Surah al-Falaq – The DayBreak – Miracle Dream Tafseer
Nouman Ali Khan
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The Relationship between this Surah [al Falaq] and Surah al-Ikhlas and surah an-Nas.
This and the surah after it (an-Nas) are known as the Mu’awiddhatayn – the 2 surahs’ of refuge, named by Allah’s Messenger.
This Surah (al-Falaq’s) Relationship with Surah al Ikhlas;
1 – Qul (say) at the beginning of both the surahs’.
2 – Rabbil Falaq (Lord of the Daybreak) – This relation with the previous surah al Ikhlas.
These 2 surahs have been paired in classic tafseer’s (al Falaq and an-Nas).
Who are you seeking refuge from?
(Musta’adh min hu)
Whose protection you are seeking?
Both these surahs have mention of both; seeking refuge in Allah, and seeking refuge from His creations’.
The One you seek refuge in is Allah.
The ones you seek refuge from are different.
Allah mentions one description of Himself (Rabb – Master) in surah Falaq. Then He mentions many things which we seek refuge in Allah from.
In surah an-Nas – Allah mentions many of His Names, and attributes, and only mentions one thing which is sought in refuge from (the wawaas of shaytan).
The one you are seeking protection of (an-Naas).
The one you seeking protection against (al Falaq).
Both these surahs’ were revealed at the same time simultaneously, there is no dispute.
Dr Faaddil Hassaan ar-Ra’i says:
Surah Falaq deals with problems which afflict a human – which he has no control over. They are other creations. I.e. The night, the sorcerers, enviers, etc.
Surah an-Naas in contrast – deals with the actions of the human being (i.e. Wawasa – whisperings of shaytan).
And if we act upon these whisperings – we will be accountable for our actions on Judgment Day.
So we see that There is more desperation in surah an-Naas than in surah Falaq. You are calling upon Allah over and over again.
When you get affected by the whisperings – and you do evil, it will damage your Eman (belief/faith) – so you will have to call upon Allah more to strengthen it once again.
The first deals with afflictions that will come to you externally.
The second deals with afflictions that occur internally, so you require more refuge in Allah.
al Naas: So when you say; Qul a’oodhu bi Rabb al-naas, malik al-Naas, il-laahi al-Naas..
You are repeatedly asking Allah by His Names and Attributes. A show of your internal struggle and desperation.
al Falaq: The evil of external influences are less powerful in comparison to the Waswasa from shaytan which affects your Emaan inside.
So refuge is sought with Allah from outside evil forces, but evil whisperings which affect your Emaan require a more desperate cry to Allah for help. This is why Allah is mentioned more in surah an-Naas.
Sequencing of this Surah:
Allah has a remarkable sequencing in this surah. He transisions from the General to the More specific:
min sharri maa khalaq – from the evil He has created. (all creation which has evil tendencies).
Min sharri ghaasiqin idha waqab – from the evil of the night as it approaches. (specific to the evils that happen in the night.)
Wa min sharri naafathaat (soothsayers/magicians/witches).
min sharri haasidin idha hasad (those who envy).
Historical Context of this Surah:
The vast majority considered this Madani. Others said Makki.
After the Treaty of Hudaybia (6years After Hijrah) – the Quraysh were less of a threat to the Muslims. The Jewish tribes had been expelled from Medinah due to acts of breaking their contracts of agreements with the Muslims.
These Jews had moved to Khaybar. They found out that Allah’s Messenger will not be focusing on the Quraysh anymore, but on them instead.
So they started to make strategies on how to make offense against Allah’s Messenger – before he could on them.
Labeed bin ‘Aasim was a man from the tribe of Banu Zurayq, some say he was Jewish, others say Christian, others say he was a hypocrite (pretending to be a Muslim).
The Jews came to Labeed bin ‘Aasim and said that we have tried to do different forms of magic on Muhammad (Allah’s Messenger, but it has not worked. So please do magic on Muhammad (Allah’s Messenger) because you are the best of magicians we know.
Do something that will ‘tear him apart’ – dismantle him.
Some narrations say he asked help from his daughters, who were also experienced in magic.
He pays a small boy who is a Jewish servant of the Messenger of Allah, and this boy steals some pins from the comb of the Messenger of Allah. These pins have some hair strands of the Messenger of Allah.
