The First Surah in
which a Prostration is revealed
Al-Bukhari recorded that
An-Najm was the first Surah in which a prostration was
revealed. The Prophet (recited it in Makkah) and prostrated. Those who
were with him did the same, except an old man who took a handful of soil
on it. Later on, I saw him killed as a disbeliever; he was Umayyah bin
Al-Bukhari recorded this
Hadith in several places of his Sahih, as did Muslim, Abu Dawud and
An-Nasa'i, using various chains of narration through Abu Ishaq from
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the
"The star refers to
Pleiades when it sets at Fajr.''
"When the Shayatin
are shot with it.''
And this Ayah is like
فَلاَ أُقْسِمُ بِمَوَقِعِ النُّجُومِ
وَإِنَّهُ لَقَسَمٌ لَّوْ تَعْلَمُونَ عَظِيمٌ
إِنَّهُ لَقُرْءَانٌ كَرِيمٌ
فِى كِتَـبٍ مَّكْنُونٍ
لاَّ يَمَسُّهُ إِلاَّ الْمُطَهَّرُونَ
تَنزِيلٌ مِّن رَّبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ
So, I swear by the
setting of the stars. And verily, that is indeed a great oath, if you but
know. That is indeed an honorable recitation. In a Book well-guarded.
Which none can touch but the pure. A revelation from the Lord of all that
Your companion has
neither gone astray nor has erred.
This contains the subject
of the oath. This part of the Ayah is the witness that the Messenger of
Allah is sane and a follower of Truth. He is neither led astray, such as
in the case of the ignorant who does not proceed on any path with
knowledge, nor is he one who erred, such as in the case of the
knowledgeable, who knows the Truth, yet deviates from it intentionally to
something else. Therefore, Allah exonerated His Messenger and his Message
from being similar to the misguided ways of the Christians and the
erroneous paths of the Jews, such as knowing the Truth and hiding it,
while abiding by falsehood. Rather, he, may Allah's peace and blessings be
on him, and his glorious Message that Allah has sent him with, are on the
perfect straight path, following guidance and what is correct.
Muhammad was sent as a
Mercy for all that exists; He does not speak of His Desire
Verily, numbers similar
to the two tribes, or one of them, Rabi`ah and Mudar, will enter Paradise
on account of the intercession of one man, who is not a Prophet.
asked, "O Allah's Messenger! Is not Rabi`ah a subtribe of Mudar.''
The Prophet said,
I said what I said.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin `Amr
"I used to record
everything I heard from the Messenger of Allah so it would be preserved.
The Quraysh discouraged me from this, saying, `You record everything you
hear from the Messenger of Allah, even though he is human and sometimes
speaks when he is angry.'
I stopped recording the
Hadiths for a while, but later mentioned what they said to the Messenger
of Allah, who said,
meaning, Jibril rose to
the highest part of the horizon, according to Ikrimah and several others;
"The highest horizon
where the morning comes from.''
Mujahid said, "It is (the
place of) sunrise.''
Qatadah said, "That from
which the day comes.''
Ibn Zayd and several
others said similarly.
Imam Ahmad recorded that
Abdullah bin Mas`ud said,
"The Messenger of Allah
saw Jibril in his original shape having six hundred wings, each wing
filling the side of the horizon, with a colorful array, and pearls and
rubies falling from each wing as much as only Allah knows.''
Only Imam Ahmad collected
Imam Ahmad recorded that
Abdullah bin Abbas said,
"The Prophet asked Jibril
to appear himself to him in his original shape and Jibril said to him,
`Invoke your Lord.'
The Prophet invoked his
Lord the Exalted and Most Honored, and a great huge figure appeared to him
from the east and kept rising and spreading.
When the Prophet saw
Jibril in his original shape, he was knocked unconscious. Jibril came down
and revived the Prophet and wiped the saliva off of his cheeks.'''
Only Ahmad collected this
Meaning of "at a
distance of two bows' length or less
And was at a distance of
two bows` length or less.
means, Jibril came closer
to Muhammad when Jibril was descending to him on earth. At that time, the
distance between them became only two bow lengths, when the bows are
extended to full length, according to Mujahid and Qatadah.
It was said that the
meaning here is the distance between the bow's string and its wood center.
