(1) (113:1) Say: *1 'I seek refuge *2 with the Lord of the rising day; *3
*1) As qul (say) is a part of the message which was conveyed to the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) by Revelation for preaching his prophetic message, its first addressee is the Holy Prophet himself but after him every believer too is its addressee. *2) The act of seeking refuge necessarily consists of three parts: (1)The act of seeking refuge itself; (2) the seeker of refuge; and (3) he whose refuge is sought. Seeking refuge implies feeling fear of something and seeking protection of another, or taking cover of it, or clinging to it, or going under its shelter for safety. The seeker after refuge in any case is the person, who feels that he cannot by himself resist and fight the thing that he fears, but stands in need of refuge with another for protection. Then the one whose refuge is sought must necessarily be a person or being about whom the seeker after refuge believes that he or it alone can protect him from the calamity. Now, one kind of refuge is that which is obtained according to natural laws in the physical world from a perceptible material object or person or power, for example, taking shelter in a fort for protection against the enemy's attack, or taking cover in a trench or behind a heap of earth, or walI, for protection against a shower of bullets, or taking refuge with a man or government, for protection from a powerful tyrant or taking refuge in the shade of a tree or building for protection from the sun. Contrary to this, the other kind of refuge is that which is sought in a supernatural Being from every kind of danger and every kind of material, moral or spiritual harm and injury on the basis of the belief that that Being is ruler over the physical world and can protect in supersensory ways the one who seeks His refuge. This second kind of refuge is the one that is implied not only in Surah AI-Falaq and Surah An-Nas but wherever in the Qur'an and the Hadith mention has been made of seeking refuge with Allah, it implies this particular kind of refuge, and it is a necessary corollary of the doctrine of Tauhid that this kind of refuge should be sought from no one but Allah. The polytheists sought this kind of protection, and seek even today, from other beings than Allah, e.g. the jinn, or gods and goddesses. The materialists turn for this also to material means and resources, for they do not believe in any supernatural power. But the believer only turns to Allah and seeks refuge only with Him, against all such calamities and misfortunes to ward off which he feels he has no power. For example, about the polytheists it has been said in the Qur'an: "And that from among men some people used to seek refuge with some people from among the jinn (Al-Jinn: 16)." And explaining it in E.N. 47 of Surah Al-Jinn we have cited Hadrat `Abdullah bin 'Abbas's tradition that when the polytheistic Arabs had to pass a night in an uninhabited valley, they would call out, saying: We seek refuge of the lord of this valley (i e. of the jinn who is ruler and master of this valley)." Contrary to this, about Pharaoh it has been said: "When he witnessed the great Signs presented by the Prophet Moses, he showed arrogance on account of his might." (Adh-Dhariyat: 39). As for the attitude and conduct of the God-worshippers the Qur'an says that they seek Allah's refuge for protection against the evil of everything that they fear, whether it is material or moral or spiritual. Thus, about Mary it has been said that when God's angel appeared before her suddenly in human guise (when she did not know that he was an angel), she cried out: "I seek the merciful God's refuge from you, if you are a pious man." (Mary: 18). When the Prophet Noah made an improper petition to Allah, and was rebuked by Allah in response, he inunediately submitted: "My Lord, I seek Your protection lest I should ask of You anything of which I have no knowledge." (Hud: 47) When the Prophet Moses commanded the children of Israel to sacrifice a cow, and they said that perhaps he was having a jest with them, he replied: "I crave Allah's protection from behaving like ignorant people." (Al-Baqarah: 67) The same is the case with alI the acts of seeking refuge which have been reported in respect of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) in the books of Hadith. For instance, consider the following prayers that the Holy Prophet made: Hadrat 'A'ishah has reported that the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) used to pray, saying: "O God, I seek Your refuge from the evil of the works which I did and from the evil of the works which I did not do." (i.e. if I have done a wrong, I seek refuge from its evil results, and if.I have not done a work which I should have done, I seek refuge from the loss that 1 have incurred, or from that I should do what I should not do)."