Surah Al-Falaq (113): Read Online and Download - English Translation

This page contains all verses of surah Al-Falaq in addition to Interpretation of all verses by Maarif-ul-Quran (Mufti Muhammad Shafi). In the first part you can read surah الفلق ordered in pages exactly as it is present in the Quran. To read an interpretation of a verse click on its number.

Information About Surah Al-Falaq

Surah Al-Falaq
سُورَةُ الفَلَقِ
Page 604 (Verses from 1 to 5)

Tafsir of Surah Al-Falaq (Maarif-ul-Quran: Mufti Muhammad Shafi)

English Translation

Say, "I seek refuge in the Lord of daybreak

English Transliteration

Qul aAAoothu birabbi alfalaqi

Preliminary Remarks

This and the next Surah were revealed on the same occasion, and in the same event, as will be explained in the 'cause of revelation'. Hafiz Ibn-ul-Qayyim has, therefore, written their commentary together. He writes that their blessings and benefits are abundant. All of the people require them and no one can dispense with them. They are very efficacious remedy for sorcery or magical spell, evil eye, and for all of the physical and spiritual calamities. In fact, if its reality is grasped fully, people will understand that they require it more than their breath, food, water, clothing and everything else.

Cause of Revelation

Musnad of Ahmad records that a Jewish person cast a magical spell on the Holy Prophet ﷺ ، as a result of which he fell ill. Jibra'il (علیہ السلام) came to him and informed him that a particular Jew had cast a spell on him, that he had tied knots in his hair to accomplish this objective, and it is thrown into a particular well. The Holy Prophet ﷺ sent some of his Companions to bring it from the well Jibra'l (علیہ السلام) had described. The Holy Prophet ﷺ untied the knots, and he was instantly cured. Jibra'il (علیہ السلام) informed him of the name of the Jew and the Holy Prophet ﷺ knew the culprit, but it was not in keeping with his compassionate disposition to avenge anyone in his personal matter. Therefore, this was never brought to the attention of the Jew guilty of the black magic, nor did any sign of complaint ever appear on the blessed face of the Holy Prophet ﷺ . Being a hypocrite, he regularly attended the Holy Prophet's ﷺ gatherings.

The details of this incident are recorded in Sahih of Bukhari on the authority of Sayyidah ` A'ishah ؓ that a Jewish man cast a magic spell on the Holy Prophet ﷺ ، as a result of which he sometimes felt confused whether or not he had done something. One day the Holy Prophet ﷺ said to Sayyidah ` A'ishah ؓ that Allah has shown him what his illness was and added: "Two men came to me in my dream. One of them sat by my head side while the other sat by my feet, and the following conversation ensued:

Question: 'What is wrong with this man?'

Answer: 'He is bewitched.'

Question: 'Who has bewitched him?'

Answer: 'Labid Ibn A` sam. He is a member of the tribe of Banu Zuraiq who is an ally of the Jews, a hypocrite.'

Question: 'With what did he bewitch him?'

Answer: 'With a comb and hair from the comb.'

Question: 'Where is the comb?'

Answer: In the dried bark of a male date palm under a rock in a well called Dharwan.' "

Sayyidah 'A'ishah ؓ says that the Holy Prophet ﷺ went to the well to remove the comb with the hair and said: "This is the well I was shown in my dream." He removed it from the well. Sayyidah ` A'ishah ؓ asked the Holy Prophet ﷺ . "Will you not make this public?" He replied: "Allah has cured me and I hate to cause harm to anyone." This implies that the Holy Prophet ﷺ did not want to be the cause anyone's molestation, death or destruction, because this is what would have exactly happened if the incident was publicised.

According to a narration in Musnad of Ahmad, this illness of the Holy Prophet ﷺ lasted for six months. According to other narratives, some of the Companions knew that this wicked act was performed by Labid Ibn A'sam, and they courteously said to the Holy Prophet ﷺ : "Why should we not kill this wicked person?" He made the same reply to them as he did to Sayyidah ` A'ishah ؓ . According to Imam Tha` lab s narration, a Jewish boy was the attendant of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ ، the hypocritical Jew flattered the boy and talked him into getting for him strands of the Prophet's ﷺ hair from his comb, and a few of its teeth. Having obtained these items, he tied eleven knots on a string and a needle was stuck into each knot. Labid then placed this spell in the spathe of a male palm tree, and buried it under a stone in a well. On this occasion, the two Surahs were revealed, comprising eleven verses. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ recited one verse at a time and untied one knot each time, until all the knots were untied, and he felt freed from the tension of the witchcraft. [ All these narratives have been adapted from Ibn Kathir.]

