[Al-Quran 50:6-8] Have they not looked at the heaven above them - how We structured it and adorned it and how it has no rifts? And the earth - We spread it out and cast therein firmly set mountains and made grow therein [something] of every beautiful kind, Giving insight and a reminder for every servant who turns [to Allah].

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Burooj: Guarded Strongholds

Burooj are guarded strongholds in the sky, categorised under ‘kawakib’, and hence built of material similar to the material of which the planets are made of. 
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Concordance in the Qur’an

The word Burooj appears in four verses in the Quran:
(4:78:8) burūjin أَيْنَمَا تَكُونُوا يُدْرِكْكُمُ الْمَوْتُ وَلَوْ كُنْتُمْ فِي بُرُوجٍ مُشَيَّدَةٍ
(15:16:5) burūjan وَلَقَدْ جَعَلْنَا فِي السَّمَاءِ بُرُوجًا وَزَيَّنَّاهَا لِلنَّاظِرِينَ
(25:61:6) burūjan تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ فِي السَّمَاءِ بُرُوجًا
(85:1:3) l-burūji وَالسَّمَاءِ ذَاتِ الْبُرُوجِ

The word ‘burūjin’ in 4:78:8 has been translated by most English translators as towers of lofty constructions or strongholds or implying the same.

أَيْنَمَا تَكُونُوا يُدْرِككُّمُ الْمَوْتُ وَلَوْ كُنتُمْ فِي بُرُوجٍ مُّشَيَّدَةٍ ۗ وَإِن تُصِبْهُمْ حَسَنَةٌ يَقُولُوا هَـٰذِهِ مِنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ ۖ وَإِن تُصِبْهُمْ سَيِّئَةٌ يَقُولُوا هَـٰذِهِ مِنْ عِندِكَ ۚ قُلْ كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ ۖ فَمَالِ هَـٰؤُلَاءِ الْقَوْمِ لَا يَكَادُونَ يَفْقَهُونَ حَدِيثًا

[ Al-Qur’an 4:78, Translator: Sahih International] Wherever you may be, death will overtake you, even if you should be within towers of lofty construction. But if good comes to them, they say, "This is from Allah "; and if evil befalls them, they say, "This is from you." Say, "All [things] are from Allah." So what is [the matter] with those people that they can hardly understand any statement? 

The same word is used in the rest three verses listed above. When it appears with the word ‘samaa’ (sky/heaven), translators assign various meanings to the word. However, a cross-study of terms referring to cosmic bodies, the correct interpretation seems to be strongholds.     

Meaning in Lexicon 

According to Lane’s Lexicon, ‘buroojan’ means strongholds. 

Guarded Strongholds 

وَلَقَدْ جَعَلْنَا فِي السَّمَاءِ بُرُوجًا وَزَيَّنَّاهَا لِلنَّاظِرِينَ
وَحَفِظْنَاهَا مِن كُلِّ شَيْطَانٍ رَّجِيمٍ
إِلَّا مَنِ اسْتَرَقَ السَّمْعَ فَأَتْبَعَهُ شِهَابٌ مُّبِينٌ

[Al-Qur’an 15:16-18, translator: Shakir] And certainly We have made strongholds in the heaven and We have made it fair seeming to the beholders. And We guard it against every accursed Shaitan, But he who steals a hearing, so there follows him a visible flame.

