86 - At Tariq (The morning star)

6 Tafsir(s) related to verse 86.1


By the heaven and the night-visitor! (al-tāriq actually denotes any thing that comes by night, including stars, because they come out at night).


By the sky and the night-visitor! (! The star of piercing brightness.)He said:The sky (samāʾ) linguistically means loftiness (sumuww) and elevation (ʿuluww). In its inner meaning it refers to the spirit of Muḥammad, which subsists with the Lord of Might. And the night-visitor (ṭāriq) is the star of piercing brightness [86:3], which refers to his heart, that is resplendent (mushriq) with the realisation of God’s oneness (tawḥīd), the upholding of His Transcendence (tanzīh), constancy in practices of remembrance (mudāwamat al-adhkār), and in contemplative witnessing of the Compeller (al-Jabbār).On another occasion he said:That which is piercing is the heart of the believer, that is, it is resplendent (mushriq), purified of uncertainty (shakk), doubt (rayb) and misgiving which the whispering of the Enemy and the natural self (nafs al-ṭabʿ) might stir up in it. His words, Exalted is He:

Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi

(By the heaven and the Morning Star; ah, what will tell thee what the Morning Star is! The piercing Star!) [86:1-3]. This was revealed about Abu Talib. He once went to visit the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, and the latter offered him bread and milk. As Abu Talib was sitting and eating, a meteor fell, filling everything with fire. Abu Talib was scared. He asked: “What on earth can this be?” The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: “This is a meteor that was thrown and it is one of the signs of Allah”. Abu Talib was amazed, and so Allah, exalted is He, revealed these verses.

Ibn Al Kathir

Swearing by the Existence of Humanity surrounded by the Organized System of Allah

Allah swears by the heaven and what He has placed in it of radiant stars. Thus, He says,

وَالسَّمَآءِ وَالطَّارِقِ

(By the heaven, and At-Tariq;) Then He says,

وَمَآ أَدْرَاكَ مَا الطَّارِقُ

(And what will make you to know what At-Tariq is) Then He explains it by His saying,

النَّجْمُ الثَّاقِبُ

(The star of Ath-Thaqib.) Qatadah and others have said, "The star has been named Tariq because it is only seen at night and it is hidden during the day.'' His view is supported by what has been mentioned in the authentic Hadith that prohibits a man to come to his family Taruq. This means that he comes to them unexpectedly at nighttime. Concerning Allah's statement,


(Ath-Thaqib.) Ibn `Abbas said, "The illuminating.'' `Ikrimah said, "It is illuminating and it burns the Shaytan'' Then Allah says,

إِن كُلُّ نَفْسٍ لَّمَّا عَلَيْهَا حَافِظٌ

(There is no human being but has a protector over him.) meaning, every soul has a guardian over it from Allah that protects it from the calamities. This is as Allah says,

لَهُ مُعَقِّبَـتٌ مِّن بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِ يَحْفَظُونَهُ مِنْ أَمْرِ اللَّهِ

(For Him, there are angels in succession, before and behind him. They guard him by the command of Allah.) (13:11)

How Man is created is a Proof of Allah's Ability to Return Him to Him

Allah says,

فَلْيَنظُرِ الإِنسَـنُ مِمَّ خُلِقَ

(So, let man see from what he is created!) This is alerting man to the weakness of his origin from which he was created. The intent of it is to guide man to accept (the reality of) the Hereafter, because whoever is able to begin the creation then he is also able to repeat it in the same way. This is as Allah says,

وَهُوَ الَّذِى يَبْدَأُ الْخَلْقَ ثُمَّ يُعِيدُهُ وَهُوَ أَهْوَنُ عَلَيْهِ

(And He it is Who originates the creation, then He will repeat it; and this is easier for Him.) (30:27) Then Allah says,

خُلِقَ مِن مَّآءٍ دَافِقٍ

(He is created from a water gushing forth.) meaning, the sexual fluid that comes out bursting forth from the man and the woman. Thus, the child is produced from both of them by the permission of Allah. Due to this Allah says,

يَخْرُجُ مِن بَيْنِ الصُّلْبِ وَالتَّرَآئِبِ

(Proceeding from between the backbone and the ribs.) meaning, the backbone (or loins) of the man and the ribs of the woman, which is referring to her chest. Shabib bin Bishr reported from `Ikrimah who narrated from Ibn `Abbas that he said,

يَخْرُجُ مِن بَيْنِ الصُّلْبِ وَالتَّرَآئِبِ

(Proceeding from between the backbone and the ribs.) "The backbone of the man and the ribs of the woman. It (the fluid) is yellow and fine in texture. The child will not be born except from both of them (i.e., their sexual fluids).'' Concerning Allah's statement,

إِنَّهُ عَلَى رَجْعِهِ لَقَادِرٌ

(Verily, He is Able to bring him back (to life)!) This means that He is able to return this man that is created from fluid gushed forth. In other words, He is able to repeat his creation and resurrect him to the final abode. This is clearly possible, because whoever is able to begin the creation then he surely is able to repeat it. Indeed Allah has mentioned this proof in more than one place in the Qur'an.

On the Day of Judgement, Man will have no Power or Assistance

In this regard Allah says,

يَوْمَ تُبْلَى السَّرَآئِرُ

(The Day when all the secrets will be examined.) meaning, on the Day of Judgement the secrets will be tested. This means that they will be exposed and made manifest. Thus, the secret will be made open and that which is concealed will be well known. It is confirmed in the Two Sahihs on the authority of Ibn `Umar that the Messenger of Allah said,

«يُرْفَعُ لِكُلِّ غَادِرٍ لِوَاءٌ عِنْدَ اسْتِهِ يُقَالُ: هذِهِ غَدْرَةُ فُلَانِ بْنِ فُلَان»

(Every betrayer will have a flag raised for him behind his back, and it will be said, `This is the betrayal of so-and-so, the son of so-and-so.') Concerning Allah's statement,

فَمَا لَهُ

(Then he will have no) meaning, man on the Day of Judgement.

