Surah An-Naas is the last Surah of Quran having 6 verses. This is a Makki (Meccan) Surah. Naas means mankind/human beings. Surah Al-Falaq and Surah An-Naas are both collectively called Mu’awwidhatayn (means the two Surahs in which refuge with Allah has been sought). This name was given by Prophet pbuh himself. Both Surah Falaq and Surah Naas were revealed at one time. We seek Allah’s refuge through these Surahs.
Theme & Subject Matter
The main theme is to seek Allah’s refuge from the whispers of Shaitaan. In Surah Naas seeking Allah’s refuge is mentioned 3 times in first 3 verses, means seeking refuge is more intense here. This Surah deals with the greatest evil of our greatest enemy Shaitaan and his waswasa, through which he instills all kinds of evil within us and we follow it and become heedless of Allah, end up damaging our Imaan. So the enemy of mankind mentioned in this Surah is The Shaitaan & his whispers (waswasa).
Background of Revelation
This Surah was revealed in Makkah when opposition to the Prophet pbuh grew very intense. Later, when at Madinah storms of opposition were raised by the hypocrites, Jews and polytheists, the Prophet pbuh was instructed to recite these very Surahs (Falaq+Naas). After this, when magic was worked on Prophet pbuh and his illness grew intense, Jibreel a.s came and instructed him by Allah’s command to recite these very Surahs (Falaq+Naas).
Incident of magic on Prophet pbuh
After the peace treaty of Hudaibiyah when Prophet pbuh returned to Madinah in 7 A.H, the Jews were the major obstacle for Muslims. The Jews started to make strategies about Prophet pbuh of how to harm him. A deputation of the Jews of Khaibar visited a famous skilled magician, Labid bin Asam, and asked him to cast spell on Prophet pbuh.
In those days Prophet pbuh had a Jewish boy as his attendant. Through him they obtained a piece of the Prophet’s pbuh comb with some hair stuck to it. Magic was worked on the same hair and Labid bin Asam put knots and hid it under rock in a well in Madinah, named as Dhi Arwan. The spell took one whole year to have effect upon Prophet pbuh. In the latter half of the year the Prophet pbuh started feeling as if he was unwell. The last 40 days became hard on him, of which the last 3 days were even harder. But its maximum effect was:
➖ He pbuh felt pressure inside and disturbed
As for his being a Prophet, no change occurred in the performance of his duties.
Once Prophet pbuh told Aisha r.a about his condition and that he asked Allah about something. On that Prophet pbuh saw a dream in which he saw 2 angels who communicated with each other about Prophet’s pbuh condition and gave him answer that he was casted with magic. It was a mean of Wahi that Prophet pbuh was informed he had magic and Labid bin Asam did it. So Prophet pbuh instructed his Sahaba to take out the knotted hair from well and he pbuh recited these two Surahs (Falaq+Naas) and the knots were opened thus freeing him from magic.
In this Surah the evils of internal, hidden tempters is emphasized. Surah Naas starts by taking refuge from these evils with Allah thrice by His three glorious attributes I.e Rabb, Malik and Illah. Which means:
means the Sustainer, the Provider, the One who takes care (LORDSHIP)
means the King, the Master of mankind (OWNERSHIP)
means God, the Supreme Lord of the whole universe (DIVINITY)
Seeking refuge by means of these three attributes means we seek refuge with the One Who being the Sustainer, King and God, has full power over us, can fully protect us and can really save us from all the evil.
These three are means of rescue from the evil of temptations which keep man safe.
There is psychological progression from Rabb > to Malik > to Illah. And there is intellectual progression here that from your basic needs to greatest needs you should turn to Allah always.
We should not only recite through tongues while seeking refuge but also practically have faith in it i.e. when we declare Allah as our Rabb, Malik and Illah we should be obedient to him also and place ourselves under His Guidance. Then we will be protected from all the harms of evil within us and around us.
Explanation V: 4-6
Now after taking refuge in three main attributes of Allah we seek His refuge from the main enemy i.e. the Shaitaan and his whispers (waswasa). Waswasa means to whisper into someone’s heart an evil suggestion over and over again in such a way that the one who is being inspired may not feel that the whisperer is whispering an evil suggestion into his heart. And the process is continuous, means Shaitaan puts such whispers into the chest of man again and again. He retreats and then appears again to whisper and instill the evil within. Since man is not tempted by just one attempt but effort has to be made over and over again to seduce and tempt him.
Here, one should also understand that an evil suggestion is the starting point of evil act. When it affects a careless or heedless person, it creates in him a desire for evil. Then, further whisperings change the evil desire into an evil intention and evil purpose. When the evil suggestion grows in intensity, the intention becomes a resolution, which then culminates in the evil act. Therefore, the meaning of seeking God’s refuge from the evil of the whisperer is that Allah should nip the evil in the bud.
The Shaitaan puts in waswasa in chest of man in such a way that we believe that the ideas are our own thoughts. This very kind of thinking causes us to go astray.
The method of Shaitaan is alluring and shows injustice in the form of justice; lies inside a shell of truth; sin in the disguise of worship, and ignorance in the appearance of guidance.
Apart from Shaitaan, the whispering of evil is done by devils from among jinn as well as by devils from among men also. These also allure us to worng ways.
In a hadith from Nisai, The Holy Prophet said to Abu Dharr: O Abu Dharr, seek Allah’s refuge from the devils of men and the devils of jinn.
Abu Dharr asked, Are there devils among men also? O Messenger of Allah!
He pbuh replied: “Yes.”
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