113 - Al Falaq (Dawn)

7 Tafsir(s) related to verse 113.1

Al-Jalalayn

Say: ‘I seek refuge in the Lord of the Daybreak, the morning,

Al-Tustari

Say, "I seek refuge in the Lord of the Daybreak,He said:Truly God, Exalted is He, commanded him [the Prophet] in these two sūras [113 and 114] to take refuge (iʿtiṣām) in Him, seek help (istiʿāna) from Him, and show [his] need (faqr) for Him.He was asked, "What is showing [one"s] need?" He replied:It is the [substitution of one] state by another (huwa"l-ḥāl bi"l-ḥāl), for the natural disposition (ṭabʿ) is dead [in and of itself] and its life is in displaying this. He also said:The best form of purification (ṭahāra) is that the servant purifies himself from [the illusion of] his own power (ḥawl) and strength (quwwa). Every act or saying that is not accompanied by the words: "there is no power or strength save in God", will not have God"s support, Mighty and Majestic is He. Furthermore, every saying which is not accompanied by the proviso, will incur a punishment for [the person who said it], even if it was an act [or saying] of righteousness.And for every affliction (muṣība) which is received without being accompanied by the saying of "return" (istirjāʿ), the afflicted person will not be given steadfastness when facing it [affliction] on the Day of Resurrection.He said:According to Ibn ʿAbbās y, al-falaq means the morning (ṣubḥ) while according to al-Ḍaḥḥāk it refers to a valley in the Hellfire. [On the other hand], according to Wuhayb it refers to a chamber in Hell, and according to Ḥasan it refers to a well in Hell.It has also been said that He intended by it all people (jamīʿ al-khalq). Or it has been said that it refers to the rock from which water springs forth.

Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi

(Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of the Daybreak") [113:1-5] The commentators of the Qur'an said: "The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, had a Jewish servant boy. The Jews approached him and kept after him until he gave them some fallen hair from the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, as well as a few teeth from his comb. The Jews used these to cast a spell of black magic on him. The person who was behind this was the Jew Labid ibn al-A'sam. He then put the hair in a well belonging to Banu Zurayq called Dharwan. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, fell ill for a period of six month, during which the hair of his head fell off; he imagined that he slept with his wives when he did not, and was withering away without knowing the reason. As he was one day sleeping, he saw two angels coming to him. One of them sat at his head and the other at his feet. The angel who sat at his head asked: 'What is wrong with the man?' The second angel responded: 'A spell of black magic was cast on him'. The first one asked: 'And who is responsible for this sorcery?' The second angel answered: 'It is Labid ibn al-A'sam, the Jew'. The first angel asked again: 'What did he use to cast black magic on him?' The second angel said: 'He used a comb and fallen hair'. The first angel asked: 'Where is it now?' The second angel said: 'It is inside the spadix of a palm tree beneath the stepping stone which is inside the well of Dharwan', at which point the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, woke up. He said: 'O 'A'ishah, do you not think that this is from Allah to inform me of the cause of my illness?' He then sent 'Ali [ibn Abi Talib], al-Zubayr [ibn al-'Awwam] and 'Ammar [ibn Yasir] who drained the water of that well as one would drain the dust of henna. They lifted the stone and got the spadix out and found therein some of the hair of the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, as well a few teeth from his comb. They also found with it a string with eleven knots knitted with needles. Allah, exalted is He, then revealed Surah al-Falaq and Surah al-Nas (al-Mu'awwidhatayn). With each verse that the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, read one knot was untied and the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, felt some lightness. When the last knot was untied, the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, got up as if he was released from a cord to which he was tied up. Gabriel, peace be upon him, kept saying: 'In the name of Allah I cast this incantation on you to protect you from anything that might harm you and that Allah heals you from the resentful envier and the evil eye'. Those around him said: 'O Messenger of Allah, should we not head toward that evil person and kill him?' He said: 'As for me, Allah has cured me, and I dislike causing evil to other people'. This is of the forbearance of the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace". Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Rahman ibn Muhammad ibn Ja'far informed us> Abu 'Amr Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Hiri> Ahmad ibn 'Ali al-Mawsili> Mujahid ibn Musa> Abu Usamah> Hisham ibn 'Urwa> his father> 'A'ishah, may Allah be well pleased with her, who said: "A spell of black magic was cast on the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, such that he used to imagine that he did things when he did not. He was at my place, one day, and he began imploring Allah in earnest. Then he said: 'Did you not feel, O 'A'ishah, that Allah has answered me about that which I have enquired?' I said: 'And what is that, O Messenger of Allah?' He said: 'Two angels came to me"', and he mentioned the whole story". The whole story is narrated by Bukhari from 'Ubayd ibn Isma'il from Abu Usamah. The same narration has different channels of transmission in both the authentic collections of Bukhari and Muslim. The book Asbab Nuzul al-Qur'an concludes here, and praise be to Allah, the One, the Munificent, and may Allah bless our master Muhammad, his household and all those who follow them in excellence.

