Tafsir Ibn Kathir (English)

Surah Tariq

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بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

 The Virtues of Surat At-Tariq

An-Nasa'i recorded that Jabir said, "Mu`adh lead the Maghrib prayer and he recited Al-Baqarah and An-Nisa'. So the Prophet said,

أَفَتَّانٌ أَنْتَ يَا مُعَاذُ،

مَا كَانَ يَكْفِيكَ أَنْ تَقْرَأَ بِالسَّمَاءِ وَالطَّارِقِ وَالشَّمْسِ وَضُحَاهَا وَنَحْوِهَا؟

Are you putting the people to trial O Mu`adh!

Was it not sufficient for you to recite As-Sama'i wat-Tariq, and Ash-Shamsi wa Duhaha, and something like them?

 

 

 بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

1.

وَالسَّمَاءِ وَالطَّارِقِ

By the heaven, and At-Tariq;

2.

وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا الطَّارِقُ

And what will make you to know what At-Tariq is

3.

النَّجْمُ الثَّاقِبُ

The star, Ath-Thaqib.

4.

إِنْ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ لَمَّا عَلَيْهَا حَافِظٌ

There is no human being but has a protector over him.

5.

فَلْيَنْظُرِ الْإِنْسَانُ مِمَّ خُلِقَ

So, let man see from what he is created!

6.

خُلِقَ مِنْ مَاءٍ دَافِقٍ

He is created from a water gushing forth,

7.

يَخْرُجُ مِنْ بَيْنِ الصُّلْبِ وَالتَّرَائِبِ

Proceeding from between the backbone and the ribs.

8.

إِنَّهُ عَلَى رَجْعِهِ لَقَادِرٌ

Verily, He is Able to bring him back!

9.

يَوْمَ تُبْلَى السَّرَائِرُ

The Day when all the secrets will be examined.

10.

فَمَا لَهُ مِنْ قُوَّةٍ وَلَا نَاصِرٍ  

Then he will have no power, nor any helper.

Next 11-17   

 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,

وَالسَّمَاء وَالطَّارِقِ ﴿١ 

By the heaven, and At-Tariq;

Then He says,

وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا الطَّارِقُ ﴿٢ 

And what will make you to know what At-Tariq is?

Then He explains it by His saying,

النَّجْمُ الثَّاقِبُ ﴿٣ 

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, الثَّاقِبُ  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 ﴿٤ 

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 to Him

Allah says,

فَلْيَنظُرِ الْإِنسَانُ مِمَّ خُلِقَ ﴿٥ 

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 مَّاء دَافِقٍ ﴿٦ 

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 وَالتَّرَائِبِ ﴿٧ 

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 وَالتَّرَائِبِ  (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 ﴿٨ 

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 السَّرَائِرُ ﴿٩ 

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.

 وَلَا نَاصِرٍ  ﴿١٠﴾

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.

 

11.

Previous 1-10

وَالسَّمَاءِ ذَاتِ الرَّجْعِ

By the sky which gives rain, again and again.

12.

وَالْأَرْضِ ذَاتِ الصَّدْعِ

And the earth which splits.

13.

إِنَّهُ لَقَوْلٌ فَصْلٌ

Verily, this is the Word that separates.

14.

وَمَا هُوَ بِالْهَزْلِ

And it is not a thing for amusement.

15.

إِنَّهُمْ يَكِيدُونَ كَيْدًا

Verily, they are but plotting a plot.

16.

وَأَكِيدُ كَيْدًا

And I am planning a plan.

17.

فَمَهِّلِ الْكَافِرِينَ أَمْهِلْهُمْ رُوَيْدًا

So, give a respite to the disbelievers; deal gently with them for a while.

 

 Swearing to the Truthfulness of the Qur'an and the Failure of Those Who oppose it

وَالسَّمَاء ذَاتِ الرَّجْعِ ﴿١١ 

By the sky (having rain clouds) which gives rain, again and again.

Ibn Abbas said, "Ar-raj` means rain.''

It has also been narrated from him that he said,

"It means the clouds that contain rain.''

He also said,وَالسَّمَاء ذَاتِ الرَّجْعِ   (By the sky (having rain clouds) which gives rain, again and again.

"This means that it rains and then it rains (again).''

Qatadah said,

"It returns the sustenance of the servants (creatures) every year. Were it not for this, they would all be destroyed and so would their cattle.''

وَالْأَرْضِ ذَاتِ الصَّدْعِ ﴿١٢ 

And the earth which splits.

Ibn Abbas said, "Splitting to bring forth plant growths.''

This was also said by Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Ikrimah, Abu Malik, Ad-Dahhak, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, As-Suddi and others.

Concerning Allah's statement,

إِنَّهُ لَقَوْلٌ فَصْلٌ ﴿١٣ 

Verily, this is the Word that separates.

Ibn `Abbas said (Fasl is), "True.''

Qatadah also said the same.

Someone else said, "A just ruling.''

وَمَا هُوَ بِالْهَزْلِ ﴿١٤ 

And it is not a thing for amusement.

meaning, rather it is serious and true.

Then Allah informs about the disbelievers saying that they reject Him and hinder others from His path. Allah says,

إِنَّهُمْ يَكِيدُونَ كَيْدًا ﴿١٥ 

Verily, they are but plotting a plot.

meaning, they plot against the people in their calling them to oppose the Qur'an.

وَأَكِيدُ كَيْدًا ﴿١٦ 

And I am planning a plan.

Then Allah says,

فَمَهِّلِ الْكَافِرِينَ ... 

So, give a respite to the disbelievers;

meaning, wait for them and do not be in haste concerning them.

... أَمْهِلْهُمْ رُوَيْدًا ﴿١٧﴾

deal gently with them for a while.

meaning, a little while.

This means that you will see what befalls them of torment, punishment and destruction.

This is as Allah says,

نُمَتِّعُهُمْ قَلِيلاً ثُمَّ نَضْطَرُّهُمْ إِلَى عَذَابٍ غَلِيظٍ

We let them enjoy for a little while, then in the end We shall oblige them to (enter) a great torment. (31:24)

This is the end of the Tafsir Surah At-Tariq, and unto Allah is all praise and thanks.

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