An Insight into Surah al Falaq and Surah an Naas
Note: Dear brothers/sisters in Islam, Assalamu Alaikum. Though every Friday I update this page, owing to the significance of the topic, I felt it is prudent to present glimpses from the Friday Khutbah delivered in UAE Masajid on 17th May 2013. Read on….Inshaa’Allah.
The Holy Qur’an is a Book of Guidance and Mercy for all mankind. Its verses are a balm for the diseases of the heart, a clear evidence and enlightenment. Allah the most Exalted says, “And We send down of the Qur’an that which is healing and mercy for the believers, but it does not increase the wrongdoers except in loss.” (Surah al Israa: 82).
Our Prophet Muhammad (sal-lal-laahu-alaihi-wa-sallam) credited more virtues to some of its Surahs, ones which further strengthen one’s faith and protect the self. For example, Surah Al Falaq (The Daybreak) and Surah An-naas (The Mankind) were highlighted by the Prophet (sal-lal-laahu-alaihi-wa-sallam) as having deep meaning and impact, and containing many facts and benefits.
He (sal-lal-laahu-alaihi-wa-sallam) said in this regard, “O you not know that last night certain Ayah were revealed the like of which there is no precedence. They are: ‘I seek refuge with the Lord of the dawn,’ and ‘Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of men’.”
Surah Al Falaq and Surah An-naas are Surahs that protect people who fear others, and calm their worries. They are also the advice of the Prophet (sal-lal-laahu-alaihi-wa-sallam) for whoever seeking good things and a way out from hardships.
It was narrated that Ibn Amir said, “I was driving the she-camel of the Messenger of Allah (sal-lal-laahu-alaihi-wa-sallam) during a journey. He said to me, ‘Uqbah, should I not teach you two best Surahs ever recited?’ He then taught me: ‘Say, I seek refuge in the Lord of the dawn,’ and ‘Say, I seek refuge in the Lord of men.’ He did not see me much pleased (by these two Suras).
When he (sal-lal-laahu-alaihi-wa-sallam) alighted for prayer, he led the people in the morning prayer and recited them in prayer. When the Messenger of Allah (sal-lal-laahu-alaihi-wa-sallam) finished his prayer, he turned to me and said, ‘O Uqbah, how did you see?’.”
So please read them every morning and evening for they are a refuge for those who are in distress.
Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, narrated that every night, when the Prophet (sal-lal-laahu-alaihi-wa-sallam) would go to his bed, he would join his hands, then blow in them, as he recited in them: “Say: He is Allah, the One.” And “Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of Al Falaq” and “Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of mankind.” Then he would wipe as much as he was able to off his body with them, beginning with them first of his head and face, and the front of his body. He would do this three times.”
Dear Servants of Allah,
Both the Surahs were fronted with a request seeking refuge in Allah from the evils of creatures all. It is a supplication to Him, asking His protection and assistance, and a safeguard against Satan. The latter has vowed to mislead believers. To stay safe, Allah orders us to seek His protection whenever we notice something distasteful or feel some uneasy, worrisome whispers creep into us.
Allah, the Almighty, says, “And if an evil suggestion comes to you from Satan, then seek refuge in Allah. Indeed, He is Hearing and Knowing.” (Surah Al Araaf: 200).
It is also advisable to do so anytime we are engaging in anything, be it a worldly affair or an act of worship, mostly when reading the Holy Qur’an. We need to remain alert because Satan has made it a life mission not to let a Muslim worshipping his Lord without whispering to him.
On this account, Allah the Almighty says, “So when you recite the Qur’an, [first] seek refuge in Allah from Satan, the expelled [from His mercy].” (Surah An-nahl: 98).
Our Prophet (sal-lal-laahu-alaihi-wa-sallam) used to say, “I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed devil, from his puffing up (nafkha), his spitting (naftha) and his evil suggestion (hamza).”
Surat Al Falaq advises us to seek Allah’s protection from some evils, such as blowing in knots, about which He says in the same Surah, “And from the evil of the blowers in knots.”
This refers to black magic or any similar practice, like future-predicting and fortunetelling by means of cups or positions of stars, and so on. Our Prophet (sal-lal-laahu-alaihi-wa-sallam) strongly cautioned us against them when he, for example, said, “Whoever ties a knot and blows on it, he has practiced magic; and whoever practices magic, he has committed Shirk; and whoever hangs up something (as an amulet) will be entrusted to it.”
