When the Pagans Prostrated hearing the Quran along with Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)

Praise be to Allah,


In Ramadan, the 5th year of Prophethood,  Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) went into the Holy Sanctuary where there was a large host of Quraish pagans, including some notables and celebrities. The chapter of An-Najm was recently revealed. He began reciting Sûrah An-Najm (Chapter 53 — The Star). The pagans remain silent.

The awe-inspiring Words of Allâh descended upon them and they were bewildered. They were shocked by the truthful Revelation.  When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) reached the heart-beating final verse of the Surah:

فَاسجُدوا لِلَّهِ وَاعبُدوا

“So fall you down in prostration to Allâh and worship Him (Alone).” [53:62].

He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) prostrated immediately putting his head on the ground. The pagans were so captivated by the verse that they prostrated along with the believers.  Later, to cover up their weakness and save themselves from the taunts of the people, they began fabricating lies and accusing the noble prophet(peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

According to a Tradition related by Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Da’ud, and Nasai, on the authority of Abdullah bin Mas’ud, the first Surah in which a verse requiring the performance of a sajdah (prostration) as sent down, is Surah An-Najm. The parts of this Hadith which have been reported by Aswad bin Yazid, Abu Ishaq, and Zubair bin Mu’awiyah from Ibn Mas’ud, indicate that this is the first Surah of the Qur’an, which the  Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had publicly recited before an assembly of the Quraish (and according to Ibn Marduyah, in the Kaaba) in which both the believers and the disbelievers were present. In the end, when he recited the verse requiring the performance of a sajdah and fell down in prostration, the whole assembly also falls down in prostration with him, and even those chiefs of the polytheists who were in the forefront of the opposition to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) could not resist falling down in prostration. Ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) says that he saw only one man, Umayyah bin Khalaf, from among the disbelievers, who did not fall down in prostration but took a little dust and rubbing it on his forehead said that that was enough for him. Later, as Ibn Mas’ud relates, he saw this man die in a state of disbelief.

Another eyewitness of this incident is Hadrat Muttalib bin Abi Wada’ah, who had not yet become a Muslim. Nasai and Musnad Ahmad contain his own words to the effect: “When the Prophet recited the Surah An-Najm and performed the sajdah and the whole assembly fell down in prostration along with him, I did not perform the sajdah. Now to compensate for the same whenever I recite this Surah I make sure never to abandon its performance.”




See, When the Moon Split, A biography of Prophet Muhammad, (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him),Safiur Rahman Mubarakpuri, page 76

Tafheem ul Quran – Syed Abul Aala Moudodi, Surah An Najm, page 197

Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum (The Sealed Nectar By Saifur Rahman al-Mubarakpuri, Abridged version, page 50

see Tafseer ibn Katheer, English version, introduction to the surah An najm.

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