Ibn Al Kathir

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Jabir said, "Al-Falaq is the morning.'' Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas, "Al-Falaq is the morning.'' The same has been reported from Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Abdullah bin Muhammad bin `Aqil, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi and Ibn Zayd. Malik also reported a similar statement from Zayd bin Aslam. Al-Qurazi, Ibn Zayd and Ibn Jarir all said, "This is like Allah's saying,فَالِقُ الإِصْبَاحِ

(He is the Cleaver of the daybreak.).'' (6:96) Allah said,

مِن شَرِّ مَا خَلَقَ

(From the evil of what He has created,) This means from the evil of all created things. Thabit Al-Bunani and Al-Hasan Al-Basri both said, "Hell, Iblis and his progeny, from among that which He (Allah) created.''

وَمِن شَرِّ غَاسِقٍ إِذَا وَقَبَ

(And from the evil of the Ghasiq when Waqab,) Mujahid said, "Ghasiq is the night, and `when it Waqab' refers to the setting of the sun.'' Al-Bukhari mentioned this from him. Ibn Abi Najih also reported a similar narration from him (Mujahid).

The same was said by Ibn `Abbas, Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi, Ad-Dahhak, Khusayf, Al-Hasan and Qatadah. They said, "Verily, it is the night when it advances with its darkness.'' Az-Zuhri said,

وَمِن شَرِّ غَاسِقٍ إِذَا وَقَبَ

(And from the evil of the Ghasiq when Waqab,) "This means the sun when it sets.'' Abu Al-Muhazzim reported that Abu Hurayrah said,

وَمِن شَرِّ غَاسِقٍ إِذَا وَقَبَ

(And from the evil of the Ghasiq when Waqab, ) "This means the star.'' Ibn Zayd said, "The Arabs used to say, `Al-Ghasiq is the declination (of the position) of the heavenly body known as Pleiades. The number of those who were ill and stricken with plague would increase whenever it would decline, and their number would lessen whenever it rose.'''

Ibn Jarir said, "Others have said that it is the moon.''

The support for the people who hold this position (that it means the moon) is a narration that Imam Ahmad recorded from Al-Harith bin Abi Salamah. He said that `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. Allah said,

وَمِن شَرِّ النَّفَّـثَـتِ فِى الْعُقَدِ

(And from the evil of the blowers in knots,) Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Qatadah and Ad-Dahhak all said, "This means the witches.'' Mujahid said, "When they perform their spells and blow into the knots.''

In another Hadith it has been reported that Jibril came to the Prophet and said, "Are you suffering from any ailment, O Muhammad'' The Prophet replied,

«نَعَمْ»

(Yes.) So Jibril said, "In the Name of Allah, I recite prayer (Ruqyah) over you, from every illness that harms you, from the evil of every envious person and evil eye. May Allah cure you.''

Discussion of the Bewitchment of the Prophet

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.)''

Kashf Al-Asrar

Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of the daybreak.

The road of the common servants, in keeping with the outwardness of this verse, is continually to seek refuge in the Lord of the world's folk from the evil of the bad, the deceit of the deceivers, the envy of the enviers, and the bad things that happen in the world. This is why MuṣṬafā said, "Seek refuge in God from the effort of trial, the grasp of wretchedness, the ugliness of the decree, and the schadenfreude of enemies." He also used to say, "O God, I seek refuge in Thee from incapac- ity, indolence, cowardice, miserliness, senility, and the chastisement of the grave. O God, I seek refuge in Thee from poverty, paucity, and abasement, and I seek refuge in Thee from wronging and being wronged. I seek refuge in Thee from dissension, hypocrisy, and ugly character traits."

Such is the path of the common faithful: putting the outwardness of the Shariah into practice and, at the time of trial, lifting up the hands in supplication and pleading and asking for well-being from the Real. As for the road of the chevaliers of the Tariqah and the lords of the Haqiqah, it is surrender and approval. To this He alludes with His words, "Except for him who comes to God with a sound heart" [26:89].

