Thursday 29 October 2020

Surah Al Tariq -The Night Visitor : Exegesis 86th Chapter of Quran

Sūrah Aṭ-Ṭāriq " الطارق " is the eighty sixth sürah with 17 āyāt, part of the 30th Juzʼ  of the Holy Qur'ān. The Surah taken its name from the word at-tariq  " الطَّارِقِ " in its first verse. 

The style of its subject matter resembles that of the earliest Surahs revealed at Makkah, but this sürah was sent down at a stage when the disbelievers of Makkah were employing all sorts of devices and plans to defeat and frustrate the message of the Qur'an and Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings).

It discuses two themes: first that man has to appear before God after death; second, that the Qur'an is a decisive Word which no plan or device of the disbelievers can defeat or frustrate.

We have already presented the overview / summary of the sürah. Let us now read the verse by verse translation and exegesis / tafseer in English. 

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ 
"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful"
وَالسَّمَاءِ وَالطَّارِقِ 
( 1 )   By the sky and the night comer 

The Sūrah opens with an oath.  Allah swears by the heaven or the sky.  The Arabic word used generally means everything above us, it is an infinite term.  Thus He swears by everything above us, and by the night visitor.  The word for night visitor, at-Tariq means anything that travels at night.  Just as the reader is pondering what a night visitor might be God is also asking a question.  What will make you understand what the night visitor is? That is, what will explain the night visitor to you? We are given the impression that it is serious, perhaps even beyond explanation.  It is, we are then told, the star of piecing brightness.  A star whose light penetrates or cuts through the darkness.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
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''

Muhammad Asad Explanation:
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. 

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
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 Sūrah 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 or distress shines the glorious star of Allah's revelation. By the same token the man of Faith and Truth has nothing to fear. Allah will protect His own.

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 Pleiads or shooting stars. I think it is best to take the "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.

 وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا الطَّارِقُ 
( 2 )   And what can make you know what is the night comer?

 النَّجْمُ الثَّاقِبُ 
( 3 )   It is the piercing star

 إِن كُلُّ نَفْسٍ لَّمَّا عَلَيْهَا حَافِظٌ 
( 4 )   There is no soul but that it has over it a protector.

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 time. 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 "  النَّجْمُ الثَّاقِبُ  " (verse 3) is singular, it does not imply any one star but the star in the generic sense). The oath signifies that the existence of each star (among the countless stars and planets that shine 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.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
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)

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
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.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
The actual words are: اِنۡ کُلُّ نَفۡسٍ لَّمَّا عَلَیۡہَا حَافِظٌ. Here the letter لَمَّا occurs in instead of ل merely to maintain the beat and rhythm of the verse. The guardians mentioned in the verse are appointed because a Day of Judgement is to come wherein the beliefs and deeds of each person will be presented for accountability. Thus it is said that to understand this, people must look at the sky whose strong network embraces them from all sides. Similarly, the stars should be observed whose eyes are always watching them. Who can dare escape from their protection? They are sentinels of God who never sleep. If man reflects, he will come to see that this great system bears witness that it is not difficult at all for God to appoint a guardian over each soul who observes everything he does. Hence, everyone should understand that this world is not an un-minded lot nor will its inhabitants go scot-free without being held accountable. Hence, a day of accountability is bound to come and no one will be able to escape this accountability.

Verse By Verse Quran Study Circle Explanation:
After swearing by heaven and its piercing stars Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala says, “There is no soul but that is has over it a protector,” [86:4] meaning every soul has a guardian over it from Allah that protects it from the calamities. Something similar was also said in Surah Ar-Ra’ad Ayah 11, “For each one are successive [angels] before and behind him who protect him by the decree of Allah.” This implies a strong assertion that there is an agent appointed by Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala to watch over every soul and keep a record of its actions and thoughts. People are not left to roam about the earth as they wish.

On the contrary, an accurate and immediate record is kept, on the basis of which reckoning will be made. This inference becomes clear as the soul feels that it is never alone even when without company. There is always the watcher who remains nearby even when one hides from all and is secure against any visitor or intruder. There is still the watcher who penetrates all covers and has access to all things concealed, in the same way as the piercing star tears through the night cover.

