Last Four Chapters of the Holy Quran starting with ‘Qul’
by Nasir Ahmad
Chapter 113: Al-Falaq — The Dawn
بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ
Bis-mil laa-hir Rah-maa-nir Ra-heem.
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
قُلۡ اَعُوۡذُ بِرَبِّ الۡفَلَقِ ۙ﴿۱﴾
1. Qul a-oo-zu bi-rab-bil fa-laq,
1. Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of the dawn,
مِنۡ شَرِّ مَا خَلَقَ ۙ﴿۲﴾
2. Min shar-ri maa kha-laq,
2. From the evil of that which He has created,
وَ مِنۡ شَرِّ غَاسِقٍ اِذَا وَقَبَ ۙ﴿۳﴾
3. Wa min shar-ri ghaa-si-qin i-zaa wa-qab,
3. And from the evil of intense darkness, when it comes,
وَ مِنۡ شَرِّ النَّفّٰثٰتِ فِی الۡعُقَدِ ۙ﴿۴﴾
4. Wa min shar-rin naf-faa-saa-tifil-u-qad,
4. And from the evil of those who cast (evil suggestions) in firm resolutions,
وَ مِنۡ شَرِّ حَاسِدٍ اِذَا حَسَدَ ٪﴿۵﴾
5. Wa min shar-ri haa-si-din i-zaa ha-sad.
5. And from the evil of the envier when he envies.
This chapter and the one that follows—both together known as muawwadhatain, from adha, he sought refuge—teach man how to seek refuge in Allah and how to betake himself to His protection.
It is written in the Hadith that on the revelation of these two chapters, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) became very happy and he forsook other prayers seeking Allah’s protection and adopted these instead.
This chapter is called Al-Falaq or The Dawn, that word occurring in the first verse, showing that Truth would ultimately dispel all darkness. Falaq signifies the daybreak, meaning primarily cleaving or splitting, the daybreak being so called because it cleaves through the darkness. Hence, it comes to signify the plain appearing of the Truth after its having been dubious. The reference in the Lord of the dawn is to the gradual manifestation of the Truth and its ultimate triumph.
Ghasiq is derived from ghasaq, which signifies intense darkness. Hence, it means darkness with which an affair is sometimes attended—difficulties through which a man is unable to see his way. Man is, therefore, here taught to pray that his affairs may not be enveloped in utter darkness.
Here protection is sought against the evils of darkness, whether it is the darkness of night or the darkness of ignorance. We find that mugging, theft, robbery, murder and other crimes are committed mostly in the darkness of the night. Similarly, social evils such as drinking, dancing-parties and all sorts of licentious and promiscuous activities are carried out during the night. Sometimes even useful things become dangerous in the dark when one cannot see them and can get oneself injured, such as a staircase or any other thing which one may come across in darkness.
Naffathat is the plural of naffath, which is an intensive nominative from nafatha, meaning primarily he blew. But nafatha fil qalbi means he put a thing into his heart. Uqad is the plural of uqdah,which signifies a tie, and judgement and consideration of one’s affairs, and management, regulating and ordering of one’s affairs. Hence the naffathat fil uqad are those who put evil suggestions into the resolution of men or into the management of their affairs.
This verse deals with the second difficulty in the management of an affair. The first difficulty is its being enveloped in utter gloom (v. 3); the second is that darkness is dispelled, but the resolution to accomplish the affair is yet weak. The third difficulty is that success is now in sight, but there are those who envy that success. Therefore, divine protection has still to be sought when a man is successful in accomplishing an affair.