By the same token, Allah, the most Exalted, calls on us to seek His refuge from the ill-feelings of someone, who is jealous. He says, “And from the evil of an envier when he envies.” (Surah Al Falaq: 5). An envious person wishes for others to lack their blessings. Overwhelmed with such destructive sentiment, he may turn to cause evil to others by tracking their pitfalls and desiring to see them fail and suffer.
Because envy is condemned, please protect yourselves by reciting the Holy Quran, remembering Allah and following the Prophet sal-lal-laahu-alaihi-wa-sallam’s advices and commands.
And in no way should you give in to Satan’s whispers, or go to fortunetellers, charlatans and those who pretend they possess the power to heal. In fact each one of us can conduct Ruqiya for himself and his family using verses from the Holy Quran, Dhikr and prayers as narrated from our Guide Muhammad (sal-lal-laahu-alaihi-wa-sallam), whether we are seeking cure or blessing. After all, each one of us is keen on himself better than anyone else, and knows best what afflicts him most.
Ruqiya was part of the Prophet (sal-lal-laahu-alaihi-wa-sallam)’s tradition as reported by his wife Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her. She said, “When Allah’s Messenger (sal-lal-laahu-alaihi-wa-sallam) fell ill, he recited over his body the the last three Surahs of Qur’an and blew over him and when his sickness was aggravated I used to recite over him and rub him with his hand with the hope that it was more blessed.”
He (sal-lal-laahu-alaihi-wa-sallam) also would seek refuge in Allah for Al Hasan and Al Husain, saying, “I seek refuge for both of you in the perfect words of Allah from every devil and every poisonous thing and from the evil eye which influences.” Moreover, he would call for reciting Ayat Al Kursi (the Throne Verse) and others so we remain always in Allah’s care. He said, “If anyone recited two verses from the last of Surat Al Baqarah at night, they will be sufficient for him.” (Read this post on the significance of the Last Two Verses of Surah al Baqarah, Inshaa’Allah)
Indeed, Allah’s words are natural remedy for the diseases in one’s heart, as He the Almighty says, “O mankind, there has to come to you instruction from your Lord and healing for what is in the breasts and guidance and mercy for the believers.” (Surah Yunus: 57). They thus offer the cure for those who are afflicted by ailments, which are causing their bodies to suffer and weaken.
Bearing this in mind, we supplicate to Allah to make the Qur’an the delight of our hearts, the light of our chests, the eliminator of our sorrows and the remover of our worries. (Aameen)
Dear Servants of Allah,
Please obey Allah and be aware that He the Almighty ordered us in Surat Al Falaq to seek His protection once from three evils: darkness, blowers in knots and the envier. Allah, however, asked us- in Surah An-nas- to do so three times with regard to another source of evil: the whispers of Satan. Allah does so to show us their serious danger for they are the gateway through which Satan breaks into our hearts to divert us from the right path and lead us to erroneous lust.
That is why Allah the most Exalted instructed us to seek refuge with Him, saying “Say, “I seek refuge in the Lord of mankind, the Sovereign of mankind. The God of mankind, from the evil of the retreating whisperer.” (Annas: 1-4).
The retreating whisperer mentioned in this Surah describes the Satan who draws back when Man remembers Allah and asks for His protection. In the interpretation of the same Surah, Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said that Satan constantly rests upon Man’s heart waiting at a close look to whisper to him anytime he is distracted. Fortunately though, if the person remembers Allah, he will force Satan to withdraw.
Dear Servants of Allah,
Bear in mind that you are asked to offer prayer and greetings upon our most noble Prophet (sal-lal-laahu-alaihi-wa-sallam) for Allah says, “Indeed, Allah and His angels sends blessing upon the Prophet. O you who have believed, ask [Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [Allah to grant him] peace.” (Surah Al Ahzab: 56).
The Prophet (sal-lal-laahu-alaihi-wa-sallam) said “Whoever sends blessing on me will receive ten blessings from Allah.”
May the peace and the blessings of Allah be upon our Master Muhammad (sal-lal-laahu-alaihi-wa-sallam), his family and all his Companions.
May Allah be pleased with the Rightly Guided Caliphs and all those who will follow them in righteousness till the Day of Judgment.
O Allah, may we ask You to help us with what gets us closer to Paradise and furthers us from hell. O Allah we seek Your grace to admit us, our parents, whoever has done a favour to us and all Muslims to Your Paradise. O Allah guide us to perform good work and give up misdeeds. Aameen.