At-Tariq is the 86th surah (chapter) of The Holy Qur’an. It consists of 17 ayat (verses) that were all revealed in Mecca.
REVEALED at a comparatively early date (probably in the fourth year of the Prophet’s mission), the surah takes its name from the noun at-tariq in its first verse.
بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ
Surah At-Tariq Ayat 1
1. CONSIDER the heavens and that which comes in the night!1
1 Some commentators assume that what is described here as at-tariq (“that which comes in the night”) is
the morning-star, because it appears towards the end of the night; others—like Zamakhshari or Raghib—understand by it “the star” in its generic sense. Now if we analyze the origin of this noun, we find that
it is derived from the verb taraqa, which primarily means “he beat [something]” or “knocked [at something]”; hence, taraqa ‘l-bab, “he knocked at the door”. Tropically, the noun signifies “anything [or
“anyone”] that comes in the night”, because a person who comes to a house by night is expected to knock at the door (Taj al-‘Arus). In the Qur’anic mode of expression, at-tariq is evidently a metaphor for the heavenly solace which sometimes comes to a human being lost in the deepest darkness of affliction and distress; or for the sudden, intuitive enlightenment which disperses the darkness of uncertainty; or, finally, for divine revelation, which knocks, as it were, at the doors of man’s heart… and thus fulfils the
functions of both solace and enlightenment. (For my rendering of the adjurative wa as “Consider”, see
Surah Al-Muddathir , first half of note 23.)
Surah At-Tariq Ayat 2
وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا الطَّارِقُ
Wa maaa adraaka mattaariq
2. And what could make thee conceive what it is that comes in the night?
Surah At-Tariq Ayat 3
3. It is the star that pierces through [life’s] darkness:
Surah At-Tariq Ayat 4
إِنْ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ لَمَّا عَلَيْهَا حَافِظٌ
In kullu nafsil lammaa ‘alaihaa haafiz
4. [for] no human being has ever been left unguarded.2
2 Lit., “there is no human being without a guardian [or “without a watch being kept] over it”. See in this connection note 7 on Surah Al-Infitar : 10-12.
Surah At-Tariq Ayat 5
فَلْيَنْظُرِ الْإِنْسَانُ مِمَّ خُلِقَ
Fal yanzuril insaanu mimma khuliq
5. LET MAN, then, observe out of what he has been created:
Surah At-Tariq Ayat 6
خُلِقَ مِنْ مَاءٍ دَافِقٍ
Khuliqa mim maaa’in daafiq
6. he has been created out of a seminal fluid
Surah At-Tariq Ayat 7
يَخْرُجُ مِنْ بَيْنِ الصُّلْبِ وَالتَّرَائِبِ
Yakhruju mim bainissulbi wat taraaa’ib
7. issuing from between the loins [of man] and the pelvic arch [of woman].3
3 The plural noun tara’ib, rendered by me as “pelvic arch”, has also the meaning of “ribs” or “arch of bones”; according to most of the authorities who have specialized in the etymology of rare Quranic expressions this term relates specifically to female anatomy (Taj al-‘Arus).
Surah At-Tariq Ayat 8
إِنَّهُ عَلَىٰ رَجْعِهِ لَقَادِرٌ
Innahoo ‘alaa raj’ihee laqaadir
8. Now, verily, He [who thus creates man in the first instance] is well able to bring him back [to life]
Surah At-Tariq Ayat 9
يَوْمَ تُبْلَى السَّرَائِرُ
Yawma tublas saraaa’ir
9. on the Day when all I secrets will be laid bare,
Surah At-Tariq Ayat 10
فَمَا لَهُ مِنْ قُوَّةٍ وَلَا نَاصِرٍ
Famaa lahoo min quwwatinw wa laa naasir
10. and [man] will have neither strength nor helper!
Surah At-Tariq Ayat 11
وَالسَّمَاءِ ذَاتِ الرَّجْعِ
Wassamaaa’i zaatir raj’
11. Consider4 the heavens, ever-revolving,
4 Sc., “And, finally, in order to grasp more fully God’s power of creation and re-creation, consider…”, etc.
Surah At-Tariq Ayat 12
وَالْأَرْضِ ذَاتِ الصَّدْعِ
Wal ardi zaatis sad’
12. and the earth, bursting forth with plants!
Surah At-Tariq Ayat 13
إِنَّهُ لَقَوْلٌ فَصْلٌ
Innahoo laqawlun fasl
13. BEHOLD, this [divine writ] is indeed a word that between truth and falsehood,5
5 Lit., “a decisive word”, or “word of distinction”, i.e., between the true and the false—in this case, belief in a continuation of life after “death”, on the one hand, and a denial of its possibility, on the other. (Cf. As-Saffat : 21, Ad-Dukhan : 40, Al-Mursalat : 13 and 38, and An-Naba : 17, where Resurrection Day is spoken of as “the Day of Distinction”; see also note 6 on Al-Mursalat : 13.)
Surah At-Tariq Ayat 14
وَمَا هُوَ بِالْهَزْلِ
Wa maa huwa bil hazl
14. and is no idle tale.
Surah At-Tariq Ayat 15
إِنَّهُمْ يَكِيدُونَ كَيْدًا
Innahum yakeedoona kaidaa
15. Behold, they [who refuse to accept it] devise many a false argument6 [to disprove its truth];
6 Lit., “devise [many] an artful scheme (kayd)”; see note 41 on Surah Saba : 33, where “the almost synonymous term makr is used in the same sense.
Surah At-Tariq Ayat 16
Wa akeedu kaidaa
16. but I shall bring all their scheming to nought.7
7 Lit., “I shall devise a [yet more subtle] scheme”, sc., “to bring theirs to nought”. The paraphrase adopted by me gives, according to all the authorities, the meaning of the above sentence.
Surah At-Tariq Ayat 17
فَمَهِّلِ الْكَافِرِينَ أَمْهِلْهُمْ رُوَيْدًا
Famahhilil kaafireena amhilhum ruwaidaa
17. Let, then, the deniers of the truth have their will: let them have their will for a little while!
Source: The Message of the Quran by Muhammad Asad (Leopold Weiss)