Surah Takwir Ayat 15 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 15
So I swear by the retreating stars –
So verily I call to witness the planets – that recede,
No indeed; I swear by the alternating stars
So verily, I swear by the planets that recede (i.e. disappear during the day and appear during the night).
Oh, but I call to witness the planets,
Then no! swear by the constant sinkers,
I swear by the planets
Quran 81 Verse 15 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Takwir ayat 15, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(81:15) No indeed; I swear by the alternating stars
12. That is, you are not correct that what is being presented in the Quran is the bragging of an insane person, or the evil suggestion of a devil.
15. But nay! I swear by Al-Khunnas. 16. Al-Jawar Al-Kunnas. 17. And by the night when it `As`as. 18. And by the day when it Tanaffas. 19. Verily, this is the Word a most honorable messenger. 20. Dhi Quwwah, with the Lord of the Throne — Makin, 21. Obeyed there, trustworthy. 22. And your companion is not a madman. 23. And indeed he saw him in the clear horizon. 24. And he withholds not a knowledge of the Unseen. 25. And it is not the word of the outcast Shaytan. 26. Then where are you going 27. Verily, this is no less than a Reminder for the creatures. 28. To whomsoever among you who wills to walk straight. 29. And you cannot will unless that Allah wills — the Lord of all that exists.
Muslim recorded in his Sahih, and An-Nasa’i in his Book of Tafsir, in explaining this Ayah, from `Amr bin Hurayth that he said, “I prayed the Morning prayer behind the Prophet , and I heard him reciting,
(But nay! I swear by Al-Khunnas, Al-Jawar Al-Kunnas, and by the night when it `As`as, and by the day when it Tanaffas.)” Ibn Jarir recorded from Khalid bin `Ar`arah that he heard `Ali being asked about the Ayah; (لَا أُقْسِمُ بِالْخُنَّسِ. الْجَوَارِ الْكُنَّسِ) (Nay! I swear by Al-Khunnas, Al-Jawar Al-Kunnas.) and he said, “These are the stars that withdraw (disappear) during the day and sweep across the sky (appear) at night.” Concerning Allah’s statement,
(And by the night when it `As`as.) There are two opinions about this statement. One of them is that this refers to its advancing with its darkness. Mujahid said, “It means its darkening.” Sa`id bin Jubayr said, “When it begins.” Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, “When it covers the people.” This was also said by `Atiyah Al-`Awfi. `Ali bin Abi Talhah and Al-`Awfi both reported from Ibn `Abbas:
(when it `As`as) “This means when it goes away.” Mujahid, Qatadah and Ad-Dahhak, all said the same. Zayd bin Aslam and his son `Abdur-Rahman also made a similar statement, when they said,
(when it `As`as) “This means when it leaves, and thus it turns away.” I believe that the intent in Allah’s saying,
(when it `As`as) is when it approaches, even though it is correct to use this word for departing also. However, approachment is a more suitable usage here. It is as if Allah is swearing by the night and its darkness when it approaches, and by the morning and its light when it shines from the east. This is as Allah says,
(By the night as it envelops. By the day as it appears in brightness) (92:1-2) and He also says,
(By the forenoon. By the night when it darkens.) (93:1-2) Allah also says,
(Cleaver of the daybreak. He has appointed night for resting.) (6:96) And there are other similar Ayat that mention this. Many of the scholars of the fundamentals of language have said that the word `As`as is used to mean advancing and retreating, with both meanings sharing the same word. Therefore, it is correct that the intent could be both of them, and Allah knows best. Concerning Allah’s statement,
(And by the day when it Tanaffas.) Ad-Dahhak said, “When it rises.” Qatadah said, “When it brightens and advances.”
(Verily, this is the Word of a most honorable messenger.) meaning, indeed this Qur’an is being conveyed by a noble messenger, which is referring to an honorable angel, who has good character and a radiant appearance, and he is Jibril. Ibn `Abbas, Ash-Sha`bi, Maymun bin Mihran, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, Ad-Dahhak and others have said this.
(Dhi Quwwah) This is similar to Allah’s statement,
(He has been taught by one mighty in power, Dhu Mirrah.) (53:5-6) meaning, mighty in creation, mighty in strength and mighty in actions.
(with the Lord of the Throne Makin,) meaning, he has high status and lofty rank with Allah.