أَوْ أَدْنَى (or less) indicates that
the distance was as only as far described, not more. This type of usage is
found in several instances in the Qur'an, such as,
And We sent him to
hundred thousand (people) or even more. (37:147),
indicating that they were
not less than a hundred thousand, but that amount or more.
Therefore, this verifies
the facts mentioned, leaving no doubt or means of refute. Similarly, Allah
فَكَانَ قَابَ قَوْسَيْنِ أَوْ أَدْنَى (And was at a distance of
two bow lengths or less).
We stated before that it was Jibril who came
down near the Prophet, according to A'ishah, the Mother of the faithful,
Abdullah bin Mas`ud, Abu Dharr and Abu Hurayrah. We will mention their
statements about this soon afterwards, Allah willing.
Ibn Jarir recorded that
Abdullah bin Mas`ud said about this Ayah,
فَكَانَ قَابَ قَوْسَيْنِ أَوْ أَدْنَى (And was at a distance of
two bow lengths or less).
Allah's Messenger said,
جِبْرِيلَ لَهُ سِتُّمِائَةِ جَنَاح
I saw Jibril; he had six
Al-Bukhari recorded that Talq bin Ghannam said that
Za'idah said that Ash-Shaybani said,
The heart lied not in
what he saw. Will you then dispute with him about what he saw?
Muslim recorded from Ibn
Abbas about, مَا كَذَبَ
الْفُؤَادُ مَا رَأَى
(The heart lied not in what he saw), and, وَلَقَدْ
رَآهُ نَزْلَةً أُخْرَى
(And indeed he saw him at
a second descent).
"He saw Allah twice in his heart.''
Simak reported a
similar from Ikrimah from Ibn Abbas.
Abu Salih, As-Suddi and several
others said similarly that the Prophet saw Allah twice in his heart.
"I went to A'ishah
and asked her, `Did Muhammad see his Lord?'
She said, `You said
something that caused my hair to rise!'
I said, `Behold!' and
recited this Ayah, لَقَدْ رَأَى
مِنْ آيَاتِ رَبِّهِ الْكُبْرَى
(Indeed he saw of the greatest signs of his Lord).
She said, `Where did your
mind wander? It was Jibril. Whoever says to you that Muhammad saw his
Lord, or hid any part of what he was commanded (i.e., Allah's Message), or
knew any of the five things which only Allah knows,
I saw Jibril while he had
six hundred wings and a colorful array of pearls and rubies falling from
the feathers of his wings.
This Hadith has a good,
strong chain of narration.
Ahmad also recorded that
Abdullah Ibn Mas`ud
"The Messenger of Allah saw Jibril in his original shape while
Jibril had six hundred wings, each wing covering the side of the horizon. From his
wings, precious stones were dropping of which only Allah has knowledge.''
This Hadith has a good
chain of narration.
Imam Ahmad recorded that
Abdullah bin Mas`ud said,
Jibril came to me
wearing green with pearls hanging down.
This Hadith has a good chain of
Imam Ahmad recorded that `Amir said that Masruq
"O Mother of the
faithful, has Muhammad seen his Lord, the Exalted and Most Honored''
"Glorious is Allah! My
hair is standing on end because of what you said. Three matters, if one
tells you about any of them, will have lied. Whoever tells you that
Muhammad has seen his Lord, will have lied.''
O Messenger proclaim
which has been sent down to you from your Lord. (5:67)
She went on,
"However, he saw Jibril twice in his original shape.''
Imam Ahmad also
recorded that Masruq said,
"I asked `A'ishah, `Did
not Allah say,
وَلَقَدْ رَآهُ بِالْأُفُقِ الْمُبِينِ (And indeed he saw him in
the clear horizon. (81:23), and,
رَآهُ نَزْلَةً أُخْرَى (And indeed he saw him at a second descent),'
She said, `I was the
first among this Ummah to ask Allah's
Messenger about it. He said,
جِبْرِيل That was Jibril.
only saw him twice in his actual and real figure. He saw Jibril descend
from heaven to earth and was so huge that he covered the whole horizon
between the sky and earth.'''
This Hadith is recorded in the Two Sahihs
Angels, Light and
colors covered Sidrat Al-Muntaha
When that covered the lote tree which did cover it!
