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Chapter 113:
Al-Falaq — The Dawn:

Revealed at Makkah: 5 verses

English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali


Introduction:

This chapter and the one that follows — both together known as mu‘awwidhatan from ‘adha, he sought refuge — teach man how to seek refuge in Allah and how to betake himself to His protection. This subject being referred to in Makkan revelations, as in ch. 16 and 41, the two chapters must have been revealed at Makkah, and most probably they belong to the early Makkan period. The stories regarding their revelation at Madinah, as stated by some commentators, must be rejected as concoctions of a later age. This chapter is called Al-Falaq or The Dawn, that word occurring in the first verse, showing that Truth would ultimately dispel all darkness.

Translation:

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

113:1 Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of the dawn,a

113:2 From the evil of that which He has created,

113:3 And from the evil of intense darkness,a when it comes,

113:4 And from the evil of those who cast (evil suggestions) in firm resolutions,a

113:5 And from the evil of the envier when he envies.a

Commentary:

1a. Falaq signifies the daybreak (LL), meaning primarily cleaving or splitting, the daybreak being so called because it cleaves through the darkness. Hence it comes to signify the plain appearing of the Truth after its having been dubious (T, LL). The reference in the Lord of the dawn is to the gradual manifestation of the Truth and its ultimate triumph.

3a. Ghasiq is derived from ghasaq, which signifies intense darkness (R). Hence it means 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 man is unable to see his way. Man is, therefore, here taught to pray that his affairs may not be enveloped in utter darkness.

4a. Naffathat is the plural of naffath, which is an intensive nominative from nafatha, meaning primarily he blew. But nafatha fi qalbi-hi means he put a thing into his heart (LL), and nafatha fi ru‘i means he inspired or put it into my mind (N). ‘Uqad is the plural of ‘uqdah, which signifies a tie (LL), and judgement and consideration of one’s affairs (T), and management, regulating and ordering of one’s affairs (LL). It also signifies a promise of obedience or vow of allegiance (LA, LL). Hence the naffathat fi l-‘uqad are really those who put evil suggestions into the resolution of men or into the management of their affairs. Note that naffathat are not necessarily women; the word equally applies to jama‘at, or companies of men (Rz).

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.

5a. 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 man 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 Holy Quran draws to a close.

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