The Surah "Najm" is one of the short Meccan Surahs which was revealed all at once 303 and during the time that the Prophet was in Mecca. The verses among which the matter of Satans suggestion is propounded begins at verse 17 and ends with verse 30. It is therefore necessary for us to begin our study with an examination of these verses for an understanding of their content in order for us to be able to perceive the position of the Satanic words among them.
Verses 18-30 of this Surah discusses the three famous Arab idols who were named Lat, Manat and Uzza. The Arabs believed that these idols were the images of divine angels and they also believed that angels were the daughters of God. The Quran has spoken as such of these beliefs and has criticized them. For example: In the Surah "Saffat" from verse 149 and following it is said:
"Then ask them whether your lord has daughters and sons. Or did we create the angels females while they were witnesses?"
And in Surah "Zukhruf" verse 17-20 it is said:
"And when one of them is given news of that of which he sets up as a likeness for the Beneficient God, his face becomes black and he is full of rage.......And they make the angels them who are the servants of the Beneficient God - female (divinities)..........."
And in Surah "Nahl" verses 57-58 we read:
"And they ascribe daughters to Allah, glory be to Him; and for themselves (they would have) what they desire. And when a daughter is announced to one of them his face becomes black and he is full of wrath".
Also in the Surah "Bani Israel" verse 40:
What! has then your lord preferred to give you sons, and (for himself) taken daughters from among the angels? Most surely you utter a grievous saying".
The Qurans ideological battle with the Arab idolators who believed in these weak-minded, superstitious beliefs, took shape in different ways and was introduced in each place in a particular way and with special logical reasons. One of these examples is in Surah "Najm" our present point of discussion.
The Almighty Lord says in this surah:
"Have you then considered the Lat, and the Uzza, and Manat, the third, the last?"
and know that according to the Arab idolators belief they were the images of Gods female angels(!) and it is for this reason that afterwards we read:
"What! for you the males and for him the females! This indeed is an unjust division!"
Then he tells of. the principle source of this type of beliefs error
They are naught but names which you have named, you and your fathers; Allah has not sent for them any authority. They follow naught but con lecture and the low desires which (their) souls incline to; and certainly the guidance has come to them from their lord".
Here, God propounds and refutes another of the idolators beliefs with regard to their idols and that being their ower of intercession. "Shall man have what he wishes?" certainly not "For Allah is the hereafter and the former (life)" it in not in mans' control and according to his carnal desires. In principle, intercession has certain precise conditions. "And how many an angel is there in the heavens whose intercession does not avail at all except after Allah has given permission to whom He pleases and chooses", After this lecture, God once again questions the idolators beliefs regarding the angels saying: "Most surely they who do not believe in the hereafter name the angels with female names.........". 304
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You can see that in all of the above verses from Surah "Najm", not only is there no trace of praise for the Quraishites gods, on the contrary there is only criticism and ridicule for their idolatrous beliefs. It discusses the fact that the idolators said these things about their idols out of ignorance and stupidity and by following their carnal desires, possessing no realm reason for their actions, Afterwards, it also adds that in principle the idolators or their minds cannot grasp higher understanding and knowledge and only extends to the material world incapable of understanding better than or beyond that. He then commands the Prophet to keep aloof from them and to turn away from them keeping his path seperate from theirs.
We don't know how this matter escaped the fabricators of this fable and how they failed to realize that the Meccan idolators were not so ignorant of the Arabic language to not understand the Surah "Najm's" attack on and clash with their beliefs, and fail to perceive all of this reproach, taunting and ridicule? We all know that the Arabs of Mecca, the Quraishites, were pure, untouched Arabs whose entire culture consisted of only emotion-stirring discourses, lyric and epic poetry, odes, eulogies, and satires. With one eulogy they would become so joyous they could almost fly, and one satirical poem could enrage them to the point of initiating bloody wars, causing the blood of their brave sons to flow upon the sandy region of Arabia's deserts for many years. According to the remarks in the previous narratives, despite all this it seems that they didn't understand those taunts and attacks at all.