We mentioned before, in the Hadiths about
Al-Isra' that the angels, Allah's Light, and spectacular colors covered
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin Mas`ud said,
Messenger of Allah was taken on the Isra' journey, he ascended to
Al-Muntaha, which is in the seventh heaven. There everything terminates
that ascends from the earth and is held there, and terminates everything
that descends from above it is held there, إِذْ
يَغْشَى السِّدْرَةَ مَا يَغْشَى (When that covered the
lote tree which did cover it!) He said, "Golden butterflies.
of Allah was given three things:
He was given the five prayers,
given the concluding verses of Surah Al-Baqarah (2:284-286), and
of serious sins for those among his Ummah
who do not associate anything with Allah.''
In order that We might
show him of Our Ayat. (17:1),
meaning, signs that testify to Allah's might
Relying on these two Ayat, some scholars of Ahl us-Sunnah
said that the Prophet did not see Allah during the
Isra' journey, because
Allah said, لَقَدْ رَأَى
مِنْ آيَاتِ رَبِّهِ الْكُبْرَى (Indeed he saw of the
greatest signs of his Lord). They said that, had the Prophet seen his
Lord, Allah would have conveyed this news and the Prophet would have
narrated it to the people.
Al-Lat was a white stone with inscriptions on. There was a house
built around Al-Lat in At-Ta'if with curtains, servants and a sacred
courtyard around it. The people of At-Ta'if, the tribe of Thaqif and their
allies, worshipped Al-Lat. They would boast to Arabs, except the Quraysh,
that they had Al-Lat.
Ibn Jarir said,
Al-Lat's name from
Allah's Name, and made it feminine. Allah is far removed from what they
ascribe to Him. "
It was reported that
Al-Lat is pronounced
according to Abdullah bin Abbas, Mujahid, and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas,
was a man who used to mix Sawiq (a kind of barley mash) with water for the
pilgrims during the time of Jahiliyyah.
When he died, they remained next to his grave and worshipped him.''
Al-Bukhari recorded that
Ibn Abbas said about Allah's statement,
"Al-Lat was a man who used to mix
Sawiq for the pilgrims.''
"They also derived the name for their idol
Al-`Uzza from Allah's
Name Al-`Aziz. Al-`Uzza was a tree on which the idolators placed a
monument and curtains, in the area of Nakhlah, between Makkah and At-Ta'if.
The Quraysh revered Al-`Uzza.''
During the battle of
Uhud, Abu Sufyan
said, "We have Al-`Uzza, but you do not have
مَوْلَانَا وَلَا مَوْلَى لَكُم
Say, "Allah is Our
Supporter, but you have no support.''
Manat was another idol in the area
of Mushallal near Qudayd, between Makkah and Al-Madinah. The tribes of
Khuza`ah, Aws and Khazraj used to revere Manat during the time of
Jahiliyyah. They used to announce
Hajj to the Ka`bah from next to
Al-Bukhari collected a statement from A'ishah with this meaning.
were other idols in the Arabian Peninsula that the Arabs revered just as
they revered the Ka`bah, besides the three idols that Allah mentioned in
His Glorious Book. Allah mentioned these three here because they were more
famous than the others.
An-Nasa'i recorded that Abu At-Tufayl said,
the Messenger of Allah conquered Makkah, he sent Khalid bin Al-Walid to
the area of Nakhlah where the idol of Al-`Uzza was erected on three trees
of a forest. Khalid cut the three trees and approached the house built
around it and destroyed it. When he went back to the Prophet and informed
him of the story, the Prophet said to him,
لَمْ تَصْنَعْ شَيْئًا
Go back and finish your
mission, for you have not finished it.
Khalid went back and when the
custodians who were also its servants of Al-`Uzza saw him, they started
invoking by calling Al-`Uzza! When Khalid approached it, he found a naked
woman whose hair was untidy and who was throwing sand on her head. Khalid
killed her with the sword and went back to the Messenger of Allah , who
said to him,
That was Al-`Uzza!''
Muhammad bin Ishaq narrated,
"Al-Lat belonged to the tribe of Thaqif in
the area of At-Ta'if. Banu Mu`attib were the custodians of
Al-Lat and its
I say that the Prophet sent Al-Mughirah bin Shu`bah and Abu
Sufyan Sakhr bin Harb to destroy Al-Lat. They carried out the Prophet's
command and built a Masjid in its place in the city of At-Ta'if.
bin Ishaq said that Manat used to be the idol of the Aws and Khazraj
tribes and those who followed their religion in Yathrib (Al-Madinah).
