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85. Constellations

THESE 22 MECCAN verses were revealed after The Sun 91 and before The Figtree 95. The chapter is named from the starry 'mansions9 in the sky called the signs of the zodiac. It is rhymed, generally in -d.

The chapter concerns the Christians who lived in the Najran highlands to the south of the Hijaz, north of Yaman and east of the Red Sea before Islam; they were massacred by Dhu-Nuwas, a Jewish king of Yaman, by being burned alive in the year 570 A.D., when the Prophet had just been bom.

In the name of God, the Mercy-giving, the Merciful !

* By the sky holding constellations
* and the promised day,
* and a witness plus his evidence,
* the diggers of the Trench will be slain!

** The fire was full of fuel * as they were crouching over it, * and themselves were witnesses of what they were doing to believers. * They persecuted them merely because they believed in God, the Powerful, the Praiseworthy, * Who holds control over Heaven and Earth. God is a Witness for everything!

** Those who harass believing men and women, then do not repent, will have Hell's torment; they will have the torment of burning. * The ones who believe and perform honorable deeds will have gardens through which rivers flow; that will be the great Achievement.

* Nevertheless your Lord's onslaught will be severe; * He is the One Who originates [matters], then repeats them all over again. * He is the Forgiving, the Affectionate, ** Possessor of the Majestic Throne, * Doer of anything He wants.

* Has the report on the armies ever come to you, * about Pharaoh and Thamud? * Rather those who disbelieve [persist] in denial ** while God comes sweeping in behind them.

* Still it is a majestic Reading
* [preserved] on a guarded tablet!


Published with authorization from Dr.T.B.Irving .