Sūrat al-Burūj, No. 85. Revealed in Makkah, 22 verses. The early Muslims faced a lot of pressure and torture from the disbelievers. Not everyone was strong enough to withstand it. This sūra strengthens the spirit of the believers and encourage them to stand firm.
Merits of reciting the Sūra
The Prophet (s) has said: Whoever recites this sūra will receive the reward of ten time the number of those who gather on Friday and those who gather on the day of ‘Arafah, and its recitations saves a person from fear and afflictions.
Note: Tafsīr Namūne explains that this reward could be because one of the interpretations of verse 3, which could be referring to Friday and the Day of ‘Arafah. And because the sūra talks about the steadfastness of previous believers in the face of great difficulties. Those who recite the sūra and apply it in their lives will inshāAllāh receive this reward.
Synopsis of contents
1) Story of the people of the Ditch (verses 1-9)
2) The result of the actions of the disbelievers and the believers (verses 10-11)
3) A description of some qualities of Allah ‘azza wajall (verses 12-16)
4) Mention of past peoples (verses 17-20)
5) Greatness of the Quran (verses 21-22)
Some Lessons from the Sūra
1) Believers have always faced tortured at the hands of disbelievers.
2) People are troubled and discriminated against solely because of their faith.
3) Allah has qualities of majesty and beauty. He is Affectionate and Forgiving, but also severe in retribution.
Suggested verses for memorization in Arabic and English
1) 85:11- Indeed those who have faith and do righteous deeds—for them will be gardens with streams running in them. That is the supreme success.
2) 85:12-16 – Indeed your Lord’s striking is severe. It is indeed He who originates and brings back, and He is the All-forgiving, the All-affectionate, Lord of the Throne, the All-glorious, Doer of what He wills.
Activity for self-study
What are the qualities of the people who tortured the people of the Ditch? What made them do what they did? Connect it with the present-day troubles faced by Muslims around the world.
Āyatullāh Nāsir Makārim Shirazi (Ed.) Tafsīr Namūne; M. H. Shakir, Holy Qur’an Translation; Ali Quli Qarai, The Qur’an With a Phrase-by-Phrase English Translation.
Past lessons of Sūra Familiarization available at:
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