Wednesday 11 December 2019

Surah An Najm - The Star: Summary 53rd Chapter of Qur'an

Surah An Najm is the fifty third surah with 62 ayahs with three rukus, part of the 27th Juzʼ  of the Holy Qur'an. This Surah was revealed in Ramadan of 5th year of Prophet's residence at Makkah.

The surah is also known for referencing the star Sirius in ayah 49 where it is given the name الشِّعْرَى (transliteration: aš-ši‘rā or ash-shira; the leader). The verse is: "وأنَّهُ هُوَ رَبُّ الشِّعْرَى", "That He is the Lord of Sirius (the Mighty Star)." Ibn Kathir said in his commentary "that it is the bright star, named Mirzam Al-Jawza' (Sirius), which a group of Arabs used to worship." The alternate name Aschere, used by Johann Bayer, is derived from this.

However, there are others who differ. Ibn Abbas, Mujahid and Sufyan Thauri opine that Najm implies the Pleiades (also known as the Seven Sisters). Ibn Jarir and Zamakhshari have held this same interpretation as preferable, for in Arabic when the word an-najm is used absolutely, it usually implies the Pleiades. Suddi says that it implies Venus; and Abu Ubaidah, the grammarian, holds that here the word an-najm has been used generically so as to express this idea: When the day dawned, and the stars set. 

One of the most powerful attribute of this surah is that it is the first surah of the Holy Qur'an which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had publicly recited before an assembly in the Ka'bah in which both the believers and the disbelievers were present. At the end, when he recited the verse requiring the performance of a Sajdah (prostration) and fell down in prostration, the whole assembly also prostrated with him. Surprisingly even those chiefs of the polytheists who were in the forefront of the opposition to the Prophet (pbuh) could not resist falling down in prostration. Ibn Mas'ud (may Allah be pleased with him) says that he saw only one man, Umayyah bin Khalaf, from among the disbelievers, who did not  prostrate but took a little dust and rubbing it on his forehead said that it was enough for him. 

The theme of the discourse is to warn the disbelievers of Makkah about the error of the attitude that they had adopted towards the Qur'an and the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). The discourse starts by saying: "Muhammad is neither deluded nor gone astray, nor has he fabricated this teaching of Islam and its message, as you seem to think he has. In fact, whatever he is presenting is nothing but Revelation which is sent down to him. The verities that he presents before you, are not the product of his own surmise and speculation but realities of which he himself is an eye witness. He has himself seen the Angel through whom this knowledge is conveyed to him. He has been directly made to observe the great Signs of Allah during his trip of Ma'iraj; whatever he says is not what he has himself thought out but what he has seen with his own eyes." 

After this, following three convincing arguments are presented:
  • The religion that you are following is based on mere conjecture and invented ideas. You have set up a few goddesses like Lat and Manat and Uzza, whereas they have no share in divinity. You regard the angels as the daughters of Allah. You think that these deities of yours can influence Allah in your favor, whereas the fact is that all the angels together, who are stationed closest to Allah, cannot influence Him even in their own favor. None of beliefs that you have adopted is based on knowledge and reason, but are wishes and desires for the sake of which you have taken some whims as realities. This is a grave error.
  • The final judgement will not depend on what you consider yourself to be, and on the claims you make about your purity and chastity but on whether you are pious or impious, righteous or unrighteous in the sight of Allah. If you refrain from major sins, He in His mercy will overlook your minor errors.
  • A few basic principles of the true faith are reiterated which were stated in the Books of the Prophets Abraham and Moses, so that there remains no misunderstanding that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has brought some new and novel religion. These are the same fundamental truths which the former Prophets of Allah have always been presenting in their respective ages. It is made clear that the destruction of the 'Ad, the Thamud and of the people of the Prophets Nuh (Noah) and Lut (Lot) was not the result of accidental calamities, but Allah has destroyed them in consequence of the same wickedness and rebellion from which the disbelievers of Makkah are not inclined to refrain and desist.
This was such an impressive discourse, by it even the most hardened deniers of the truth were completely overwhelmed, and when after reciting these verses of Divine Word the Prophet of Allah (pbuh) fell down in prostration, they too could not help falling down in prostration along with him.

You may now like to listen to recitation in Arabic with translation in English sub titles:

Please visit our post on detailed explanation/exegesis/tafsir of Surah An Najm.

Please refer to our Reference Page "114 Chapters (Sūrahs) of the Holy Qur'an" for translation, explanation and exegesis of all other chapters of the Qur'an. You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
Reading the Holy Quran should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation and explanation has been taken from the Holy Quran officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Holy Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.  [2]
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources (links to Reference Pages given below):  
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Qur'an Wiki
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
  • Tafsir Nouman Ali Khan
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given below. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites:

Photo | References1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |

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