Logic For Islamic Rules

What Is the Exegesis of This Verse?

Question: What is the interpretation of the verse:

Falaa uqsimu bil-khunnasil jawaaril kunnas

But nay! I swear by the stars that run their course (and) hide themselves? [Surah Takweer 81:15-16]

Answer: In the dictionary the meaning of Khunnas is one who returns and one who retreats. The meaning of Kunnas is one who gets concealed and Jaware is the plural of Jari (to continue, to flow) its meaning is the one who walks or moves.

As the verses before and after this verse show and the commentators also say that by these verses it is meant those planets, which can be seen (mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn), because they are in motion, they appear sometimes and sometimes they disappear. In the Holy Quran reference of those stars is given with an oath; and peoples attention is drawn towards their special and distinct behavior and their movement and rotation and it calls attention towards the greatness of the Creator of the universe. This means, the type of those returning stars which move and disappear.

We should also know that experts of astronomy have given those stars the name of amaze stars because, their movements are not on a straight line, and it seems that, they travel for certain period of time and then slightly they return, and again they continue their travel. The reason of this behavior is discussed at length in the books of astronomy and it is possible that the indication of above-mentioned verses

 (which has mentioned about those stars in the style which are moving and coming back) may be towards these stars capricious way (no doubt the way of this capricious travel has some logic which is beyond our comprehension at present).

Anyhow, these are the same wandering stars, whose special behavior makes them distinct.