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Surah Nas, Chapter 114

(Mankind)
Number of Verses: 6

Contents of the Surah

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

The human is always exposed to devilish temptations and the Satans, of Jinn and men, try to penetrate into his heart. The higher the standard of his knowledge and degree of his social position, the more intense the temptations of the Satans will be until they divert him from the straight way and send him astray.

This Surah commands the holy Prophet (S), as a leader and as an example, to seek refuge with Allah from the evil of any temptations.

The content of this Surah corresponds with the previous one, Surah Falaq.

The subject is supplementary to that of the previous Surah. In both of them, Man is asked to take refuge with Allah by using His name

/rabb/, 'the Lord',

with a difference that in Surah Falaq various kinds of external evil are mentioned, but in this Surah the evil of internal, hidden tempters is emphasized.

Opinions are divided as to whether this Surah is Meccan or Medinan, but the tone of the statements is more agreeable with other Meccan Suras.

Regarding the fact that this Surah and Surah Falaq, according to the Islamic narrations, have been revealed together, and in many commentators' opinions Surah Falaq is Meccan, this Surah can be considered Meccan, too.

The Virtue in Studying -Surah Nas

There are numerous traditions on the virtue of reciting this Surah; for example, a tradition says that the holy Prophet (S) became gravely ill. Gabriel and Michael, two great angels of Allah, came to him. Gabriel sat beside the head of the holy Prophet (S) and Michael sat near his feet. Gabriel recited Surah Falaq and by it placed the Prophet (S) in the refuge of Allah; and Michael recited Surah Nas. 1

In a tradition from Imam Baqir (as), which was formerly mentioned, it is said:

"He who recites Surah Falaq, Nas, and Ikhlas in his Watr2 prayer he will be told

'O servant of Allah, rejoice that Allah accepted your Watr prayer’. 3

Surah Nas, Verses 1-6

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ النَّاسِ

مَلِكِ النَّاسِ

إِلَهِ النَّاسِ

مِن شَرِّ الْوَسْوَاسِ الْخَنَّاسِ

الَّذِي يُوَسْوِسُ فِي صُدُورِ النَّاسِ

مِنَ الْجِنَّةِ وَ النَّاسِ

1. “Say: I take refuge with the Lord of Mankind,"
2. “The King of Mankind,"
3. “The God of Mankind,"
4. “From the evil of the slinking whisperer,"
5. “Who whispers evil into the hearts of Mankind,"
6. “From among Jinn and Mankind.”

I Take Refuge With the Lord of Mankind

In this Surah, which is the last Surah of the Holy Qur'an, the Prophet (S), again, is personally addressed, as an example to and a leader of people, and the command is:

"Say: I take refuge with the Lord of Mankind,"
“The King of Mankind,"
“The God of Mankind,"

It is interesting that, here three attributes of the magnificent attributes of Allah; Lordship, Ownership, and Divinity, are emphasized, all of which are directly concerned with the training of Man, and his rescue from the grips of the tempters.

Of course, the objective of 'taking refuge with Allah' is not that a person says this phrase merely with his tongue, but he should accomplish it with his thoughts, Faith, and actions. He should avoid devilish routes, devilish programs, devilish minds and communications, and devilish societies and meetings; and travel the divine paths; otherwise, the person who follows those devilish ways and lets himself fall into the hands of those temptations cannot be safe by only reciting this Surah.

With saying

'the Lord of Mankind',

he confesses His Lordship and places himself under His guidance.

By saying

'the King of Mankind',

he knows himself as His object, and His obedient servant.

By saying

'the God of Mankind',

he goes on the path of worshipping Him, and avoids worshipping others but Him. Undoubtedly, the person who is actually qualified with these three attributes, and truly believes in them, will be safe from the mischief of the tempters.

In fact, these three attributes are three important lessons of instruction and three means of rescue from the evil of temptations which keep Man safe.

"From the evil of the slinking whisperer,"
"Who whispers evil into the hearts of Mankind,"
"From among Jinn and Mankind.”

The term /waswas/ has the infinitive meaning 'to tempt' and sometimes it is used, as in this verse, with the subjective meaning, 'tempter'.

The term /xannas/ is derived from /xunus/ with the meaning of 'to gather, to remain behind', and /xannas/, here means 'Satan', because he hides himself at the name of Allah and hiding is with the action of remaining behind, so, the word has been used in the sense of 'to hide'.

Therefore, the meaning of the verses are: 'Say I take refuge with Allah from the devilish tempter who runs away and hides himself from the name of Allah'.

Basically, the devilish ones act hiddenly, and sometimes they murmur temptations into our ears so that we believe that the ideas are our own thoughts. This very kind of thinking causes us to go astray.

The method of Satan is alluring and shows injustice in the form and under the guise of justice; lies inside a shell of truth; sin in the semblance of worship, and aberration in the appearance of guidance.

In short, they, themselves, and their affairs, both, are hidden, and this is a warning to all followers, of the right and the path of truth, not to expect to see Satans in their real form, or observe their activities in their true, crooked shape, No it will never be so. They are 'slinking whisperers' and their job is to plot, lie, be mischievous, be hypocritical, commit fraud and deceit, simulating truth, and hiding the right.

