By October 12, 2020 Read More →

Chapter Buruj – Part 1

Chapter Buruj (The Constellations) part 1

This is the 27th Revealed chapter, around the 4th year of Prophet Muhammad’s Messengership in Mecca.  That is in the early stages after Prophethood was declared, people were having issues with the concept of “Prophethood” and the message that was being delivered.  In other words, what does it mean to follow a man who has no status in the society and conveying the message?  However, a handful of the community members were very respectful towards the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and became his followers.  Now, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) needed guidance in this matter, the divide between the accepting of the message and the repulsing of the message.

The teachings of the Prophet (pbuh) brought a different worldview where his followers were mentioning the destruction of the world, following the will of the Creator and they were trying to be honest within their own instincts.  In other words, the followers of the message were careful not to disrespect any creation of the Creator.  At the same time, the elite people were oppressing their slaves, they were not letting the slaves adhere to the message that the prophet was teaching.  The followers of the message were conveying: “Don’t transgress the rights of the needy and the slaves.”  This became a social problem in the civilization and this chapter paints a picture of what is going on within the hearts of the believers and non-believers.  We can take it as a type of psychoanalysis and introspective analysis of the self.

In order to understand the teachings of the Quran in general, we need to have the vision of understanding the scriptures which are God revealed messages. The message must be comprehensible, that is, not be vague to understand.  That is why the scriptures do not speak in terms of abstract notions.  Even the most illiterate person understands and benefits from the message. The scripture always gives palpable examples where we can all perceive them without needing any special training.  Although the examples are given in terms of physical entities, the message in it is internal for me to introspect on i.e. what is going on in my inner world with no room for theological debate.

Most scriptures (especially the Quran) give concrete examples.   We may sometimes take them literally and think that the physically described events in the scripture are as they are mentioned.  Example: the quarrel between believers and unbelievers, believers’ rights are taken away from oppressors…or the description of Paradise and Hell is described with physical objects of this world (rivers, greenery, fruits, castles, dates, family, friends, companions…)  

  • “Paradise” literally means garden.  We may think of it as a simple description as per the scripture.  However, there is more to that description, an inner world that makes us question what is going on in the physical garden here? Plants are growing, giving fruits, animals are moving here and there doing different activities…all entities within the whole ecological system help each other out.  Is that really Paradise?  Yes, the Creator’s qualities will manifest themselves clearly where no one will have any doubts about the existence of Absolute (not of the nature of this universe).  

What is going on here?

If you look at any plant, the plant is growing, and it has a life.  The cells are multiplying, how?  What is going on?  If you carefully think about it, fruits, vegetables come out of mud and wood.  Everything that the human and animals need is prepared from soil, water, air, sunlight, and seed.  Things are nothing but the obvious manifestation of an act of a Creator.  He is demonstrating His qualities to people through demonstrating plants, sunlight, water, animals, etc.  

  • How does the earth become so alive?  
  • How are all these creatures getting their own particular forms?  
  • Who is distinguishing them from the others?  Their shape, color and smell are all different. 

Let us take a moment to reflect on how is all this creation happening?

This paradise/garden is a manifestation of the qualities of the Creator.  If you walk into a garden, you realize that there must be a conscious being doing all this without any mistake.  Everything is deliberately arranged and has its own purpose.   Everything grows to fulfill its purpose and then human beings and animals benefit from it.  Who is that Compassionate Wise All Knowledgeable Creator behind this?  

Who is acting this way?  This is a sign of Paradise i.e. everything that the human being needs will be performed by the One who creates the garden (an Absolute Compassionate Creator).  Whoever is aware of the actions going on at every moment in front of the garden lives in the presence of His Lord.  Here in the garden, we follow the order, we don’t direct the water to the garden, rather, we use the already existing water and follow an established creation.  We do not create anything.  Everything is already taken care of.  We do not add anything to the creation of the atmosphere, the soil, plant or the garden.  What does it mean?  It means that God does not need me to arrange things to grow a tree from scratch, rather I just choose to learn and follow His established order.  

All the physical descriptions of events are to be analyzed with their abstract understanding of the meaning behind them.

Quran speaks in black and white terms.  Example: unbelievers are torturing believers.  However, we see in the Western world that there is no disrespectful attitude towards a believer, so why do we talk about unbelievers torturing believers?  The battle between believers and unbelievers are mentioned in order to understand what is going on within my heart (is it a believer’s heart or that of an unbeliever)

What does unbelief mean?  A burning pain that we cannot get rid of.  The unbelief includes in it a burning feeling.  Why does the Quran talk about people?  It talks about the belief and unbelief attitude.  In other words, the psychological status of the person.  If a person denies the Creator, denies the hereafter, and believes that his world is the only type of existence, then he enjoys here for a short time before going into non-existence.  There are endless degrees in belief and unbelief.  We know that the essence of unbelief is nothing but burning with dissatisfaction.  We may choose to ignore our human feelings of wanting eternal existence, thinking that after I die, I will disappear.