Manat was near the coast, close to the area of Mushallal in Qudayd. The
Prophet sent Abu Sufyan Sakhr bin Harb or `Ali bin Abi Talib to demolish
Ibn Ishaq said that
Dhul-Khalasah was the idol of the tribes of Daws,
Khath`am and Bajilah, and the Arabs who resided in the area of Tabalah.
say that Dhul-Khalasah was called the Southern
Ka`bah, and the
Makkah was called the Northern Ka`bah. The Messenger of Allah sent Jarir
bin Abdullah Al-Bajali to Dhul-Khalasah and he destroyed it.
said that Fals was the idol of Tay' and the neighboring tribes in the
Mount of Tay', such as Salma and Ajja.
Ibn Hisham said that some scholars
of knowledge told him that the Messenger of Allah sent Ali bin Abi Talib
to Fals and he destroyed it and found two swords in its treasure, which
the Prophet then gave to Ali as war spoils.
Muhammad bin Ishaq also said
that the tribes of Himyar, and Yemen in general, had a house of worship in
San`a' called Riyam. He mentioned that there was a black dog in it and
that the religious men who went with Tubba` removed it, killed it and
demolished the building.
Ibn Ishaq said that Ruda' was a structure of Bani
Rabi`ah bin Ka`b bin Sa`d bin Zayd Manat bin Tamim, which Al-Mustawghir
bin Rabi`ah bin Ka`b bin Sa`d demolished after Islam.
In Sindad there was
Dhul-Ka`bat, the idol of the tribes of Bakr and Taghlib, the sons of the
Wa'il, and also the Iyad tribes.
Refuting the Idolators
Who appoint Rivals to Allah and claim that the Angels were Females
meaning, it would be an
unfair and unjust division. `How is it then that you make this division
between you and Allah, even though this would be foolish and unjust, if
you made it between yourselves and others?'
Allah the Exalted refutes
such innovated lies, falsehood and atheism they invented through
worshipping the idols and calling them gods,
They follow but a guess
and that which they themselves desire,
they have no proof,
except their trust in their forefathers who took this false path in the
past, as well as, their lusts and desires to become leaders, and thereby
gain honor and reverence for their forefathers,
جَاءهُم مِّن رَّبِّهِمُ الْهُدَى﴿٢٣﴾
whereas there has surely
come to them the guidance from their Lord!
meaning, Allah has sent
them Messengers with the clear truth and unequivocal evidence. However,
they did not adhere to or follow the guidance that came to them through
meaning, all matters
belong to Allah and He is the King and Owner of this world and the
Hereafter, Who does what He will in both lives. Whatever He wills, occurs
and whatever He does not will, never occurs.
Intercession with Him
profits not except for him whom He permits. (34:23)
`If this is the case with
the angels who are close to Him, how can you, O ignorant ones, hope for
Allah to grant you the intercession of the idols and rivals you worship
with Him without having His permission or any divine legislation
permitting you to worship them' Rather, Allah has forbidden idol
worshipping by the tongues of all of His Messengers and He revealed this
prohibition in all of His Books.
Verily, your Lord is He,
Who knows best him who goes astray from His path, and He knows best him
who receives guidance.
meaning, He is the
Creator of all creatures and He knows whatever benefits His servants.
Allah is the One Who guides whom He wills and misguides whom He wills, and
all of this indicates His power, knowledge and wisdom. Certainly, He is
Just and never legislates or decrees unjustly.
And to Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and all
that is on the earth,
Allah asserts that He is
the King and Owner of the heavens and earth and that He is independent of
the need for anyone. He is the authority over His creation and rules them
with justice. He created the creation in truth,
that He may requite those
who do evil with that which they have done, and reward those who do good,
with what is best.
He recompenses each
according to his or her deeds, good for good and evil for evil.
Qualities of the
Good-doers; Allah forgives the Small Faults
Allah stated that the
good doers are those who avoid major sins and immoral sins. They sometimes
commit minor sins, but they will be forgiven these minor sins and covered
from exposure, as Allah mentioned in another Ayah;
Verily, Allah the
Exalted has decreed for the Son of Adam his share of
Zina and he will
certainly earn his share. The Zina of the eye is by looking, the
the tongue is by talking and the heart wishes and lusts, but the sexual
organ either substantiates all this or not.''
