This is post #37 in our series on Tafseer of Juz ‘Amma (click the link to see all posts in this series).
Allah says, in Surah Tariq:
وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا الطَّارِقُ
Translation: By the sky and the night comer (At-Tariq), And what can make you know what is the night comer? It is the piercing star. [Surah At-Taariq, verses 1-3]
As we mentioned before, one of the characteristics of early and Mecci surahs, like this one, is that they begin with a qasam — an oath, a testification. And this shows the greatness of that thing, that Allah (‘azza wa jal) is testifying by it.
As we mentioned before, we should always ask yourself — why is Allah testifying? Of all books, this book is the Qur’an, the most important book; and of all speakers, the speaker is Allah, the Rabb of creation. AND on top, Allah is testifying.
Allah continues (skipping a verse):
فَلْيَنظُرِ الْإِنسَانُ مِمَّ خُلِقَ
خُلِقَ مِن مَّاءٍ دَافِقٍ
يَخْرُجُ مِن بَيْنِ الصُّلْبِ وَالتَّرَائِبِ
إِنَّهُ عَلَىٰ رَجْعِهِ لَقَادِرٌ
Translation: So let man observe from what he was created. He was created from a fluid, ejected, Emerging from between the backbone and the ribs. Indeed, Allah , to return him [to life], is Able. [Surah Tariq, verses 5-8]
Allah then talks about the creation of man, and how man was created from virtually nothing; from this, a full, functional human being emerges. And then Allah (‘azza wa jal) mentions–as was mentioned in many other verses–that He is able to bring them back to life.
This is an aspect that the mushrik Arabs had a very hard time grasping; they would be resurrected, after becoming bones and then dust? And not only that, Allah mentions elsewhere, that He will recreate us down to our fingertips–every detail, perfectly recreated, as it was originally created.
And we intuitively understand this. If you think about manufacturing, what’s the hardest part? Coming up with a product or idea the first time! Once it’s been done, it’s usually much less effort to recreate and redo it over and over–and in bulk!
And then, Allah says:
يَوْمَ تُبْلَى السَّرَائِرُ
فَمَا لَهُ مِن قُوَّةٍ وَلَا نَاصِرٍ
Translation: The Day when secrets will be put on trial, Then man will have no power or any helper. [Verses 9-10]
That’s where we are going — resurrection on a day when all the secrets will be exposed publicly, on a day when we will have no strength, no power, and nobody to help us.
Everyone stands alone on that day.
We discussed prior verses about the day when graves will be dumped open, and that hearts will be peeled; here, we see another aspect — secrets will be exposed publicly.
Ibn Katheer mentions in his tafseer a hadith from Bukhari and Muslim regarding this verse:
Narrated Ibn ‘Umar: The Prophet said, “For every betrayer (perfidious person), a flag will be raised on the Day of Resurrection, and it will be announced (publicly) ‘This is the betrayal (perfidy) of so-and-so, the son of so-and-so.’” [Recorded in Bukhari here, here, here, and here with slight variations.]
Imagine that! That person who you betrayed secretly, whom nobody saw you plan against … that day, not only will it be publicly announced in front of the entire human race that you did so, but to make sure that people know who’s being mentioned, you’ll have a big flag pointing you out.
That’s Allah–the one who sees everything, hears everything, and knows everything, down to the most minute, unimaginably small level. And that is the day that we should prepare for, a day that has no doubt in it.
Thus, tafseer of Surah Tariq.
- Touched by an Angel: Tafseer of Juz ‘Amma. By Muhammad Alshareef. 2009.
- Tafsir ibn Katheer: Summarized Version. At-Tariq. 2009.