The ignored tens of verses of refutal because of two verses of praise which followed them and joined the Muslims' ranks with one prostration. It also seems that they didn't perceive the contradiction and contrast between the Satanic verses and the Qurans rash and harsh verses and by satisfying themselves with only those two verses they fell to the ground in prostration.
They, who despite all their hatred and enmity, listened to all of these verses very carefully 305 being so astonished at the beauty and eloquence of the words and their meanings that they had no choice but to call it magic. 306 How could they then fail to perceive this change in content and modification in the way of speech, especially with such speed and in a short Surah!! Not only did they not perceive it but the great scholars and first-rate commentators of the Caliphate school were also caught up in the web of this ignorance!! Aren't these things strange and amazing?!
In the second part we will proceed to a study of the verses in the Surah "Haj" and discuss this noble verse:
We must also study the three points we are confronted with in this verse so that its understanding and interpretation will be made possible. These three points are:
A: '---Arabic text---'
B: Satans suggestion or inspiration.
C: Gods abrogation of the satanic suggestions and strengthening of his own verses.
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The plural of this word being written Some have said that it means (Talavat) reading or (Ghara'at) recitation of the Quran, and we learned previously of those who possess this opinion. It could also mean (reghabat) desire, or (Arazou) wish, such as many others have said and with which we agree. These are the only two possible meanings for this word.
When we look at the various derivations of this word in the Holy Quran we see that only the second supposition suits the collection of verses in which the derivatives of this word have been used in some way.
"Amanee" which is the plural form of "Amniyeh" has been used five times in the Holy Quran, among them:
"And they say: None shall enter the garden (of paradise) except, he who is a Jew or a Christian. These are their vain desires. Say: Bring your proof if you are truthful". 307 "(This) shall not be in accordance with your vain desires nor in accordance with the vain desires of the followers of the Book; whoever does evil, he shall be requited with it, and besides Allah he will find for himself, neither a guardian nor a helper". 308
Therefore, the research done by the linguists of '---Arabic text---' was correct when they interpreted the above mentioned word as such: "Amniyeh" is something someone desires and wants and of course most of the time the word is used with regard to futile wishes which are incorrect and impossible, like that of an unusually long life or delaying resurrection day". 309
The word "Tamannna" which is close to the word "Amniyeh" is rooted and meaning, has come to us in different forms in the Quran. It may, in no way, have meanings other than desiring or wishing. Pay attention to examples of these verses:
"And those who yearned for his place only the day before began to say...."310 "Say: If the future abode with Allah is specially for you to the exclusion of the people, then yearn for death if you are truthful". 311 "And they will never yearn for it because of what their hands have sent before: and Allah is cognizant of the unjust". 312
Thus, "Majma logat-e-Arab" was correct in its opinion regarding this word when they interpreted it as such:
"To desire a certain thing which is liked, meaning to wish for it and set ones' heart on achieving it". 313 Then they add: "The Apostles' or prophets '---Arabic text---' means his desire to propagate his invitation and establish his mission. Satan also places doubt, suspicion and hesitation in the hearts of those who are called to accept this mission and invitiation, and strives to make the Prophets' great desire and wish unattainable". 314
Based on the previous points, "Tamanna" and "Amniyeh" are used in the Quran to mean wish and desire, and when we look carefully at the position of this verse in the above-mentioned Surah we see that this verse of the Surah Haj is located in a completely unified group of verses according to their topic. This unified collection begins with verse 42 and continued up to verse 65. In these verses the lord says:
(If they refute you, the people of Noah and Aad and Samud and the people of Abraham and lot and also the inhabitants of Madyain refuted (their prophets), and Moses was also refuted. Afterwards we gave the unbelievers respite and time and then we punished them. How numerous the cities of the oppressors are which we have destroyed and now the walls and roofs of these cities are collapsed and the water in their wells remain unused and their castles uninhabited). And He once again repeats, (How numerous the cities of oppression are which we gave respite but eventually destroyed, and the return is unto Me). He then begins to speak to the prophet and consoles him telling him not to suffer because of their refutal and blasphemy; because you are only a messenger and a warner while you have no responsibility for the peoples faith and practice, and if they do not practice you are not responsible. Then He says: As far as your propagation is concerned the people are divided into two groups: the believers and the unbelievers.
