Part2: Surah Najm, did a star descend on Imam Ali (as)’s house?
In part 1 we briefly commented on the Shia and Sunni sources for narrations regarding this (supposed) event.
Now let us look at how this event in it self is totally illogical and contradicts with the Quran and established historical facts, as discussed by Ayatullah Nematollah Salehi Najafabadi.
- Surah Najm (ch 53) was revealed in Mecca (before Hijrah) (Ref: Tafseel al Mizan, Allama Tabatabai), where as Anas bin Malik, who is the narrator of this report, was a resident of Madina. During the Hijrah (migration) of the Prophet (saww) from Mecca to Madina, he was a small child of about 8 – 10 years of age (Usd al Ghaba 1:127) and had not yet come to Mecca to have been present when this so called star descended upon the house of Imam Ali (as) to relate this report.
- Imam Ali (as) did not have a house in Mecca and as such he transferred from the house of Abu Talib to the house of the Prophet (saww) and stayed in the same house before and after the start if the Prophetic ministry. He was educated and brought up by the Prophet (saww). Consequently, Ali (as) did not have a house in Mecca for a star to descend upon. If we accept that Surah Najm was the first chaoter of the Quran that the Prophet (saww) desseminated for the believers and polythiests (Tafseer al Mizan), it would have been during the early phase of the Prophetic mission and during that time Ali (as) had not yet even reached the age of 15 years. How is it possible for him to own a house upon which a star would descend when he was a young bachelor?
- If this anecdote is true, then in the verse dealing with the star, instead of “Idha” it should have been “Idh” because “Idh” is used in places where the event has actually taken place and the intention is to relate a story, such as “When (Idh) they massed against you from above and below, your eyes rolled (in fear)…..”(33:10). “Idha” is employed in places where the intent is to relate a report that continuously takes place such as: “By the night when (idha) it darkens and the day when (idha) is lights up” (92:1-2). It is known that the disappearance of the night and the onset of the day takes place on an ongoing basis till the day of judgement. Consequently, the verse in question pertains to a situation that us continuous and ongoing and the meaning would be something like: “Swear by the star that descends and disappears” and it is known that both these characteristics regarding the start are ongoing and perpetual. therefore the verse does not deal with a start that had descended upon a house, rather the oath is taken by the start that perpetually rises and sets. Therefore this verse is not compatible with the descent of the star on the house of Imam Ali (as) because it does not relate a story that happened in the past, rather it is a perpetual state that repeats every night and this will continue till the day of judgement.
- It is well know that stars are much larger than the earth, many stars are hundreds of times larger, hotter and brighter than the sun, how is it possible for a star to descend on a little house? Perhaps those who relate this hadith were among the laity who believed that the stars are of the same size as seen by the naked eye from the earth.
Therefore, in light of the facts mentioned in Part1 and Part 2:
- None of the narrations is authentic and the narrations are not reconcilable since they differ among each other.
- They conflict with the clear meaning of the verse.
- It contradicts the established facts of history and science.
We conclude that this is definitely a fabricated narrations, either concocted by an extreme lover of the Imam (as) to raise the status of the Imam (as), or the narration could have been concocted by the enemies in order to mock the lovers of the Imams (as).
In any case, the narrations cannot be accepted.