وَحِفْظًا مِّن كُلِّ شَيْطَانٍ مَّارِدٍ 
لَّا يَسَّمَّعُونَ إِلَى الْمَلَإِ الْأَعْلَىٰ وَيُقْذَفُونَ مِن كُلِّ جَانِبٍ 
دُحُورًا ۖ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ وَاصِبٌ
إِلَّا مَنْ خَطِفَ الْخَطْفَةَ فَأَتْبَعَهُ شِهَابٌ ثَاقِبٌ

[Al-Quran 37:7-10] and guard against every rebellious shaitaan; they cannot listen to the Exalted Assembly for they are pelted from every side; outcast, and theirs is a perpetual torment; except such as who snatches by stealth, is pursued by a piercing flame; 

وَلَقَدْ زَيَّنَّا السَّمَاءَ الدُّنْيَا بِمَصَابِيحَ وَجَعَلْنَاهَا رُجُومًا لِّلشَّيَاطِينِ ۖ وَأَعْتَدْنَا لَهُمْ عَذَابَ السَّعِيرِ

[Al-Quran 67:5, translator:Pickthall] And verily We have beautified the world's heaven with lamps, and We have made them missiles for the devils, and for them We have prepared the doom of flame. 

وَأَنَّا لَمَسْنَا السَّمَاءَ فَوَجَدْنَاهَا مُلِئَتْ حَرَسًا شَدِيدًا وَشُهُبًا
وَأَنَّا كُنَّا نَقْعُدُ مِنْهَا مَقَاعِدَ لِلسَّمْعِ ۖ فَمَن يَسْتَمِعِ الْآنَ يَجِدْ لَهُ شِهَابًا رَّصَدًا
وَأَنَّا لَا نَدْرِي أَشَرٌّ أُرِيدَ بِمَن فِي الْأَرْضِ أَمْ أَرَادَ بِهِمْ رَبُّهُمْ رَشَدًا
وَأَنَّا مِنَّا الصَّالِحُونَ وَمِنَّا دُونَ ذَ‌ٰلِكَ ۖ كُنَّا طَرَائِقَ قِدَدًا
وَأَنَّا ظَنَنَّا أَن لَّن نُّعْجِزَ اللَّهَ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَن نُّعْجِزَهُ هَرَبًا

[ Al-Qur’an 72:8-12, Translator: Sahih International] And we have sought [to reach] the heaven but found it filled with powerful guards and burning flames. And we used to sit therein in positions for hearing, but whoever listens now will find a burning flame lying in wait for him. And we do not know [therefore] whether evil is intended for those on earth or whether their Lord intends for them a right course. And we have become certain that we will never cause failure to Allah upon earth, nor can we escape Him by flight. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Bliss & Realm Magnificent

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Many verses throughout the Qur’an describe various aspects of the Garden promised to those who believe and do good deeds. Surah 76 of the Qur’an begins with evolutionary insignificance (76:1), origin and purpose of the human (76:2), divine guidance (76:3), punishment for rejection (76:4), and then goes on to describe some very specific features of the promised reward, which represent the best of the best of those found on Earth. Then, verse 22 states that: 

76:22 إِنَّ هَـٰذَا كَانَ لَكُمْ جَزَاءً وَكَانَ سَعْيُكُم مَّشْكُورًا
[Al-Qur’an 76:22, translator: Sahih International] [And it will be said], "Indeed, this is for you a reward, and your effort has been appreciated.”  

Verses 7-10 define the efforts of these people: 
[Al-Qur’an 76:7-10, translator: Sahih International] They [are those who] fulfill [their] vows and fear a Day whose evil will be widespread. And they give food in spite of love for it to the needy, the orphan, and the captive, [Saying], "We feed you only for the countenance of Allah. We wish not from you reward or gratitude. Indeed, We fear from our Lord a Day austere and distressful.”

Thus, according to the above: 
1) they keep their word 
2) fear the evil of the austere and distressful Day  
3) fulfil the most basic need of others: i.e. hunger 

In turn, verses 5,6 and 11-21 mention the rewards:
1) implying that Allah will keep His word
2) protect and deliver from the evil of the austere and distressful Day 
3) fulfil the most basic needs with excellent rewards

Properties of the rewards mentioned

It appears to me that there are two stages of rewards mentioned: the first which will protect from the evil and horrific consequences of the Day [of Resurrection, Judgement, Sorting and Retribution], and the second stage begins upon entering the promised Garden. It is interesting to note the specific properties of the rewards and to wonder about their relevance and significance.  