This Hadith is recorded in
the Two Sahihs.
Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn Mas`ud said,
"The eyes commit
Zina by looking, the lips by kissing, the hands by transgressing, the feet
by walking, and the sexual organ either materializes all of this or not.
When one commits sexual intercourse, he will be someone who committed
Otherwise, it is Al-Lamam.''
Masruq and Ash-Sha`bi also held the same
Abdur-Rahman bin Nafi`, who is also known as Ibn Lubabah At-Ta'ifi,
"I asked Abu Hurayrah about Allah's statement,
إِلَّا اللَّمَمَ (except the
`It pertains to kissing, winking one's eye, looking and
embracing. When the sexual organ meets the sexual organ in intercourse
then Ghusl is obligatory, and that is
and forbidding Claims of Purity for Oneself
رَبَّكَ وَاسِعُ الْمَغْفِرَةِ
verily, your Lord is of
asserts that His Mercy
encompasses everything, and His forgiveness entails every type of sin, if
He knows you well when He
created you from the earth,
`He was and still is the
All-Knowing Whose knowledge encompasses your affairs, statements and all
of the actions that will be committed by you, even when He created your
father Adam from the earth and took his offspring from his loin, as small
as ants. He then divided them into two groups, a group destined for
Paradise and a group to Hellfire,'
Woe to you, you have cut
off the neck of your friend! (He repeated this), If one of you must praise
a friend of his, let him say,
"I think that so-and-so is this and that;
Allah knows best about him and I will never purify anyone before Allah,''
if he knows his friend to be as he is describing him.''
Muslim, Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah collected this Hadith.
Imam Ahmad recorded
that Hammam bin Al-Harith said,
"A man came before Uthman
bin Affan and
praised him. Al-Miqdad bin Al-Aswad started throwing sand in the face of
that man, saying, `The Messenger of Allah ordered us to throw sand in
their faces when we see those who praise.'''
And (remember) when the
Lord of Ibrahim tried him with (certain) commands, which he fulfilled. He
said: "Verily, I am going to make you an Imam
(a leader) for mankind.'' (2:124)
fulfilled all the commands of his Lord, stayed away from all the
prohibitions, and conveyed Allah's Message in its entirety. Therefore, he
is worthy of being made a leader for mankind in all of his affairs,
statements and actions.
And say: "Do deeds! Allah
will see your deeds, and (so will) His Messenger and the believers. And
you will be brought back to the All-Knower of the unseen and the seen.
Then He will inform you of what you used to do.'' (9:105),
Then Allah will remind
you of your actions and recompense you for them in the best manner, good
for good and evil for evil.
Does man think that he
will be left neglected? Was he not a Nutfah? Then he became an
`Alaqah (something that clings); then
(Allah) shaped and fashioned (him) in due proportion. And made of him two
sexes, male and female. Is not He (Allah) able to give life to the dead?
no one besides Allah can prevent it from coming, nor does
anyone know when it will come, except Him. The warner is eager to convey
his knowledge of the imminence of a calamity, so that it does not befall
those to whom he is a warner.
The example of the effect
of small sin is that of people who settled near the bottom of a valley.
One of them brought a piece of wood, and another brought another piece of
wood, until they cooked their bread!
Verily, small sins will
destroy its companion, if one is held accountable for them.
Allah the Exalted
admonishes the idolators because they hear the Qur'an, yet they turn away
from it in heedless play,
So fall you down in
prostration to Allah and worship Him.
meaning, with submission,
sincerity, and Tawhid.
Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Ma`mar said that
Abdul-Warith said that Ayyub said that Ikrimah said that, Ibn Abbas
"The Prophet prostrated upon reciting
An-Najam and the Muslims,
idolators, Jinns and mankind who were present prostrated along with him.''
Only Muslim collected this Hadith.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Al-Muttalib
bin Abi Wada`ah said,
"While in Makkah, the Messenger of Allah once
recited Surah An-Najam, then prostrated along with all those who were with
him at the time. I raised my head, however, and I refused to prostrate.''
Al-Muttalib had not embraced Islam yet, but ever since he became Muslim,
he would never hear anyone recite this Surah until the end, without
prostrating with whomever was prostrating after reciting it.
also collected this Hadith in the Book of Al-Bukhari, excluding prayer in
This is the end of the Tafsir of
Surah An-Najm. All praise and
thanks are due to Allah.