Holy Qur'an, Ch. 113- Surah Al-Falaq : A Commentary
1. In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful
2. Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of the Dawn, 3. From the evil of that which He created; 4. From the mischief of Darkness as it overspreads; 5. And from the evil of those who spit on the knots, (i.e., perform malignant witchcraft).
6. And from the evil of the envious when he envies.
This chapter (surah) was revealed at Mecca at the beginning of Islam and it gives us an antidote, a solution to fight against the works of the satans (i.e. evil works), superstition, and fear; for it teaches us to seek refuge in Allah against all kinds of evils which may exist on earth, visible or invisible. One example is the plots which people can make to harm others. Thus this surah is also a remedy against the envy and jealousy of other people.
It is Allah Who drives away all obscurity/ darkness when He sends His light, and it is Him Who gives life to people and make them feel that they are truly alive, be it physically and spiritually also, after having gone through a spiritual death. Life and death forms part of a cycle which is in the control of Allah, in the Hands of Allah. It is Allah Who has the capacity to annul all satanic works, and all fears which people use to make you fearful, and this materialises when He sends His spiritual light. Man needs to repel his fear and put his complete trust in Allah. No harm shall befall him when he is found in the protection of Allah, and when he has Allah with him, as his Mighty Help, then no Satan can ever deviate him with its falsehoods to make him and other people become fearful and to lose their trust in Allah.
This surah is a duah (prayer/ supplication) addressed to Allah to ask Him for His help and protection against the evil/ wickedness of ignorant people and those who plot to harm others with their tongues, hands, scheming and backbiting. Man need to seek divine help and protection against jealous hearts because a jealous heart is indeed very dangerous. Why? Because jealousy is found therein and this jealousy eats away that heart little by little and makes it become dark. It works silently as a harmful device to strike physically or morally at that jealous person.
So, we need to free our mind from all evils, all negative thoughts which can darken our heart and soul. We must free ourselves also from fear (of others other than Allah), for fear is such a weakness which can ruin us in panic and torment and can also make us lose Iman (faith) or trust in Allah. We must rid ourselves of all kinds of obscurities which try to stop our progress towards a better life with the blessings of Allah, and indeed progress comes along with the protection of Allah. We must forget our past faults/ weaknesses/ sins and concentrate ourselves so as not to repeat our blunders again.
Nabbi ibaadiii annii anal-Gafuurur-Rahim. Tell My servants that I am indeed the Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. (Al-Hijr 15: 50).
And Allah also says: Wa anna azaabi huwal azaabul aliim. And that My Punishment will be indeed the most grievous Punishment. (Al-Hijr 15: 51).
When we take the resolution to put our trust in Allah, we shall receive the protection of our RAB (Lord, Allah, our Creator) and it is Allah Who shall Himself transform our past condition (i.e. when we were in darkness, in the state of ignorance) and directs us towards light (i.e. towards Him, His Messenger, towards the comprehension of the will of Allah etc.).
Verset 2 : Qoul a’ouzou bi-Rabbil-Falaq - Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of the Dawn,
In this world which has been created by Allah, there is in it all kinds of forces, positive and negative. These positive and negative forces are implemented by those who possess a great will and power in any form in which they may find themselves to demonstrate their natural characteristics which they possess, and they can also use these powers/ forces (be them positive or negative) to their own advantages. We can compare the good forces with light and the evil forces with obscurity/ darkness. Allah has all power to break any kind of darkness, however thick it may be and He can make light penetrate therein till darkness completely disappear. That is why we must free ourselves from fear and we must seek refuge/ protection with Allah so that He protects us and guides us through His goodwill. Indeed who can ever protect us better than Allah?
The word “Falaq” refers to dawn where the light of the sun, a new day appears and when the darkness of the night disappears to let way to the light of the sun (of that new day).
We can give several interpretations to this expression:
(1) Literally, it refers to the moment when the rays of light pierces the darkness of the night and brings about a new day;
(2) It can refer also to the moment when the darkness of ignorance (i.e. the dark era where ignorance, decadence, corruption and immorality are rampant) which is present in this world and the hearts of people begins to little by little disappear in its totality to give way to the light of Allah so as to enlighten them in the right path and to illuminate the souls of people with the light of faith. When this light comes, it breaks that extreme darkness through the will of Allah, whereby Allah gives once again hope to those were in despair, faith (Iman) to those who were non-believers (without faith) and those who drifted away from Allah, despite the fact that they believe in Allah, all because the routines of this world have caught up with them and they have forgotten to thank Allah and worship Him. When Allah sends His light, then bear in mind that it is for a limited time. This light comes when darkness has really established itself firmly in the world and thus Allah sends someone from His own essence, from His own light, such a Messenger from among men themselves to break this darkness and to enable the light of guidance to penetrate therein, through comprehension/ understanding of the Sacred Book for Humanity, i.e. the Holy Quran and through duahs (supplications) to Allah.