Cup mixed with Kafur 

إِنَّ الْأَبْرَارَ يَشْرَبُونَ مِن كَأْسٍ كَانَ مِزَاجُهَا كَافُورًا
عَيْنًا يَشْرَبُ بِهَا عِبَادُ اللَّهِ يُفَجِّرُونَهَا تَفْجِيرًا
[Al-Qur’an 76:5-6, translator: Yusuf Ali] As to the Righteous, they shall drink of a Cup mixed with Kafur,- A Fountain where the Devotees of Allah do drink, making it flow in unstinted abundance. 

According to Lane’s Lexicon, Kafur may mean 
1) the spathe or envelope or upper covering thereof of a palm tree 
2) the leaves which cover what is within the raceme of the grapevine or the calyx of the grapes before the blossom comes forth 
3) the envelope [or calyx] of any plant 
4) camphor; a kind of perfume, well known from certain trees… 
5) a mixture of perfume, composed of the spathe [kafur] of the spadix of the palm tree 
6) a certain spring, or fountain, in paradise 

Camphor & Calyx Health Benefits
Camphor is a white crystalline substance, obtained from the tree C. camphora. Camphor has been used for many centuries as a culinary spice, a component of incense, and as a medicine. It is also an insect repellent and a flea-killing substance.’ 

The health benefits of camphor essential oil include it properties as a stimulant, antispasmodic, antiseptic, decongestant, anesthetic, sedative and nervous pacifier, antineuralgic, anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, and insecticide substance.’ 

Camphor is UNSAFE when taken by mouth by adults or children. Ingesting camphor can cause severe side effects, including death.’ 

Calyx of certain plants, such as Hibiscus and Persimmon, are used for their health benefits in traditional medicine. 

Cup Mythology
‘The Rose and the Grail share many spiritual resonances. The word ‘chalice’ comes from the Latin word, calyx, which means cup, and is the name given to the cup-like sepals of a flower which support the petals. Both these symbols suggest the receptive vessel of the soul, opening to receive the in-pouring of Divine influence… Not surprisingly, the rose has long been recognised as the western equivalent of the eastern lotus as a symbol of the unfolding of higher consciousness.’

‘A krater (in Greek: κρατήρ, kratēr, from the verb κεράννυμι, keránnymi, "to mix") is a large vase used to mix wine and water in Ancient Greece. Calyx krater are among the largest of the kraters, the lower body of which is shaped like the calyx of a flower.’ 

Verse 76:5 states that ‘As to the Righteous, they shall drink of a Cup mixed with Kafur,’ and the  following verse 76:6 states that ‘A Fountain where the Devotees of Allah do drink, making it flow in unstinted abundance.’ As camphor is unsafe for consumption by our mortal bodies, perhaps the resurrected bodies will have the ability to utilize camphor internally. If not, then perhaps, either the kafur (camphor) is in the material of the cup, not the drink, or kafur is the edible calyx of other plants. However, verses 76:17-18 also speak of a Cup mixed with another substance, and also mention the name of that fountain. Hence, it appears more likely that the substance is mixed in the drink which has beneficial effects, rather than the cup. 

All of the above considered, be it camphor, calyx or holy grail, the drink is mentioned because of its significant soothing, healing and protective effect on the person who drinks it, protecting physically and mentally from the terror and anguish all around.  

