Four Quls

Last Four Chapters of the Holy Quran starting with ‘Qul’

by Nasir Ahmad

Chapter 114: An-Nas — The Men

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 النَّاسِ ۙ﴿۱﴾

1. Qul a-oo-zu bi-rab-bin naas.
1. Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of men,

مَلِکِ النَّاسِ ۙ﴿۲﴾

2. Ma-li-kin naas.
2. The King of men,

اِلٰہِ النَّاسِ ۙ﴿۳﴾

3. I-laa-hin naas.
3. The God of men,

مِنۡ شَرِّ الۡوَسۡوَاسِ ۬ۙ الۡخَنَّاسِ ۪ۙ﴿۴﴾

4. Min shar-ril was-waa-sil khan-naas,
4. From the evil of the whisperings of the slinking (devil),

الَّذِیۡ یُوَسۡوِسُ فِیۡ صُدُوۡرِ النَّاسِ ۙ﴿۵﴾

5. Al-la-zee yu-was-wi-su fee su-doo-rin naa-si,
5. Who whispers into the hearts of men,

مِنَ الۡجِنَّۃِ وَ النَّاسِ ٪﴿۶﴾

6. Mi-nal jin-na-ti wan-naas.
6. From among the jinn and the men.

Al-Nas, or The Men, the name of this concluding chapter of the Holy Quran, has reference to the fact that it is for the perfection of mankind that the Holy Quran has been revealed. This name is taken from the opening verses of the chapter in which God is spoken of as ‘Rabb of men, i.e., their Nourisher unto perfection; King of men, i.e., the real Controller of their affairs, and the ‘Ilah of men, i.e., the Controller of their hearts.

All three sources from whom he happens to seek protection or help have been combined in the One Being of Allah. Almighty Allah is the Being Who is the one source Who can provide help and protection in the three situations mentioned earlier. And Allah is that Being Who combines in Himself all the perfect attributes and has the power and authority to provide help and protection.

These verses are, as it were, a complement to the previous chapter. Three kinds of mischief are pointed out there which may be done to the cause of Truth. Here a fourth, but the gravest mischief of all, is pointed out. This is the mischief of the slinking devil, who comes stealthily and casts evil suggestions into the hearts of men. The whispering of the evil one is the greatest mischief because its source is in the hearts of men (v. 5). The word khannas is derived from khanasa, meaning he held back, hung back, and also, he hid himself, and al-khannas is the devil, because he retires or shrinks or hides himself.

Man is here taught to seek refuge in God Who is, in the first place, the Rabb of mankind, i.e., its Nourisher by degrees to perfection; secondly, He is the Malik or King of mankind, i.e., holds control over them, so far as the physical laws of nature are concerned; thirdly, He is the Ilah of mankind, Who alone deserves to be worshipped and before Whom the whole of mankind must ultimately bow. In other words, the perfection of God is sought because He is the Nourisher Who brings to perfection, and He holds control over matter and mind. The Divine purpose is thus again disclosed at the end, as it is disclosed in the very beginning (1:1) of the Holy Quran. It is to bring mankind to perfection. Nothing in this world can frustrate this purpose, as God holds control over matter as well as mind.

As has already been mentioned, these two chapters cover all sorts of evils, and that is why, following the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet [Muhammad] (pbuh), most devout Muslims, before going to bed, recite them to seek Allah’s protection.

Now think carefully over this. If an individual seeks the help and the protection of Allah, Who is the Nourisher, the King and the Lord of the worlds, against the devil, then can such a person do harm in any way to himself or to his fellow beings, or entertain any doubt about, or be disobedient in any way to Allah? In fact, a person who seeks Allah’s blessings and protection through the prayers mentioned in the last two chapters lives and dies in Islam and is safe from all sorts of troubles and tribulations. He lives a life that is peaceful for himself and for his fellow human beings. He is in an abode of peace and is a perfect Muslim in all respects.