an - to lay stress on one particular number, they tend to take the allegory in a literal sense, thus missing its point entirely.
Asad   
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Asad 18 Namely, by being enabled, through an understanding of the above allegory, to appreciate the rational approach of the Qur'an to all questions of faith. The reference to "those who have been granted revelation aforetime" is the earliest statement outlining the principle of continuity in mankind's religious experience.
Asad   
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Asad 19 I.e., in this instance, the half-hearted ones who, despite their ability to discern between right and wrong, incline towards unbelief.
Asad   
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Asad 20 Cf. the identical phrase in 2:26, together with the corresponding note [18]. My interpolation, in both these passages, of the word "your" between brackets is necessitated by the fact that it is the unbelievers who ask this question.
Asad   
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Asad 21 Or: "God lets go astray whomever He wills, and guides aright whomever He wills" (see surah {14}, note [4]). The stress on the allegorical nature of the above passage, spoken of as a "parable" (mathal), has here the same purpose as in 2:26 - namely, to prevent the followers of the Qur'an from attaching a literal meaning to its eschatological descriptions - a purpose that is unmistakably expressed in the concluding sentence of this passage: "All this is but a reminder to mortal man". (See also next note.)
Asad   
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Asad 22 Lit., "it" or "these" - depending on whether the personal pronoun hiya is taken to denote a singular - in which case it would refer to the feminine noun saqar, "hell-fire" (Tabari, Zamakhshari, Baghawi, Ibn Kathir) - or a plural, referring to what Razi pinpoints as "those [Qur'anic] verses dealing with these allegories (hadhihi 'l-mutashabihat)": hence my compromise rendering "all this".

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Yusuf Ali   
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Yusuf Ali 5794 Cf. lxvi. 6, and n. 5540. There was a great volume of angelology in the religious literature of the People of the Book (i.e., the Jews and Christians) to whom (among others) an appeal is made in this verse. The Essenes, a Jewish brotherhood with highly spiritual ideas; to which perhaps the prophet Jesus himself belonged, had an extensive literature of angelology. In the Midrash also, which was a Jewish school of exegesis and mystical interpretation, there was much said about angels. The Eastern Christian sects contemporary with the birth of Islam had borrowed and developed many of these ideas, and their mystics owed much to the Gnostics and the Persian apocalyptic systems. In the New Testament the relation of the angels with Fire is referred to more than once. In Rev. ix. 11 we have "the angel of the bottomless pit, whose naine in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon". In Rev. xiv. 18 there is an "angel which had power over fire", and in Rev. xvi. 8 an angel has "power ... given unto him to scorch men with fire". In the Old Testament (Daniel vii. 9-10) the essence of all angels is fire: thousand thousands of them issued as a fiery stream from before the Ancient of Days, whose "throne was like the fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire".
Yusuf Ali   
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Yusuf Ali 5795 The significance of numbers is a favourite theme with some writers, but I lay no stress on it. In Christian theology the number of the Beast, 666, in Rev. xiii. 18 has given rise to much controversy, and may refer only to the numerical value of the letters in the name of the Roman Emperor Nero. In our own literature I think that we ought to avoid too much insistence on speculative conjectures.
Yusuf Ali   
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Yusuf Ali 5796 There are four classes of people mentioned here. (1) The Muslims will have their faith increased, because they believe that all revelation is from Allah Most Merciful, and all His forces will work in their favour. (2) The People of the Book, those who had received previous revelations of an analogous character, the Jews and Christians, had numerous sects disputing with each other on minute points of doctrine; but they will now, if they believe, find rest from controversies in a broad understanding of scripture. (3) Those in whose hearts is a disease (see ii. 8-10, notes 33-34), the insincere ones, the hypocrites, will only be mystified, because they believe nothing and have rejected the grace and mercy of Allah. (4) The Unbelievers have frankly done the same and must suffer similar consequences.
Yusuf Ali   
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Yusuf Ali 5797 It is a necessary consequence of moral responsibility and freedom of choice in man, that he should be left free to stray if he chooses to do so, in spite of all the warning and the instruction he receives. Allah's channels of warning and instruction-his spiritual forces-are infinite, as are His powers. No man can know them. But this warning or reminder is addressed to all mankind. All things are referred to Allah. But we must not attribute evil to Him. In iv. 79 we are expressly told that the good comes from Allah, and the evil from ourselves.
   
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30028

 Some pagans made fun of the Prophet (ﷺ) when they were told that the keepers of Hell are nineteen angels. One of them said mockingly to other pagans, “You take care of two angels and I will vanquish the rest all by myself.”

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