He takes these pins to Labeed, and Labeed starts to make sorcery with knots and a doll with pins around it etc.
This device which had magic on it – they threw it into a famous well called Dhu Riwaan – they put it into the well and put a rock over it.
The Magic Effects:
- There are only a few narrations:
– Internally and Externally disturbed.
perturbed, disturbed, losing sleep, thinking he is doing something but he hasn’t, or vice versa.
Physical illnesses like high blood pressure, a heavy burden on ones self, like being squeezed inside.
Physical symptoms are real with magic (brother Nouman asked ‘ulama who deal with people affected by magic.)
Historical Background – Cause for Revelation (Asbaab al Nuzool)
In the Book of Medicine of his Sahih, Al-Bukhari recorded that `A’ishah said, “The Messenger of Allah was bewitched until he thought that he had relations with his wives, but he had not had relations with them.” Sufyan said, “This is the worst form of magic when it reaches this stage.” So the Prophet said,
«يَا عَائِشَةُ، أَعَلِمْتِ أَنَّ اللهَ قَدْ أَفْتَانِي فِيمَا اسْتَفْتَيْتُهُ فِيهِ؟ أَتَانِي رَجُلَانِ فَقَعَدَ أَحَدُهُمَا عِنْدَ رَأْسِي وَالْاخَرُ
عِنْدَ رِجْلَيَّ، فَقَال الَّذِي عِنْدَ رَأْسِي لِلْاخَرِ: مَا بَالُ الرَّجُلِ؟ قَالَ: مَطْبُوبٌ، قَالَ: وَمَنْ طَبَّهُ، قَالَ: لَبِيدُ بْنُ
أَعْصَمَ: رَجُلٌ مِنْ بَنِي زُرَيْقٍ حَلِيفٌ لِيَهُودَ، كَانَ مُنَافِقًا، قَالَ: وَفِيمَ؟ قَالَ: فِي مُشْطٍ وَمُشَاطَةٍ، قَالَ:
وَأَيْنَ؟ قَالَ: فِي جُفِّ طَلْعَةٍ ذَكَرٍ، تَحْتَ رَاعُوفَةٍ فِي بِئْرِ ذَرْوَانَ»
(O `A’ishah! Do you know that Allah has answered me concerning that which I asked Him Two men came to me and one of them sat by my head while the other sat by my feet. The one who was sitting by my head said to the other one, `What is wrong with this man’ The other replied, `He is bewitched.’ The first one said, `Who bewitched him’ The other replied, `Labid bin A`sam. He is a man from the tribe of Banu Zurayq who is an ally of the Jews, and a hypocrite.’ The first one asked, `With what (did he bewitch him)’ The other replied, `With a comb and hair from the comb.’ The first one asked, `Where (is the comb)’ The other answered, `In the dried bark of a male date palm under a rock in a well called Dharwan.’) `A’ishah said, “So he went to the well to remove it (the comb with the hair). Then he said,
«هَذِهِ الْبِئْرُ الَّتِي أُرِيتُهَا، وَكَأَنَّ مَاءَهَا نُقَاعَةُ الحِنَّاءِ،وَكَأَنَّ نَخْلَهَا رُؤُوسُ الشَّيَاطِين»
(This is the well that I saw. It was as if its water had henna soaked in it and its palm trees were like the heads of devils.) So he removed it (of the well). Then I (`A’ishah) said, `Will you not make this public’ He replied,
«أَمَّا اللهُ فَقَدْ شَفَانِي، وَأَكْرَهُ أَنْ أُثِيرَ عَلَى أَحَدٍ مِنَ النَّاسِ شَرًّا»
(Allah has cured me and I hate to spread (the news of) wickedness to any of the people.)”
These 2 surahs’ have 11 aayaat, and the black magic [voodoo] doll had 11 knots in it.
So Allah’s Messenger told his companions to go and get the doll from under the rock in the well. And whenever they pulled a needle out/untie a knot – they would recite one ayah.
At the end – Allah’s Messenger felt relieved. Like he had come out of darkness to light, from pain to ease.
Many scholars say that this surah is Madani, due to that event.
