The Holy Qur'an (Maulana Muhammad Ali)/113. The Dawn

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Revealed at Mecca

(5 verses)

General remarks.

This chapter and the one that follows teach man how to seek refuge in Allah and how to betake himself to His protection. This subject being referred to in Meccan revelations, as in ch. 16 and 41, the two chapters must have been revealed in Mecca, and most probably they belong to the early Meccan period. The many stories regarding their origin, as stated by some commentators, are not to be found in any authentic report, and consequently such stories must be rejected. Thus, the Qur-án opens with the seeking of refuge in Him in the Mu'awwaẕatain (from ma'áẕah, meaning refuge), as these two chapters are together known.

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ ۝
1 Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of the dawn,[1] قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ الْفَلَقِ ۝١
2 From the evil of what He has created, مِنْ شَرِّ مَا خَلَقَ ۝٢
3 And from the evil of the utterly dark night when it comes,[2] وَمِنْ شَرِّ غَاسِقٍ إِذَا وَقَبَ ۝٣
4 And from the evil of those who cast (evil suggestions) in firm resolutions,[3] وَمِنْ شَرِّ النَّفَّاثَاتِ فِي الْعُقَدِ ۝٤
5 And from the evil of the envious when he envies.[4] وَمِنْ شَرِّ حَاسِدٍ إِذَا حَسَدَ ۝٥

  1. Falaq signifies the day-break (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 (TA-LL). The reference in the Lord of the daybreak is no doubt to the gradual manifestation of the truth and the triumph of the cause of the Holy Prophet.
  2. Ghásiq is derived from ghasaq, which signifies intense darkness (Rgh), and hence ghásiq signifies the night when the shafaq (or redness in the horizon after sunset) disappears (S, O, Q-LL), hence 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. It is therefore meant that the advent of truth, which was now becoming manifest, will not be attended with dark difficulties which may make it dubious.
  3. The two words occurring here which require to be explained are naffás̲át and 'Uqad. The former is the plural of naffás̲, which is an intensive nominative from nafas̲a, meaning primarily he blew. But followed by fi it conveys another significance. Thusنفث الله الشئ في قلبه means God cast or put the thing into his heart (Msb-LL); and نفث في روعي means he inspired or put into my mind (Ib, As). 'Uqad is the plural of 'uqdah, which signifies a tie (LL), and judgment and consideration of one's affairs (TA-LL), and management, regulating and ordering of one's affairs (LL). It also signifies a promise of obedience or vow of allegiance (LA, TA-LL). Hence, النفّٰثٰت في العقد are really those who put evil suggestions into the resolution of men or into the management of their affairs. Note that naffás̲át are not necessarily women; the word equally applies to al-jamá'át, or companies of men (Rz). The explanation I have adopted is, with some difference, the same as that adopted by Abu Muslim, which Rz pronounces to be a good explanation.
    This verse deals with the second difficulty in the spread of truth or in the management of any affair generally. The first difficulty was its being enveloped with utter gloom; the second is that darkness is dispelled, but still the resolution to adhere to the truth is subject to the evil suggestions of those who would mislead others.
  4. This is the third difficulty. Truth has now become triumphant, but there are those who envy its success and who would not have its triumph maintained over falsehood. Therefore, Divine protection has still to be sought when truth has ultimately become triumphant.