Our human desires are here, and I do not want to disappear from my existence.  I want a life which is eternally permanently happy.  Would you like to have an existence to be permanently happy?  These feelings are already encoded in my existence.  It means I have in my inner sense a desire yearning for Eternal Happiness and I cannot find that desire to be met here.  

We must read the physical descriptions mentioned in the Quran and see the inner dimension of them, rather than the physical side ONLY.  Yes, we do not see the atoms, particles, and molecules but we see the qualities functioning in them, manifesting, demonstrating in their being, teaching me what is the other side i.e. beyond the capacity of the atom.  What is going on in the body of the atom?  The whole order of the universe is also acting in such a way that no physical entity of this universe has any share in contributing to actions happening in the universe.  It is as if a hidden spirit is operating in the universe, just like me, I am not the body, but I have feelings (intangible), reasoning ability and consciousness which are not products of atoms of my bodies.  These feelings need to be created as well and have no independent knowledge, no choice.  I know that something is operating on me, the human soul is not a physical entity just as the universe has its soul acting around me.  What produces the soul?  I cannot be the One to produce the feelings within myself, it is being given to me by a One who is operating within the universe and my consciousness detects them and understands these qualities.

Example: when you see a piece of art, do you attribute the beauty to the piece of art?  Rather, you say that the Artist has beautiful qualities.  Similarly, how can I say that the tangerine is the result of its atoms?  Rather, it is made and employed by a Conscious Artist.

In order to understand the Creator of the universe, first, I must turn my gaze to the universe around me, what is going on here?  I must start my reflections, concerns, questions with my physical observation around me.  We do not have to be a scientist to understand what is going on within the cells.  How does the DNA function? Who is operating the atoms within the DNAs?  Do they have the consciousness to adapt themselves?

Everyone is responsible within their own capacity to question and seek answers.  Can I say that an atom acts by itself?  Consider your own members of your body, how are they perfectly working in harmony with each other?  Look into your hair growth.  Do you think they have free will to choose to grow? Do you think they have a purpose to be a perfect creation?  They must have consciousness, is it by themselves?  Does a particle have Compassion for human beings to enjoy and entertain?  Think about it.  We need to start from observation of the material things of the world and me.  There must be someone taking care of this universe.  Look at the qualities that we are witnessing in the universe.  Can I find anything in the universe to attribute actions to the constellation?  Things are perfectly working and being given beautiful scenery.  We see that we are not alone in this world.  Billions of creatures are accompanying us.  

85:1 “Consider the sky possessed of constellations.”

Hey, look at the sky, it has many constellations, layers of creation.  Nothing has an independent existence.  Take a particle that is part of an atom.  Atom is part of molecules which is part of the solar system.  This galaxy is part of another galaxy.  Everything is so intertwined.  Can I have anything which has an independent existence from the rest of creation?  In order to be able to create one particle, one has to be able to create the whole universe in its entirety.   Can we study one thing without isolating things from others?  No. Everything is totally interdependent on each other. Unless you have the whole universe independently acting on its own, then you can section your studies. Can anyone conclude that the universe is acting independently?  In order to conclude about the Source of Existence of the universe, i.e. the Cause behind the actions going on in the universe, physical studies, experiments are performed. However, the interpretation of the physical studies is what concludes a Necessarily Existent One, not of the nature of the universe.

Is the atom the Creator of the tangerine?  Think about it- the atoms are employed by a Conscious Being at the same time with perfect order.


This verse is letting us know that the sky is very important, and you have to look at it and understand that the sky is a witness to the existence of an Absolute Being.  We have to use our reasoning- can the sky happen by itself?  We see the qualities of the Actor manifested in the things and we do not see the Actor within the universe.  The universe is an act, it is not the Actor.  The human mind can comfortably understand this.

85:2 “the promised Day.”

The result of any kind of understanding is going to be met.  You are aware of what is going on with your free will to choose or deny this truth.  In our existence, we have a strong feeling that if I do something then I will see the consequence of it.  In other words, if I do something, then I will be taken into account.  I know that from my own feelings that I will feel the result of my actions unless I kill my consciousness (or ignore it).  I am the police of my own actions.  Example: When I lie, I know what I am doing is wrong and I know that this is not pleasurable, it is painful within myself.  I know what I did, and it was torturous for me.  When I do something good, then I feel happy.  We all know these kinds of positive/negative actions.  

