Christian Churches of God

No. Q085




Commentary on the Koran: Surah 85

“The Mansions of the Stars”


(Edition 1.0 20180528-20180528)


This Surah was written in support of Surah 19 ‘Mariam’ which was caused by the persecutions at Mecca and follow on from the persecutions of Surah 18 ‘The Cave’.



Christian Churches of God

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(Copyright © 2018 Wade Cox and Alan Brach)


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 Commentary on the Koran: Surah 85 “The Mansions of the Stars”

Pickthall Translation; Bible Quotes are from the English Standard Version unless otherwise noted.



Al-Buruj takes its name from the text in verse 1.  Pickthall translates it Mansions of the Stars and that is the sense that is retained here. The word has the meaning of mansions or towers and, as Pickthall states, it is applied to the Signs of the Zodiac. We will examine that aspect later.


Verses 4 to 7 are generally taken to refer to the massacre of the Christians of Najaran in Al-Yaman by the Jewish King, Dhu Nawas. This was to prove of great historical importance as it caused the intervention of the Negus of the Abyssinians into the Yemen and resulted in their supremacy there. As was pointed out in the introduction to S019 the Abyssinian system was a Sabbatarian Unitarian system generally and the Negus granted sanctuary to the church at Mecca under Jaffar cousin of the Prophet in 613.


The supremacy of the Himyarites kingdom from the Yemen saw Arabic developed by the Sabbatarian Christians in 470 CE and that supremacy lasted until the War of the Elephant (see Surah 105) which was in the year of the birth of the Prophet i.e. 570 CE.


The words “owners of the ditch of the fuel fed fire” refer to the condition of all persecutors of the faith in the hereafter who do not repent and are destroyed in the lake of fire at the end of the Second Resurrection. Professor Horowitz seems to be of this view and Pickthall mentions that  in his introduction also but does not seem to understand the function of the Lake of Fire of Rev. Ch. 20).


The text no doubt refers to the necessity of the First Hijrah in 613 for which this text was also undoubtedly issued supporting the text in Surah 019.


(Refer also to Islamic Culture, April 1929, Hyderabad, Deccan)




85.1. By the heaven, holding mansions of the stars,


Refer to Isaiah 40:26 in Commentary on the Koran: Surah 6 (No. Q006) at ayat 97.


Job 38:31-33 “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades or loose the cords of Orion? 32Can you lead forth the Mazzaroth in their season, or can you guide the Bear with its children? 33Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you establish their rule on the earth?


Amos 5:8 He who made the Pleiades and Orion, and turns deep darkness into the morning and darkens the day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out on the surface of the earth, the LORD is his name;


85.2. And by the Promised Day.


Refer to:

Daniel 12:2 in Commentary on the Koran: Surah 24 (No. Q024) at ayat 42 and Matthew 24:36 in Commentary on the Koran: Surah 45 (No. Q045) at ayat 27.


Acts 24:15 having a hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust.


85.3. And by the witness and that whereunto he beareth testimony,


Isaiah 43:10 You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.


John 15:27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.


Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”


The servants of God have witnessed unto the communities to which they were sent. Those who heard the testimonies will bear witness that they did hear the messengers who bore witness.


85.4. (Self-)destroyed were the owners of the ditch

85.5. Of the fuel-fed fire,

85.6. When they sat by it,

85.7. And were themselves the witnesses of what they did to the believers.

85.8. They had naught against them save that they believed in Allah, the Mighty, the Owner of Praise,

(vv. 4-7 might better read “Self destroyed were the owners of the trench of fuel fed fire (i.e. The Lake of Fire of Rev. ch. 20) when they sat back and watched what they did to the believers).


These verses record the persecution suffered by the believers for their faith. The persecutors killed them because they bore witness to the truth that Allah was the God who was the Almighty, worthy of praise and worship. The persecutions placed upon the faithful were the cause of the First Hijrah of 613 to Abyssinia. They were to get the believers to renounce their faith and those who refused were forced to seek refuge but the future purpose of the pits of fire were for the idolaters who persecuted the brethren and refers here to the Meccans themselves.


The text is additional also to Surah18 The Cave which covers the 309 years of the early persecutions.


Refer to:

Jude 1:25 in Commentary on the Koran: Surah 33 (No. Q033) at ayat 2 and Revelation 4:11 in Commentary on the Koran: Surah 39 (No. Q039) at ayat 4.


Revelation 6:9-11 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. 10They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.


1Peter 4:12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.


1Peter 1:7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.


85.9. Him unto Whom belongeth the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth; and Allah is of all things the Witness.


Refer to 1Chronicles 29:11-12 in Commentary on the Koran: Surah 30 (No. Q030) at ayat 28.


Revelation 5:13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”


Job 16:19 Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and he who testifies for me is on high.


85.10. Lo! they who persecute believing men and believing women and repent not, theirs verily will be the doom of hell, and theirs the doom of burning.


Refer to:

Hebrews 9:27 in Commentary on the Koran: Surah 17 (No. Q017) at ayat 18; Revelation 21:8 in Commentary on the Koran: Surah 23 (No. Q023)  at ayat 98 and Matthew 25:41 in Commentary on the Koran: Surah 30 (No. Q030) at ayat 16


85.11. Lo! those who believe and do good works, theirs will be Gardens underneath which rivers flow. That is the Great Success.