Other scholars say that the angels only came to remind Allah’s Messenger, to recite these surahs’ – although they had been revealed earlier in Makkah.
Strange View of Abdullah ibn Mas’ud
A peculiar opinion of Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, a companion of Allah’s Messenger, it has been quite famous i.e. Mentioned in ‘Ulum al Qur’an.
This opinion is that these surahs’ are not really surahs’ of the Qur’an, but they are revelation from Allah as remedies.
His opinion is that the mus-haf ends at surah al Ikhlas.
However, this is only his view and everyone else has the opinion that these surahs’ are a part of the Mus-haf (copy of the Qur’an).
How could he have that opinion?
- Not every companion is aware of every incident within the life of Allah’s Messenger.
– It is possible that he retracted his opinion later.
– The companions all agreed (with Ijma’/consensus) on the Mus-haf compiled by Abu Bakr. Which contained the these two surahs of Falaq and an-Naas. And he is part of this Ijma’/consensus.
The proof that it is in the copy of the Qur’an is based on many authentic ahadith which mention that Allah’s Messenger recited these two surahs’ in salaah/namaz. And we know that we cannot recite anything except the Qur’an in salah. Which is proof that these surahs’ are part of the Qur’an.
There are several opinions which the Ijma’ (consensus) never took. But some of the companions held these views. This shows that they are humans, but when they saw the truth – they would incline to that.
قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ الْفَلَقِ
Qul aAAoodhu birabbi alfalaq
Say: “I enter the refuge with (Allah) the Lord of the daybreak,
Relationship between this surah and surah Ikhlas:
aadha / ya’oodhu
In Sarf, this has many forms;
a’aadha / yu’eedhu
‘awwadha / yu’awidhu
There are several forms used in the Qur’an.
Fa-idha qara/ta alqur-ana fastaAA’idhbillahi mina ashshaytani arrajeem
So when you recite the Qur’an, [first] seek refuge in Allah from Satan, the expelled [from His mercy].
And I have named her Mary, and I seek refuge [u’eedhuhaa] for her in You and [for] her descendants from Satan, the expelled [from the mercy of Allah ].”
[aal Imraan 3:36]
‘Aadha – by itself means to cling onto someone for protection, out of fear of something which is unseen.
Dangers that are unseen.
Ijaarah – getting protection against an enemy which you can see.
Isti’aadha is against: Sorcery, shaytan (devil), the evil eye etc.
Clinging on someone without letting them go, seeking their help.
Ma’aadh (ism darf makaan) – a place where you seek refuge.
And she, in whose house he was, sought to seduce him. She closed the doors and said, “Come, you.” He said, “[I seek] the refuge of Allah [ma’aadh Allah] . Indeed, he is my master, who has made good my residence. Indeed, wrongdoers will not succeed.” [Yusuf 12:23]
A’oodhu – I am submitting myself and entering into the refuge.
Isti’aadh (istif’aal) – seeking refuge.
The difference is that you submit yourself to someone more powerful than you, and enter into their protection (A’oodhu.)
In comparison to when you just seek/want protection (isti’aadha).
So we are humbling ourselves to Allah and going into His protection.
Fal-laqa – to rip open something and something comes out of it.
I.e. to Tear open a cushion and the fluff comes out.
The rays of the morning tears through darkness. I.e. Daybreak. Cracks of Sunlight breaks through the darkness.
A seed slowly rips open and the plant comes out = falaq.
Faaliq ul habbi wa nawwa (the One who tears open the seed, and a date plant grows out of it)
Faaliq ul isbaah (the One who tears and causes the morning). – [An’am 6:96]
Falaq will tie this subject to the previous surah.
Falaq (as mentioned in many arabic lexicons including Taj al Uroos, Lisan al ‘Arab) includes the meaning of Khalq = that which is Created.
Because everything which has been created comes out of something that has been torn.
Examples of this;
- What comes out of something else, i.e. Water springs out of mountains.
– Water tears out from the clouds.
– Plants tear through the Earth and come out of it (Nabat min al ardd)
– Children from the wombs of their mothers.
Brother Nouman also mentions; Some contemporary scholars made The Big Bang theory part of this too. Saying that this Universe came out from an origin point, forming this universe and expanding.
So Falaq is similar to ‘Created’ in meaning – because all life comes into existence through tearing out through something else.