It has been said, "Leave the governance to Him who created you and you will be at ease." Leave the governance of the work to the Lord of the work. Surrender intervention in created things to the Creator. Put aside the road of protest. Do not oppose and meddle. Do not turn away from His threshold. Consider Him your trustee, guarantor, and care-taker. Then you will have acqui- esced to this command: "Take Him as a trustee" [73:9].

Whenever surrender to Him and approval of Him come together in a heart, that person will be joined with soundness as hard cash and that breast will be exempted from the blights of mortal nature. Surrender is the degree of Ishmael and Abraham. Abraham was addressed with the word "Submit!," and he answered, "I submit" [2:131]. His son saw the mark of surrender from his father and, by his father's teaching, he put on the garment of surrender. The splendorous Qur'an reports the surrender of father and son: "When the two of them submitted" [37:103]. In this world sur- render is the peg of the religion and in that world it is the key to the Abode of Peace. Approval is that you be a servant who is pleased and happy with everything that happens, and you await God's decree. Surrender is that you turn over the work of the created things to the Creator.

Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an

As qul (say) is a part of the message which was conveyed to the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) by Revelation for preaching his prophetic message, its first addressee is the Holy Prophet himself but after him every believer too is its addressee.

The act of seeking refuge necessarily consists of three parts:

(1)The act of seeking refuge itself;

(2) the seeker of refuge; and

(3) he whose refuge is sought.

Seeking refuge implies feeling fear of something and seeking protection of another, or taking cover of it, or clinging to it, or going under its shelter for safety. The seeker after refuge in any case is the person, who feels that he cannot by himself resist and fight the thing that he fears, but stands in need of refuge with another for protection. Then the one whose refuge is sought must necessarily be a person or being about whom the seeker after refuge believes that he or it alone can protect him from the calamity. Now, one kind of refuge is that which is obtained according to natural laws in the physical world from a perceptible material object or person or power, for example, taking shelter in a fort for protection against the enemy's attack, or taking cover in a trench or behind a heap of earth, or wall, for protection against a shower of bullets, or taking refuge with a man or government, for protection from a powerful tyrant or taking refuge in the shade of a tree or building for protection from the sun. Contrary to this, the other kind of refuge is that which is sought in a supernatural Being from every kind of danger and every kind of material, moral or spiritual harm and injury on the basis of the belief that that Being is ruler over the physical world and can protect in supersensory ways the one who seeks His refuge. This second kind of refuge is the one that is implied not only in Surah AI-Falaq and Surah An-Nas but wherever in the Qur'an and the Hadith mention has been made of seeking refuge with Allah, it implies this particular kind of refuge, and it is a necessary corollary of the doctrine of Tauhid that this kind of refuge should be sought from no one but Allah. The polytheists sought this kind of protection, and seek even today, from other beings than Allah, e.g. the jinn, or gods and goddesses. The materialists turn for this also to material means and resources, for they do not believe in any supernatural power. But the believer only turns to Allah and seeks refuge only with Him, against all such calamities and misfortunes to ward off which he feels he has no power.

For example, about the polytheists it has been said in the Qur'an: "And that from among men some people used to seek refuge with some people from among the jinn (Al-Jinn: 16)."

And explaining it in E.N. 47 of Surah Al-Jinn we have cited Hadrat `Abdullah bin 'Abbas's tradition that when the polytheistic Arabs had to pass a night in an uninhabited valley, they would call out, saying: We seek refuge of the lord of this valley (i.e. of the jinn who is ruler and master of this valley)." Contrary to this, about Pharaoh it has been said: "When he witnessed the great Signs presented by the Prophet Moses, he showed arrogance on account of his might." (Adh-Dhariyat: 39).

As for the attitude and conduct of the God-worshipers the Qur'an says that they seek Allah's refuge for protection against the evil of everything that they fear, whether it is material or moral or spiritual. Thus, about Mary it has been said that when God's angel appeared before her suddenly in human guise (when she did not know that he was an angel), she cried out: "I seek the merciful God's refuge from you, if you are a pious man." (Mary: 18).

