English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 114: An-Nas — The Men (Revealed at Makkah: 6 verses)

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Introduction:

See the introductory note on the last chapter. The name of this chapter is taken from the word occurring in it describing God as the Lord, King and God of mankind, meaning that He is their Nourisher to perfection, Controller of their affairs and Controller of their hearts.

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Translation:

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

114:1 Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of mankind,
114:2 the King of mankind,
114:3 the God of mankind,
114:4 from the evil of the whisperings of the sneaking (devil),
114:5 who whispers into the hearts of people,
114:6 (and is) from among the jinn and mankind.1

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Commentary:

  1. These verses are 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, that of the sneaking devil, who comes stealthily and casts evil suggestions into the hearts of people. The whispering of the evil one is the greatest mischief because its source is in the hearts of people (v. 5). Al-khannās (v. 4) 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 Ilāh of mankind, Who alone deserves to be worshipped and before Whom the whole of mankind must ultimately bow. In other words, the protection of God is sought because He is the Nourisher Who brings to perfection, and He holds control over Matter as well as 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.

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