Surah 86. At-Tariq, Ayah 1

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وَالسَّمَاءِ وَالطَّارِقِ


Asad : CONSIDER the heavens and that which comes in the night!1
Malik : By the heaven and by the visitant by night,
Pickthall : By the heaven and the Morning Star
Yusuf Ali : By the Sky and the Night-Visitant (therein) 6067 6068
Transliteration : Waalssamai waalttariqi
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Asad   
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Asad 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 {74}, first half of note [23].)

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Yusuf Ali   
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Yusuf Ali 6067 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 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.
Yusuf Ali   
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Yusuf Ali 6068 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.
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