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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 April 2019

UAE Friday sermon: reflections from the Surah Al Najm

Friday’s sermon will tell worshippers about the very first chapter of the Quran, Surah Al Najm, that was read out aloud during Prophet Mohammed’s time in Mecca.

Every single chapter of the Quran has specific goals and aims, worshippers will be told during the Friday sermon.

Surah Al Najm is a chapter particularly worthy of pausing to ponder and reflect upon.

For it is the very first chapter of the Quran that was read out aloud during the Prophet’s time in Mecca.

In the chapter, Allah swears by the stars, as a way of emphasis, in its opening verses that the Prophet is upon the rightful guidance from his Lord.

This is to stress that the Prophet guides people to the way of goodness, to the path of equanimity, not given to extremes, for Allah says, “By the star when it descends, Your companion has not strayed, nor has he erred. Nor does he speak from [his own] inclination.”[Quran: 53:1-3]

Just as people in the dark of the night are guided by the stars, similarly in the darkness of ignorance people are guided by light of the Prophets, the sermon will say.

For the Prophet never spoke from his own egotistical desires and did not invent things about Allah.

Thus everything the Prophet came with was a form of revelation from Allah, wherein his speech is the truth, and everything he informed us about will come to pass.

The chapter Surah Al Najm contains a discussion of the great ascension of the Prophet called the Mi’raj, unto the heavens and what he witnessed in that great event.

This was a journey that contained numerous signs pointing to the immensity of Allah’s Qudra (creative capability) and his majestic grandeur, for he saw the Angel Jibril in the original nature that Allah had created him upon. About this Allah says: “And he certainly saw him in another descent - At the Lote Tree of the Utmost Boundary - Near it is the Garden of Refuge ” [Quran: 53:13-15].

The Sidrat ul Muntaha (Lote Tree of the Utmost Boundary) mentioned here is an actual tree that has been described by the Prophet with the words as being one: “Whose leaves were like elephant ears and whose fruits are like big earthenware vessels” [Bukhari and Muslim].

Note that the reference to fruits being large in size like clay or earthenware vessels were a pointer to the immensity of what lies beyond.

For when whatsoever the tree concealed from the command of Allah was revealed, none from creation could ever begin to describe the transcendent beauty of that disclosure.

This is the reason why Allah says: “When there covered the Lote Tree that which covered [it].” [Quran: 53:16]

Through Surah Al Najm, Allah sows faith in the hearts of men. Through it, he demonstrates that ultimately it is to Him that the Heavens and the Earth belong, and that he is over all things ever-capable and in charge.

Updated: March 28, 2019 12:47 PM

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