مِن قُوَّةٍ

(any power) meaning, within himself.

وَلاَ نَاصِرٍ

(nor any helper.) meaning, from other than himself. This statement means that he will not be able to save himself from the torment of Allah, and nor will anyone else be able to save him.

Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an

"A Guardian": Allah Almighty Himself, Who is looking after and watching over every creature, big or small, in the earth and heavens. He it is Who has brought everything into existence, Who is maintaining and sustaining everything in its place and position, and Who has taken the responsibility to provide for every creature and to protect it from calamities till an appointed tune. On this, an oath has been sworn by the heaven and by every star and planet which appears in the darkness of the night. (Although lexically, an-najm ath-thaqib is singular, it does not imply any one star but the star in the generic sense). The oath signifies that the existence of each of the countless stars and planets that shines in the sky at 'night, testifies to the fact that there is a Being Who has created it, illuminated it, suspended it in space, and thus is watching over it in a manner that neither it falls from its place nor collides with any other of the countless stars in their movements, nor does any other star collide with it.

After making man ponder over the heavens, he is now being invited to consider his own self and see how he has been created, Who is it Who selects one spermatozoon from among billions of spermatozoa emitted by the father and combines it at some time with one ovum out of a large number of the ova produced by the mother, and thus causes a particular human being to be conceived? Then, Who is it Who after conception develops it gradually in the mother's womb Until it is delivered in the form of a living child? Then, Who is it Who in the mother's womb itself brings about a certain proportion and harmony between its bodily structure and its physical and mental capabilities? Then, Who is it Who watches over it continuously from birth till death-protects it from disease, accidents and calamities and provides him with countless means of life and opportunities for survival in the world of which he is not even conscious, not to speak of having the power to provide these for himself. Is all this happening without the planning and supervision of One God?

"Sulb" is the backbone and "tara'ib"the breast- bones, i.e. the ribs. Since the procreative fluid in both man and woman is discharged from that part of the body which is between the back and the breast, it is said that man has been created from the fluid issuing out froth between the back and the breast. This fluid is produced even in case the hands and feet are cut off. Therefore, it is not correct to say that it issues out from the whole body of man. In fact, the principal organs of the body are its source and all these are located in the trunk. The brain has not been mentioned separately because the back-bone is that part of the brain through which connection between the body and the brain is established. (Also see Appendix I).

That is, His bringing man into existence and watching over him from the tithe conception takes place until death, is a clear proof that He can create him once again after death. If He had the power to create him in the first instance and man stays alive in the world by His power alone, what rational arguments can be presented for the conjecture that He does not have the power to do the same thing a second time? To deny this power man will even have to deny that God has brought him into existence, and the one who denies this may well come out one day with the claim that all books in the world have been printed accidentally, all cities of the world have been built accidentally, and there has occurred on the earth an explosion by chance which made all the factories start functioning automatically. The fact is that the creation of man, the structure of his body, the existence of the powers and capabilities working within him, and his survival as a living being û all this is a much more complex process than all those works that have come to be accomplished through man, or are still in the process of being accomplished. If such a complex work with such wisdom, proportion and order could be accomplished just through a chance accident, what else could not be regarded as accidental by a mentally deranged person?

"The hidden secrets": the acts of every person which remained a secret to the world as well as those affairs which came before the world only in their apparent form, but the intentions, aims and secret motives working behind them remained hidden from the people. On the Resurrection Day all this will be laid bare and not only will the acts and deeds of every person be examined but it will also be seen what was his motive and intention and object of so acting. Likewise, it also remained hidden from the world, even from the doer of the act himself, what effects and influences of his act appeared in the world, to what extent they spread and for how long they continued to work. This secret too will be revealed on the Resurrection Day and it will be fully examined as to what were the consequences of the seed that a person sowed in the world, what fruit it bore and for how long it affected the later generations for better or far worse.

The words dhat ar-raj`e have been used for the sky. Literally raj`e means to return, but metaphorically this word is used for the rain in Arabic, for rain does not fall just once, but returns over and over again in the season and of season as well. Another reason for calling the rain raj `e is that vapor from the oceans of the earth and then falls back as rain on the sometimes out water rises as the same earth.

That is, just as the falling of rain froth the sky and the splitting of the earth to put out shoots is no jest but a serious reality, so also the news which the Qur'an gives that man has to return to his God is no jest but a definite and decisive reality and an unchangeable truth which has to be fulfilled.

That is, these disbelievers are devising every kind of plan to defeat the invitation of the Qur'an; they wish to blow out this candle; they are creating all sorts of doubts In the people's minds: they are inventing false accusations against the Prophet who has brought it, so as to frustrate his mission in the world and perpetuate the darkness of ignorance and unbelief which hr is struggling so hard to remove.

That is, "I am planning that none of their devices should succeed so that they are utterly defeated in their designs, and the light which they are trying their utmost to put out, spreads far and wide.

That is, "Leave them for a while to have their will. Before long the result will be before them and they will realize how far their scheming has become successful against My plan.”

Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs

And from his narration on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas that he said concerning the interpretation of Allah's saying (By the heaven and the Morning Star): '(By the heaven and the Morning Star) He says: Allah swears by the heaven and the morning star