By the star when it descends,
Your companion [Muhammad] has not strayed, nor has he erred,
Nor does he speak from [his own] inclination. (An-Najm, 53:1-3)
Al-Bukharee, on the authority of Abdullah bin Mas’ud recorded, that surah Najm was the first surah from the Qur’an, which the Prophet recited publicly, before an assembly of the Quraysh, in the Kaabah, in which both the believers and the disbelievers were present. In the end, when he recited ayah 62, which required the performance of the sajdah, the whole assembly, including the disbelievers, except Umayyah bin Khalaf (who was later killed as a disbeliever) could not resist, and fell down in prostration with the Prophet .
Allahu Akbar. That’s the power of the Qur’an. People are inspired, consoled, often moved to tears, fall to prostration, by its recitation, beauty, and eloquence. Every single word of the Qur’an is meticulously chosen and placed by Allah Himself. They carry Allah ‘s ‘fingerprint’, and are His signs.
“By the star when it descends.”
But what causes The Lord of the Aalameen to take an oath? This oath is like Allah saying, “I swear by the setting of the stars. And verily, that is indeed a great oath, if you but know.” During the first five years of Prophethood, Prophet Muhammad had been inviting people to Islam, by presenting the divine revelations in secrecy. During this whole period, he never had a chance of reciting the Qur’an openly, because of the strong opposition and resistance from the disbelievers. The disbelievers were well aware of the Prophet’s magnetic, captivating personality, his way of preaching, and how impressive the Qur’an was. Therefore, they tried their best to avoid hearing it themselves and stopped others from hearing it.
To suppress the invitation of Prophet , they came up with a false propaganda. One of the earliest attacks on this deen was to say that the Prophet was crazy, or that, he was possessed by spirits and demons. This was the evil that the disbelievers spoke to oppose the Message, knowing, that what the Prophet was calling them to, was the truth. This is where the oath plays an important role.
“Your companion [Muhammad] has not strayed, nor has he erred.”
This ayah contains the subject of the oath. This part of the ayah is the witness, that Muhammad is sane and a follower of Truth. He is neither led astray – such as the ignorant, who do not proceed on any path with knowledge, nor is he one who erred – such as the knowledgeable, who know the Truth, yet deviate from it intentionally to something else. Therefore, Allah exonerated His Messenger and his Message from the lie of the disbelievers.
Allah addresses Messenger as ‘YOUR COMPANION’ to the Quraysh. The word chosen by Allah for Prophet is ‘sahib,’ which means, a friend, a companion, a close associate. Here, making a mention of the Prophet by the word Sahib-u-kum (Your Companion) is to make the people of the Quraysh realize, that the person being mentioned is no stranger to you; not an outsider whom you may not be knowing or recognizing already. He is a man of your own clan and tribe; he lives and moves among you; even your children know him, his character, his dealings, his ways and habits and characteristics, and how he has passed his life among you so far.
“Nor does he speak from [his own] inclination.”
People who don’t realize that their purpose in life is to worship and serve Allah speak on their desires. They speak because of something that they desire. They speak from their tongues to satisfy their want. Allah in this verse, tells us that not even one word that the Prophet spoke was based on his desire. He knew his purpose of existence. He spoke that which was revealed to him. Other than the Qur’an, the words that come out of his mouth was only to please his Lord, to carry His message, to establish His law on earth; like the hadeeths (sayings of the Prophet), which is the second pillar after the Qur’an, upon which every Muslim rests his faith.
In this ayah is a lesson for everyone – Respect and Appreciation for Allah , the Qur’an, and the Prophet in the best manner. Respecting Prophet Muhammad includes respect of and adherence to his Sunnah, his sayings. Due rights should be given to Prophet , sincerely.