"......Then (as for) those who strive to oppose our communications, they shall be the inmates of the flaming fire".
For those who believe in the Quran and perform good deeds there will be (on resurrection day) forgiveness, and (in heaven) honourable sustenance and as for those who strive to annul our verses or show weakness and breaks in the position of miracles, they are the inhabitants of Hell. After this distinction He once again comforts His prophet saying:
And we did not send before you any prophet or Apostle but when he desired and wished for progress for his invitation Satan made suggestions and problems preventing his achieving these wishes (to annul the divine verses and show its failure and unsuccess) . So the lord took away and destroyed the Satanic doubts, objections and obstacles in the way of his invitation and removed all traces of it).
In other Quranic verses this two sided battle is shown, the lord his prophet and verses on one side and on the other side those possessing satanic qualities, their objections, doubts and obstructions, where the victory of Gods' front is clearly proclaimed:
"The lord casts the truth against the falsehood and in this way breaks and destroys the falsehood". 315
And in another place:
"The unbelievers come to you so they may dispute with you and say: This Quran which you have brought with you is nothing but the stories and fables of the ancients. They prohibit the people from (hearing and accepting) it, and they themselves go far away from it and they destroy nothing but their own souls while they perceive not". 316
"Just as we have made enemies for you we made for every prophet an enemy from among the devils, men and jinn, and some of them suggest to others varnished falsehoods. If your lord pleased (to constrain them) they would not have done it. Therefore leave them with what they forge". 317
That which was mentioned under the name "Mo'aajezeen" in verse 51 of the Surah Haj and showed the efforts of the two fronts, truth and falsehood to defeat each to her may be found in many other Quranic verses. We saw three examples of it above and we refrain from mentioning other examples of it above and we refrain from mentioning other examples. In addition, we deem it necessary to point out that from verse 51 onward of this very surah a few verses come in interpretation and explanation of this very word and the noble verse containing it and shows the battle between truth and falsehood. On one side the suggestion of doubts and objections by Satans party and on the other side their abrogation by God is spoken of after which the divine trial and the positive and negative reactions of the believers and unbelievers is explained.
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According to what we just read "Tamanna" and "Amniyeh" is the Prophets strong relish and desire, and his effort in the way of the peoples guidance and prosperity, and on these grounds the (Satanic suggestion) is the doubt and temptations that Satan creates in the peoples guidance.
"Naskh" is also the abrogation, destruction and rendering inoperative these doubts and objections while "Ahkam" is the clarifying of doubts and showing Satans temptatio ns by way of the Holy Quran miraculous verses.
This was the interpretation of verse 52 of the Surah Haj with regard to its position among other verses in the same surah, which are united with it in subject-matter. Of course this is if "Tamanna" and "Amniyeh" mean desire, which and liking as was Gods intent. If, however, these two words are seen as meaning recitation and reading, the interpretation is the same but the translation meaning of this verse becomes thus:
"No prophet or Apostle was sent before you unless when he recited the scripture and its verses (to the people) Satan would put doubts, objections and false beliefs regarding it in his peoples hearts saying to them: 'These are tricks and stories of the ancients, and has been culminated with doubts with other verses and in this way disposes of them........"