فَلْيَنظُرِ الْإِنسَانُ مِمَّ خُلِقَ 
( 5 )   So let man observe from what he was created.

After inviting man to 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?

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
How Man is created is a Proof of Allah's Ability to Return Him to Him: Allah says, (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, (And He it is Who originates the creation, then He will repeat it; and this is easier for Him.) (30:27)

Verse By Verse Quran Study Circle Explanation:
Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala then calls our attention towards the early stages of man’s creation, “So let man observe from what he was created,” [86:5]. Let man consider his origins and what has become of him. Who is it Who has been monitoring man’s development from conception till death? Who is it Who has been protecting man from diseases, accidents and calamities and providing him with countless means of life and opportunities for survival in the world? Is it all happening on its own?

The One Who so artistically designed man’s structure and taught each body cell its respective function is capable of resurrecting man for the Final Judgment. The resurrection has been mentioned here because the idolaters denied this final reckoning. Will someone who knows I’ll never be evaluated give his best to whatever he is doing? If there is course exam and we know we won’t be graded on it how much and how will we study?

 خُلِقَ مِن مَّاءٍ دَافِقٍ 
( 6 )   He was created from a fluid, ejected,

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The female ovum has to be fertilized with the male sperm before a new animal can be born. Man as an animal has this humble origin. But he has been given the gift of certain faculties of receiving instruction (typified by Hearing) and of intellectual and spiritual insight (typified by Sight). His life has therefore a meaning: with a certain amount of free-will, he is to be vicegerent on earth (ii. 30). But he must be trained and tried, and that is the whole problem of human life.

 یخْرُجُ مِن بَيْنِ الصُّلْبِ وَالتَّرَائِبِ 
( 7 )   Emerging from between the backbone and the ribs.

“A fluid gushing forth” means ejaculation of semen (maain) carrying the sperm (nutfa), one of the minute, usually actively motile gametes-a mature male reproductive cell in semen, which serves to fertilize the female ovum. Sperms are produced by testes. Each testes has 800 small tubules and each tube about 2 feet long, semeniferous tubules which produce sperms about 200-300 million every day. There are 2 valves around urethra. Both are tightly closed to hold and store semen before its expulsion. The inner valve stays tightly closed to prevent backward ejaculation into the urinary bladder and the outer valve intermittently contracts and relaxes 3-7 times along with surrounding muscles contraction to generate force for propelling the semen out (dafiqin). (Ref. Spinal Cord Medicine, Demos Medical Publishing Inc. New York USA, Chapter 26, Page 354).

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
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, (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, "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).''

Muhammad Asad Explanation:
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 Qur'anic expressions, this term relates specifically to female anatomy (Taj al-'Arus).

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
A man's seed is the quintessence of his body. It proceeds from his loins, i.e., from his back between the hip-bones and his ribs. His back-bone is the source and symbol of his strength and personality. In the 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.

 إِنَّهُ عَلَىٰ رَجْعِهِ لَقَادِرٌ
( 8 )   Indeed, Allah, to return him [to life], is Able.

Sulb is the backbone (vertebral column) and taraib the ribs. There are 12 pairs of ribs. Of them, 7 pairs are called true ribs as each of them is attached between the vertebra (backbone) and the sternum (breast bone), and the remaining 5 are called false ribs as they are also attached to the vertebral column but not to sternum. Ejaculation is a highly complex process which requires smooth coordination of multiple sections of the nervous system. Mechanism of emission and propulsions is caused by 2 spinal cord centers. The spinal cord is 43-45 cm long and is continuation of brain tissue and occupies its place in the center of upper spinal bony vertebral column. It is the proper functioning, integrity and continuity of these 2 spinal cord centers located between vertebrae (sulb) and ribs (taraib) connecting spinal cord and sex organs along with the valves around urethra by the nerves which are responsible for ejaculation. (Ref. Spinal Cord Medicine, Demos Medical Publishing Inc. New York USA, Chapter 2, Page 16).

