A BIRDS-EYE VIEW ON QURAN 85:1-10
The verses 1-10 of Chapter 85 seem a parabolic segment that can be categorised as narrations of the stories and histories. When this story was narrated to the people during the revelation, they had known about it as being a legend or otherwise. So, it was related to them as an assurance for those who were the victim of persecution – and warning for those of the persecutor, which can extend to these days to the relevant people.
On the contrary, the actual history or story is legendary, which is unlikely to ascertain because of the conflicting sources and ingenuity in those legendary stories. Many legendary stories, such as Nebuchadnezzar, allegedly attempted to burn three pious Israelites in a fiery inferno. Or 6th century’s Nazarians who were persecuted by the King of Yemen, or another apocryphal story of Zorastratrian king who burnt many people who used to refuse his own version of religious doctrines.
As these conflicting legendary stories are no longer applicable to the believers in this day and age, these can be absorbed as didactic (see: Q. 12:111). So, in this segment, God conveys the message that the persecutors have no faith at all, notwithstanding anything or any willful faith s/he might allegedly have. As a result of their diabolic faith, they hate to tolerate the true faith in other people. As such, in Q. 85:4-5, the phenomena called the trench and fiery inferno or pit of fire may be constructed as an allegory in a metaphoric parable for those who hold the true faith in God and HIS Kita’b — AND for those who feed a mentality to hate, torture and persecute others’ belief, because of his particular faith, sect and dominion. So, God’s ultimate message in this context can relate to HIS universal instruction as found in Q. 2: 256 to tolerate and coexist peacefully being a peacemaker – as a submitter to God – a muslim.