The morning Daybreak when the sun just cracks through the night, everything which forms through tearing of creation (including humans, plants, animals, bacteria [amoeba], the sky [day/night] etc.).
All these are included.
Allah is signifying that He is the Master of birth, of life. Because this tearing open signifies; the birth of the day from the night, the birth of rain tearing from the clouds which gives life to the dead earth – giving it life, providing life food for all living beings – who give birth to children.. etc.
Lam yaLid wa lam yuLad – He was not born, nor was He given birth to. (Surah ikhlas 112:3).
He owns the Creation, He is not part of the creation.
as-Samad – someone who everyone is in need of, and He is not in need of them.
Samada ilayhi – when you turn to someone in desperation – in full need of them.
In this surah – we are calling upon Allah for His protection from the unseen dangers.
This surah is a practical manifestation of the previous surah. This is a practical manifestation of Tawheed.
That lesson in Ikhlas is now practical – by us asking Allah.
This surah is about being placed in psychological and social difficulty.
- Night is a time of Fear.
– Jealousy is a feeling where someone can potentially harm you.
– Magic – someone is putting you under difficulty internally, aswell as other external factors.
Falaq – ripping and tearing through all the problems you have.
It is like Allah is giving you openness and relaxation after those times of difficulty, and now Allah is giving you relaxation after you were constricted and tight.
The Master who tears things open and takes you of of darkness into light.
Allah is the Wali (Protector or Guardian) of those who believe. He brings them out from darkness into light. But as for those who disbelieve, their Auliya (supporters and helpers) are Taghut [false deities and false leaders, etc.], they bring them out from light into darkness. Those are the dwellers of the Fire, and they will abide therein forever. [al Baqarah 2:257]
This surah is based on darkness, and coming out of it to enter into the light.
In almost all literatures in the word; Evil is associated with darkness.
i.e. dark thoughts, dark character, dark character.
One word for Tawheed in the Qur’an is Noor.
The word for shirk/polytheism is Dhulumaat (darkness of misguidance.)
All the surah has an imagery of darkness. And Allah removes the darkness by mentioning one word; Falaq.
The Falaq which pierces the dark sky and brings the light of the Day to all.
The word in Arabic for Tawheed;
اللَّهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ
- Allahu Nooru as-samaawaati wal ‘ardd
(Allah is describing Himself and His guidance being light [of guidance] for the skies and the Earth) – in surah Noor 24:35.
The word for darkness in arabic is Dhulma,
Inna shirka la dhulmun adheem
(surely shirk/polytheism is a great darkness/injustice indeed). – surah Luqman 31:13]
The word of Dhulm / Injustice in arabic comes from the words original meaning of being Darkness.
It is a great loss of light, a lack of Tawheed (monotheism).
Al Falaq -
A hadith from a Persian/Farsi companion;
from Ibn Mardaway, from Uqba bin ‘Aamir, who said – Allah’s Messenger (sal Allah alayhi wasalam) said;
Recite Qul a’oodhu bi Rabbi al Falaq.
Then, (Allah’s Messenger said);
Hal tadree man Falaq? – do you know what al Falaq is?
Baabun fi al naar idha futihat su’irat jahannam – It is a door in hellfire, when it is opened – the entire hellfire is blazed.
hadith 2: huwa sijnun fee jahanam yuhbasu feehi al jabbaroon wa al mutakabiroon wa inna jahannamma
la tata’awwadhu billahi min hu.
This Falaq is;
It is a prison in hell,
In it are all the tyrants and arrogant people, and it is so terrible, that hellfire itself seeks refuge of Allah from al Falaq (itself).
Falaq has all the meanings mentioned before, but it also has the meaning of punishment as seen from the ahadith quoted.
This punishment is for evil criminals;
– The magician/witch – sorcery.
Anyone involved in these crimes will be punished in al Falaq part of the hellfire.
Qul – Say.
The word Qul has a Literary rhetorical value in every context it is said in – throughout the Qur’an.
In the context of this surah; Allah wants the human to announce his weakness with his tongue. So Allah wants the human to say that he is weak, that he is helpless, and that he needs help from Allah who is greater than him.
An act of humility, powerlessness.
