Dr. Zohurul Hoque & Husain Nuri
86:1 CONSIDER the heaven and the Night-Visitor!
86:1 As with many other sûrahs in this part of the Qur'ân, it begins with a reflective divine oath 'wa', often used to point out certain truth, in this instance certainty of Awakening and truth of the Qur'ân. The sûrah derives its title from the word târiq, traditionally interpreted to mean night visitor. The word is derived from taraqa meaning to beat something, to pound, to knock. Târiq is one who comes by night and knocks on the door since the doors are closed. The Qur'ân defines târiq as a star of piercing radiance (v. 3). Based on this meaning most of the early commentators tried to identify a specific brilliant star in the sky as the târiq, however often disagreeing and contradicting it with Saturn, North Star (Polaris) or Morning Star (Venus). Since the Qur'ân does not specifically refer to any particular star, at-târiq is evidently used as a metaphor of brilliant divine guidance appearing in midst of spiritual darkness across the Arabia. Given that the sûrah is one of the very early Makkan revelations, figuratively at-târiq may have symbolized the Prophet who appeared at the time of spiritual darkness and went knocking on the door of peoples' conscience to cause revival of the spiritually dead Arabia.
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