Light of Beauty and Joy

فَوَقَاهُمُ اللَّهُ شَرَّ ذَ‌ٰلِكَ الْيَوْمِ وَلَقَّاهُمْ نَضْرَةً وَسُرُورًا
[Al-Qur’an 76:11, translator: Yusuf Ali] But Allah will deliver them from the evil of that Day, and will shed over them a Light of Beauty and (blissful) Joy. 
[Al-Qur’an 76:11, translator: Pickthal] Therefor Allah hath warded off from them the evil of that day, and hath made them find brightness and joy; 

Deliver from the Evil 
About the Day, it is mentioned in Surah Al-Maryam: 
[Al-Qur’an 19:68-72, translator: Sahih International] So by your Lord, We will surely gather them and the devils; then We will bring them to be present around Hell upon their knees. Then We will surely extract from every sect those of them who were worst against the Most Merciful in insolence. Then, surely it is We who are most knowing of those most worthy of burning therein. And there is none of you except he will come to it. This is upon your Lord an inevitability decreed. Then We will save those who feared Allah and leave the wrongdoers within it, on their knees. 

Grant a Light and Joy 
[Al-Qur’an 66:8, translator: Sahih International] O you who have believed, repent to Allah with sincere repentance. Perhaps your Lord will remove from you your misdeeds and admit you into gardens beneath which rivers flow [on] the Day when Allah will not disgrace the Prophet and those who believed with him. Their light will proceed before them and on their right; they will say, "Our Lord, perfect for us our light and forgive us. Indeed, You are over all things competent.” 

[Al-Qur’an 57:12-13, translator: Sahih International] On the Day you see the believing men and believing women, their light proceeding before them and on their right, [it will be said], "Your good tidings today are [of] gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein you will abide eternally." That is what is the great attainment. On the [same] Day the hypocrite men and hypocrite women will say to those who believed, "Wait for us that we may acquire some of your light." It will be said, "Go back behind you and seek light." And a wall will be placed between them with a door, its interior containing mercy, but on the outside of it is torment. 

The ‘abraar’ relieved/healed, after drinking from a Cup mixed with kafur, will be given the light (noor) and a safe corridor which they need to travel towards the promised garden. 

Garden & Silk 

وَجَزَاهُم بِمَا صَبَرُوا جَنَّةً وَحَرِيرًا
[Al-Qur’an 76:12, translator: Yusuf Ali] And because they were patient and constant, He will reward them with a Garden and (garments of) silk. 

The word garden indicates a planned, cultivated and fertile land.  

Silk is a natural fibre, and the textile woven from it is well known for its luxury, beauty and comfort. It is cool in summers and warm in winters. Silk is also known for its tensile strength.

Garden and silk indicate a detailed planning for luxurious comfort and delight. They also indicate diverse flora and fauna, an ecosystem

In the above verse, it is described as the reward; at other places in the Quran, it is stated that the Garden will be given as inheritance (7:4321:10523:1139:7443:72). That implies ownership, and consequently a much greater role and responsibility than simply being guests in the Garden. 

Recliners, Shades and Fruits within Reach 

مُّتَّكِئِينَ فِيهَا عَلَى الْأَرَائِكِ ۖ لَا يَرَوْنَ فِيهَا شَمْسًا وَلَا زَمْهَرِيرًا
وَدَانِيَةً عَلَيْهِمْ ظِلَالُهَا وَذُلِّلَتْ قُطُوفُهَا تَذْلِيلًا
[Al-Qur’an 76:13-14, translator: Arberry] therein they shall recline upon couches, therein they shall see neither sun nor bitter cold; And the shade thereof is close upon them, and the bunches of fruit thereof will hang low within their reach.

The verse speaks not of absence of a sun (source of heat and light), but rather it states that they will not be able to see the sun. It takes many years to grow tall trees which provide extensive shades. This again indicates the lengthy preparation involved in preparing the exotic shade garden. Planned spaces such as gardens have many delightful features and include vantage points to sit and enjoy the beauty. Trees laden with fruits also indicate long-term planning, preparation and effort. The world is already sampling miniature trees and exotic designer fruit

Also, noteworthy is the fact that science links direct sunlight with ageing. The Gardens of Eternity hold the promise of a wonderful immortal life, free of any suffering. The absence of direct sunlight should then be an essential condition for well-being in the Gardens.  