(3) The expression “Falaq” can refer to all sources of life and activities which are found all around us and which we do every day, especially in the path of Allah. Such ones form part of what we call, the light of Allah whereby the life of a true human believer in Allah revolves around Allah, whereby he cuts his connection completely with this materialistic world and he turns completely towards Allah by singing His praises (i.e. praising/ glorifying Him) because he knows that this universe has not been created in vain, but that indeed it has an aim, and he reflects upon this and he admits that there must be a Master, a God, such a Creator Who has created all this, and therefore, he ceases to be (or does not become) ungrateful to Allah. On the other hand, all satanic things, superstitions, fears, all kinds of evils which may affect us forms part of darkness/ obscurity. Thus, if you don't have Allah with you, then this obscurity shall enwrap you in itself but when you have Allah with you, then this darkness, as well as all fears, and anxieties disappear to leave way to Taqwa (i.e. the fear, or mighty respect for Allah), certitude and trust in Allah. When we place our trust in Allah alone, and we implant in our mind only Allah at every second of our life, then we shall receive perpetual protection against all forms of darkness.
Verset 3 : Min sharri maa khalaq - From the evil of that which He created;
It is our trust in Allah which assures us protection from all kinds of fears, superstitions, dangers and harm/ evil.
There are three (3) types of evils which have been specified in the following 3 verses, and our best protection against these evils is the complete trust which we should place in Allah, for it is Him Who is the Light of the heavens and earth. These evils are:
(1) Physical dangers, which are represented by darkness;
(2) Dangers which are found within us (in our mind and heart) which can ruin us and whereby that Satan which is inherent in us become manifest (and begin to manifest in us).
(3) Physical external dangers, which come from our surroundings, and which are the results of absolutely corrupt wills which seek to destroy all good which Allah has given us.
Verset 4 : Wa min-sharri ghaasiqin izaa waqab - From the mischief of Darkness as it overspreads;
The darkness of the night, i.e. the physical darkness which we can perceive with our eyes represents the physical dangers and the difficulties which we can come across. Lots of people fear darkness, the physical darkness, but all people fear the harm which can seize their bodies, through accidents and calamities. We must remove all those fears and instil our trust in Allah after taking the required reasonable precautions.
Verset 5 : Wa min-sharri naffaasaati fil uqad - And from the evil of those who spit on the knots, (i.e., perform malignant witchcraft).
“Those who perform malignant witchcraft” - Its literal meaning is: “Those who spit on the knots”; spitting on knots was (is) the common practices of immoral women who follow the footsteps of the Satans through the practice of witchcraft. Be it magic or witchcraft, both instil fear and panic in the heart and mind of people. These satanic practices can be in the form of black magic, or evil secret plots, or display of false charms and indecency, or even backbiting and calumnies and their evil consequences, be them in secret or public. Those calumnies which they launch are false and those bad people use these ways to frighten the good people, or people in general or to try to deviate them from the right path. All these are fraudulent activities but which people let themselves be tempted to follow. So you (believers) must always remain far away from these kinds of activities and all fears which are attached to them.
Verset 6 : Wa min-sharri haasidin izaa hasad - And from the evil of the envious when he envies.
People who envy others and who let themselves be carried away in a wrong way by jealousy and hatred have the capacity to put this jealousy and hatred in action and try to destroy the happiness or the material and/ or spiritual good which others enjoy. The best protection which exists to drive us away from the negative envies of others, to push away this jealousy and hatred is through the complete trust in Allah, our Rab, our Creator, and we need to always preserve us from these (evil) eyes by remaining in the Zikr (Remembrance) of Allah and praying Him with complete sincerity in our hearts and with the purity of our souls.
So, let us pray Allah to help us to fight back all the evils/ harms which exist, be them the evils which are concealed in us or the evils which are found all around us. And may Allah enable us to always tread on the path of His Light and may He guide all those who are darkness, in the obscurity of spirituality and lead them towards true faith, towards complete submission to Him alone, towards spiritual peace and harmony. Insha-Allah, Ameen.
---Friday Sermon of 22 September 2017(01 Muharram 1439AH) delivered by Muhyi-ud-Din Al Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius.