Welcome Friends: Ahlan wa sahlan!
Muhammad Asad’s explanation of this Chapter.
Laleh Bakhtiar’s explanation of this Chapter.
From Introduction of Yusuf Ali:
"This Surah also belongs to the early Makkan period, perhaps not far removed from the last Surah.
Its subject matter is the protection afforded to every in the darkest period of its spiritual history. The physical nature of man may be insignificant, but the soul given to him by God must win a glorious Future in the end (i).
From Introduction of Muhammad Asad:
"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 (ii).
The 'Knocker = 'Piercing Star' is thought by Muslim scientists to refer to the 'Pulsar.'
Take a look and a listen to it: It emanates sounds exactly like knocking: Frenzied knocking if the star is close, with the knocking getting slower and lower with distance. See and listen here.
PAGE 591 Arabic Qur’an
- This Chapter begins with two 'oaths,' calling out important natural phenomena so as to draw our attention to its subject matter (Verses 1-4 iii):'By The Exalted Expanse, and by 'Al-Taariq/ the Knocker.''And what would have enabled you/ And you are not enabled to'determine what is 'Al-Taariq.'The Piercing Star/ Najm."
Regular Readers will remember HQ 82: 10, where we were told directly that, not only are we accountable, but that there are indeed (appointed) UPON us, certain Custodians/ Caretakers, Eminent Compilers, who are observing/ marking out our deeds. The difference between that verse and this one, is that this one speaks about EACH Self.
Dear Readers: We must come to terms with this before we leave this page:
Everything we do, we are accountable for.
Everything we do is meticulously 'recorded.'
- Verses 5- 8 command the Cognizant Human to look at what he was created from, asserting that He (God) is capable of bringing him back. Read these verses in Ali's interpretation (which is truer to the origin than Asad's).
- Verses 9- 10 speak of that 'return,' after the Cognizant Human is brought back to a day/ time when all 'things secreted/ concealed' shall be tried, and he shall have no strength or ally.
- Verses 11-12 contain two more oaths, as the Qur'an vows by the Exalted Expanse with its reverberation, and the Earth with its Fissure/ Sad'e/ صدع (variations of this word are mentioned 5 times in Qur'an).Check out what some have written about this amazing fissure, a 'scientific marvel' which corresponds to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (16,000 kilometers long, 7,700 meters deep) in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, discovered in 1872, confirmed by sonar in 1925, and mapped in the 1950's.So, after the first set of vows had highlighted the fact that each Self has a Custodian, this second set of oaths highlights the fact that THIS (the Qur'an) is a Distinguishing Communication (قول فصل), and is definitely not in jest (Verses 13-14).
- At the end of the Chapter God says that 'they' (the Deniers) are scheming, and 'I am' scheming (in the first person singular), so (you, O listener/ Muhammad) give respite to the Deniers, give them respite momentarily/ temporarily (رَوَدَ vi).Of course, their respite was short-lived, and they were overcome.
As we saw above, after the first two verses mention 'Al-Taariq' in relation to the 'Exalted Expanse/ Sky,' we find Al-Taariq quickly identified as 'The piercing star.'
Despite that, however, both Yusuf Ali and Muhammad Asad take the word 'Al-Taariq' figuratively (more so Asad, who thinks it is about human enlightenment).
Peace unto all!
Y. Ali adds:
"The appeal here is to single Sign, 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 Sura we considered the persecution of God's votaries, and how God 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 or distress shines theglorious star of God's revelation. By the same token the man of Faith and Truth has nothing to fear. God will protect His own." End Quote
M. Asad adds:
"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." End quote.
New Readers: this is known grammatically as 'the object of the oath/ jawaab el qassam.'
لمّا: حرف للحصر بمعنى إلّا
We discussed earlier the two words (Hafatha and HaSana) which I explained as 'conserve versus preserve.' As yet, I have not gone throught the entire Qur'an to see if this is the consistent explanation; as this project progresses I am getting a more rounded view. God-willing, I must go through it all rereading and editing, and will probably be correcting a few things. Please bear with me, dear Reader.
رود: معظمُ بابِه [يدلُّ] على مجيءٍ وذَهابٍ من انطلاقٍ في جهة واحدة. تقول: راودْتُه على أن يَفعل كذا، إِذا أردْتَه على فعله. والرَّوْد: فِعلُ الرَّائد. يقال بعثْنا رائداً يرُودُ الكلأَ، أي ينظُر ويَطْلُب.والرِّياد: اختلافُ الإبل في المرعَى مُقْبلةً ومدبرة. رادَتْ تَرُودُ رِياداً. والمَرَاد: الموضعُ الذي ترُودُ فيه الرَّاعية. ورادَت المرأةُ تَرودُ، إذا اختلفَتْ إلى بيوت جاراتها. والرَّادَة: السَّهلة من الرِّياح، لأنها تَرُودُ لا تَهُبُّ بِشدّة.
وقال بعضهم: الإرادة أصلها الواو، وحجته أنَّك تقول راوَدْته على كذا.
والرَّائد: العُود الذي تُدار به الرَّحَى. فأمّا قول القائل في صفة فرسٍ:
جَوَادَ المَحَثَّة والمُرْوَدِ
فهو من أَروَدْت في السَّير إرواداً ومُرْوَداً. ويقال مَرْوَداً أيضاً. وذلك من الرِّفْق في السَّير. ويقال "رَادَ وِسادُه"، إذا لم يستقرَّ، كأنّه يجيء ويَذهب. ومن الباب الإرواد في الفعل: أن يكون رُوَيداً. وراودتُه على أنْ يفعل كذا، إذا أردْتَه على فعلِه. والمِرْود: المِيل.