Goblets of Transparent Silver

وَيُطَافُ عَلَيْهِم بِآنِيَةٍ مِّن فِضَّةٍ وَأَكْوَابٍ كَانَتْ قَوَارِيرَا
قَوَارِيرَ مِن فِضَّةٍ قَدَّرُوهَا تَقْدِيرًا

[Al-Qur’an 76:15-16, translator: Shakir] And there shall be made to go round about them vessels of silver and goblets which are of glass, (Transparent as) glass, made of silver; they have measured them according to a measure. 

Silver has been traditionally used since antiquity as crockery and cutlery. Royalty used it for security against poisoned food, as silver tarnishes upon contact with some poisons. Modern research has established the potency of silver as the only agent known to destroy all bacteria, viruses and fungi. Research is ongoing, and safety of silver usage in food and as medicine is being debated. Transparent silver nano wires are being used in electronic devices. Silver is being advocated as the ideal material for a range of applications. Transparent silver crockery may not be far behind.    

Mixed with Zanjabil 

وَيُسْقَوْنَ فِيهَا كَأْسًا كَانَ مِزَاجُهَا زَنجَبِيلًا
عَيْنًا فِيهَا تُسَمَّىٰ سَلْسَبِيلًا 
[Al-Qur’an 76:17-18, translator: Mohsin Khan] And they will be given to drink there of a cup (of wine) mixed with Zanjabil (ginger), A spring there, called Salsabil. 

Ginger is used both as a spice as well as for treatment of a wide range of diseases. Historic usage and modern research about the therapeutic effects of ginger are well-established. 

The above verse, read together with 76:21, informs us that the drink will be pure and cleansing (see below). Quran 56:19 describes the drink as non-intoxicating. 

Perpetually Youthful

وَيَطُوفُ عَلَيْهِمْ وِلْدَانٌ مُّخَلَّدُونَ إِذَا رَأَيْتَهُمْ حَسِبْتَهُمْ لُؤْلُؤًا مَّنثُورًا
[Al-Qur’an 76:19, translator: Yusuf Ali] And round about them will (serve) youths of perpetual (freshness): If thou seest them, thou wouldst think them scattered Pearls. 
[Al-Qur’an 76:19, translator: Pickthal] There wait on them immortal youths, whom, when thou seest, thou wouldst take for scattered pearls. 
[Al-Qur’an 76:19, translator: A Monotheist Translation] And they are encircled with eternal children. If you see them you will think they are pearls which have been scattered about.

Most translators seem to favour the role of the perpetual youths to that of serving drinks to the inheritors of the Gardens. I think it completes the picture of a royal banquet. 

If the Monotheist Translation’s interpretation is considered, then the following seems more plausible: Children add joy and merriment to life. A family’s joy is incomplete without children. As there is much emphasis on the family, with repeated mention of  the righteous being re-united with the righteous members of their family in the Hereafter, and these verses are mentioning the joys and delights of the garden, Perhaps it’ll be children who’ll be completing the picture of a joyous and delightful ‘picnic in the garden’.  

Bliss & Realm Magnificent 

وَإِذَا رَأَيْتَ ثَمَّ رَأَيْتَ نَعِيمًا وَمُلْكًا كَبِيرًا
[Al-Qur’an 76:20, translator: Yusuf Ali] And when thou lookest, it is there thou wilt see a Bliss and a Realm Magnificent. 
[Al-Qur’an 76:20, translator: A Monotheist Translation] And if you look, then you will see a blessing and a great dominion

Fine Green Silk and Heavy Brocade; Silver bracelets; Purifying Drink

عَالِيَهُمْ ثِيَابُ سُندُسٍ خُضْرٌ وَإِسْتَبْرَقٌ ۖ وَحُلُّوا أَسَاوِرَ مِن فِضَّةٍ وَسَقَاهُمْ رَبُّهُمْ شَرَابًا طَهُورًا
[Al-Qur’an 76:21, translator: Pickthal] Their raiment will be fine green silk and gold embroidery. Bracelets of silver will they wear. Their Lord will slake their thirst with a pure drink.  
[Al-Qur’an 76:21, translator: A Monotheist Translation] They will have garments of fine green silk, and necklaces and bracelets from silver, and their Lord will give them a cleansing drink. 