Because there are some humans are arrogant, their ego will prevent them from asking, and when they really need help – they might ask quietly; ‘will you help me?’
Allah is telling us to humble ourselves and ask Him out loud.
The word Qul (say) – removes arrogance and Istighna (thinking falsely you are self sufficient). Allah is removing every atom of pride in our heart.
Making this announcement out aloud, is done for many reasons. It removes;
- Your ego and self pride.
– Your false sense of ‘I don’t need protection’
- Having a self sense of protection is a form of shirk.
Because Allah says;
No! Surely the human rebels, he sees himself as self sufficient (‘Alaq 96: 6-7)
So Allah is telling us to declare our need to Him openly.
The previous surah was surah Ikhlas, and this surah is a proof of your Ikhlas (sincerety) to Allah.
This surah kills your ego.
Qul (Say!) is a command. So when you ask Allah out aloud, you have openly obeyed a command.
This is why the word Rabb necessitates the existent of a Master.
How can it be that your asking Allah for help while disobeying Him?
So if you really want help from Allah – you should be in obedience to Him.
Your entering into the protection and obedience of Allah.
Prophet Moses proved this;
وَقَالَ مُوسَىٰ إِنِّي عُذْتُ بِرَبِّي وَرَبِّكُم مِّن كُلِّ مُتَكَبِّرٍ لَّا يُؤْمِنُ بِيَوْمِ الْحِسَابِ
But Moses said, “Indeed, I have sought refuge in my Master and your Master from every arrogant one who does not believe in the Day of Account.” [Ghafir 40:27]
That surah tells us that when someone has weak Emaan (Belief) of the Last Day, this is when their arrogance prevents them from seeking refuge in Allah sincerely.
This surah delivers punishments in the next life with the word Falaq against the arrogant who do sorcery and jealousy and they refuse to seek refuge.
O Allah, make us of those who seek refuge in you sincerely, humbly and in obedience.
مِن شَرِّ مَا خَلَقَ
Min sharri ma khalaq
From the evil of that which He created
3 words used for Bad in Qur’an;
Sharr is the opposite of khayr. Universally known as evil, that which will cause someone harm.
Sharaara – a fire spark that can harm you.
بئس – bi’sa – when you feel something is disgusting and detestable. (bi’sa sharaab – disgusting drink). It’s opposite is Ni’ma (completely enjoyable.)
ساء – Saa’a (sayi’a) – Evil and Ugly, deformed, disfigured, hideous. its opposite is Hasuna (beautiful).
Min Sharri maa khalaq
The Sharri/evil of what He created.
I seek refuge in Allah from what He Created.
The One who created it – He can save you from it. He has power over His creation.
Sharr is not attributed to Allah, but to Khalq (creation) in this ayah.
Some ‘ulama (scholars) said; The general rule is that evil is not an entity by itself, but it is a lack of good.
Just like darkness is a lack of light.
This ayah has profound lessons in it, because Allah did not reduce it to shayateen (devils) only, but to the evil that He has created.
The only One without flaws is Allah.
Everything else will have some flaws; The sun, the water, the Earth, the human – every single creation will have potential harms within it. So we are asking Allah to protect us from the potential harms of everything which He has created.
وَمِن شَرِّ غَاسِقٍ إِذَا وَقَبَ
Wa min sharri ghasiqin idha waqab
“And from the evil of the darkening (night) as it comes with its darkness; (or the moon as it sets or goes away).
ghasaq – the first part of the night. When the blue sky has gone and the sky is black.
Establish prayer at the decline of the sun [from its meridian] until the darkness of the night [ghasaq] and [also] the Qur’an of dawn. Indeed, the recitation of dawn is ever witnessed. [Isra’ 17:78]
The word Ghaasiq in arabic literature refers to that which disappears. I.e. When the sun disappears, and it has become dark.
Ghasaq al Qamar – Lunar Eclipse.
Ghasaqat as-Samaa’ – when the clouds cover the sky, so the sky disappears from our vision.
Allah is referring to the time of the night, when it is completely dark.
Min sharri ghaasiqin – from the evils of the night.
Allah’s Messenger discouraged his companions from going out at night.
“If you knew what I knew, you would not go out at night.”
The shayateen/devils meet at the oceans at night.