When the Prophet Noah made an improper petition to Allah, and was rebuked by Allah in response, he immediately submitted: "My Lord, I seek Your protection lest I should ask of You anything of which I have no knowledge." (Hud: 47) When the Prophet Moses commanded the children of Israel to sacrifice a cow, and they said that perhaps he was having a jest with them, he replied: "I crave Allah's protection from behaving like ignorant people." (Al-Baqarah: 67)

The same is the case with all the acts of seeking refuge which have been reported in respect of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) in the books of Hadith. For instance, consider the following prayers that the Holy Prophet made:

Hadrat 'A'ishah has reported that the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) used to pray, saying: "O God, I seek Your refuge from the evil of the works which I did and from the evil of the works which I did not do." (i.e. if I have done a wrong, I seek refuge from its evil results, and if I have not done a work which I should have done, I seek refuge from the loss that 1 have incurred, or from that I should do what I should not do)." (Muslim)

Ibn Umar has reported that one of the supplications of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) was to the effect: "O God, i seek Your refuge front being deprived of a blessing that You have bestowed on me and front being deprived of the well-being that You have granted me and I seek refuge lest Your wrath should descend on me suddenly, and 1 seek refuge front every kind of Your displeasure." (Muslim)

Zaid bin Arqam has reported that the Messenger Of Allah used to pray: "O God, I seek Your refuge front the knowledge which is not beneficial, front the heart which does not fear You, front me soul which is never satisfied, and front the prayer which is not answered." (Muslim)

Hadrat Abu Hurairah has reported that the Holy Messenger used to pray: 'O God, I seek Your refuge from hunger, for it is a most evil thing with which one may have to pass a night, and I seek Your refuge from dishonesty, for it is sheer evil-mindedness." (Abu Da'ud).

Hadrat Anas has reported that the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) used to pray: "O God, I seek Your refuge from leprosy and madness and all evil diseases." (Abu Da'ud).

Hadrat 'A'ishah has reported that the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) used to pray in these words: "O God, I seek Your refuge front the mischief of the fire and from the evil of affluence and poverty." (Tirmidhi, Abu Da'ud)

Shakal bin Humaid requested the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) to teach him some prayer. He told him to say "O God, I seek Your refuge front the evil of my hearing, from the evil of my sight, from the evil of lily tongue, from the evil of my heart, and front the evil of my lust," (Tirmidhi Abu Da'ud).

Atlas bits Malik has reported that the Holy Prophet used to say: "O God, I seek Your refuge from helplessness, indolence, cowardice, old age and stinginess, and I seek Your refuge from the torment of the grave and from the mischief of Iife and death, (and according to a tradition in Muslim also) from the burden of debt and that the people should overpower me. " (Bukhari, Muslim),

Khawla bint Hukaym Sulamiyyah says that she heard the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) as saying that the one who halts at a new stage (during the journey) and says: "I seek refuge in the blameless Words of Allah from the evil of the creatures", will not be caused.any harm until he departs from that stage. (Muslim)

We have related these few prayers of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) from the Hadith, which show that the believer should seek Allah's refuge from every danger and evil and not the refuge of anyone else, nor he should become self sufficient of Allah and place reliance only on himself.

The word used in the original is Rabbul- Falaq. Falaq actually means to split and to pierce through. A great majority of the commentators have taken it to mean bringing out the light of dawn by splitting the darkness of night, for in Arabic falaq as-subh is often used for the breaking of dawn, and in the Qur'an also the words :Faliq-ul-isbah (He Who causes the dawn to appear by splitting the darkness of night) have been used for Allah. (Al-An'am: 96).

Another meaning of falaq also is to create, to bring into being, for everything created in the world appears by splitting something. All vegetation sprouts by splitting open the seed and the soil; all animals come out either from the womb of mother or by breaking open the egg, or some other obstruction. All springs gush out by splitting open the rock or soil. The day appears by piercing through the curtain of the night. The drops of rain pierce through the clouds and fall on the earth. In short, everything in the world comes into being as a result of breaking and splitting another thing; so much so that the earth and the heavens also in the beginning were one mass, then they were broken and parted. (Al-Anbiya': 30).

Thus, according to this meaning the word falaq is common to all creations. Now, if the first meaning is adopted, the verse would mean: "I seek refuge with the Lord of rising dawn", and according to the second meaning, it would mean: "I seek refuge with the Lord of all creation." Here the attribute of "Rabb" has been used for Allah instead of His proper Name, for Allah's attribute of being Rabb, i. e. Master, Sustainer and Providence, is more relevant to seeking and taking of His refuge. Then, if Rabbtrl-falaq implies Lord of the rising dawn, seeking His refuge would mean: "I seek refuge with the Lord Who brings out the bright daylight from the darkness of night so that He may likewise bring well-being for me from all kinds of physical and psychical dangers." If it is taken to mean Rabb al-khalaq the meaning would be: "1 seek refuge with the Lord of all creation, so that He may protect me from the evil of His creation."

