Will you give information about the star mentioned as "Tariq" in the chapter of at-Tariq?

Details of the Question

Will you give information about the star mentioned as "Tariq" in the chapter of at-Tariq?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The chapter of at-Tariq, verses 1 - 4:

1.
By the Sky and the Night-Visitant (therein);- 2. And what will explain to thee what the Night-Visitant is?- 3. (It is) the Star of piercing brightness;- 4. There is no soul but has a protector over it.

Explanation of the verses:

The word "tariq" translated as "the night visitant" lexically means "coming at night, hitting, striking severely". Since stars appear at night and disappear during the day, they are called "tariq".

Tafsir scholars hold different views whether "tariq" mentioned in the verse is a special star or star in the general sense (see Zamakhshari, IV, 240-241; Shawkani, V, 486487) but it is described as "an-najmus-saqib" (piercing star) in verse three since its rays pierce the darkness and reach the earth. 

It is understood from this definition that "tariq" means star in the general sense. The reason why those verses are started by swearing to the sky and stars is to attract attention to the importance of the fact that man’s life in the world is always under the control of a protector, a guard, which is the main issue mentioned in verse four. 

Acting upon the metaphorical meaning of the verse "And marks and sign-posts; and by the stars (men) guide themselves" (an-Nahl, 16/16), the word "tariq" was also interpreted as divine guidance coming from the spiritual sky, penetrating into the conscience, settling in the mind and illuminating man by removing him from the darkness inside and outside him. (see Elmalılı, VIII, 5699)

Some scholars interpreted the word "hafiz" translated as "protector" as "the angels that write down the good and bad deeds" acting upon the verses "But verily over you (are appointed angels) to protect you,- Kind and honourable,- Writing down (your deeds)" (al-Infitar 82/10-11) (Zamakhshari, IV, 241; Elmalılı, VIH, 5701) while others interpreted it as the guardian angels that protected man from misfortunes acting upon the verse "For each (such person) there are (angels) in succession, before and behind him: They guard him by command of Allah" (Ra'd, 13/11) (Ibn Kathir, VIII, 396)

However, it is also possible to interpret the word "hafiz" as Allah, who "has care and watch over all things" (Hud, 11/57) "watches over all things" (al-Ahzab, 33/52) and "is a witness to all things" (al-Maid, 5/117). (see Diyanet Tefsiri, Kur’an Yolu:V/528-529)

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