Refuge from evil of Men and Dark!______Surah Al_Nas & Surah Al_Falaq

Both these Soorahs start with “Qul” (“say…”)
Both the Soorahs are ‘directive’ in nature.. That is, their whole text is an order; an order to “Say” a prayer..

In Soorah Al Falaq, the refuge of Allah is sought, from all those things which are covered, concealed or in dark… Those include “shar” of creation, darkness, the supernatural practices of people and the envy in hearts.

The use of word “Faaliq” for Allah signifies “opening of light while rupturing darkness…”
Faaliq means: چِیر کر، چاک کر کے نِکالنے والا
“Faaliq ul Habb e wa Nawa” (Al-Anaam – 95) and “Faaliq ul Isbaah” (Al Anaam – 96) are two examples from Quran.

Rising dawn is a process of sunlight out of darkness. It may also be seen as a metaphor for hope and positivity, especially when one is down due to evils mentioned in the Soorah.
When we look at the evil mentioned in the Soorah, it appears that all the evils mentioned therein are invisible, or covered by darkness.

When we look at the four type of evils mentioned, we see that all these are the external forces which haunt us. Thus, this Soorah covers ALL types of EXTERNAL evils, or the evils which in our view may harm our BODY…

Here, it very important to understand that each and every harm that comes our way is in Allah’s knowledge pre-hand, and this Soorah is the “prayer” to seek Allah’s refuge to be safe from effects of apprehension that evil may cast upon us… Undoubtedly, we can experience damage in one form or the other (its being or not-being: all in Allah’s knowledge and powers again)… The Soorahs beginning with “Qul” are the assurance for soul and prayers to God, for coming inside His umbrella of blessings and safety.

The Soorah describes that evil comes in many forms, sizes and colours. For example, the blow upon knots (an-naffathat) signifies an idiomatic phrase prevalent in pre-Islamic Arabia and covers all occult, mystical, readily discernible signs, ESP-type practices, etc… Although there is no such thing as magic, the refuge of Allah is sought from the agony and apprehension in which a person may get involved into due to his weak emotional and mental endurance…. Similarly, the envy mentioned here relates to the one he carries towards others, as well as the envy of others towards him…. Thus, envy is a fire, within one’s own heart, and the person who envies others burns himself out…. Generally, the last aayat is understood to seek refuge regarding others’ envies… However, it covers one’s own envious attitude too… (We must seek refuge from our own envy, from our own shar, from our own supernatural perceptions, and from our own darkness of heart too…)
Thus, when we recite both these Soorahs and ask for Allah’s refuge, we seek to be covered from all types of evils by Allah’s Grace…

Soorah Al Naas opens with the worthiest titles for Allah.. “Rabb, Malik, and Ilaah” (the Sustainer, The Sovereign and The God). The key word here is: Al Naas (the people….)

In this Soorah, refuge of Allah is sought from the whispers of devil (the words of waswaas il khannaas or someone who tempts and is unnoticeable / indescribable / un-remember-able), who whispers in the hearts, and who is from both the creations, that is, Humans and Jinns… This Soorah covers ALL types of INTERNAL evils, or the evils which in our view may harm our SOUL…

If we look at the first and last words of The Book, we see that Quran starts with the name of Allah (“Bismillah”) and ends at the name of Man (“Al-Naas”)… Hence, the road to success and the path to heaven goes from Allah’s Worthy name to man, and to seek Allah’s blessings, we have to connect to men…. This is an exalted subject, and a beautiful analogy…

The Soorah lists three facets of evils: the tempting ones, secret whisperer that speaks in heart, and is personified as man as well as Jinns.

I will share Muhammad Asad’s analogy of Jinns later.
However, as per my understanding, Jinn is a creation of Allah…. Created with fire, Jinns are not visible to us… iblees is also a Jinn…. Created from fire, iblees did the two evil things mentioned in this Soorah in Jannah as well as does in this world too (whispers in our hearts and tries to distract us thereby, through our nafs, perceptions, haste, faulty decisions and cutting off from people…..), and also facilitates the four evil-doings mentioned in Soorah Al Falaq……

As per my knowledge, Jinns are inferior creatures, and CANNOT harm us; so there is no issue of worrying regards danger from their side… + As those are inferior creatures, they are and will ever be the sub-set to humans and never have an upper hand….

Regarding the riwaayaat which tell us that magic spell was casted upon Prophet (PBUH), I’d only say that hundred-plus years after the Prophet (PBUH) and his core companions, his Ummah was told about the ‘shaan e nazool’ and the ‘narrations’ of various aayaat of Quran, including the last Soorah.. The opinion of scholars on this issue is therefore divided…
Iqbal says,
حقیقت خرافات میں کھو گئی
یہ اُمت روایات می کھو گئی

When we see the status of a Prophet in Quran, it is way above from being the subject of magic spells, etc. The magic did not work in front of Musa (AS).. Similarly, the people were notified about status of Prophet (PBUH) which was way above things like poetry or magic, etc… So, in my view, there is absolutely NO question of casting of magic spell or its effect on beloved Prophet (PBUH).

The men who are specifically mentioned in the last aayat of this Soorah, are those who are role-playing for evil….

Now I’d discuss the summary of explanation of the two Soorahs by Muhammad Asad, as I understood it…

Muhammad Asad explains “falaq” as the emergence of the truth after uncertainty”, so the “Sustainer of the rising dawn” implies that God is the source of all cognition of truth, and that one’s “seeking refuge” with Him is synonymous with striving after truth.

Muhammad Asad explains this scenario as something in it becomes difficult for us to discern between right and wrong, and the ‘invisible forces’ from which we are told to seek refuge with God are the temptations to evil coming from the blindness of our own hearts, from our gross appetites, and from the erroneous notions and false values that may have been handed down to us by our predecessors….

Summary of Muhammad Asad’s explanation of the concept of Jinn as follows:-
1. Quranic mention of Jinn is different from Arab folklore, where each and every “demon” was included in this popular, broad term.
2. Root of Jinn is “janna”, meaning “concealed” or “covered with darkness” – thus something which is concealed from man’s senses”… That is, things, beings or forces which cannot normally be perceived by man but are real.
3. Most common connotation of Jinn in Quran includes “satans” and “satanic forces” as well as “angels” and “angelic forces”
4. Quran also refers Jinn as those elemental forces of nature (including human nature) which are “concealed from our senses”.
5. Quran also describes Jinn as organisms endowed with reason, by ascribing it as personification of man’s relationship with “satanic forces” or a person’s preoccupation with real or illusionary “occult powers or practices like sorcery, necromancy, astrology, soothsaying, etc which are all condemned by Quran.
6. Quran also refers Jinn as unseen beings and also certain legends deeply embedded in the consciousness of the people.

Tafseer by Umar

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