Magic and its effect on the Holy Prophet ﷺ

Some people are surprised that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ should be affected by black magic. This is because some people do not have a complete grasp of how magic operates. It actually operates under physical causes, and the Messenger of Allah ﷺ was not immune to the influence of physical causes, as for instance feeling the burning or heating sensation of fire, and feeling the cooling sensation of water; or certain natural factors causing fever or body temperature to rise; or other factors causing aches and pains, and other illnesses. The Holy Prophet ﷺ ، or any other prophet for that matter, was not immune to the effects of such natural or physical causes. They can be affected by the hidden operations of magic which are no less natural or physical. Please see Surah Baqarah, Ma’ ariful Qur'an, Vol. 1/ pp 264-278 for fuller explanation, especially p. 276 on 'Magic and Prophets'.

Mu'awwadhatain are Surahs that afford protection against physical and spiritual afflictions

It is a settled doctrine of every believer that Allah is the intrinsic cause of every gain and loss in this world as well as in the next world. Without the Divine will not a jot of gain or loss can be caused to anyone. The only way to fortify against all physical and spiritual injuries and harm is for man to place himself under the protection of Allah, and by his actions he should attempt to make himself capable of entering the Divine shelter.

Surah Al-Falaq directs how to seek the Divine protection against worldly calamities, and Surah An-Nas tells the way to seek Divine protection against the calamities of the Hereafter.

Virtues of Mu'awwadhatain

Sahih of Muslim records a Tradition on the authority of Sayyidna 'Uqbah Ibn ` Amir ؓ who reports that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: "Do you not see that there have been revealed to me verses tonight the like of which has not been seen before? Those are Surah Al-Falaq and Surah An-Nas." According to another narration, the like of Mu'awwadhatain has not revealed even in Torah, Injil, or Zabar or anywhere else in the Qur'an. Another narration of Sayyidna 'Uqbah Ibn ` Amir ؓ reports that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ taught him Mu'awwadhatain while they were on a journey. Then he recited them in the maghrib salah and said: "Recite these two Surahs whenever you go to sleep and whenever you get up." [ Nasa'i ] According to another report, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ has advised people to recite these two Surahs after every salah [ Transmitted by Abu Dad and Nasa'i ].

Imam Malik (رح) recorded from Sayyidah ` A'ishah ؓ : "whenever the Messenger of Allah ﷺ suffered from an ailment, he would recite the Mu'awwadhatain, blow over his hands, and then wiped his whole body with those hands. When his pain became acute on his death-bed, I would recite the Mu'awwadhatain, blow over his hands, and then he wiped them over himself, because my hands could not be the fitting substitute for his blessed hands. [ All these narratives have been adapted from Ibn Kathir ].

Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn Khubayb ؓ reports that it was raining one night and the sky had become intensely dark. We went out looking for the Messenger of Allah ﷺ ، and when he was found, he said: "Say." He asked: "What should I say?" He said: "Recite قُلْ هُوَ اللَّـهُ أَحَدٌ and Mu'awwadhatain. Reciting them thrice in the morning and thrice in the evening will fortify you against all kinds of perturbations."

In sum, it was the practice of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and his Companions to recite these two Surahs to protect themselves against all types of privations, trials and tribulations of life in this world, as well as of life in the next world.

Lexicological Analysis of important words and interpretation of the Surah

Verse [ 113:1] قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَ‌بِّ الْفَلَقِ (Say, "I seek refuge with the Lord of the Daybreak." ) The word falaq means 'to split or cleave' and here it is used in the sense of 'break of dawn'. In another verse, a similar quality of Allah is used in [ 6:96] فَالِقُ الْإِصْبَاحِ. ([ He is ] the One who causes the dawn to break). Of all the Divine attributes, this particular attribute is used presumably because the darkness of night often causes evils and difficulties, and the daylight removes them. This attribute of Allah points to the fact that anyone who seeks protection in Allah, He will remove all afflictions from him. [ Mazhari ]

English Translation

From the evil of that which He created

English Transliteration

Min sharri ma khalaqa

The word Sharr: ` Allamah Ibn Qayyim's Exposition

Verse [ 113:2] مِن شَرِّ‌ مَا خَلَقَ (From the evil of everything He has created.) ` Allamah Ibn Qayyim expounds that the word sharr (evil) is employed in two different senses: [ 1] pain, loss, injury, trouble, grief, distress and affliction which affect man directly, and they are by themselves troubles and afflictions; and [ 2] the factors that cause losses, injuries and afflictions. The second type covers unbelief, idolatry and all sins. The things from which the Qur'an and Sunnah require man to seek refuge in Allah are either of these two types. The Traditional supplication that is masnun after salah includes seeking of refuge from four things: [ 1] punishment of the grave; [ 2] punishment of the Hell-Fire; [ 3] hardships and privations of life; and [ 4] trials and tribulations of death. Of these, the first two are afflictions and punishments in their own right, and the last two are causes of afflictions and punishments.

Verse [ 113:2] (From the evil of everything He has created) covers the evil of the entire creation. This verse was sufficient to guard against all mischief and calamities. But three particular forms of evil have been singled out to seek protection which often cause calamities and afflictions.

