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The Revelation Reason of Verse ( 52 ) from Surah ( Al-Hajj )


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(Never sent We a messenger or a prophet before thee) [22:52]. The commentators of the Qur'an said: When the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, saw that his people were shunning him, he was aggrieved by their rejection of the message he brought them and he secretly wished that Allah, exalted is He, reveals something to him which would bring him and his people closer to each other, keen as he was to see them accept faith. One day, he sat in one of the congregations of Quraysh which attracted a huge number of its members, and he wished that Allah, exalted is He, does not reveal to him on that day anything that might repel them from him. Allah, exalted is He, revealed to him then Surah al-Najm (By the star when it stetteth) [Surah 53]. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, recited it but when he reached (Have ye thought upon al-Lat and al-'Uzza, and Manat, the third, the other) [53:19-20], the devil put on his tongue what he had secretly wished and hoped for and said: 'These are the mighty cranes (gharaniq) and their intercession is hoped for'. When the Quraysh heard this, they were very pleased. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, carried on reciting until the end of the Surah and then prostrated. All the Muslims followed suit and prostrated, and all the idolaters who were present prostrated too. All those who were present, whether Muslim or disbeliever, prostrated except al-Walid ibn al-Mughirah and Abu Uhyahah Sa'id ibn al-'As who were too advanced in age and could not prostrate, but they both grabbed a handful of dust and put their foreheads on it. The Quraysh then dispersed, happy with what they heard. They said: 'Muhammad has mentioned our idols with complimentary terms. We know that Allah gives life and takes it away, He creates and provides sustenance, but these idols of ours will intercede for us with Him. Now that Muhammad has associated them, we are all with him'. That evening, Gabriel, peace be upon him, went to the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, and said: 'What have you done? You recited to people that which I did not bring from Allah, glorified is He, and you said what I did not say to you'. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, felt very saddened and was greatly scared of Allah. And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse, upon which the Quraysh said: 'Muhammad has regretted what he has mentioned regarding the status of our idols vis--vis Allah'. And they became even more antagonistic than before. Abu Bakr al-Harithi informed us> Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Hayyan> Abu Yahya al-Razi> Sahl al-'Askari> Yahya> 'Uthman ibn al-Aswad> Sa'id ibn Jubayr who said: The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, recited (Have ye thought upon al-Lat and al-'Uzza, and Manat, the third, the other) upon which the devil projected on his tongue: 'These are the mighty cranes and their intercession is hoped for'. The idolaters were pleased. They said: 'He has mentioned our idols'. Then Gabriel, peace be upon him, came to the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, and said: 'Read back to me the speech of Allah'. When he read it to him, Gabriel said: 'As for this I did not bring; this is from the devil'. And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed (Never sent We a messenger or a prophet before thee but when He recited (the message) Satan proposed (opposition) in respect of that which he recited thereof. But Allah abolisheth that which Satan proposeth. Then Allah establisheth His revelations).




Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi , trans. Mokrane Guezzou
2011 Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, Amman, Jordan (http://www.aalalbayt.org) All Rights Reserved
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