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Sura 53
Aya 1

Chapter 53

The Staral-Najm ( النجم )

62 verses • revealed at Meccan

»The surah that opens with the oath of the Divine One swearing by every one of The Stars, as they descend and disappear beneath the horizon, that Muḥammad is indeed God’s awaited Messenger. It takes its name from verse 1, which mentions “the stars” (najm). The surah confirms the divine source of the Prophet’s message and refers to his ascension to heaven during the Night Journey (verse 1 ff.). The surah refutes the claims of the disbelievers about the goddesses and the angels (verse 19 ff.), and lists several truths about God’s power. It closes with a warning of the imminent Day of Judgement.«

The surah is also known as The Pleiades

بِسمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحمٰنِ الرَّحيمِ

Muhammad Asad: In The Name of God, The Most Gracious, The Dispenser of Grace:

وَالنَّجمِ إِذا هَوىٰ

Muhammad Asad

IT IS generally assumed that this is a comparatively early Meccan surah, revealed shortly after surah 112. However, some parts of it undoubtedly belong to a later period - especially verses 13-18,which allude to the Prophet's mystic experience of an ascension to heaven (mi'raj), about oneyear before his exodus to Medina (see Appendix IV). The title - explained in note 1 below - is taken from the word an-najm at the beginning of the first verse.
CONSIDER this unfolding [of God's message], as it comes down from on high!1
  • Or: "Consider the star when it sets" - an interpretation which for some reason has the preference of the majority of the commentators. However, almost all of them admit that the term najm - derived from the verb najama, "it appeared", "began", "ensued", or "proceeded" - denotes also the "unfolding" of something that comes or appears gradually, as if by instalments. Hence, this term has from the very beginning been applied to each of the gradually-revealed parts (nujum) of the Qur'an and, thus, to the process of its gradual revelation, or its "unfolding", as such. This was; in fact, the interpretation of the above verse given by 'Abd Allah ibn 'Abbas (as quoted by Tabari); in view of the sequence, this interpretation is regarded as fully justified by Raghib, Zamakhshari, Razi, Baydawi, Ibn Kathir and other authorities. Raghib and Ibn Kathir, in particular, point to the phrase mawaqi' an-nujum in 56:75, which undoubtedly refers to the step-by-step revelation of the Qur'an. - As regards my rendering of the adjective particle wa as "Consider", see surah 74, note 23.