An-Najm[1] (Arabic: النجم, an-najm; meaning: The Star) is the 53rd chapter (surah) of the Quran, with 62 verses (āyāt). The surah opens with the oath of the Divine One swearing by every one of the stars, as they descend and disappear beneath the horizon, that Muhammad is indeed God's awaited Messenger. It takes its name from Ayat #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 (Ayah#1 ff.). The surah refutes the claims of the disbelievers about the goddesses and the angels (ayah#19 ff.), and lists several truths about God's power. It closes with a warning of the imminent Day of Judgement.

Sura 53 of the Quran
The Star
Other namesThe Unfolding
PositionJuzʼ 27
No. of Rukus3
No. of verses62
No. of words360
No. of letters1433

The surah is distinguished as being the first that required Muslims to prostrate, or perform sajdah, when it is recited, according to Tafsir Ibn Kathir and a number of hadiths. The surah claims that, when it was first narrated by Muhammad in Mecca, all Muslims and non-Muslims who heard the recitation (except one man) prostrated to God upon its completion due to the effect that the words had upon them.[2]



1-18 legitimacy of Muhammad’s prophetic vision

The last line of An-Najm: "So prostrate to Allah and worship [Him]."

The first eighteen verses of this surah are considered to be some of the earliest revelations of the Quran. These verses address the legitimacy of Muhammad's prophetic visions. The surah begins with the divine voice swearing by the collapsing star that "Your companion," referring to Muhammad, has not gone mad, nor does he speak out of his desire. The passage evokes the process of vision by tracing the movement along the highest horizon and then coming down and drawing near to the distance of "two bows" length. The passage ends with the affirmation of the validity of the vision by stating that the heart of the prophet "did not lie in what it saw."

49 Surah

The surah is also known for referencing the star Sirius in verse 49, where it is given the name الشِّعْرَى (transliteration: aš-ši‘rā or ash-shira; the leader).[4] The verse is: "وأنَّهُ هُوَ رَبُّ الشِّعْرَى", "That He is the Lord of Sirius (the Mighty Star)."[5]

Ibn Kathir (d.1373) said in his commentary "that it is the bright star, named Mirzam Al-Jawza' (Sirius), which a group of Arabs used to worship."[1]:53:49 The alternate (to Sirius) Aschere, used by Johann Bayer, is derived from this.[6]


  1. Ibn Kathir (d.1373). "Tafsir Ibn Kathir (English): Surah Al Najm". Quran 4 U. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  2. "Sahih al-Bukhari 1070 - Prostration During Recital of Qur'an - كتاب سجود القرآن - - Sayings and Teachings of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم)". Retrieved 2021-11-02.
  3. Wherry, Elwood Morris (1896). A Complete Index to Sale's Text, Preliminary Discourse, and Notes. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, and Co. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  4. Staff (2007). "Sirius". Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved 10 September 2007.
  5. "An-Najm (The Star), Surah 53". Translations of the Qur'an. University of Southern California, Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement. 2007. Archived from the original on 2009-04-24. Retrieved 2009-08-08.
  6. Hinckley, Richard Allen (1899). Star-names and Their Meanings. New York: G. E. Stechert. pp. 117–25.
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