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
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.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
Ie., if He can create man with such an ordinary drop of fluid, then surely He can create Him again as well. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

… This fluid is not a rarity nor does it originate from a place which is beyond the jurisdiction of God; it bursts forth from between the spine and chest and later providence fashions it into whatever form and structure it wants to and then brings it from the womb of the mother. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 9, 303)

يَوْمَ تُبْلَى السَّرَائِرُ 
( 9 )   The Day when secrets will be put on trial,

That is, His bringing man into existence and watching over him from the time 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 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?

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
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, (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.') 

 فَمَا لَهُ مِن قُوَّةٍ وَلَا نَاصِرٍ 
( 10 )   Then man will have no power or any helper.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
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.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
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.

Verse By Verse Quran Study Circle Explanation:
on the Day of Judgment the secrets will be exposed and made manifest. Thus, that which is concealed will be well known. It is confirmed in the two Saheehs on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar radhiAllahu ‘anhu that the Messenger of Allah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “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.’”

What man does is evident to the people 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 for worse.

Man shall be helpless, with no supporter. Standing bare without cover and strength adds to the strains and hardships of the situation. This has a deep effect on the reader’s perception, as it moves from talking of the universe and the human soul to man’s creation and his remarkable journey, until he reaches the end when his secrets are exposed and he stands alone, powerless, without support.

وَالسَّمَاءِ ذَاتِ الرَّجْعِ 
( 11 )   By the sky which returns [rain]

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 will also 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 for worse.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
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, (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.''

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
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.

Verse By Verse Quran Study Circle Explanation:
Ibn ‘Abbas radhiAllahu ‘anhu explains the word “Ar-raj’i” as rain. Raj’i literally means “to return” like we say in the statement inna lilahi wa inna ilahe rajeoun. In the context, it has been used metaphorically because rain does not fall just once but returns over and over again in the season as well as off season. Qatadah added, “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.”

The rain which comes from the sky again and again and the vegetation which splits the earth and springs forth are two images describing one of the many manifestations of life, the life of plants and their origins.

The image of rain and verdure is not dissimilar to that of the night visitor, the piercing star as it splits covers and curtains. It is also similar to the scene depicting souls being searched and all that is concealed being thrown open. It is again the same sort of structure which tells of the Maker. Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala swears by these two creations and their two events, the returning rains and the earth splitting to bring out vegetation. The impact of the scene portrayed combines with the rhythm to strike a strong note of finality and decisiveness.

 وَالْأَرْضِ ذَاتِ الصَّدْعِ 
( 12 )   And [by] the earth which cracks open,

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
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 fertilizing agency of Revelation, it allows our inner personality to sprout and blossom forth.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
The actual words are: وَ الۡاَرۡضِ ذَاتِ الصَّدۡعِ. The word صَدْع means “to split asunder.” It refers to the situation when rain opens the pores of the earth and by absorbing water, it becomes lush and verdant.

 إِنَّهُ لَقَوْلٌ فَصْلٌ 
( 13 )   Indeed, the Qur'an is a decisive statement,

Muhammad Asad Explanation:
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. 37:21, 44:40, 77:13 and {38}, and 78:17, where Resurrection Day is spoken of as "the Day of Distinction"; see also note [6] on 77:13.) [This is chronologically the earliest occurrence of the expression yawm al-fasl, which invariably relates to the Day of Resurrection (cf. 37:21, 44:40, 78:17, as well as verse {38} of the present surah): an allusion to the oft-repeated Qur'anic statement that on resurrection man will gain a perfect, unfailing insight into himself and the innermost motivation of his past attitudes and doings (cf. 69:1]

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
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 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.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
Earlier, the Day of Judgement was substantiated through man’s creation; now a universal argument is cited in its support: just as a dead piece of land is brought to life by rain when new plants and vegetation sprout from it, so shall the dead remains of each person be brought to life at the behest of the Almighty on the Day of Judgement. This phenomenon of life after death is observed everyday. This is evidence to the Qur’anic claim about the Day of Judgement being a decisive word that is certainly no joke. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

