Sural al-Burooj was revealed in Makkah and consists of twenty-two verses. This surah may be divided into six parts.
- In the first part (verses 1-3), Almighty Allah swears by the sky and the great stars; the Day of Resurrection; the witness, which is Friday and the witnessed, which is the Day of Arafah.
- The second section (verses 4-9) refers to the story of the People of the Ditch. It provides information about a group of people who were among the disbelievers. They went after those among them who believed in Allah and they attempted to force them to give up their religion. However, the believers refused to recant, so the disbelievers dug a ditch for them in the ground. Then they lit a great fire in it and prepared some fuel for it in order to keep it ablaze. Then they tried to convince the believers to leave their religion again, but they still refused to do so, so they threw them into the blazing fire.
In fact, it was the king of the city of Najraan in Yemen, Dhu Nuwaas, who had thrown thousands of sincere and true believers in his city into a large ditch filled with a blazing fire, burning them alive, in an effort to force those who refused to give up their religion to change their minds.
This story is said to have happened in the year 523 AD, some forty-eight years before the birth of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
These verses conclude by mentioning that Almighty Allah has the dominion of the heavens and the earth and that nothing is concealed from Him.
- The third section consists of two verses (verses 10-11). The Quran warns that those who cause harm to the believers and arrogantly refuse to admit their wrong and atone for it will, on the Day of Judgment, face a severe punishment in Hell-fire. Verse 1 1 inspires the believers not to be discouraged by the hardships and sufferings they undergo, for they are destined for ultimate success. Compared to their everlasting reward, their worldly plight is insignificant.
- The fourth section (verses 12-16) continues to stress Allah’s greatness, absolute Command and perfect strength and power to begin the creation and repeat it without opposition or resistance and the ability to do whatever He wills in His Kingdom. It also promises Allah’s love and mercy for those who believe and do righteous deeds!
- The fifth section (verses 1 7-20) provides two well-known illustrations of human foolishness and arrogance, as represented by the Pharaoh of Egypt who rejected the truth with which Allah sent Prophet Moosaa and the ancient tribe of Thamood who rejected the truth with which Allah sent Prophet Saalih
Pharaoh and the tribe of Thamood did not realize, in their denial of Allah, that Allah is ever Present and surrounding them in their denial. The arrogance of power made them think that their power was invulnerable – the power which cannot be harmed or damaged. Yet their power passed away.
- The surah ends (verses 21-22) with the assertion that the Quran is a glorious revelation preserved upon a well-guarded Tablet. This relates to Allah’s Promise that the Quran will never be corrupted and will remain free of all additions, deletions and textual changes.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Kind, the Most Merciful
- By the sky containing great stars
- And [by] the promised Day
- And [by] the witness and what is witnessed,
- Cursed were the companions of the trench
- [Containing] the fire full of fuel,
- When they were sitting near it
- And they, to what they were doing against the believers, were witnesses.
- And they resented them not except because they believed in Allah , the Exalted in Might, the Praiseworthy,
- To whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. And Allah , over all things, is Witness.
- 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.
- Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds will have gardens beneath which rivers flow. That is the great attainment.
- Indeed, the vengeance of your Lord is severe.
- Indeed, it is He who originates [creation] and repeats.
- And He is the Forgiving, the Affectionate,
- Honorable Owner of the Throne,
- Effecter of what He intends.
- Has there reached you the story of the soldiers –
- [Those of] Pharaoh and Thamud?
- But they who disbelieve are in [persistent] denial,
- While Allah encompasses them from behind.
- But this is an honored Quran
- [Inscribed] in a Preserved Slate.