The first thing singled out appears in verse [ 113:3] وَمِن شَرِّ‌ غَاسِقٍ إِذَا وَقَبَ (and from the evil of dark night when it penetrates.) The word ghasiq is derived from ghasaq (to become dark or intensely dark). Thus Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas ؓ ، Hasan and Mujahid رحمۃ اللہ علیہما say that the word ghasiq stands for 'night'. The verb waqaba is derived from wuqub which means for utter darkness 'to overspread completely and intensely'. The verse means: 'I seek refuge in Allah from the night when its darkness has completely and intensely overspread'. The word 'night' has been specifically mentioned because this is the time when Jinn, Shaitans, harmful insects, animals and reptiles appear. Thieves and robbers emerge at this time to carry out their crimes of stealing and other acts of wickedness. The enemies attack at this time. Black magic has the worst effect when it is intensely dark at night. As soon as the dawn approaches, the effects of all these things disappear and fade away. [ Allamah Ibn Qayyim ]

Verse [ 113:4] وَمِن شَرِّ‌ النَّفَّاثَاتِ فِي الْعُقَدِ (and from the evil of the women who blow on the knots.) The word naffathat is derived from nafth which means 'to blow'. The word 'uqad is the plural of 'uqdah which means 'a knot'. The magicians usually tie knots on a string or piece of thread, recite magical incantations or formulae and blow on them as they do so. The phrase النَّفَّاثَاتِ فِي الْعُقَدِ (...the women who blow on the knots) refers to female magicians. It is possible that the pre-adjectival noun of the adjective naffathat be nufus [ souls ]. Thus this verse may be translated as 'the evil souls who blow on knots'. This translation would include men and women who carry out this evil practice. But most probably its pre-adjectival noun is 'womenfolk'. Women have been specifically mentioned perhaps because generally womenfolk have the natural disposition to carry out the evil practice of witchcraft; or probably because Labid Ibn A` sam, whose black magic was the cause of revelation of this Surah, got this most heinous act done by his daughters. Hence, the act of witchcraft is ascribed to them.

The reason why protection is sought against magicians is firstly that the cause of revelation of these two Surahs was the incident of magic. Secondly, people are normally unaware of the act of magicians, and they do not pay attention to getting themselves exorcised. They are under the impression that it is some kind of medical ailment and try to get themselves medically cured. In the meantime the magical effect continues to grow worse.

The third thing from which people are asked specifically to seek protection is hasid [ jealous ] and hasad [ jealousy ]. This has been specified for the same reasons as given above, because black magic was worked on the Prophet ﷺ on account of jealousy. The Jews and the hypocrites could not bear to see the rapid progress and expansion of Islam. They could not defeat him in outer combat; therefore they tried to satisfy their jealousy by performing witchcraft on him. There were uncountable number of green-eyed monsters against the Prophet ﷺ . That is the major reason why protection was sought against them. Jealousy of the jealous one gives him restless days and sleepless nights. He is at all times after causing loss to his envied person. Therefore, the harm he wishes to inflict is severe.

Hasad [ Jealousy ] and Ghibtah [ Envy ]

The Arabic word hasad, the English equivalent of which is 'jealousy', is invariably used in the bad sense. It generally means to desire the deprivation of the other man rather than one's own acquisition of any bliss that he may possess. Simply put, Hasad means that a person should feel unhappy at the better fortune and good quality that Allah has granted to another, and wishes that it should be taken away from the other person and given to him, or at least the other should be deprived of it. Hasad in this sense is totally forbidden and a major sin. This is the first sin that was committed in the heaven and also the first one committed on the earth. The Iblis was jealous of 'Adam in the heaven and the latter's son Qabil was jealous of his brother Habil on earth. [ Qurtubi ].

Ghibtah, on the other hand, means to desire for oneself the same blessing as the other man has, without any idea of the latter's losing it. This is not only permissible but also desirable.

Summary and Conclusion

Apart from the general protection that is sought in this Surah, protection is sought from three specific evils. These are mentioned separately in verses three, four and five. Furthermore, in the first and the third specific evils particular restrictions are placed. The first specific evil ghasiq [ darkness ] is restricted by the phrase إِذَا وَقَبَ "when it penetrates".

The third specific evil hid is restricted by the phraseإِذَا حَسَدَ when he envies". The practice of witchcraft is left unrestricted because its harmful effect is general. The harmful effect of darkness is felt when there is total absence of light, plunging the night in intense and utter darkness. Likewise, jealousy may not cause harm to its object until the jealous one takes a practical step with word or deed to satisfy his heart. For until he takes a practical step, his being unhappy may be harmful to himself, but it is not harmful for the other person so that he may seek refuge from it. Hence, restrictions are placed on the first and the third specific evils.


The Commentary on

Surah Al-Falaq

Ends here

English Translation

And from the evil of darkness when it settles

English Transliteration

Wamin sharri ghasiqin itha waqaba

English Translation

And from the evil of the blowers in knots

English Transliteration

Wamin sharri alnnaffathati fee alAAuqadi

English Translation

And from the evil of an envier when he envies."

English Transliteration

Wamin sharri hasidin itha hasada