In our society – people act like the devils, at the night times. (Nightclub? Etc.) drugs, alcohol etc.
So there is an evil in the night times.
The potential of evil is greater.
So we ask Allah to protect us from that dark evil.
Waqab – linguistically also means Darkness.
So it is like we are asking Allah to protect us from the evil of the darkness as it darkens.
So why is a different word (waqab) used?
waqab ad-dhalam – darkness so things become invisible.
there’s a ditch in a mountain at night, so when something falls into it – you cannot see it. That is waqaba.
So there are things in the night (including shayateen/devils) which you cannot see.
A’oodhu / ‘iyyaadh – seeking protection from things you cannot see.
When there are things lurking in the night which you cannot see.
But Ghaasiq usually refers to the moon. And the moon – according to studies – affects the tides of the oceans.
`A’ishah said, “The Messenger of Allah took me by my hand and showed me the moon when it rose, and he said,
«تَعَوَّذِي بِاللهِ مِنْ شَرِّ هَذَا الْغَاسِقِ إِذَا وَقَبَ»
(Seek refuge with Allah from the evil of this Ghasiq when it becomes dark.)”
At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa’i both recorded this Hadith in their Books of Tafsir in their Sunans
The human body also has affects by the magnetic forces of the moon, and people tend to become more violent.
The whole genre of mythical wear wolves is a an exaggeration of how people become much more violent within the night time, and aggravated during certain cycles of the moon.
This is what the word Lunatic/crazy comes from – the word LunaR (moon).
Because people recognized that the moon affected peoples behaviour during the night.
Allah teaches us about things we are not fully aware of.
Guys/boys/men who hang out late at night alot, they need to quit doing so. They cannot be reciting this and contradicting the teachings of Allah’s Messenger.
وَمِن شَرِّ النَّفَّاثَاتِ فِي الْعُقَدِ
Wa min sharri alnaffathaati fee al ‘uqad
And from the evil of the blowers [sorcerers] in knots
naf-fathaat (a feminine plural) – in common arabic: women who blow on knots. I.e.
It could also be an adjective of nufoos, the plural of nafs (those who blow into knots of magic.)
Nafs is a feminine, word. Naf-fasaat = feminine plural.
It could also refer to groups, people doing this magic underground collectively. (jam’u qillah, and jam’u salim also).
Naf-fatha (nun, fa, fa, Tha [with 3 dots on] – to blow with a little bit of spit coming out of your mouth.
Naf-fakha – to blow really hard with your mouth. I.e. Nufikha fis-soor [blowing into a trumpet].
taNaf-fas (nun, faa, faa, Seen) – to take a breath.
The poet said; Hayaatuka anfaas – your life is just a set of breaths.
وَمِن شَرِّ حَاسِدٍ إِذَا حَسَدَ
Wa min sharri haasidin idha hasad
“And from the evil of the envier when he envies.”
The problems were mentioned before, and now the root of the problem.
Allah told us the problems, and finally has shown us the root of the problems.
Why would someone do magic on someone and harm them? Due to jealousy of wanting what they have.
The root is all jealosuy.
And from the evil of anyone who engages in Hasad (envy).
There are 2 types of Jealousy, a good one and a bad;
The vast majority of people have the bad kind.
I.e. He has a nicer house than me.
Teach your children good manners from a young age, wanting to share, the good reward’s behind doing good.
Brother Nouman tells;
The Government tries to talk and make communications with the Muslim communities. They said that they recieve hundreds of calls from Muslims who say that someone is a ‘terrorist.’
So the government checks up on the people and they realise these people are not involved in any such activities.
And they said that most of these phone calls are from people who are inlaws, or in Muslim businesses competing with each other.
This is a real evil, and can have really harmful consequences, and it is all due to jealousy.
Some people might say that they have jealousy and that they can control it. But this isn’t totally true. You have to seek refuge in Allah if you get such feelings.
He will no doubt envy the one he is jealous of, and that will only grow – unless we seek Allah’s protection from those feelings.
Allah did not say;
Min sharri haasidin INA hasad.
from the evil of the envier IF he envies.
Allah tells us that – no doubt – you will envy others if you feel Hasad/jealousy.
Min sharri haasidin IDHA hasad – from the evil of the envier WHEN he envies.