In other words: "I seek His refuge from the evil of all creatures." A few things in this sentence deserve consideration;

First, that the creation of evil has not been attributed to Allah, but the creation of creatures has been attributed to Allah and of evil to the creatures. That is, it has not been said: "I seek refuge from the evils that Allah has created" but that "I seek refuge from the evil of the things He has created." This shows that Allah has not created any creature for the sake of evil, but all His work is for the sake of good and a special purpose. However, from the qualities that He has created in the creatures to fulfill the purpose of their creation, sometimes evil appears from some kinds of creatures in most cases.

Second, that even if this one sentence was given and no mention made of seeking Allah's refuge separately from the evils of some particular kinds of creatures in the following sentences, this one sentence alone would have sufficed to express the intent, for in it Allah's refuge has been sought from the evil of all creatures. After this general prayer for refuge making mention of seeking refuge from some particular evils by itself gives this meaning: "Though I seek Allah's refuge from the evil of everything created by Allah, I stand in great need of Allah's refuge from the particular evils that have been mentioned in the remaining verses of Surah Al-Falaq and Surah An-Nas."

Third, that the most suitable and effective prayer for seeking refuge from the evil of the creatures is that refuge should be sought with their Creator, for He is in any case dominant over His creatures and is aware of their evils, which we know, as well as of those which we do not know. Hence, His refuge is the refuge of the supreme Ruler Whom no power can fight and oppose, and with His refuge we can protect ourselves from every evil of every creature, whether we are aware of it or not. Moreover, this contains the prayer for refuge not only from the evils of the world but also from every evil of the Hereafter.

Fourth, that the word sharr (evil) is used for loss, injury, trouble and affliction as well as for the means which cause losses and injuries and afflictions; for example, hunger, disease, injury in accident or war, being burnt by fire, being stung or bitten by a scorpion or snake, being involved in the grief of children's death and similar other evils which are evils in the first sense, for they are by themselves troubles and afflictions. Contrary to this, unbelief, polytheism and every kind of sin and wickedness, for instance, are evils in the second sense, for they cause loss and affliction, although apparently they do not cause any trouble at the moment, rather some sins give pleasure and bring profit. Thus, seeking refuge from evil comprehends both these meanings.

Fifth, that seeking refuge from evil contains two other meanings also. First, that man is praying to his God to protect him from the evil that has already taken place; second, that man is praying to his God to protect him from the evil that has not yet taken place.

After seeking Allah's refuge generally from the evil of the creatures, now prayer is being taught for seeking refuge from the evil of some special creatures in particular. The word ghasiq in the verse literally means dark. Thus, at another place in the Qur'an it has been said: "establish the salat from the declining of the sun to the darkness of the night (ila ghasaq-il- lain." (Bani lsra'il: 78), and wagab means to enter or to overspread. Prayer has been taught to seek refuge in particular from the evil of the darkness of night, for most of the crimes and acts of wickedness are committed at night, harmful animals also come out at night, and the night was a very dreadful thing in the days chaos prevailed in Arabia when these verses were revealed. Raiders came out in the dark of night and plundered and destroyed settlements. The people who were thinking of putting the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) to death, also made their secret plans at night, so that the murder could not be detected. Therefore, command was given to seek Allah's refuge from the evils and calamities which descend at night. Here, the subtle relation that exists between seeking refuge from the evil of the dark night with the Lord of breaking dawn cannot remain hidden from anybody having insight and understanding.

A difficulty is confronted in the explanation of this verse' in view of several authentic traditions. Hadrat `A'ishah has reported: "Once during a moon-lit night, the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) look hold of my hand and pointing to the moon said: `Seek Allah's refuge, for this is al ghasiq idha wagab'. (Tirmidhi, Ahmad, Nasa'i, lbn Jarir, Ibn al-Mundhir, Hakim, Ibn Marduyah). To explain this some scholars said that idha wagab here means idha khasaf, i. e. when the moon is eclipsed. But in no tradition has it been mentioned that when the Holy Prophet pointed to the moon, it was in eclipse. In the Arabic lexicon also idha wagab cannot mean idha khalaf. In our opinion the correct explanation of this Hadith is that since the moon rises in the night (in the daytime it does not shine even if it is there in the sky), what the Holy Prophet meant was this: 'Seek God's refuge from the night, the time when it (the moon) appears, for the light of the moon is not as helpful for the one who resists as for the one who attacks, and not as helpful for the victim of the crime as for the culprit.' On this very basis the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) is reported to have said: "When the sun has set, devils scatter on every side. Therefore, gather your children together in the house and keep your animals tied down until the darkness of night disappears."