(Muslim) Ibn Umar has reported that one of the supplications of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) was to the effect: "O God, i seek Your refuge front being deprived of a blessing that You have bestowed on me and front being deprived of the well-being that You have granted me and I seek refuge lest Your wrath should descend on me suddenly, and 1 seek refuge front every kind of Your displeasure."(Muslim) Zaid bin Arqam has reported that the Messenger Of Allah used to pray: "O God, I seek Your refuge front the knowledge which is not beneficial, front the heart which dces not fear You, front me soul which is never satisfied, and front the prayer which is not answered."(Muslim) Hadrat Abu Hurairah has reported that the Holy Messenger used to pray: 'O God, I seek Your refuge from hunger, for it is a most evil thing with which one may have to pass a night, and I seek Your refuge from dishonesty, for it is sheer evil-mindedness." (Abu Da'ud). Hadrat Anas has reported that the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) used to pray: "O God, I seek Your refuge from leprosy and madness and aII evil diseases." (Abu Da'ud). Hadrat 'A'ishah has reported that the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) used to pray in these words: "O God, I seek Your refuge front the mischief of the fire and from the evil of affluence and poverty." (Tirmidhi, Abu Da'ud) Shakal bin Humaid requested the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) to teach him some prayer. He told hit' to say "O God, I seek Your refuge front the evil of my hearing, from the evil of my sight, from the evil of lily tongue, from the evil of my heart, and front the evil of my lust," (Tirmidhi Abu Da'ud). Atlas bits Malik has reported that the Holy Prophet used to say: "O God, I seek Your refuge from helplessness, indolence, cowardice, old age and stinginess, and I seek Your refuge from the torment of the grave and from the mischief of Iife and death, (and according to a tradition in Muslim also) from the burden of debt and that the people should overpower me. " (Bukhari, Muslim), Khawla bint Hukaym Sulamiyyah says that she heard the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) as saying that the one who halts at a new stage (during the journey) and says: "I seek refuge in the blameless Words of Allah from the evil of the creatures", will not be caused .any harm until he departs from that stage. (Muslim) We have related these few prayers of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) from the Hadith, which show that the believer should seek Allah's refuge from every danger and evil and not the refuge of anyone else, nor he should become self sufficient of Allah and place reliance only on himself. *3) The word used in the original is Rabbul- Falaq. Falaq actually means to split and to pierce through. A great majority of the commentators have taken it to mean bringing out the light of dawn by splitting the darkness of night, for in Arabic falaq as-subh is often used for the breaking of dawn, and in the Qur'an also the words :Faliq-ul-isbah (He Who causes the dawn to appear by splitting the darkness of night) have been used for Allah. (Al-An'am: 96). Another meaning of falaq also is to create, to bring into being, for everything created in the world appears by splitting something. All vegetation sprouts by splitting open the seed and the soil; all animals come out either from the womb of mother or by breaking open the egg, or some other obstruction. All springs gush out by splitting open the rock or soil. The day appears by piercing through the curtain of the night. The drops of rain pierce through the clouds and fall on the earth. In short, everything in the world comes into being as a result of breaking and splitting another thing; so much so that the earth and the heavens also in the beginning were one mass, then they were broken and parted. (Al-Anbiya': 30). Thus, according to this meaning the word falaq is common to all creations. Now, if the first meaning is adopted, the verse would mean: "I seek refuge with the Lord of rising dawn", and according to the second meaning, it would mean: "I seek refuge with the Lord of all creation." Here the attribute of "Rabb" has been used for Allah instead of His proper Name, for Allah's attribute of being Rabb, i. e. Master, Sustainer and Providence, is more relevant to seeking and taking of His refuge. Then, if Rabbtrl-falaq implies Lord of the rising dawn, seeking His refuge would mean: "I seek refuge with the Lord Who brings out the bright daylight from the darkness of night so that He may likewise bring well-being for me from all kinds of physical and psychical dangers." If it is taken to mean Rabb al-khalaq the meaning would be: "1 seek refuge with the Lord of all creation, so that He may protect me from the evil of His creation."