The reward comprises of the finest and most delightful of what we can imagine or comprehend. The best on Earth for health, comfort and delight are mentioned, and more, as stated in the following verse: 
[Al-Qur’an 32:17, translator: Sahih International] And no soul knows what has been hidden for them of comfort for eyes as reward for what they used to do.

Last updated on: November 7, 2016

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

An-Najm: The Star

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Stars have been the object of much wonder and worship all throughout history. The Quran clearly informs us that the stars are a part of creation, subjected to the command of God. They benefit us by serving as guides in the dark, on land and at sea. It informs us that, like all creation, they will also suffer decline when the world comes to an end. 

Furthermore, in Chapter 53, the Quran clearly states that God is the Lord of Sirius. Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky and has been the object of worship by many civilisations since ancient times, and its symbolism continues to be found in the modern world. The chapter outlines some salient points, and read in the backdrop of mythology associated with Sirius, what the Quran has to say is quite interesting. 

Backdrop of Mythology: 
Worship of Heavenly Bodies:  Astrolatry is the worship of stars and other heavenly bodies as deities, or the association of deities with heavenly bodies. The most common instances of this are sun gods and moon gods in polytheistic systems worldwide. Also notable is the association of the planets with deities in Babylonian, and hence in Greco-Roman religion, viz. Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.’ 

The Mythology of Sirius:  Since ancient times and across multiple civilizations, Sirius, the dog star, has been surrounded with a mysterious lore. Esoteric teachings of all ages have invariably attributed to Sirius a special status and the star’s importance in occult symbolism is an attestation of that fact… Artifacts of ancient civilizations have revealed that Sirius was of a great importance in astronomy, mythology and occultism. Mystery schools consider it to be “sun behind the sun” and, therefore, the true source of our sun’s potency. If our sun’s warmth keeps the physical world alive, Sirius is considered to keep the spiritual world alive. It is the “real light” shining in the East, the spiritual light, where as the sun illuminates the physical world, which is considered to be a grand illusion. . Associating Sirius with the divine and even considering it as the home of humanity’s “great teachers” is not only embedded in the mythology of a few primitive civilizations: It is a widespread belief that has survived (and even intensified) to this day.’ 

Star-worship is denounced in The Bible, Deuteronomy, 4:19 http://biblehub.com/deuteronomy/4-19.htm  
Star(s) mention in Quran: 
Firstly, to explore what the Quran says about stars in general, and in what context it uses the term ‘najm’ and its plural ‘nujum’: 

[Al-Qur’an 6:97, translator: Sahih International] And it is He who placed for you the stars that you may be guided by them through the darknesses of the land and sea. We have detailed the signs for a people who know.

[Al-Qur’an 7:54, translator: Sahih International] Indeed, your Lord is Allah , who created the heavens and earth in six days and then established Himself above the Throne. He covers the night with the day, [another night] chasing it rapidly; and [He created] the sun, the moon, and the stars, subjected by His command. Unquestionably, His is the creation and the command; blessed is Allah , Lord of the worlds. 
In this verse, the governing is further elaborated by drawing our attention towards the quick succession of the night and day: i.e. the rotation and revolution of the Earth and all other heavenly bodies, and goes on to inform that the objects of the day and night sky, i.e. the sun, the moon and the stars are all subjected by His Command. Unquestionably, His is the Creation and the Command, it is Allah who causes meaningful growth [b-r-k], Lord of the Worlds. The previous two verses mention that God has certainly sent Books and on the day when the event comes to pass (resurrection & judgement), people will realise that the Messengers indeed spoke the truth. 

[Al-Qur’an 16:12, translator: Sahih International] And He has subjected for you the night and day and the sun and moon, and the stars are subjected by His command. Indeed in that are signs for a people who reason. 