Refer to:

Revelation 20:6 in Commentary on the Koran: Surah 11 (No. Q011) at ayat 108 and Romans 2:7 in Commentary on the Koran: Surah 45 (No. Q045) at ayat 15.


Psalm 24:3-5 Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? 4He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. 5He will receive blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation.


85.12. Lo! the punishment of thy Lord is stern.


Refer to:

Isaiah 3:11 in Commentary on the Koran: Surah 39 (No. Q039) at ayat 40 and Isaiah 13:11 in Commentary on the Koran: Surah 54 (No. Q054) at ayat 53.


Isaiah 66:4 I also will choose harsh treatment for them and bring their fears upon them, because when I called, no one answered, when I spoke, they did not listen; but they did what was evil in my eyes and chose that in which I did not delight.”


85.13. Lo! He it is Who produceth, then reproduceth,


Refer to:

Isaiah 65:17 in Commentary on the Koran: Surah 30 (No. Q030) at ayat 11 and Isaiah 42:5 in Commentary on the Koran: Surah 51 (No. Q051) at ayat 48.


Isaiah 66:22 For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make shall remain before me, says the LORD, so shall your offspring and your name remain.


Revelation 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.


85.14. And He is the Forgiving, the Loving,


See Psalm 86:5 in Commentary on the Koran: Surah 42 (No. Q042) at ayat 23.


Nehemiah 9:17 They refused to obey and were not mindful of the wonders that you performed among them, but they stiffened their neck and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt. But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them.


85.15. Lord of the Throne of Glory,


Psalm 99:1 The LORD reigns; let the peoples tremble! He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!


Isaiah 37:16 O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth.


85.16. Doer of what He will.


Refer to Isaiah 46:10 in Commentary on the Koran: Surah 52 (No. Q052) at ayat 41.


Isaiah 14:24 The LORD of hosts has sworn: “As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand,


85.17. Hath there come unto thee the story of the hosts

85.18. Of Pharaoh and (the tribe of) Thamud?


Exodus 14:13 And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again.


Exodus 15:4 Pharaoh’s chariots and his host he cast into the sea, and his chosen officers were sunk in the Red Sea.


Nehemiah 9:9-11 And you saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt and heard their cry at the Red Sea, 10and performed signs and wonders against Pharaoh and all his servants and all the people of his land, for you knew that they acted arrogantly against our fathers. And you made a name for yourself, as it is to this day. 11And you divided the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on dry land, and you cast their pursuers into the depths, as a stone into mighty waters.


The might of the Egyptian army could not save them and they perished in the Red Sea.


The stories of the tribe of Thamud are noted at SS7:73-79; 11:61-66; 26:142-158; 27:45-53; and also elsewhere. They came to power after the destruction of the tribe of A’ad and were idol worshippers. They were warned by their Prophet to return to the worship of Allah the One True God. The people were asked to allow the camel to feed on Allah's earth and not to harm her. They killed the camel and the promised destruction came upon them. Their power was not able to save them from destruction. Only Salih and those believers who heeded his warnings were saved (see also Surah 15 Al Hijr).


Refer to:

Job 34:21-22 in Commentary on the Koran: Surah 24 (No. Q024) at ayat 21 and Psalm 147:5 in Commentary on the Koran: Surah 33 (No. Q033) at ayat 2.


Job 9:4 He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against him, and prospered? (ERV)


Proverbs 11:21 Though hand join in hand, the evil man shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered. (ERV)


85.19. Nay, but those who disbelieve live in denial


Refer to:

Hebrews 9:27 in Commentary on the Koran: Surah 17 (No. Q017) at ayat 18 and Romans 2:8 in Commentary on the Koran: Surah 45 (No. Q045) at ayat 15.


James 3:14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.


2Thessalonians 2:12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.


Ecclesiastes 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil.


They think they will not be raised to face judgement so they can do as they please. They are in denial of the word of God.


85.20. And Allah, all unseen, surroundeth them.


Refer to:

Psalm 33:13-15 in Commentary on the Koran: Surah 17 (No. Q017) at ayat 60 and Job 34:21-22 in Commentary on the Koran: Surah 24 (No. Q024) at ayat 21.


Isaiah 29:15 Ah, you who hide deep from the LORD your counsel, whose deeds are in the dark, and who say, “Who sees us? Who knows us?”


85.21. Nay, but it is a glorious Qur'an.

85.22. On a guarded tablet.


Isaiah 55:11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.


Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.


Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.


Surah 2.136 Pickthall: Say (O Muslims): We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered.


Surah 6.34 Pickthall: Messengers indeed have been denied before thee, and they were patient under the denial and the persecution till Our succour reached them. There is none to alter the decisions of Allah. Already there hath reached thee (somewhat) of the tidings of the messengers (We sent before).


Surah 6.115 Pickthall: Perfected is the Word of thy Lord in truth and justice. There is naught that can change His words. He is the Hearer, the Knower.


It is the light bearers or Morning Stars of the heavens that are also held responsible for the corruption of man in this system.