Surah Al-Hijr >> Currently viewing Surah Al-Hijr Ayat 16 (15:16)

Surah Al-Hijr Ayat 16 in Arabic Text

وَلَقَدْ جَعَلْنَا فِى ٱلسَّمَآءِ بُرُوجًۭا وَزَيَّنَّـٰهَا لِلنَّـٰظِرِينَ
Wa laqad ja’alnaa fissamaaa’i buroojanw wa zaiyannaahaa linnaazireen

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 16

Sahih International
And We have placed within the heaven great stars and have beautified it for the observers.

Yusuf Ali
It is We Who have set out the zodiacal signs in the heavens, and made them fair-seeming to (all) beholders;

Abul Ala Maududi
We have indeed set constellations in the heavens and have beautified them for the beholders,

Muhsin Khan
And indeed, We have put the big stars in the heaven and We beautified it for the beholders.

And verily in the heaven we have set mansions of the stars, and We have beautified it for beholders.

Dr. Ghali
And indeed We have already made in the heaven constellations, and We have adorned it to the onlookers.

Abdel Haleem
We have set constellations up in the sky and made it beautiful for all to see,

Quran 15 Verse 16 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Al-Hijr ayat 16, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.


(15:16) We have indeed set constellations in the heavens[8] and have beautified them for the beholders,[9]

8. In the preceding( Ayats 14-15) it was stated that the disbelievers had become so hardened against the Quran that they would not have believed in it even if they had ascended the Heaven and seen with their own eyes the signs mentioned in it. Now in (Ayats 16-22), some of the signs are being cited in order to convince there of its truth.

Buruj (mansions of stars) are signs of Allah. For it is not possible to pass through one sphere of the Heaven into another, as each sphere of the space has been fortified by invisible boundaries. In this connection, it may be noted that literally the Arabic word burj means a fortified place, but as a technical term of ancient astronomy this stood for each of the twelve signs of the Zodiac, which marked the sun’s path through the heavens. This has led some of the commentators to form the opinion that in this verse the word buruj refers to the same. But there are some others who think that it means stars or planets. However, if we consider this word in the context of (Ayat 19), we are led to the conclusion that probably it stands for spheres.

9. “We have beautified it”: We have placed a shining star or planet in each of these spheres and made them look beautiful. In other words, it means; We have not made the boundless universe dismal, desolate and frightful, but so beautiful that one finds marvelous order and harmony in it everywhere, and sights therein are so attractive that each one of these charms hearts and minds. This wonderful structure of the universe is a clear proof of the fact that its Creator is not only Great and All-Wise but is also a perfect Artist. The Quran has also stated this aspect of the Creator in (Surah As-Sajadah, Ayat 7): (Allah is) that God Who has created in perfect beauty everything He has created.


16. And indeed, We have put the big stars in the heaven and We beautified it for the beholders. 17. And We have guarded it (near heaven) from every outcast Shaytan (devil). 18. Except him (devil) who steals the hearing, then he is pursued by a clear flaming fire. 19. And We have spread out the earth, and have placed firm mountains in it, and caused all kinds of things to grow in it, in due proportion. 20. And in it We have provided means of living, for you and for those whom you provide not.

The Power of Allah and His Signs in the Heavens and on Earth

To those who ponder, and look repeatedly at the dazzling signs and wonders that are to be seen in the creation, Allah mentions His creation of the heavens, with their immense height, and both the fixed and moving heavenly bodies with which He has adorned it. Here, Mujahid and Qatadah said that Buruj ﴿big stars﴾ refers to the heavenly bodies. (I say): This is like the Ayah :

﴿تَبَارَكَ الَّذِى جَعَلَ فِى السَّمَآءِ بُرُوجاً﴾

(Blessed be He Who has placed the big stars in the heavens.) ﴿25:61﴾ `Atiyah Al-`Awfi said: “Buruj here refers to sentinel fortresses.” He made the “shooting stars” to guard it against the evil devils who try to listen to information conveyed at the highest heights. If any devil breaches it and advances hoping to listen, a clear “shooting star” comes to him and destroys him. He may already have passed on whatever he heard before the fire hit him, to another devil below him; the latter will then take it to his friends ﴿among humans﴾, as is stated in the Sahih. Explaining this Ayah, Al-Bukhari reported from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said:

«إِذَا قَضَى اللهُ الْأَمْرَ فِي السَّمَاءِ ضَرَبَتِ الْمَلَائِكَةُ بِأَجْنِحَتِهَا خُضْعَانًا لِقَوْلِهِ كَأَنَّهُ سِلْسِلَةٌ عَلَى صَفْوَان»

(When Allah decrees any matter in heaven, the angels beat their wings in submission to His Word, ﴿with a sound like﴾ a chain ﴿beating﴾ on a smooth rock.”) (`Ali and other subnarrators said, “The sound reaches them.”) “When the fright leaves their (angels’) hearts, they (angels) are asked: `What did your Lord say’ They respond: “The truth. And He is the Most High, the Most Great.’ So those who hope to hear something listen, and they are standing one above the other.” Sufyan ﴿the narrator﴾ described them with a gesture, spreading the fingers of his right hand and holding it in such a way that the fingers were above one another. “Sometimes the flaming fire hits one of these listeners before he is able to convey what he has heard to the one who is beneath him, and he is burned up, or sometimes the fire does not hit him until he has pit on to the one beneath him, so he brings it to the earth.” Perhaps Sufyan said: “…until it reaches the earth and he puts it into the mouth of the sorcerer or fortune-teller, so that after telling a hundred lies he gets something right, and the people say, `Did he not tell us that on such and such a day such and such would happen, and we found it to be the truth among the statements which were heard from heaven.”’ Then Allah mentions His creation of the earth and how He spread it out, and the firm mountains, valleys, lands and sands that he has placed in it, and the plants and fruits that He causes to grow in their appropriate locations.

﴿مِن كُلِّ شَىْءٍ مَّوْزُونٍ﴾

(all kinds of things in due proportion.) Ibn `Abbas said that this means with their predetermined proportions. This was also the opinion of Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Ikrimah, Abu Malik, Mujahid, Al-Hakim bin `Utaybah, Al-Hasan bin Muhammad, Abu Salih and Qatadah.

﴿وَجَعَلْنَا لَكُمْ فِيهَا مَعَـيِشَ﴾

(And We have provided therein means of living, for you) Here Allah mentions that He created the earth with different means of provisions and livelihood of all kinds.

﴿وَمَن لَّسْتُمْ لَهُ بِرَزِقِينَ﴾

(and for those whom you provide not.) Mujahid said, “This refers to the riding animals and the cattle.” Ibn Jarir said, “They are slaves, men and women, as well as the animals and the cattle. The meaning is that Allah, may He be exalted, is reminding them of the ways of earning provision that He has made easy for them, and of the animals that He has subjugated for them to ride and to eat, and the slaves from whom they benefit, but the provision of all of these comes from Allah alone.”

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