[Al-Qur’an 16:15-16, translator: Sahih International] And He has cast into the earth firmly set mountains, lest it shift with you, and [made] rivers and roads, that you may be guided, And landmarks. And by the stars they are [also] guided.

[Al-Qur’an 22:18, translator: Sahih International]  Do you not see that to Allah prostrates whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth and the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the trees, the moving creatures and many of the people? But upon many the punishment has been justified. And he whom Allah humiliates - for him there is no bestower of honor. Indeed, Allah does what He wills. 

[Al-Qur’an 37:88, translator: Sahih International] And he cast a look at the stars
In verse 37:88, Abraham cast a look at the stars. This is during a discussion with his father and his people, who were idol-worshippers, about the Lord of the Worlds, as indicated by the preceding verses. In the following verses, Abraham goes on to break the idols. 

[Al-Qur’an 52:48-49, translator: Sahih International] And be patient, [O Muhammad], for the decision of your Lord, for indeed, you are in Our eyes. And exalt [Allah] with praise of your Lord when you arise. And in a part of the night exalt Him and after [the setting of] the stars

[Al-Qur’an 53:1, translator: Sahih International] By the star when it descends,
In verse 53:49 of this chapter, it states that it is He (God) who is the Lord of Sirius. Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky. Sirius has been the object of worship of many ancients civilisations and this worship continues in the present time under many guises. More on this below under the heading Sirius.

[Al-Qur’an 55:5-6, translator: Sahih International]  The sun and the moon [move] by precise calculation, And the stars and trees prostrate.
Sun, Moon, Stars and Trees have been the objects of worship since antiquity. In these verses, it is being clarified that these objects are themselves subservient to God. According to a scholar, yasjudan, which literally means to prostrate, is used metaphorically to mean to obey.   

[Al-Qur’an 56:75-76, translator: Sahih International] Then I swear by the setting of the stars, And indeed, it is an oath - if you could know - [most] great.

[Al-Qur’an 77:8, translator: Sahih International] So when the stars are obliterated   
Regarding the end of the world before the Day of Judgement, this verse states that when the stars are obliterated. 

[Al-Qur’an 81:2, translator: Sahih International] And when the stars fall, dispersing,   

[Al-Qur’an 86:3, translator: Sahih International] By the sky and the night comer - And what can make you know what is the night comer?  It is the piercing star

In verse 6:97, the purpose of stars in the night sky has been explained that God has appointed them as guides to help us find our way in the darkness. In verse 16:16, attention is drawn to how we find our way: through landmarks in the day, and by stars at night.  

Astronomy is perhaps the oldest science, and has primarily and widely been employed for navigation. Stars have well-defined patterns of movement across the sky, and are an indispensable tool to identify the coordinates and direction. Even with today’s modern tools, knowledge of stars and their movement patterns in the sky are considered vital for all pilots and navigators. It has been discovered that animals also use stars and landmarks to find their way.  

Al-Qur’an: Sirius, The Star 
In the Quran, chapter 53, it is clearly stated in verse 49 that: 
وَأَنَّهُ هُوَ رَبُّ الشِّعْرَىٰ 

[Al-Qur’an 53:49, translator: Pickthall] And that He it is Who is the Lord of Sirius; 

The worship of stars, and specifically Sirius must be a rather widespread matter that an entire chapter (surah) of the Quran is titled The Star, and in it there is specific mention of Sirius, and other idols: Laat, Uzza and Manat are also mentioned by name. The concept of trinity and its manifestations under various guises and names seems to keep cropping up across mythologies. Specific objection is also made to the myth about angels being females. There are many pages on the web dedicated to angels: their supposed names and powers, and many are believed to be feminine supernatural powers. It appears that throughout history up till now, people have and still continue to worship Sirius, believe in trinity, consider angels females, and conjecture the strangest and most fantastical of beliefs. 

