English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 113: Al-Falaq — The Dawn (Revealed at Makkah: 5 verses)

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Introduction:

This chapter and the following one teach how to seek refuge in God and ask for His protection. Both these chapters were revealed most probably in the early period at Makkah. It is called The Dawn from the word occurring in the first verse, showing that Truth would ultimately dispel all darkness.

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Translation:

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

113:1 Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of the dawn,1
113:2 from the evil of what He has created,2
113:3 and from the evil of intense darkness,3 when it comes,
113:4 and from the evil of those who cast (evil suggestions) in firm resolutions,4
113:5 and from the evil of the envier when he envies.5

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Commentary:

  1. The reference in the Lord of the dawn is to the gradual manifestation of the Truth and its ultimate triumph.
  2. Editor’s Note: Anything which God has created can cause harm if it is used in an incorrect way, with­out the light of knowledge.
  3. This signifies darkness in which there is no ray of light, and stands for the dark difficulties with which an affair is sometimes attended — difficulties through which a person is unable to see his way. Man is, therefore, here taught to pray that his affairs may not be enveloped in utter darkness.
  4. These words indicate those who put evil suggestions into the resolution of people 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. (Editor’s Note: The view that this verse refers to witches, who had once cast a spell on the Holy Prophet by “blowing on knots”, is entirely baseless and contrary to the teachings of the Quran.)
  5. This is the third difficulty. Success is now in sight, but there are those who envy that success. Therefore, Divine protection has still to be sought when a person is successful in accomplishing an affair. Note that the Prophet, who was charged with the heavy task of establishing truth in the world and making it triumphant over falsehood, had to face all these difficulties, and his faithful followers, whose goal of life is the same as that of the Prophet, stand most in need of resorting to this prayer with which the Quran draws to a close.

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