Sura/Chapter:

Verse:    Count: 22
Tafseer/Commentary:
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Translations:
86: At-Tariq - الطارق

86:1
[ Original ]
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ وَالسَّمَاءِ وَالطَّارِقِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
By the Sky and the Night-Visitant (therein);-
[ Saheeh International ]
By the sky and the night comer -
Tafseer Commentary

6067 The appeal here is to a single mystic Symbol, viz,: the Sky with its Night Visitant: and the substantive proposition is in verse 4: "There is no soul but has a protector over it". In the last Surah we considered the persecution of Allah's votaries, and how Allah protects them. Here the same theme is presented in another aspect. In the darkest sky shines out most brilliantly the light of the most brilliant star. So in the night of spiritual darkness-whether through ignorance of distress-shines the glorius star of Allah's revelation. By the same token the man of Faith and Truth has nothing to fear. Allah will protect His own.

6068 This is explained in verse 3 below. The "Star of piercing brightness" is understood by some to be the Morning Star, by others to be the planet Saturn, by others again to be Sirius, or the Pleiades or shooting stars. I think it is best to take "Star" in the collective or generic sense, for stars shine on every night in the year, and their piercing brightness is most noticeable on the darkest night.


86:2
[ Original ]
وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا الطَّارِقُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And what will explain to thee what the Night-Visitant is?-
[ Saheeh International ]
And what can make you know what is the night comer?

86:3
[ Original ]
النَّجْمُ الثَّاقِبُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
(It is) the Star of piercing brightness;-
[ Saheeh International ]
It is the piercing star -

86:4
[ Original ]
إِنْ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ لَمَّا عَلَيْهَا حَافِظٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
There is no soul but has a protector over it.
[ Saheeh International ]
There is no soul but that it has over it a protector.
Tafseer Commentary

6069 If man has a true spiritual understanding, he has nothing to be afraid of. He is protected by Allah in many ways that he does not even know. He may be an insignificant creature as a mere animal, but his soul raises him to a dignity above other creation. And all sorts of divine forces guard and protect him.


86:5
[ Original ]
فَلْيَنْظُرِ الْإِنْسَانُ مِمَّ خُلِقَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Now let man but think from what he is created!
[ Saheeh International ]
So let man observe from what he was created.

86:6
[ Original ]
خُلِقَ مِنْ مَاءٍ دَافِقٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
He is created from a drop emitted-
[ Saheeh International ]
He was created from a fluid, ejected,
Tafseer Commentary

6070 See n. 5832 to 76:2. See also last note.


86:7
[ Original ]
يَخْرُجُ مِنْ بَيْنِ الصُّلْبِ وَالتَّرَائِبِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Proceeding from between the backbone and the ribs:
[ Saheeh International ]
Emerging from between the backbone and the ribs.
Tafseer Commentary

6071 A man's seed is the quintessence of his body. It is therefore said metaphorically to proceed from his loins, i.e., from his back between the hipbones and his ribs. His backbone is the source and symbol of his strength and personality. In his spinal cord and in the brain is the directive energy of the central nervous system, and this directs all action, organic and psychic. The spinal cord is continuous with the Medulla Oblongata in the brain.


86:8
[ Original ]
إِنَّهُ عَلَىٰ رَجْعِهِ لَقَادِرٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Surely (Allah) is able to bring him back (To life)!
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, Allah, to return him [to life], is Able.
Tafseer Commentary

6072 The Creator who can mingle the forces of psychic and physical muscular action in the creation of man, as explained in the last note, can surely give a new life after physical death here, and restore man's personality in the new world that will open out in the Hereafter.


86:9
[ Original ]
يَوْمَ تُبْلَى السَّرَائِرُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
The Day that (all) things secret will be tested,
[ Saheeh International ]
The Day when secrets will be put on trial,

86:10
[ Original ]
فَمَا لَهُ مِنْ قُوَّةٍ وَلَا نَاصِرٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
(Man) will have no power, and no helper.
[ Saheeh International ]
Then man will have no power or any helper.
Tafseer Commentary

6073 In that new world, all our actions, motives, thoughts, and imaginings of this life, however secret, will be brought into the open, and tested by the standards of absolute Truth, and not by false standards of custom, prejudice, or partiality. In that severe test, any adventitious advantages of this life will have no strength or force whatever, and cannot help in any way.


86:11
[ Original ]
وَالسَّمَاءِ ذَاتِ الرَّجْعِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
By the Firmament which returns (in its round),
[ Saheeh International ]
By the sky which returns [rain]
Tafseer Commentary

6074 The Firmament above is always the same, and yet it performs its diurnal round, smoothly and punctually. So does Allah's Revelation show forth the Truth, which like a circle is ever true to its centre-which is ever the same, though it revolves through the changing circumstances of our present life.


86:12
[ Original ]
وَالْأَرْضِ ذَاتِ الصَّدْعِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And by the Earth which opens out (for the gushing of springs or the sprouting of vegetation),-
[ Saheeh International ]
And [by] the earth which cracks open,
Tafseer Commentary

6075 The earth seems hard, but springs can gush forth and vegetables sprout through it and make it green and soft. So is Truth: hard perhaps to mortals, but through the fertilising agency of Revelation, it allows our inner personality to sprout and blossom forth.


86:13
[ Original ]
إِنَّهُ لَقَوْلٌ فَصْلٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Behold this is the Word that distinguishes (Good from Evil):
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, the Qur'an is a decisive statement,
Tafseer Commentary

6076 See the last two notes. Revelation-Allah's Truth-can pierce through the hardest crusts, and ever lead us back to the centre and goal of our spiritual life: for it separates Good from Evil definitely. It is not mere play or amusement, any more than the Sky or the Earth is. It helps us in the highest issues of our life.


86:14
[ Original ]
وَمَا هُوَ بِالْهَزْلِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
It is not a thing for amusement.
[ Saheeh International ]
And it is not amusement.

86:15
[ Original ]
إِنَّهُمْ يَكِيدُونَ كَيْدًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
As for them, they are but plotting a scheme,
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, they are planning a plan,
Tafseer Commentary

6077 Though Allah in His Mercy has provided a piercing light to penetrate our spiritual darkness, and made our beings responsive to the growth of spiritual understanding, just as the hard earth is responsive to the sprouting of a seed or the gushing of a stream, yet there are evil, unregenerate men who plot and scheme against the beneficent purpose of Allah. But their plots will be of no avail, and Allah's Purpose will prevail. It happened so with the Quraysh who wanted to thwart the growth of Islam. It will be so in all ages.


86:16
[ Original ]
وَأَكِيدُ كَيْدًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And I am planning a scheme.
[ Saheeh International ]
But I am planning a plan.
Tafseer Commentary

6078 Makara is applied both to plotting with an evil purpose and planning with a good purpose. Cf. 3:54, and n. 393 "And the unbelievers plotted and planned, and Allah too planned, and the best of planners is Allah."


86:17
[ Original ]
فَمَهِّلِ الْكَافِرِينَ أَمْهِلْهُمْ رُوَيْدًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Therefore grant a delay to the Unbelievers: Give respite to them gently (for awhile).
[ Saheeh International ]
So allow time for the disbelievers. Leave them awhile.
Tafseer Commentary

6079 Gentle forbearance with Evil shows our trust in Allah and Allah's Plan; for it can never be frustrated. This does not mean that we should assist or compromise with evil, or fail to put it down where we have the power. It means patience and humility where we have no visible power to prevent Evil.


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