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Chapter 114:
An-Nas — The Men:

Revealed at Makkah: 6 verses

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


Introduction:

The introductory note on the last chapter may also be read here. Al-Nas, or The Men, the name of this concluding chapter of the Holy Quran, has reference to the fact that it is for the perfection of mankind that the Holy Quran has been revealed. This name is taken from the opening verses of the chapter in which God is spoken of as Rabb of men, i.e., their Nourisher unto perfection, King of men, i.e., the real Controller of their affairs, and the Ilah of men, i.e., the Controller of their hearts.

Translation:

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

114:1 Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of men,

114:2 The King of men,

114:3 The God of men,

114:4 From the evil of the whisperings of the slinking (devil),

114:5 Who whispers into the hearts of men,

114:6 From among the jinn and the men.a

Commentary:

6a. These verses are, as it were, 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. This is the mischief of the slinking devil, who comes stealthily and casts evil suggestions into the hearts of men. The whispering of the evil one is the greatest mischief because its source is in the hearts of men (v. 5). The word khannas is derived from khanasa, meaning he held back or hung back, and also he hid himself (LL), and al-khannas is the devil, because he retires or shrinks or hides himself (LL).

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 Ilah 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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