Surah at-Tariq (The Night-Comer ) 86 : 5

فَلْيَنظُرِ ٱلْإِنسَٰنُ مِمَّ خُلِقَ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
So let the human being observe from what he was created.

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

This opening touch, which unites the human soul with the universe, is followed by another which emphasizes the truth of organized creation and deliberate planning to which God has sworn by the heaven and the night visitor. The early stages of man’s creation constitute a proof of this fact and suggest that man is not forgotten as something insignificant.

2. Linguistic Analysis

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Frequency of Root words in this Ayat used in this Surah *


3. Surah Overview

4. Miscellaneous Information

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5. Connected/Related Ayat

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6. Frequency of the word

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7. Period of Revelation

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The style of its subject matter resembles that of the earliest Surahs revealed at Makkah, but this Surah 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 Muhammad.

8. Reasons for Revelation

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9. Relevant Hadith

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10. Wiki Forum

Comments in this section are statements made by general users – these are not necessarily explanations of the Ayah – rather a place to share personal thoughts and stories…

11. Tafsir Zone

 

Overview (Verses 5 - 10)

Man’s Humble Origin
 
This opening touch, which unites the human soul with the universe, is followed by another which emphasizes the truth of organized creation and deliberate planning to which God has sworn by the heaven and the night visitor. The early stages of man’s creation constitute a proof of this fact and suggest that man is not forgotten as something insignificant: “Let man then reflect: of what he is created. He is created of gushing water; he issues from between the loins and the chest bones.” (Verses 5-7)
 
Let man consider his origins and what has become of him. It is a very wide gulf which divides the origins from the final product, the gushing water from man the intelligent, rational being with his highly sophisticated organic, neurological, mental and psychological systems. The reference to this great gulf which the gushing water crosses in order to be made into a communicating being suggests that there is a power beyond the province of man which moves that shapeless and powerless fluid along its remarkable and impressive journey until it is shaped into its magnificent ultimate form. It implies that there is a guardian appointed by God to look after that moist germ, and to guide it through its remarkable journey.
 
This one fertilizing cell, of which there are millions in every gush, is hardly visible under the microscope. It is a creature without support, reason or will. But as soon as it settles in the womb it proceeds to search for food. The guarding hand of God equips it with a quality which enables it to convert the lining of the womb around it into a pool of blood, thus supplying it with fresh nourishment. Once it is sure of the availability of food it starts another process of continuous division to produce new cells. This shapeless and powerless creature which has no reason or will, knows exactly what it is doing and what it wants. The guarding hand watching over it provides it with guidance, knowledge, power and will to enable it to know its way. It is charged with the task of making every group of newly produced cells specialize in building a part of the magnificent structure of the human body. One group proceeds to produce the skeleton; another group forms the muscles; a third the nervous system; a fourth the lymphatic system. The same applies to every major part of the human structure. But the matter is not as simple as that: it involves a higher degree of specialization; for every bone, every muscle and every nerve is unique and dissimilar to every other. The structure is accurately planned, and has a wide range of functions. Hence, as every group of cells proceeds to fulfil its appointed task in building this structure, it learns to break up into specialized subdivisions, each having its particular function in the general set up. Every little cell proceeds knowing its way, destination and function. Those cells entrusted with the task of forming the eye know that the eye must be in the face, and that it cannot be situated in the abdomen or the foot or the arm, despite the fact that any of these localities is a suitable place for forming an eye. If the first cell charged with making the eye was taken off course and planted in any of these localities, it would have fulfilled its mission and made an eye there. But when it sets out on its mission it simply goes to the exact spot specified for the eye. Who then has told this cell that this structure needs its eye to be in that particular spot? It is God the watching Guardian who guides it, looks after it and shows it its way.
 
All the cells work individually and collectively within a framework set for them by certain elements functioning inside the cells. These elements are known as the genes which preserve the general characteristics of the species and the distinctive traits of the parents and forefathers. When the eye cell divides and proliferates in order to form the eye, it endeavours at the same time to preserve its shape and particular features so that it turns out to be a human eye and not the eye of an animal. Furthermore, it endeavours to make it an eye of a human whose forefathers had certain features and characteristics distinguishing their eyes. The slightest error in designing that eye, whether in shape or qualities, forces the forming cell out of its set course. So who has endowed power, ability and knowledge to this insignificant cell which has no reason, will or power of its own? It is God who taught it to design and produce what all mankind can never design or produce. For man cannot design an eye or a part of it, even if charged with this task, while an insignificant cell or group of cells in the body can accomplish this great mission.
 
This is merely a quick glance at parts of the remarkable journey which transforms the gushing water into the communicative human being. But there is indeed a great multitude of wonders in the physiological functions of the various organs and systems. It is beyond the scope of this work to trace these wonders but they all constitute evidence of elaborate planning and organization and bear the stamp of God’s guarding, helping and guiding hand. They emphasize the first fact in the surah sworn to by the heaven and the night visitor, and prepare for the next fact, namely, the resurrection, which was denied by the idolaters who were among the first to be addressed by the Qur’an.
 
“God is well able to bring him back [to life]. On the day when consciences are tried, man shall be helpless, with no supporter.” (Verses 8-10) God, who has created him and looked after him, is well able to bring him back to life after death. The first creation is evidence of His ability as well as His elaborate planning and organization. Unless there is a return in order to accord everyone his or her fair reward then this highly sophisticated and wise creation would be in vain. “On the day when consciences are tried.” (Verse 9). The Arabic terms, tubla and sara’ir used by the Qur’an have much wider connotations than conscience and trial. They suggest that that part of the human soul where secrets are safely deposited will be thrown open, searched and exposed in the same way as the night visitor penetrates the covering darkness of the night. As the guarding watcher penetrates through the soul hidden under multiple covers, secrets are examined and man finds himself powerless and without support: “Man shall be helpless, with no supporter.” (Verse 10) 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.
 

of its set course. So who has endowed power, ability and knowledge to this insignificant cell which has no reason, will or power of its own? It is God who taught it to design and produce what all mankind can never design or produce. For man cannot design an eye or a part of it, even if charged with this task, while an insignificant cell or group of cells in the body can accomplish this great mission.
 
This is merely a quick glance at parts of the remarkable journey which transforms the gushing water into the communicative human being. But there is indeed a great multitude of wonders in the physiological functions of the various organs and systems. It is beyond the scope of this work to trace these wonders but they all constitute evidence of elaborate planning and organization and bear the stamp of God’s guarding, helping and guiding hand. They emphasize the first fact in the surah sworn to by the heaven and the night visitor, and prepare for the next fact, namely, the resurrection, which was denied by the idolaters who were among the first to be addressed by the Qur’an.
 
“God is well able to bring him back [to life]. On the day when consciences are tried, man shall be helpless, with no supporter.” (Verses 8-10) God, who has created him and looked after him, is well able to bring him back to life after death. The first creation is evidence of His ability as well as His elaborate planning and organization. Unless there is a return in order to accord everyone his or her fair reward then this highly sophisticated and wise creation would be in vain. “On the day when consciences are tried.” (Verse 9). The Arabic terms, tubla and sara’ir used by the Qur’an have much wider connotations than conscience and trial. They suggest that that part of the human soul where secrets are safely deposited will be thrown open, searched and exposed in the same way as the night visitor penetrates the covering darkness of the night. As the guarding watcher penetrates through the soul hidden under multiple covers, secrets are examined and man finds himself powerless and without support: “Man shall be helpless, with no supporter.” (Verse 10) 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.
 


12. External Links

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