ON THE LAST SECTION QUR`AN
Chapter 113: Surat Al-Falaq
the name of Allah,
the Beneficent, the Merciful
The arrangement of the
chapters in the Qur`an is a perfect one determined by the Perfect
Man, the Prophet Muhammad. The very fact that he arranged them
provides the proof of the Qur`an's unity and completion. The
revelation brought to humankind different aspects of the Book of
reality, on different days, in different months, and under different
conditions. These diverse aspects, however, all reflected the
one-and-only Light, and only the Prophet knew how they were to be
arranged. Thus the last two steps of the revelation from Allah urge
man to seek refuge in Allah, the Lord and Sustainer of all His
Say: I take refuge in
the Lord of the day break,
Falaqa means 'to
split, tear asunder, dispel the shadows of the night'. A'ūdhu
We take refuge from our ignorance, from the darkness of our nafs,
and from our doubts. We take refuge from our uncertainties and
insecurities in the Lord, the Sustainer, Who continues to sustain
knowledge, certainty, light, and illumination. We seek refuge in the
One Who brings forth the dawn after the darkness of night.
From the evil of what He
Here we are appealing to
Allah, ar-Rahīm (the Most Merciful), because we must
make a subjective judgment. We accept that in this realm of duality
there are aspects which please and comfort us, and other aspects
which displease us and bring about suffering. There are aspects
which we consider conducive to our well-being and aspects which we
consider detrimental to us, and thus we take refuge in the Lord of
all creation from that part of His creation which we consider to be
And from the evil of
intense darkness when it comes,
We take refuge from the
night, from gloom and darkness, from that which we do not know. We
also take refuge from self doubt. The reference here is to what is
both familiar and unknown, to that with which we have a connection
and with which we do not.
And from the evil of
those who blow on knots,
We take refuge from
powers whose functioning we do not comprehend. We take refuge from
magicians, from the women who blow on knots, traditionally a form of
witchcraft, and who who call upon forces in this existence which we
do not fully comprehend and which are invisible to us, such as the
We take refuge in Allah,
the One Who opens to us the dawn of relief and knowledge, from these
entities that can afflict us in this life. We know that invisible
forces do exist and that black magic and other forms of magic are
practiced in many places. There are many forces that can be called
upon and brought into play, but those of us who want to go to the
Source of all powers, take refuge in the Lord of the dawn.
The two chapters,
Ikhlās and Falaq remind us to strive for an inner
state of īmān, to walk straight ahead toward our objective,
to the wāhid al-ahad (the Single and Unique
One), to sing nothing but the song of the One.
If we do this, we will
have no interest in dabbling in these other phenomena, because gross
phenomena will not be viewed by us as having any intrinsic reality.
It must be remembered that, however powerful a magician may be,
there will always be another magician who can overcome him. In the
case of Moses (Musa), it is well known that he, as a man of unity,
overcame all the Pharaoh's magicians by another power which had
nothing to do with the play of magic.
And from the evil of the
envier when he envies.
means 'envy', which is considered to be one of the worst afflictions
of the nafs and one of the worst self-inflicted troubles for
man, because it can grow rampant. The fire of envy will fuel itself
constantly and can never be put out, because there will always be
someone else who will have something that we cannot have.
'Alī ibn Abī Tālib
was asked about Hasūd, a man whose envy was causing havoc.
'What can we do with him?' they asked. 'He should be punished.' 'Ali
answered, Mā fīhī yakfīhī (what is in him is enough (of a
punishment) for him).
(envier) will never win nor will he ever profit. Keep us safe, O
Lord, from the evil of this attitude which has its seed in every
heart! If it were not in our hearts right now, we would be unable to
understand it. We all have felt a spark of it in our lives, but if
we are fortunate, it remains a spark that can be smothered and
covered over with generosity and other positive attributes. If we do
not fight against envy at all times, it will constantly be inflamed
and take us over completely.
End of the Surah