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In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Most Merciful


Surat al Falaq 

Tafsir by Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri

al Falaq (The Day Break )


1     Say: I take refuge in the Lord of the day break, 

Falaqa means "to split, tear asunder, dispel the shadows of the night."

A'udhu means "I take refuge." 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. 

2     From the evil of what He has created, 

Here we are appealing to Allah, ar-Rahim (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 harmful.

 3     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.

4     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 the magicians, from the women who blow on knots to bring about magical events, and who call upon forces in this existence which we do not fully comprehend and which are invisible to us, such as the jinn.

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 surahs, Ikhlas and Falaq, were often recited by our Imams. According to our traditions, Surat al-Ikhlas was often recited by the blessed Prophet, salla-llahu 'alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, for the Imams Hasan and Husayn. These surahs remind us to strive for an inner state of I 'man, to walk straight ahead toward our objective, to the wahad 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 the 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 will overcome him.

In the case of Sayyidna Musa, `alayhi-s-salam, it is well known that the muwahhid (the man of unity), overcame all the Pharaoh's magicians by another power which had nothing to do with the play of magic.

5     And from the evil of the envier when he envies.

Hasad 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.

Amir al-Mu'minin 'Ali, `alayhi-s-salam, was asked about Hasud, a man whose  envy was causing havoc among the people. "What can we do with him?" they asked, "He should be

punished!" Amir 'Ali answered, `Ma fihi yakfihi," "What is in him is enough of a punishment for him."

The hasid (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 life, but if we are fortunate, it remains a spark which 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 will take us over completely.


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