After mentioning the above list of idolatrous beliefs, the question posed is: 

[Al-Qur’an 53:24-25, translator: Pickthall] Or shall man have what he coveteth? But unto Allah belongeth the after (life), and the former.   

The Quran states that these people actually desire nothing but the life of this world [53:29]. The next few verses clearly state that it is Allah (The Deity/God) who is the Creator. It is Allah who grants laughter and tears, wealth and  satisfaction, death and life, male and female, and He will resurrect. And that it is Allah who is the Lord of Sirius [53:49], clearly dispelling all conjectures about Sirius’ deification. 

After listing some of the benefits/bounties of Allah to humans, and mention of those who were destroyed due to their arrogant defiance and transgression, the question posed is: 

[Al-Qur’an 53:55, translator: Pickthall] Concerning which then, of the bounties of thy Lord, canst thou dispute?

Some parallels and points to ponder
Verses 1-18 deal with the revelation to the Prophet and that he indeed saw the angel who brought the revelation: 

[Al-Qur’an 53:4-9, translator: Pickthall] It is naught save an inspiration that is inspired, Which one of mighty powers hath taught him, One vigorous; and he grew clear to view When he was on the uppermost horizon. Then he drew nigh and came down Till he was (distant) two bows' length or even nearer,  

Also consider the following verses of Surah At-Takwir:

[Al-Qur’an 81:18-24, translator: Pickthall] And the breath of morning That this is in truth the word of an honoured messenger, Mighty, established in the presence of the Lord of the Throne, (One) to be obeyed, and trustworthy; And your comrade is not mad. Surely he beheld Him on the clear horizon. And he is not avid of the Unseen. 

According to one study of Sirius’ heliacal rising in Cairo, Sirius first rose to view in 10,000 BC. It rose to its northern most point above the horizon around 1000 BC and has maintained almost the same position till 1000 AD. Thereafter, it has started declining, and will eventually vanish from the horizon. 

Interestingly, Prophet Adam is supposed to have come in 10,000 BC, Prophet Moses in 1000 BC,  Prophet Jesus’ birth marks the turn of the calendar from BC to AD, and Prophet Muhammad in 623 AD 

Sirius’ Companion Star 
Another interesting aspect is that the visible Sirius (Sirius A) has a companion star (Sirius B), which is heavier and more compact than Sirius A. They have an interesting wobbly pattern which appears to be bow-shaped. It is theorised that there is probably a third companion star in this system as well.

Ancient mythology held Sirius to be the spiritual Sun, the source of spiritual knowledge and wisdom. The Dogon tribe has been worshipping an invisible yet mightier companion star of Sirius since ancient times, while modern science has discovered this only recently.

Heliacal Rising of Sirius 
At the time of Christ, the moment still marking the turning point of our calendar, the great civilization of Egypt lay in ruins beneath the swords of the marauding hordes of Assyria, Babylon, Greece and Rome. The rising point of Sirius has barely moved over this time of upheaval, sitting at 110° east. The equinox point is now crossing the first fish of the constellation Pisces.

Sirius 1BC Heliacal Rising Cairo.gif 27.75 KiB 

By 1000 AD, in the middle of the Dark Ages, observation of the stars had largely been forgotten except by the Arabs. The equinox point is now in the middle of the constellation Pisces. Sirius rises slightly later, on 10 July, at almost exactly the same place on the horizon where it rose at the time of Christ.

Sirius 1000AD Heliacal Rising Cairo.gif 30.61 KiB

The current situation, shown in this diagram from 2000 AD, shows the equinox nearly at the end of Pisces and just about to enter Aquarius. Sirius still rises close to the same point it has risen for the last 2000 years. Orion’s Belt has reached the celestial equator, near to its most northerly position in about 2300 AD.

Sirius 2000AD Heliacal Rising Cairo.gif 31.2 KiB

Further Reading: 

Last updated on September 26, 2014