If they appear on the scene in their real form, if they do not mix wrong with right, and if they speak clearly and honestly, the truth would become apparent; as Hazrat Ali (as) says:

“The fact is, had falsehood been allowed to appear separately from truth, seekers of truth would have easily discerned it and would have kept away from falsehood...” 4

They always take parts of truth and falsehood and mix them together to get control over people; as Amir-al-Mo'mineen Ali (as), continuing the above sermon, says:

“...and Satan took advantage of this situation and gained complete control over the minds of its followers.”5

The words

'whispers'

and

'hearts'

used in the verse:

"Who whispers evil into the hearts of Mankind"

are an emphasis on this idea.

All of these are on the one hand, and on the other hand the phrase:

"From Jinn and Mankind"

informs us that

'the slinking whisperer'

is not among only a group of people or a special class of Man with a particular sign, but they can be found here and there among Jinn and Man with any form and in any society. We should be careful of them and take refuge with Allah from the evil of all of them.

Explanation: Why Do We Take Refuge With Allah?

At any moment it is possible that one may go astray, and when Allah bids His Apostle to take refuge with the Lord from the evil of the 'slinking whisperer', it is an evidence that becoming involved in the trap of the tempters, who whisper evil in people's minds, is possible.

So, everyone must seek refuge to Allah, with His name /rabb/, i.e., the Lord of Man, i.e., the Cherisher and Sustainer. By invoking this great attribute, Man can be hopeful and expect an especially particular retreat.

Everyone should seek refuge with Allah as their King and Owner, invoking His authority over the affairs of Man, i.e., He is the One Who can independently act over His creation to seek the protection by invoking the divinity of the Lord as the God of Mankind, for it is His authority which must necessarily be obeyed, i.e., it is His command or His Will which is always done.

Therefore, against the evil of these whisperers, there are heavenly angels, for the believing servants of Allah and seekers of Truth, to come to help them; as Surah Fussilat, No. 41, Verse 30 says:

"In the case of those who say: 'Our Lord is Allah', and further, stand straight and steadfast, the angels descend on them (from time to time)...”

But, in any case, we should never be proud and feel that we are not in need of the Divine lessons, admonishments and assistance. We should always take refuge with Him and be aware and prepared.

Supplication

O Lord! Protect us all from the evil of every tempter and dark inspiration.

O Lord! The trap is deep, the enemy is wakeful, his plots are hidden, and rescue is impossible but with Your Grace.

An Expressive Tradition

عنه، عن أبي الجارود قال: قلت لأبي جعفر (عليه السلام): يا ابن رسول الله هل تعرف مودتي لكم وانقطاعي إليكم وموالاتي إياكم؟ قال: فقال: نعم، قال: فقلت: فإني أسألك مسألة تجيبني فيها فإني مكفوف البصر قليل المشي ولا أستطيع زيارتكم كل حين قال: هات حاجتك، قلت: أخبرني بدينك الذي تدين الله عز وجل به أنت وأهل بيتك لأدين الله عز وجل به قال: إن كنت أقصرت الخطبة فقد أعظمت المسألة والله لأعطينك ديني ودين آبائي الذي ندين الله عز وجل به، شهادة أن لا إله إلا الله وأن محمدا رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) والإقرار بما جاء به من عند الله والولاية لولينا والبراءة من عدونا والتسليم لأمرنا وانتظار قائمنا والاجتهاد الورع.

Abil-Jurud said:

"I asked Imam Baqir (as) whether he knew about my love and sincerity for him and he answered he did. Then, I said I had a question for him to answer me, for my eyes were blind and I scarcely walked, so I could not always go to visit him. He wanted me to express my question. I requested him that he informed me of the creed by which he and his household adored Allah, Almighty and Glorious, so that I could worship Him, too, by it.

He responded:

'You asked a great thing, though you stated a short expression.

By Allah, I give you (your answer of) my religion and the religion of my fathers by which we worship Allah, Almighty and Glorious.

It is the confession of faith that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad (S) is the Messenger of Allah, with affirmation that what has come to him (the Quran) is from Allah, having affection for us and the lovers and obedients of us (Ahlul-Bayt) and hatred to our enemies, surrender to our cause, awaiting our Gha'im (the twelveth Imam, for whom there is a domination that will come whenever Allah wills), and struggles (for establishing divine obligatories and lawful matters) and is pious, (he avoids unlawful things)’.”6

  • 1. Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, vol. 5, p. 7645, and Majma'-al-Bayan, vol. 10, p. 569.
  • 2. ‘watr ' means 'odd number rak'at'.
  • 3. Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, vol. 5, p. 7645, and Majma'-al-Bayan, vol. 10, p. 569.
  • 4. Nahj-ul-Balagha, Sermon 50, (Arabic Version).
  • 5. Nahj-ul-Balagha, Sermon 50, (Arabic Version).
  • 6. Al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 34

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