(Obeyed there,) meaning, he has prestige, his word is listened to, and he is obeyed among the most high gathering (of angels). Qatadah said,
(Obeyed there) “This means in the heavens. He is not one of the lower ranking (ordinary) angels. Rather he is from the high ranking, prestigious angels. He is respected and has been chosen for (the delivery of) this magnificent Message.” Allah then says,
(trustworthy.) This is a description of Jibril as being trustworthy. This is something very great, that the Almighty Lord has commended His servant and angelic Messenger, Jibril, just as He has commended His servant and human Messenger, Muhammad by His statement,
(And your companion is not a madman.) Ash-Sha`bi, Maymun bin Mihran, Abu Salih and others who have been previously mentioned, all said, “This refers to Muhammad .” Allah said,
(And indeed he saw him in the clear horizon.) meaning, indeed Muhammad saw Jibril, who brought him the Message from Allah, in the form that Allah created him in (i.e., his true form), and he had six hundred wings.
(in the clear horizon. ) meaning, clear. This refers to the first sighting which occurred at Al-Batha’ (Makkah). This incident is mentioned in Allah’s statement,
(He has been taught by one mighty in power (Jibril). Dhu Mirrah, then he rose. While he was in the highest part of the horizon. Then he approached and came closer. And was at a distance of two bows’ length or less. So (Allah) revealed to His servant what He revealed.) (53:5-10) The explanation of this and its confirmation has already preceded, as well as the evidence that proves that it is referring to Jibril. It seems apparent — and Allah knows best — that this Surah (At-Takwir) was revealed before the Night Journey (Al-Isra’), because nothing has been mentioned in it except this sighting (of Jibril), and it is the first sighting. The second sighting has been mentioned in Allah’s statement,
(And indeed he saw him (Jibril) at a second descent. Near Sidrah Al-Muntaha. Near it is the Paradise of Abode. When that covered the lote tree which did cover it !) (53:13-16) And these Ayat have only been mentioned in Surat An-Najm, which was revealed after Surat Al-Isra’ (The Night Journey). The Prophet is not Stingy in conveying the Revelation (وَمَا هُوَ عَلَى الْغَيْبِ بِظَنِينٍ) (He is not Zanin over the Unseen) meaning Muhammad is not following false conjecture about what Allah revealed. Others have recited this Ayah with the `Dad’ in the word Danin, which means that he is not stingy, but rather he conveys it to everyone. Sufyan bin `Uyaynah said, “Zanin and Danin both have the same meaning. They mean that he is not a liar, nor is he a wicked, sinful person. The Zanin is one who follows false supposition, and the Danin is one who is stingy.” Qatadah said, “The Qur’an was unseen and Allah revealed it to Muhammad , and he did not withhold it from the people. Rather he announced it, conveyed it, and offered it to everyone who wanted it.” `Ikrimah, Ibn Zayd and others have made similar statements. Ibn Jarir preferred the recitation Danin. I say that both of recitations have been confirmed by numerous routes of transmission, and its meaning is correct either way, as we have mentioned earlier.
(And it is not the word of the outcast Shaytan.) meaning, this Qur’an is not the statement of an outcast Shaytan. This means that he is not able to produce it, nor is it befitting of him to do so. This is as Allah says,
(And it is not the Shayatin who have brought it down. Neither would it suit them nor they can. Verily, they have been removed far from hearing it.) (26:210-212) Then Allah says,
(Then where are you going) meaning, where has your reason gone, in rejecting this Qur’an, while it is manifest, clear, and evident that it is the truth from Allah. This is as Abu Bakr As-Siddiq said to the delegation of Bani Hanifah when they came to him as Muslims and he commanded them to recite (something from the Qur’an). So they recited something to him from the so called Qur’an of Musaylimah the Liar, that was total gibberish and terribly poor in style. Thus, Abu Bakr said, “Woe unto you! Where have your senses gone By Allah, this speech did not come from a god.” Qatadah said,
(Then where are you going) meaning, from the Book of Allah and His obedience. Then Allah says,
(Verily, this is no less than a Reminder to the creatures.) meaning, this Qur’an is a reminder for all of mankind. They are reminded by it and receive admonition from it.
(To whomsoever among you who wills to walk straight.) meaning, whoever seeks guidance, then he must adhere to this Qur’an, for verily it is his salvation and guidance. There is no guidance in other than it.
(And you cannot will unless (it be) that Allah wills — the Lord of all that exists.) This means that the will is not left to you all, so that whoever wishes to be guided, then he is guided, and whoever wishes to be astray, then he goes astray, rather, all of this is according to the will of Allah the Exalted, and He is the Lord of all that exists. It is reported from Sulayman bin Musa that when this Ayah was revealed,
(To whomsoever among you who wills to walk straight.) Abu Jahl said, “The matter is up to us. If we wish, we will stand straight, and we do not wish, we will not stand straight.” So Allah revealed,
(And you cannot will unless (it be) that Allah wills the Lord of the all that exists.) This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat At-Takwir, and all praise and thanks are due to Allah.
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