The word ' uqad in naffathat frl-'eqad is plural of 'uqdah, which means a knot that is tied on a string or piece of thread. Nafath means to blow. Naftathat is plural of naffathah, which may mean the men who blow much, and if taken as a feminine gender, women who blow much; it may as well relate to nufus (human beings) or to jama ats (groups of men), for both nafas and jama 'at are grammatically feminine. Blowing upon knots, according to most, rather all, commentators implies magic, for the magicians usually tie knots on a string or thread and blow upon them as they do so. Thus, the verse means: "I seek refuge with the Lord of rising dawn from the evil of magicians, male and female." This meaning is also supported by the traditions which show that when magic was worked on the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace), Gabriel (peace be on him) had come and taught hint to recite the Mu awwidhatayn, and in the Mu'awwidhatayn this is the only sentence which relates directly to magic. Abu Muslim Isfahani and Zamakhshari have given another meaning also of naffathat fil-'uqad, which is that it implies the deceitfulness of women and their influencing men's resolutions, views and ideas and this has been compared to a magic spell, for in the love of women man starts behaving as if he was under a spell. Though this explanation is interesting, it runs counter to the commentary given by the earliest scholars; and it also does not correspond to the conditions in which the Mu'awwidhatayn were sent down as we have shown in the Introduction.

About magic one should know that in it since help is sought of the satans and evil spirits or stars to influence the other person evilly, it has been called kufr (unbelief) in the Qur'an: "Solomon was not involved in kufr but the satans who taught tragic to the people." (AI-Baqarah: 102).

But even if it does not contain any word of kufr, or any polytheistic element, it is forbidden and unlawful and the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) has counted it among the seven heinous sins which ruin the Hereafter of man. In Bukhari and Muslim a tradition has been related from Hadrat Abu Hurairah, saying that the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) said: "Avoid seven deadly sins: associating another with Allah, magic, killing a soul, which Allah has forbidden unjustly, devouring interest, eating the orphan's property, fleeing from the enemy in the battlefield, and slandering simple and chaste Muslim women with un-chastity."

Hasad means that a person should feel unhappy at the better fortune, superiority or good quality that Allah has granted to another, and should wish that it should be taken away from the other person and given to him, or at least the other one should be deprived of it. However, hasad does not mean that a person should wish that he too should be blessed with the bounty that the other one has been blessed with. Here, Allah's refuge has been sought from the evil of the jealous one when he feels jealous, and takes a practical step with word or deed to satisfy his heart. For until he takes a practical step, his being unhappy may by itself be bad but it is not an evil for the other person so that he may seek refuge from it. When such an evil appears from a jealous person the best thing would be to seek Allah's refuge from it. Besides this, there are a few other things also which are helpful for obtaining immunity from the evil of the jealous person. First, that one should have trust in Allah and the faith that unless Allah so wills no one can harm him in any way. Second, that one should have patience over what the jealous person says and does and should not start behaving impatiently so as to be degraded morally to the level of the jealous person. Third, that one should in any case maintain dignity and practice piety even if the jealous person behaves frivolously, being fearless of God and shameless of the people. Fourth, that one should free one's mind of every thought about the jealous person and should disregard him altogether, for making him a subject of one's thought is a prelude to being influenced by him. Fifth, that one should do the jealous person a good turn as and when one can, not to speak of treating him evilly, no matter whether this good behavior mitigates his jealousy or not. Sixth, that one should understand rightly and remain steadfast to the doctrine of Tauhid for the heart which enshrines Tauhid, cannot be affected by anyone else's fear except the fear of Allah.

Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs

And from his narration on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas that he said regarding the interpretation of Allah's saying (Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of Daybreak): '(Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of Daybreak) He says: Say, O Muhammad, I seek protection, and it is said: I seek refuge, in the Lord of daybreak; and it is also said that al-falaq refers to a well in the Fire; and it is also said that al-falaq is a valley in the Fire.