#31. Surat Al-Buruj – The Constellations

 

Watch Dr Musharraf Hussain sharing his thoughts and analysis of Surat Al-Buruj. This Makkan surat marks the beginning of the second phase of the mission of the Prophet ﷺ, around the third year; the start of tensions. Its central theme is the support of the faithful. The surat opens with a series of oaths, “By the sky full of constellations.” A constellation is a recognisable group of stars which appear to be located close together in the sky, and form a picture of imaginary lines that connect them. Constellations are usually named after an animal, a character from mythology, or a common object. Muslim astronomers discovered several constellations and named them in Arabic, such as Ursa Major, and Ursa Minor. The story of the “diggers of the trench” (4) is recounted in the Hadith collection of Muslim, where the Jewish King of Yemen burnt the Christians of Najran in a trench. This story would have given reassurance to the believers, and a clear warning to the Quraysh, the persecutors.

 

Translation

In the name of Allah, the Kind, the Caring.

Believers face persecution

1 By the sky full of constellations, 2 by the promised Day, 3 by a witness and what is witnessed. 4 Cursed are the diggers of the trench, 5 who lit the well-fuelled fire; 6 when they sat around it, 7 watching what they were doing to the believers. 8 They punished them because they believed in Allah, the Almighty, the Praiseworthy, 9 the One Who controls all things in the Heavens and the Earth, and Allah is the witness of everything. 10 The persecutors of the believing men and women didn’t repent, so they will be punished in Hell, in the Burning Flames.

 


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