As Salamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu Surah Al-Falaq
In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
1. Say: "I seek refuge with (Allah) the Lord of the Falaq (daybreak).
2. From the evil of what He has created;
3. And from the evil of the darkening (night) as it comes with its darkness; (or the moon as it sets or goes away).
4. And from the evils of those who practice witchcraft when they blow in the knots.
5. And from the evil of the envier when he envies.
It is called Surah Al-Falaq because that word appears in the first verse: "I seek refuge with (Allah) the Lord of the Falaq."
The Subject Matter Of This Surah
Here, the reciter seeks refuge from the evil found in the creation. We are taught in this Surah to take refuge in the sanctuary of the Most Merciful. So we seek refuge in Allah from the evil of the night when it becomes dark, a time when souls feel uncomfortable and when evil and the people of evil spread throughout the land. We also seek refuge here from the envious and the magician. This is one of the two chapters that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) would read to take protection with Allah Almighty.
Its Relation To What is Before It
In Surah Al-Ikhlas, Allah Almighty explained something of His Divinity, teaching us not to ascribe to Him that which is not suitable to Him, His Names, or His Attributes. Here, we learn what we should take refuge in Allah Almighty from, regarding this world; we also learn of some of those from creation who try to prevent people from worshipping Allah Almighty alone, such as the polytheists and the rest of the devils from mankind and the jinn.
The Virtues Of the Mu'awwithatain
Muslim in his Sahih, Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa'i, all recorded that 'Uqbah bin ‘Amir said, "Allah's Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:
Did you not see that there have been verses revealed tonight the like of which has not been seen before? (They are:)
Say: "I seek refuge with the Lord of the Falaq."
Say: "I seek refuge with the Lord of mankind."
Al-Bukhari and the Sunan Compilers recorded the usage of these three Surahs related to seeking refuge as a means of cure. 'Aishah, (Radhi Allahu Anha), said that when Allah's Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) would take rest in his bed every night, he would gather his hands, blow a mist of saliva into them, and recite into them:
Say: "He is Allah, (the) One."
Say: "I seek refuge in (Allah) the Lord ofthe Falaq."
Say: "I seek refuge in (Allah) the Lord of mankind."
Then he would wipe his hands over those areas of his body that he was able to reach, beginning with his head, his face, and then the front part of his body, doing all of the above three times.
In What Context Were The Mu 'awwithatain Revealed
The circumstances surrounding the revelation of this Surah relate to the story of the spell cast by Lubayd bin Al-A'sam the Jew upon Allah's Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) as recorded in the Two Sahihs from 'Aishah, (Radhi Allahu Anha). He cast a spell by taking the remains of the Prophet's hair after he combed it and by taking the teeth of the comb. He then took a string, put eleven knots in it that were pricked by needles. On that occasion, the Mu'awwithatain (the last two Surahs of the Qur'an) were revealed. Each time the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) recited a verse, one of the knots would untie. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) felt a sense of liveliness as the last knot became untied; he stood as if he was freed from a rope being tied around him. Jibril began to read invocations upon him, saying, "In the Name of Allah, I read invocations that, by the Will of Allah, are meant to cure) from all things that harm you, from the evil of the jealous one and the one with the evil eye. And may Allah cure you."
The Meanings Of Its Words A'oothu:
I take refuge and protection in.... Al-Falaq:
A splitting in something until one part of it separates from another. It is said that it refers to the morning. Ar-Rabb:
The sole Owner and Controller of the universe: Allah Almighty. War-Rabb:
Ar-Rabb is more suitable in this context than all of Allah's other Names, because protecting from harm is one of the Qualities of the Lord. Min Sharri Maa Khalaq:
From animals and inanimate objects. Ghaasiqin:
The night when its darkness is most intense. Waqab:
When the darkness enters it, because it is a time when evil permeates. An-Naffaathaati:
Magicians who blow in knots. Feel- 'Uqad:
The plural of 'Uqdah, which means knot. Magicians make knots from rope, thread and the like. An-Nafth:
Blowing, with spit coming out from the mouth. Haasid:
The one who desires for the blessings of others to be taken away from them.
The Meaning in Summary
Allah Almighty orders us to say:
I seek protection
meaning, we should say it, seeking protection in Him.
with the Lord of Al-Falaq
The splitter of the seed and the pit, and the splitting of the dawn.
from the evil of what He has created.
-including men, jinn and animals. So we seek protection from them with their Creator.
Then Allah Almighty, after saying that in general, mentions a specific example:
From the evil of the darkening (night) as it comes with its darkness.
At night, evil spirits and harmful animals roam in the open.
And from the evils of those who practice witchcraft when they blow in the knots.
i.e., from the evil of magicians who practice their nefarious activities by blowing into knots.
And from the evil of the envier when he envies.
The envious is one who wishes for the blessings to be removed from the one that he is envious of. He strives to the best of his ability to have that blessing removed; to foil his plans, we need to seek refuge in Allah Almighty from his evil. One category of the envious one is that of the evil eye, for the evil eye only results from an envious person who has a wicked nature and evil soul.
In this Surah, we seek refuge in Allah Almighty from evil in general and in specific; in it, we learn that magic is a reality, the harms of which we should beware of, and so we seek refuge in Allah Almighty from magic and from its practitioners.
What Can Be Derived From These Verses
1. We must seek protection in Allah Almighty from every frightful thing and from anything we cannot defend ourselves from, either because that thing is hidden or because we are not able (to defend ourselves from it).
2. It is forbidden to blow in knots, for it is a form of magic. Performing magic is disbelief; the punishment for the magician is execution by sword.
3. Envy is categorically forbidden, for it is a most dangerous disease: it made the son of Adam kill his brother and it led the brothers of Yusuf to plot against him. And because of envy, Adam was taken out of Paradise.
4. Al-Ghibtah (desire) is not a form of envy. The difference is that the envious person wishes for a blessing to be removed from his brother, while desire means that one wants what his brother has without wishing for that blessing to be taken away from his brother.
5. Magic is real; one should be wary of its harm by seeking refuge in Allah Almighty from it and from its practitioners.
6. The one who is responsible for the evil eye is in the same category as the envious one, for they have the same evil and wicked nature.
7. There are three things that Allah Almighty specifically mentioned as things that we should seek refuge from, such as the night when it becomes most dark; during the night, as Ar-Razi mentioned, predators come out of their lairs, harmful rodents and insects come out of their dark hideouts, the thief attacks, fires occur; little help can be found at that time, when the people of evil and corruption are in their greatest numbers.