Sura/Chapter:

Verse:    Count: 22
Tafseer/Commentary:
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Translations:
85: Al-Burooj - البروج

85:1
[ Original ]
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ وَالسَّمَاءِ ذَاتِ الْبُرُوجِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
By the sky, (displaying) the Zodiacal Signs;
[ Saheeh International ]
By the sky containing great stars
Tafseer Commentary

6051 Here is an appeal to three symbols in verses 1 -3, and the substantive proposition is in verses 4-8, a denunciation of wicked persecutors of the votaries of Allah, persecutors who burnt righteous men for their Faith. The three Symbols are: (1) the Glorious Sky, with the broad belt of the Constellations marking the twelve Signs of the Zodiac; (2) the Day of Judgement, when all evil will be punished; and (3) certain Persons that will be witnesses, and certain Persons or things that will be t he subjects of the witness. See the notes following.

6052 See n. 1950 to 15:16. The Stars of the Zodiac as well as of other Constellations are like the eyes of the Night. It may be that crimes are committed in the darkness of night (literally or metaphorically). But countless eyes (metaphorically) are watching all the time, and every author of evil will be brought to book.


85:2
[ Original ]
وَالْيَوْمِ الْمَوْعُودِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
By the promised Day (of Judgment);
[ Saheeh International ]
And [by] the promised Day
Tafseer Commentary

6053 The Day of Judgement, when the Sinner will have to give an account of every deed, open or hidden, is not merely a matter of speculation. It is definitely promised in revelation, and will inevitably come to pass. Woe then to the Sinners for their crimes.


85:3
[ Original ]
وَشَاهِدٍ وَمَشْهُودٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
By one that witnesses, and the subject of the witness;-
[ Saheeh International ]
And [by] the witness and what is witnessed,
Tafseer Commentary

6054 The literal meaning is clear, but its metaphorical application has been explained in a variety of ways by different Commentators. The words are fairly comprehensive, and should, I think, be understood in connection with Judgement There the Witnesses may be: (1) the Prophets (3:81); Allah Himself ( 3:81. and 10:61 ); (he Recording Angels (50:21); the Sinner's own misused limbs (24:24); his record of deeds (17:14); or the Sinner himself (17:14). The subject of the witness may be the deed or crime, or the Sinner against whom the testimony cries out The appeal to these tilings means that the Sinner cannot possibly escape the consequences of his crime. He should repent, seek Allah's Mercy, and amend his life.


85:4
[ Original ]
قُتِلَ أَصْحَابُ الْأُخْدُودِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Woe to the makers of the pit (of fire),
[ Saheeh International ]
Cursed were the companions of the trench
Tafseer Commentary

6055 Who were the makers of the pit of fire in which they burnt people for their Faith? The words are perfectly general, and we need not search for particular names, except by way of illustration. In ancient history, and in Mediaeval Europe, many lives were sacrificed at the stake because the victims did not conform to the established religion. In Arab tradition there is the story of Abraham: Nimrud tries to burn him to death, but on account of Abraham's Faith, the fire became "a means of safety for Abraham": 21:69, and n. 2725. Another case cited is that of Dhu Nuwas, the last Himyarite King of Yemen , by religion a Jew, who persecuted the Christians of Najran and is said to have burnt them to death. He seems to have lived in the latter half of the sixth Christian century, in the generation immediately preceding the Prophet's birth in 570 A.D. Whale the words are perfectly general, a reference is suggested to the persecution to which the early Muslims were subjected by the Pagan Quraysh. Among other cruelties, they were stripped, and their skins were exposed to the burning rays of the Arabian summer sun. (R).


85:5
[ Original ]
النَّارِ ذَاتِ الْوَقُودِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Fire supplied (abundantly) with fuel:
[ Saheeh International ]
[Containing] the fire full of fuel,

85:6
[ Original ]
إِذْ هُمْ عَلَيْهَا قُعُودٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Behold! They sat over against the (fire),
[ Saheeh International ]
When they were sitting near it
Tafseer Commentary

6056 The persecutors sat calmly to gloat over the agonies of their victims in the well-fed Fire.


85:7
[ Original ]
وَهُمْ عَلَىٰ مَا يَفْعَلُونَ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ شُهُودٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And they witnessed (all) that they were doing against the Believers.
[ Saheeh International ]
And they, to what they were doing against the believers, were witnesses.

85:8
[ Original ]
وَمَا نَقَمُوا مِنْهُمْ إِلَّا أَنْ يُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ الْعَزِيزِ الْحَمِيدِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And they ill-treated them for no other reason than that they believed in Allah, Exalted in Power, Worthy of all Praise!-
[ Saheeh International ]
And they resented them not except because they believed in Allah, the Exalted in Might, the Praiseworthy,

85:9
[ Original ]
الَّذِي لَهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۚ وَاللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ شَهِيدٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Him to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth! And Allah is Witness to all things.
[ Saheeh International ]
To whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. And Allah, over all things, is Witness.
Tafseer Commentary

6057 It is suggested that the persecutors will richly deserve to be punished in the Fire of Hell. That Punishment will be far more real and lasting than the undeserved cruelty which they inflicted on men for their Faith in the One True God.


85:10
[ Original ]
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ فَتَنُوا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَتُوبُوا فَلَهُمْ عَذَابُ جَهَنَّمَ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابُ الْحَرِيقِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
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.
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, those who have tortured the believing men and believing women and then have not repented will have the punishment of Hell, and they will have the punishment of the Burning Fire.
Tafseer Commentary

6058 The "Penalty of the Burning Fire" has been mentioned here in addition to the "Penalty of Hell". This assumes a special significance in the background of the cruel burning of the Faithful by the "makers of the pit". These criminals would be duly retributed by being subjected to a similar kind of suffering that they had caused their innocent victims. [Eds.].


85:11
[ Original ]
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٌ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْكَبِيرُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
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),
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds will have gardens beneath which rivers flow. That is the great attainment.
Tafseer Commentary

6059 Cf. 5:119 and 9:72.

6060 Cf. 5:119, n. 833.


85:12
[ Original ]
إِنَّ بَطْشَ رَبِّكَ لَشَدِيدٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Truly strong is the Grip (and Power) of thy Lord.
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, the vengeance of your Lord is severe.

85:13
[ Original ]
إِنَّهُ هُوَ يُبْدِئُ وَيُعِيدُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
It is He Who creates from the very beginning, and He can restore (life).
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, it is He who originates [creation] and repeats.
Tafseer Commentary

6061 For the various words for "Creation" and the ideas implied in them, see n. 120 to 2:117.


85:14
[ Original ]
وَهُوَ الْغَفُورُ الْوَدُودُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And He is the Oft-Forgiving, Full of Loving-Kindness,
[ Saheeh International ]
And He is the Forgiving, the Affectionate,

85:15
[ Original ]
ذُو الْعَرْشِ الْمَجِيدُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Lord of the Throne of Glory,
[ Saheeh International ]
Honorable Owner of the Throne,

85:16
[ Original ]
فَعَّالٌ لِمَا يُرِيدُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Doer (without let) of all that He intends.
[ Saheeh International ]
Effecter of what He intends.
Tafseer Commentary

6062 Allah's Will is itself the Word and the Deed. There is no interval between them. He does not change His mind. No circumstances whatever can come between His Will and the execution thereof. Such are His Power and His Glory. Compare it with that of men, described in the next two verses.


85:17
[ Original ]
هَلْ أَتَاكَ حَدِيثُ الْجُنُودِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Has the story reached thee, of the forces-
[ Saheeh International ]
Has there reached you the story of the soldiers -
Tafseer Commentary

6063 In contrast to the real, all-embracing, and eternal power of Allah, what are the forces of man at their best? Two examples are mentioned. (1) Pharaoh was a proud monarch of a powerful kingdom, with resources and organisation, material, moral, and intellectual, as good as any in the world. When he pitted himself against Allah's Prophet, he and his forces were destroyed. See 79:15-26. (2) Thamud were great builders, and had a high standard of material civilisation. But they defied the law of Allah and perished. See 7:73-79, and n. 1043.


85:18
[ Original ]
فِرْعَوْنَ وَثَمُودَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Of Pharaoh and the Thamud?
[ Saheeh International ]
[Those of] Pharaoh and Thamud?

85:19
[ Original ]
بَلِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فِي تَكْذِيبٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And yet the Unbelievers (persist) in rejecting (the Truth)!
[ Saheeh International ]
But they who disbelieve are in [persistent] denial,
Tafseer Commentary

6064 In spite of the great examples of the past, by which human might and skill were shown to have availed nothing when the law of Allah was broken, the unbelievers persist (in all ages) in defying that law. But Allah will know how to deal with them.


85:20
[ Original ]
وَاللَّهُ مِنْ وَرَائِهِمْ مُحِيطٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
But Allah doth encompass them from behind!
[ Saheeh International ]
While Allah encompasses them from behind.
Tafseer Commentary

6065 Allah encompasses everything. But the wicked will find themselves defeated not only in conditions that they foresee, but from all sorts of unexpected directions, perhaps from behind them, i.e., from the very people or circumstances which in their blindness they despised or thought of as helping them.


85:21
[ Original ]
بَلْ هُوَ قُرْآنٌ مَجِيدٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Day, this is a Glorious Qur'an,
[ Saheeh International ]
But this is an honored Qur'an

85:22
[ Original ]
فِي لَوْحٍ مَحْفُوظٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
(Inscribed) in a Tablet Preserved!
[ Saheeh International ]
[Inscribed] in a Preserved Slate.
Tafseer Commentary

6066 Inscribed in a Table Preserved, i.e., Allah's Message is not ephemeral. It is eternal. The "Tablet" is "preserved" or guarded from corruption: 15:9: for Allah's Message must endure forever. That Message is the "Mother of the book": see n. 347 v. 3:7. (R).


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