This envy might come out through the evil eye, i.e. You curse someone or pray against them by staring at them in a jealous way.
Allah’s Messenger said;
al Aynu Haq – the (evil) eye is true.
Allah says about the evil eye;
And verily, those who disbelieve would almost make you slip with their eyes through hatredness when they hear the Reminder (the Quran), and they say: “Verily, he (Muhammad SAW) is a madman!” [Surah Qalam 68:51]
min sharri haasidin Idhaa hasada – from the evil of the envier when he envies.
i.e. We are seeking Allah’s protection from the one who has feelings of jealousy, and when he makes that jealousy manifest (i.e. through the evil eye etc.)
Putting this ayah into the Main Theme of Darkness, we see that the envious/jealous person will never show his jealousy in your face, but he will do it behind your back.
In ways which you won’t be able to know who asked the magician, a harm which is unseen to you [Again, this is what Isti’aadha is – to seek refuge from an unseen enemy.]
Two Points of Eloquence [Balagha]:
1 – Min sharri ma khalaq (‘aam – universal – applies to anything).
Then what is the point of mentioning what comes after (i.e. of magicians, enviers etc.), when they also come into this category?
Because Allah is making us alert that these specific harms are the WORST type from the evil that Allah has created; the night, sorcery, and jealousy.
2 – How come Allah put AL (Alif, Lam) before some, while not placing it on others?
I.e. AL naf-fathaat
but; min Sharri Ghasiqan.
Min sharri haasidin.
So what is the purpose of AL?
Because Naf-fathaat – because every single one of them is evil.
And He made every dark night without the AL – because every single dark night is not necessarily evil (i.e. The Night of Qadr / Laylat-ul Qadr.
And similarly, the jealous may not be able to harm someone. Even if he wants to. So the outcome is not necessary evil.
Secondly, this surah specifically dealt with the sorcerer – when it was revealed in the situation of Prophet Muhammad.
So AL (THE) was placed there to show specificness, but also generality (‘aam).
When Allah says;
wa min sharrin-naf-fathaat fil ‘uqad – and from the evil – ayah 4.
When this ayah was revealed – no-one knew that there were people doing magic and blowing knots.
Allah’s Messenger did not even inform others of these sorcerers (who do these spells in the darkness of the night in secrecy).
These aayaat are specific to the magician blowing into knots, and Allah did not say;
Min sharri as-sahara – from the evil of the sorcerers/magicians.
To pinpoint the specific act that they are doing, Labeed bin ‘Aasim and his family – they wondered how he found out about the specific evil spells (of naf-fath – dry spitting) they were doing.
All this was from Wahy (Revelation) from Allah. To let them know that Allah’s Messenger has the highest source of knowledge, even more than the knowledge of these devil worshipping magicians.
Shaykh Muhammad Qaasim Nanoodwi (one of the founders of Deoband) had a remarkable commentary on what this surah meant.
Shabeer Ahmad Uthmani narrates this in his Tafseer Uthmani (in Urdu) – his [Shaykh Muhammad Qaasim’s] commentary on surah Falaq;
Allah wants us to think of ourselves as a plant which the Gardener protects the plant from.
I.e. An animal like a goat will try to eat from this plant, it is not an enemy of the farmer – but it is part of its nature to eat from it.
The same way – the things like the darkness are not by themselves evil – but that is their nature. Similar to a Shark, Lion etc. They naturally eat meat, but we percieve them as evil.
So the gardener puts a fence around these plants to protect them.
But the farmer needs to place the plant in a location where it can recieve enough sun, water, etc.
The obstacle for the human is the darkness. Just like it is for the plant.
Ayah 3: Being overwhelmed from an outside element.
when sorcery is done on somebody – the person feels overwhelmed from within.
the same way – if a plant is overwhelmed from outside sources i.e. Too much water, too much sun heat etc. It will get harmed and overwhelmed from these sources.
Ayah 4: The farmer finally protects his plants from an outside enemy who tries to harm his plant.
This might be due to jealousy – min sharri haasidin idha hasad – from the envier when he envies.
Allah wants to protect us from outside sources, and He wants us to humble ourselves and ask Him for that protection sincerely.
This surah was about protecting our bodies from outside harms.