In the Surah "Saba" this very meaning and intention is delivered in a different way:
"And when Our clear communications are recited to them, they say: This is naught but a man who desires to turn you away from that which your fathers worshipped. And they say: This is naught but a lie which is forged. And those who disbelieve say of the truth when it comes to them: This is only clear enchantment". 318
It is a well known matter in the Quran and Islamic history that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) loved guiding his people and in doing so he never had an idle moment, suffered, and went without sleep in hopes that he could lead them on the road to prosperity, The lord says regarding him: (Then maybe you will kill yourself with grief, sorrowing after them, if they do not believe in this announcement). 319
On the opposing side, however, among the Quraishites the prophets' tribe and family there were persons like Abu Lahab and Nozr ibn Haras who inspired doubts in other members of the tribe and even those who entered Mecca for the pilgrimage or other reasons. They circulated doubt and error in the community regarding the Prophets invitation and the verses he read from the Book of God, causing a group to draw away from Islam, and for the prophets' - invitation to have no effect on him. It is for this reason that in these numerous and repetitive verses it is spoken of the fact that a group strive to annul the Quran, for example, calling it enchantment, his fables, or the result of foreigners teachings.
The Satanic suggestions referred to these types of Satanic persons who spoke these words and phrases;
"We heard (the words and verses of the Quran and) if we wish we can bring verses like them. These are but stories of the ancients". 320
"And they say: This Quran is stories of the ancients that he (the prophet) writes after persons read them to him morning and night (and then proclaims)". 321
Also in the Surah Nahl we read this about the statements made by the anti-Islamic groups and their satanic suggestions to the people:
"And certainly we know that they say: Only a mortal teaches him. The tongue of him whom they reproach is barbarous, and this is clear Arabic tongue". 322
And then in Surah "Mudassir" some more of them are related:
"Surely he reflected and guessed, but may he be cursed how he plotted, again may he be cursed how he plotted; Then he looked, then he frowned and scowled, then he turned back and was big with pride, Then he said: This is naught but enchantment, narrated (from others) This is naught but the word of a mortal". 323
Also in the Surah Ha-mim verse 26 we read the following:
"And those who disbelieve say: Do not listen to this Quran and make noise therein, perhaps you may overcome".
These types of remarks and other things resembling it are the Satanic inspirations and the doubts and objections that human beings circulated regarding the Holy Quram, these were the various battles that took place to abolish the Quran. The lord abbrogated all of these and destroyed them and on the opposite gave strength to his own verses by giving them miraculous superiority and super human meanings and by challenging human beings to try and produce verses like them or similar to them for example He said:
"If you are in doubt as to that which we revealed to our servant, then produce a chapter like it and call on your witnesses besides Allah if you are truthful......But if you do (it) not and never shall you do (it), then be on guard against the fire......." 324
It was in this way that the lord supported his own verses and strengthened them, making the satanic inspirations weak and worthless, abbrogating their effects on the Quranic verses. This was just like His annihilation and abbrogation of satanic suggestions, temptations and efforts in past nations.
In this way Satans suggestion in the Apostle whether this word means recitation or wish, desire or liking, consists of suggesting doubts in the Holy Quran which itself may be accomplished in two ways:
1) An invisible satan in the form of Jinn suggests a thought, temptation or doubt. This means that he places doubts in the hearts of the idolators who are afflicted with the disease of blasphemy and moves them to promulgate these types of doubts and objections.
2) In principle the planners of temptations, doubt, objection and protests are human beings possessing Satanic characteristics. The Holy Quran makes explicit mention of both of these types of Satanic suggestions, saying:
"And thus did we make for every prophet an enemy, the Shaitans from among men, and jinn, some of them suggesting to others varnished falsehood to deceive (them)...." 325
The devils had put all of their efforts to work in order to destroy the divine verses but the lord abbrogated their effects. Satan and the Satanic persons exchanged views and suggested to each other misleading and deceiving words to confront the divine movement of Islam. they strove to remove the credibility and value from the divine verses. The Lord, however, strengthened his verses by clarifying these temptations and refuting doubts. These types of confrontations and battles were not only just to the Final Prophet (s.a.w). Every apostle and Prophet who desired to guide his people and nation and recited for them the Lords scripture, became entangled in their treachery and dangerous plots, whole on the contrary the Lord destroyed and made worthless these doubts and temptations.