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Sura al-Najm

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Sura al-Najm
al-Tur← →al-Qamar
سوره نجم.jpg
Sura Number 53
Juz' 27
Revelation Number 23
Makki/Madani Makki
Verse Count 62
Word Count 359
Letter Count 1432
This article is an introduction to the Sura al-Najm; to read its text see text:Sura al-Najm.

Sūra al-Najm (Arabic: سورة النجم) is the fifty third sura of the Qur'an. It is a Makki sura located in the 27th juz'. This sura is one of the four suras which have obligatory sajda and are called 'aza'im. One of the issues mentioned in this sura is the story of the Ascension. In this sura, God blames polytheists because of worshipping idols and speaks about the Hereafter.

Two of the famous verses of this sura are verses 3 and 4 which say that the Prophet (s) does not speak out of his own desire. These verses are referred to as evidences for proving his infallibility. Also, verses 8 and 9 are famous which describe the distance between the Prophet (s) and God or angel Gabriel within two bows' length. About the merits of recitation of Sura al-Najm, it is narrated that the reciter will become beloved among people.



This sura is called al-Najm or "Wa l-Najm" because in its first verse, God has sworn upon "al-najm" (star).

Order and Place of Revelation

Sura al-Najm is 53rd sura of the Qur'an in the order of its current compilation and 23rd sura in the order of revelation. It is among Makki suras. Some believe that Sura al-Najm was the first sura the Prophet (s) recited publicly and loudly in Mecca after revealing his invitation to Islam.

Number of Verses and Words

Sura al-Najm has 62 verses, 359 words, and 1432 letters. This sura is among mufassalat suras and its length is about half of hizb.

Obligatory Sajda

This sura is one of the four suras which have obligatory sajda and are called 'aza'im. In this sura, after hearing or reciting verse 62, it is obligatory to perform sajda. Another ruling about these suras which have obligatory sajda is that it is forbidden for a junub person to recite these suras (or the verse which requires performing sajda).


Major topics mentioned in Sura al-Najm:

  • The truth of revelation and the direct contact of the Prophet (s) with angel Gabriel and negating that the Prophet (s) would say anything other than what revealed to him.
  • Mentioning the Prophet's (s) Ascension.
  • Criticism of the polytheists' belief in idols and worshiping angels.
  • Openness of repentance to polytheists and that everyone is responsible for his actions.
  • The hereafter and brining proofs for it.
  • The painful destiny of previous nations who were stubborn and insisted on their opposition against the truth.
Content of Sura al-Najm[1]
Truth of the Prophet's (s) words about the angels not interceding for polytheists
First topic: verses 1-18
All the words of the Prophet (s) are from God
Second topic: verses 19-55
Falsehood of the thought of polytheists about the angels' intercession
Third topic: verses 56-62
Truth of the Qur'an regarding disbelievers' punishment
First point: verses 1-4
All the words of the Prophet (s) are divine revelation
First point: verses 19-23
Idols are not daughters of God
First point: verses 56-58
Only God can draw away punishment from human being
Second point: verses 5-18
The Prophet (s) sees the angel of revelation and learns from him
Second point: verses 24-26
Angels' intercession requires God's permission
Second point: verses 59-62
Disbelieving and considering the teachings of the Qur'an unimportant about the Judgment Day
Third point: verses 27-30
Calling angels daughters of God is a sign of polytheists' ignorance
Fourth point: verses 31-32
Reward of human beings is only in the hand of God
Fifth point: verses 33-41
Everyone is responsible for his actions
Sixth point: verses 42-55
Management of all affairs is in the hand of God

Historical Stories and Reports

In verses 7-18 of Sura al-Najm, the story of the Prophet's (s) Ascension is narrated in which, it is mentioned that the Prophet (s) drew near Sidrat al-Muntaha and Jannat al-Ma'wa and saw some of the signs of God. Also, in verses 50-53, perishing the people of 'Ad, Thamud and people of Noah and Lot is mentioned.

The Prophet (s) Only Speaks Out of Revelation

According to Tafsir-i nimuna, that the Prophet (s) does not speak out of his own desire, is not only about the verses of the Qur'an, but it also includes the sunna (speeches and actions); thus, some consider these verses a reason for validity of the Prophet's (s) sunna as a reference. Also, this verse is used to prove the Prophet's (s) infallibility. In Tafsir al-burhan, there are several reports saying that when the Prophet (s) spoke about the position of Imam Ali (a) or his succession, some said that the Prophet (s) spoke about his cousin out of his own desire; thus, the first verses of Sura al-Najm were revealed.

Verses 36 to 41 of Sura al-Najm with verses 38 and 39 in the middle, "no bearer shall bear another's burden, (38) and that nothing belongs to man except what he strives for". Nast'aliq calligraphy by Ghulamhusayn Amirkhani

Distance in Ascension

These verses speak about the story of the Ascension, when the Prophet's (s) distance reached within two bows' length or even nearer. Some said that it referred to the distance between the Prophet (s) and angel Gabriel. Some others considered it the distance between the noble Prophet (s) and God in his spiritual intuition.

Reward through Effort

It is mentioned in commentaries that benefiting from intercession of others in the form of forgiveness and charities are actually the results of the person's own actions; because if the person did not become a believer, he would not receive any intercession and people would not ask for his forgiveness. Also, it is said that this verse considers the person's efforts required for reward, not reaching conclusion; so, if a person makes good efforts, but he does not reach the final conclusion, still God will reward him. In the discussion on determination and freewill, this verse is referred to for proving the freewill and freedom of human's choice.

Merits and Benefits

About the merits of recitation of Sura al-Najm, it is mentioned in hadiths that the reciter will become beloved among people; and whoever recites Sura al-Najm every day or every night, will live among people honorably and will be beloved by them.


  1. Khamagar, Muhammad, Sakhtar-i suraha-yi Qur'an-i karim, Mu'assisa-yi Farhangi-yi Qur'an wa 'Itrat-i Nur al-Thaqalayn, Qom: Nashra, ed.1, 1392 Sh.


  • The material for this article is mainly taken from سوره نجم in Farsi WikiShia.