Just as in the previous surah, the rejecters of the Day of Judgement are warned not to make fun of the admonition sounded to them by the Qur’an and that the Qur’an is an exalted discourse revealed from the guarded tablet, similarly, at the end of this surah also a new style is adopted to inform its addressees of the fact that the day of accountability which the Qur’an is informing them of is an indubitable reality; one day, they shall have to face it come what may; hence they should not make fun of it; prudence demands that they should listen to it carefully and understand it and prepare for the advent of that day. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 9, 305)

Verse By Verse Quran Study Circle Explanation:
The oath is that this word, or the Qur’an, which states that people will return to life so as to face a trial, is the decisive word which admits of no frivolity. “Indeed, the Qur’an is a decisive statement. And it is not amusement,” [86:13-14]. Just as the falling of rain from the sky and the splitting of the earth is not jest but a serious reality, so is the news which the Qur’an gives that man has to return to his Creator. It is not an amusing statement but a definite and decisive reality; an unchangeable truth which has to be fulfilled. It puts an end to all arguments, doubts and uncertainties.

When this final statement of return and trial is made, there follows an address to the Messenger salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. At the time of revelation he had only a few believers who supported him in Makkah. They were suffering the brunt of the idolaters’ hostility and their plots against the Islamic message. The idolaters were tirelessly trying to smother the call. The address is made to the Prophet so as to encourage and reassure him, and to disparage what the schemers devise. It states that their scheming is only temporary; the battle is in Allah’s hands and under His command.

 وَمَا هُوَ بِالْهَزْلِ
( 14 )   And it is not amusement.

The words dhat ar-raje have been used for the sky. Literally raje 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 sometimes out of season as well. Another reason for calling the rain raje is that water rises as vapor from the oceans of the earth and then falls back as rain on the same earth.

إِنَّهُمْ يَكِيدُونَ كَيْدًا 
( 15 )   Indeed, they are planning a plan,

That is, just as the falling of rain from 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.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
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 Quraish who wanted to thwart the growth of Islam. It will be so in all ages.

Verse By Verse Quran Study Circle Explanation:
So, let the Prophet persevere and be patient, and let him and the believers be reassured, “Indeed, they are planning a plan. But I am planning a plan,” [86: 15-16].

The One Who created man from a drop and then guided, preserved and direction him without any strength, ability or will of his own; the One Who made the sky, the night visitor; the One Who sends rainfall from above and splits the earth for vegetation is All-Powerful over the enemies of the Prophet and the believers. If the disbelievers are making a plan to defeat the Prophet then Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala is devising a plan of His own. So, do not be impatient. “… allow time for the disbelievers. Leave them awhile,” [86:17]. There is wisdom behind this respite and delay which is short even though it may take up the whole length of this first life; for how short this life appears when compared with a life of limitless duration?

Allah’s benevolent and compassionate attitude towards His Messenger is noticeable here. It is Divine kindness which suggests Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala is not unaware of what’s happening to him and has not left him alone.

“And upon Allah let the believers rely.” [Surah Ibraheem:11]

 وَأَكِيدُ كَيْدًا 
( 16 )   But I am planning a plan.

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 (peace be upon him) who has brought it, so as to frustrate his mission in the world and perpetuate the darkness of ignorance and unbelief which he is struggling so hard to remove.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The enemies of Allah are constantly doing that. But Allah-in whose hands is all good-has His plans also, against which the evil ones will have no chance whatever.

 فَمَهِّلِ الْكَافِرِينَ أَمْهِلْهُمْ رُوَيْدًا 
( 17 )   So allow time for the disbelievers. Leave them awhile.

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.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Meaning, a little while. This means that you will see what befalls them of torment, punishment and destruction. This is as Allah says, (We let them enjoy for a little while, then in the end We shall oblige them to (enter) a great torment.) (31:24) 

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
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.

You may now like to listen to tafsir of the surah in two audio parts by Nouman Ali Khan by clicking Here:

You may refer to our Reference Page "114 Chapters (Sūrahs) of the Holy Qur'an" for translation, explanation and exegesis of other chapters of the Qur'an.

You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
Photo: Pixabay | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 67 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 |
Reading the Holy Quran should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Holy Quran officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Holy Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.  [2]
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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