The next surah is about protection of our inside Nafs (self) against the evils from shaytan/satan and his whisperings etc.
Jealousy is a terrible thing except in 2 cases;
Allah’s Messenger said;
1 – A man who destroys his wealth in Allah’s Cause;
La hasadda il-laa fitnatayn (there is no jealousy except in two trials);rajulun aataahu Allahu ta’aala maala wa sulata[?] hu ‘ala halakatihee fil haqq. (a man who has been given wealth and he is exhausting himself in destroying it – spending it for the truth).
Your jealous of his attitude of wanting to throw away money for the sake of truth.
2 – A man given wisdom by Allah and he lives and judges by it:
..wa rajulun aataahu Allahu ta’aala al hikmah fa huwa yakddibiha (and a man who Allah has given wisdom -
and he judges by it).
When he lives his life according to that wisdom.
Knowledge which benefits is only wisdom. And knowledge by itself is not hikmah/wisdom.
The ancient definition of Hikmah [Wisdom] in arabic was; You learn something beneficial, and act upon it.
The same way – you learn that touching fire is hot, and then you don’t touch it. That is hikmah/wisdom. It is not wisdom if you know it is hot, but you still touch it and get burnt anyway.
..wa yu ‘alimuhu al-naas – and he teaches the people.
Allah gave him wisdom and he uses wisdom to teach to people. He shares wisdom, making them love implementation of it.
2 Sad States of Jealousy:
1 – We Muslims compete with each other for small and useless things;
Masaajids are sueing each other in courts within the USA for power and competing between each other.
All because of jealousy, and ego problems – when this is the main intent of this surah – to protect against jealousy, and to originally humble yourself and fight your ego.
2 – Jealousy from those who Disbelieve:
We are still better than any other way of life. Plenty of People of other ways of life are jealous of us.
Many of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) wish that if they could turn you away as disbelievers after you have believed, out of envy from their ownselves, even, after the truth (that Muhammad Peace be upon him is Allah’s Messenger) has become manifest unto them. But forgive and overlook, till Allah brings His Command. Verily, Allah is Able to do all things. [al Baqarah 2:109]
wadaka katheeran min ahlal kitab law yuradoonakum min ba’di eemanikum kuffaaran – there are many from the people of the book who want you to return to disbelief after your belief -
They want you to disbelieve, they don’t want you to have Islam.
hasadan min ‘indi anfusihim (because they have jealousy within themselves)
hasadan min ‘indi anfusihim [maf’ool lahu, illa] (because they have jealousy within themselves)
min ajli hasadin – because of a jealousy rooted deep inside of them.
min ba’di ma tabayanna lahum ul haq – after what was conveyed to them of the truth.
They saw people who did change – who had become better. They however did not change with this good. So out of jealousy – they want the good doers to become evil too as disbelievers – so they can be equals in evil and disbelief.
This is a really evil form of jealousy and envy.
There will be an entity there that will want this.
So what should be our response to this?
Take Allah’s advice;
wa’du ma ani’tum -
O you who have believed, do not take as intimates those other than yourselves, for they will not spare you [any] ruin. They wish you would have hardship. Hatred has already appeared from their mouths, and what their breasts/hearts conceal is greater. We have certainly made clear to you the signs, if you will use reason. [aal Imran 3:118]
But what should our response be?
fa’fu (pardon them) wasfahu (turn the page / pretend it didn’t happen) hat-taa ta’tiyAllahu bi ‘amrih (until Allah comes with His decision).
inAllaha ‘ala kuli shay’in qadeer – surely Allah is over everything, powerful..
You do not get insulted when a dog barks at you. That’s his job.
The incident of South Park caused controversy, it would be a good response to file a lawsuit against them. Why? They did this with the intent for earning money, if you sue them [for Defamation] – they will lose money and be more respectful.
(and to Allah belong honor, and to His Messenger and to the believers) -
[surah Munafiqoon 63:8.]
Why do you have to worry of the enviers and those who do evil?
Allah has told us to recite this surah which is a Du’a (invocation) against all evils.
If we have a strong connection with the Book of Allah, no matter how powerful the enemies of this Book may have, Allah is the powerful One over everything, and He will respond to us with Divine Help, if we humbly and sincerely ask Him.