86. At-Tariq (The Nightly Visitant)

Revealed in Makkah, this sūrah of 17 verses derives its name from the word attariq (The Nightly Visitant or that which comes at night) in the first verse. It concentrates on the Resurrection.

In the Name of God, the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate.

1. By the heaven and that which comes at night—

2. What enables you to perceive what it is that comes at night?

3. It is the bright piercing star.—

4. There is not a soul but over it is a guardian.1

5. Let human, then, consider from what he has been created.2

6. He has been created from some of a lowly fluid gushing forth.

7. It proceeds (as a result of incitement) between the (lumbar zone in the) vertebra and the ribs.3

8. Surely He (Who has created human from a lowly fluid) is able to restore him (to life after his death),

9. On the Day when all things (that remained or were kept) secret will be made manifest;

10. And he will have no power, nor a helper (against God’s punishment).

11. I swear by the heaven ever-revolving (with whatever is in it, and recurring patterns of rainfall),

12. And by the earth, bursting (with the growth of plants) –

13. Surely it (the Qur’ān) is a decisive Word distinguishing (between truth and falsehood).

14. It is not (a word) in jest.

15. They (who reject it) are busy making schemes;

16. And I am “making a scheme.”4

17. So let the unbelievers remain at will; let them continue to remain at will for a little while.


The Qur'an with Annotated Interpretation in Modern English

The Qur’an with Annotated Interpretation in Modern English

1. There are angels accompanying each person (13: 11), two of which record his or her deeds by God’s command (50: 17; 82: 10–12). God is the Unique Guardian over all those angels and the One Who knows whatever a person thinks, conceives of, and does (50: 16). The verse carries all these meanings.

2. According to some interpreters of the Qur’ān, the star piercing through the darkness is a metaphor for God’s Last Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, or the Qur’ān and the Divine guidance that was sent to him. It is a light that pierces through the darkness of falsehood and shows the right path. In its light, humankind can discover the truth of creation and its own true nature. We also come to realize that humankind has not been created in vain. Humans have very important duties in the world and, as will be stated in the next verse, all of their deeds are recorded. So they should consider the simple matter from which they are created and see that their real value does not lie in this. They attach due importance to the One Who has created them from such a simple, lowly substance, and yet elevated them as the most important of His creatures.

3. This verse refers to both the mechanism of ejection of the seminal fluid and the zone from which it is emitted. This is a relatively recent discovery of biology, yet the Qur’ān informed us of it many centuries ago.

4. Such expressions in the Qur’ān occur in reciprocation. God’s making a scheme means that the way He lays out for the Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, and the believers to follow will finally triumph over all other systems and bring all schemes against it to nothing.