Every action has a consequence.  Everyone knows that what they do is good or bad.  We know this.  You have feelings, ask yourself and consult yourself rather than going to a religious authority or psychologist.  Look into your feelings, what do they desire: “what would I like to have and experience in this world?  What am I expecting in this world?”  Those feelings will start expressing freely their yearning: “If only I have a life with no problems, with no conflict where everything will be as I wish them to be.”  Nothing like that is possible but the feeling is real, I am desiring this. Can I deny myself, those feelings and contradict them?  

Where did I get this feeling from?

That is how I am made, my reality, I cannot deny it. Where did I get this feeling?  My friends are perfect, my family life is perfect.  Things are happening right here and then. We all share this feeling of getting things instantly here but can I achieve them without following any existing order?


  • Nothing can exist independently.  Now, I have within myself a feeling that whatever I do has a consequence, “the promised day”.  


How to use feelings in the best way?  This is a secondary step which the scripture teaches us to do i.e. how to utilize my human qualities.  But first, I must realize my make or “createdness” i.e. the feelings are given to me by my Creator.  The concept of God and the reality of the nature of this universe is clearly described in the scripture where we are told that the universe is transient and the one who makes it is permanent.  Now, is your mind ready for the hereafter just as at the time of this chapter was revealed?  

Do you see that within your own self you witness that every action you do as happening in the world has its own purpose and consequence?  When you do that, you say that there will be a time for this action’s consequence.  “Time” means the continuation of creation. Definitely, you are promised this resulting type of creation as the consequence of your action will come to fruition and be judged.  

  • You will understand that within yourself, that understanding is a kind of trust, sample within your own being.  
  • It is a sign that there will be a time of creation where you will experience the result. How can I experience that? (answers the next verse)

85:3 “and consider the witness and the witnessed.”

Look within yourself.  It is a beautiful reality.  Consider the witness i.e. the one who witnesses (shahid) and the One who is witnessed (mashud).  Within myself, what I do, I am witnessing it.  At the same time, what I have done is witnessed by me. I am choosing to do something where that something becomes my mashood (what is being witnessed or what I witness).  I am seeing it.  It means nothing is a secret to me. Whatever I do is known and witnessed by me.  I am the one who is witnessing it.  I know what I am doing in my life and at the same time what is the consequence of my action is witnessed by me as well.  After doing it, I know what I have done, I am aware of what I have done from beginning to end.

As far as the Creator of the universe is concerned, what the Creator of the universe is doing, He must be well aware of it in order to create it and He is witnessing it.  If He is not witnessing then what is He doing? By not witnessing He would not be aware of what He is doing which is contrary to how I experience my action in the universe.  At the same time, after things are created as a result of action from the Creator, we look at it and witness God’s action and become “Its witness”. We witness what the resulting action is.  

Whatever I am choosing and doing, the result of my choice is clear to me?  What about the Creator of the universe? “Shahid” and “Mashud” go hand in hand.  It means that nothing is secret in this world.  In other words, whatever I do, I will experience the consequence of it. For example, If I hurt an innocent person, do I feel comfortable?  No, I feel I shouldn’t have done it.  The pain is with me. My action becomes witnessed and I am the one demonstrating the action. 

Question: Is “witness” the action that we do or the action that we take?  Is “witnessed” the feeling of the consequence of that action created after?  (And is “witnessed God” revealing His qualities to us?)

Yes.  Nothing is secret to human beings in this world.  When I look at the universe, I am witnessing the universe, i.e. what I witness is the manifestation of the qualities of the Creator of the universe.  If I am witnessing the qualities of its Creator and my consciousness witnesses the qualities manifested in the universe, then the qualities of the universe become witnessed.  

  • God is witnessed through my witnessing of the universe.

Every day when I try to enjoy something, I lose the enjoyment, it is such a vicious cycle.  The One witnessed in the enjoyment is present in Its essence in Its existence.  It is as if the universe conveys Its message to me, where the Creator of the universe says: “Attribute your existence to Me.  The universe belongs to Me and I keep changing you so that you understand that the universe cannot sustain its existence.  I continuously present the universe to you.”  Every time the Creator of the universe continuously manifests Its actions and I witness the Permanent existence of the Creator.

Everything is a clear witness and witnessed at the same time.  As long as He exists, I exist because I am His act.  Every season is renewed; who is renewing it, taking it away, bringing it again?  He is refreshing His presence in the minds of the people continuously. 


  • We must be thankful to the Creator for what He does for us. 


  • There is nothing secret, ambiguity here, everything is obvious if only we do not condition our mind.  
  • People may corrupt themselves, but I should not corrupt myself.  
  • I know that I have my consciousness and I cannot escape from my own consciousness. 

Finally, the universe which we witness, the delicate perfect creation, cannot be without any purpose and consequence.

Next time…. 85:4 “Doomed be the makers of the ditch

Tags: , , , , , ,

Post a Comment