SURA 85. Buruj, or The Constellation/Zodiacal Signs
1. By the sky, [displaying] the Constellations/Zodiacal Signs;
2. By the promised Day [of Judgment];
3. By one that witnesses, and the subject of the witness;-
4. Woe to the makers of the pit [of fire],
5. Fire supplied [abundantly] with fuel:
6. Behold! they sat over against the [fire],
7. And they witnessed [all] that they were doing against the Believers.
8. And they ill-treated them for no other reason than that they believed in
Allah, Exalted in Power, Worthy of all Praise!-
9. Him to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth! And Allah is
Witness to all things.
10. Those who persecute [or draw into temptation] the Believers, men and women,
and do not turn in repentance, will have the Penalty of Hell: They will have the
Penalty of the Burning Fire.
11. For those who believe and do righteous deeds, will be Gardens; beneath which
rivers flow: That is the great Salvation, [the fulfilment of all desires],
12. Truly strong is the Grip [and Power] of thy Lord.
13. It is He Who creates from the very beginning, and He can restore [life].
14. And He is the Oft-Forgiving, Full of Loving-Kindness,
15. Lord of the Throne of Glory,
16. Doer [without let] of all that He intends.
17. Has the story reached thee, of the forces-
18. Of Pharaoh and the Thamud?
19. And yet the Unbelievers [persist] in rejecting [the Truth]!
20. But Allah doth encompass them from behind!
21. Day, this is a Glorious Qur’an,
22. [Inscribed] in a Tablet Preserved!
1. The sūrah is the pit incident, when a community of believers who lived before the advent of Islam, said to be unitarian Christians, were faced by ruthless and tyrannical enemies who sought to force them away from their faith. The believers refused. The tyrants then lit a great fire in a pit they had dug, and threw them into it. The believers were thus burnt to death in front of large crowds that had gathered to witness this ghastly act of extermination.
2. References to the heaven and the constellations, the promised day, the witness and what is witnessed all combine to impart an aura of seriousness, concern, attention and momentum to the manner in which the pit event is related.
3. The surah starts with a declaration of anger with the tyrants: “Slain be the people of the pit.” (Verse 4) It also gives an impression of the enormity of the crime which has invoked the displeasure and anger of God, the All-Clement, and which makes Him threaten the perpetrators.
4. Their their only crime: they believed in God Almighty who deserves praise for every situation even though ignorant people do not do so. He is the Lord who deserves to be worshipped, the sole sovereign of the kingdoms of the heavens and the earth. As He witnesses all things He has witnessed what the tyrants did to the believers. This verse reassures the believers and delivers a powerful threat to the tyrants. God has been a witness and He suffices for a witness