Surah al-Buruj: a crucial lesson on human suffering
Surah al-Buruj The Holy Quran is a book of complete guidance on all aspects of life. Its teachings are not limited to religious affairs, but it entails ways of thriving in a highly civilized and morally correct society.
Surah al Buruj: a crucial lesson on human suffering describes the event in which a young boy was chosen by a magician to be taught magic to serve his deified emperor.
An elderly worshipper of God intervened to stop the young boy from such a wrongdoing. He brought the young boy toe=wards the enlightenment of Tawheed, the Oneness of Allah.
Now the young boy was trapped in a dilemma whether to follow his heart, which believed in Tawheed or save himself from the torment of the cruel emperor by defying him. He listened to his heart and defied the emperor.
Instead, he started calling the people of his community to this correct belief. The people who listened to the boy announced that they would worship none but Allah in a public confrontation between the emperor and the boy. The punishment for such defiance was being burnt alive.
The wrongdoers of this incident are described as ashab al-ukhdud which translates into “Companions of the ditch”. This Surah has a crucial lesson for the believers with regard to punishment.
The ditch where the believers were thrown was a temporary state of suffering. This act, however, led the transgressors to be thrown into a worse ditch and that state of suffering shall be permanent. Those companions of the ditch are referred to as “sitting over the fire”.
Their indifference, rather pleasure from seeing the bodies being burnt alive earned them grave sin. The lack of compassion, empathy and most of all, humanity shown in the incident made them fall into a deeper, darker ditch whose suffering is unimaginable.
The Surah has lessons for us to be applied in today’s world. Not only the oppressor and the one who transgresses the boundaries of Allah is the culprit.
But those who do nothing to stop the torment and suffering instead watch it with complete apathy are equally guilty in the eyes of Allah. In this Surah, we learned that nobody rose to speak against the atrocity. Such lack of concern is strongly condemned by Islam.
Islam is all about building a society where right and just is established and evil and wrong is condemned. This Surah advocates that Muslims should speak up for the sufferings of humanity instead of being spectators of it.