and Nakir. Two black angels of appalling aspect, the inquisitors of the dead. The Koran says that during the inquisition the soul is united to the body. If the scrutiny is satisfactory, the soul is gently drawn forth from the lips of the deceased, and the body is left to repose in peace; if not, the body is beaten about the head with iron clubs, and the soul is wrenched forth by racking torments.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894