Surah An-Nas  (The Mankind)
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
1. “Say: ‘I seek refuge with the Lord of mankind”
2. “The King of mankind”
3. “The God of mankind”
(1-3) This Surah describes three Attributes of Allah the All-Mighty. He gives sustenance to mankind, He is Sovereign and He is Worthy of worship. All things are created by Him, possessed by Him, and subservient to Him. He commands anyone who wants refuge to seek in it the Lord who has these Attributes.
4. “From the evil of the whisperer”
(4) Satan entices people to commit sins as he makes evil attractive to men. Only Allah can grant protection from the evil of Satan. According to a Hadith, the Prophet said, “With everyone of you there is a devil.” The Companions asked, “Is there a devil even with you?” The Prophet said, “Yes, but Allah has granted me protection against him.”
Al-Bukhari and Muslim report that once when the Prophet was in seclusion (i’tikaf) in the mosque, his wife Safiyyah went to see him. When she left, the Prophet accompanied her to his house. On the way he met two Companions from Ansar who were passing by. They sped up their pace when they saw him. He called them and said, “This is my wife Safiyyah bint Huyay.”They said, “Subhanallah! O Messenger of Allah, why are you saying this?” The Prophet said,“Satan flows inside man like blood. I feared, may be he put bad thoughts about me in your minds.”
Al-Hafidh Abu Ya’la Musily quoted a Hadith which reported the Prophet as saying:
“Satan puts his hand on the heart of man. If he celebrates the remembrance of Allah he removes his hand and if he forgets Allah, Satan overcomes his heart fully. This is the ‘evil of the whisperer.’ “
Ahmad ibn Hanbal reported a Hadith: The Prophet was once riding a mule and a Companion was riding behind him on it. The mule stumbled. The Companion spontaneously uttered, “May Satan perish.” The Prophet says, “Do not say that. It encourages Satan,” and he said, “I knocked him with my strength. But if you say, ‘In the name of Allah’ he is dwarfed and becomes like a fly.”This proves that the remembrance of Allah helps overcome Satan while leaving it augments his power.
Ibn ‘Abbas, says that the Satan is lying in wait for man. When he forgets Allah, he starts whispering, and when he begins the remembrance of Allah, he retreats.
Sulayman said: “I am told that in happiness and sorrow Satan bores into the heart of man, i.e., he deludes him. If man remembers Allah, he flees away.” Ibn ‘Abbas, also says that Satan preaches evil and when man obeys him, he leaves him.
5. “Who whispers in the breasts of mankind”
6. “Of jinn and men.”
(5,6) The expression “Who whispers in the breasts of mankind” may be interpreted in two ways. One interpretation is that Satan whispers in the chests of people belonging to the human race or the race of jinn. The other interpretation is that the devils from among the human race and the jinn whisper in the chests of other people. At another place Allah says:
“And so We appointed for every Prophet an enemy – devils among mankind and jinn, inspiring one another with adorned speech as a delusion … “
Abu Dharr reported that once he went to the mosque and sat with the Prophet. He asked me,“Did you pray?” When I said no, he said, “Offer two rak’ah.” When I again sat after finishing the prayer, he said, “Abu Dharr, seek refuge against the devils among men and jinn.” I asked, “Are there devils among men also?” He said, “Yes.” I asked him, “O Messenger of Allah, which is the greatest verse in the Qur’an?” He said, “The Verse of the Throne – (2:255).” [Imam Ahmad. ThisHadith has also been reported by Nasa’i, Abu Hatim and others]
Surah An-Falaq  (Daybreak)
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
1. Say: “I seek refuge with the Lord of the daybreak”
Jabir says that Falaq means morning. The Qur’an itself says “cleaver of the daybreak” [Al-Qur’an 6:96]. Ibn ‘Abbas says that Falaq means creation. Ka’ab al-Ahbar says that Falaq is a place in the Hell. When its gate is opened all the inmates of Hell cry out because of the intensity of its heat. Ibn Jarir and Imam Bukhari say that it means morning and this view seems reasonable. Allah directs believers to seek refuge in the Lord of the Falaq.
2. “From the evil of what He has created”
And to seek refuge from the evil of what He created. His creation includes Hell, Iblis (Satan) and his offspring.
3. “And from the evil of the darkening as it comes with its darkness,
One should seek refuge from the evil of nightfall. According to Ibn Zayd the Arabs called the setting of the star Pleiad as Ghasiq and believed that after its setting and at its rising, disease increases and spreads. Some commentators say that the word Ghasiq means moon. They base their argument on a Hadith that the Prophet a once held the hand of ‘A’ishah and pointing to the moon, said, “Seek refuge from the evil of this Ghasiq.” [Imam Ahmad]. However, the rising of the moon and the appearance of the stars are things that happen at night.
4. “And from the evil of those who practise witchcraft when they blow in the knots,
5. “And from the evil of the envier when he envies.”
” … witchcrafts when they blow in the knots” refers to sorceresses. Mujahid says that such incantations are nearest to polytheism as are made to blow on a snake bite or magic stricken man. A Hadith says that Gabriel came to the Prophet and said, “O Muhammad! Are you sick?” When the Prophet said yes, he said, “Invoke the Name of Allah against every disease that pains you, against the evil of every envier and against any evil eye. May Allah heal you.” The disease referred to in this Hadith was probably a magic spell. Allah healed His Messenger and repelled that magic.
Ahmad ibn Hanbal reported that a Jew bewitched the Prophet and then he remained under its spell for several days. Then Gabriel came to him and informed him that such and such Jew had enchanted him and has hidden a knoted rope in such and such well. He asked him to send somebody to get it. The Prophet sent someone to bring them back, untied them, and the spell was broken. The Prophet never mentioned it to that Jew nor showed him any anger.
Bukhari reported a Hadith from ‘A’ishah. She narrated that when the Prophet was bewitched under a magic spell, he thought that he came to his wives while he had not done so. Once he said to me, “I asked my Lord and He showed me. Two persons came and one sat near my head and the other near my legs. The man sitting near my head asked the other, ‘What has happened to this man.’ He said, ‘He is under the a spell.’ He asked, ‘Who bewitched him?’ He answered, ‘Labid ibn A’sim from the Bani Zurayq tribe. They are allies of the Jews.’ The man asked, ‘What has charmed?’ The other answered, ‘The comb and the hair.’ He asked, ‘Where are those things?’ ‘In the well of Dharwan, under a rock.’ “ The Prophet sent ‘Ali to the well and had the things dug out. I (‘A’ishah) suggested that the magician should be punished. The Prophet said, “Praise is for Allah. He healed me. Now I do not like to incite people for me.”
From Tafsir Ibn Kathir (abridged). Translation by Habib Badr.
Surah Al-Ikhlas Tafsir Ibn Kathir
|The Reason for the Revelation of this Surah and its Virtues|