Thursday, 29 July 2010

Surah al Feel [Elephant] - Miracle Dream Tafseer - Nouman Ali Khan

Asalaam alaikum warahmatulah wabarakatuh

Surah Feel - the Elephant [105] -

Miracle Dream Tafseer
- Nouman Ali Khan

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The Layout of this Tafseer surah Fee

- Introduction

- Last 10 Surahs' Summarised

- A History Lesson of the Arabs of Makkah and Yemen

- A History Lessons of the Ethiopians/Abysinnians and Christians

- Meaning of the Aayaat - Linguistic Tafseer Surah Feel.

Introduction to the Last Ten Surahs' Sequenced in the Qur'an

The final 10 surahs of the Qur'an are a change to the theme of the Afterlife mentioned previously in Juzz 'Amma.

These last 10 surahs have some direct link to Allah's Messenger's life in the context of Revelation (Asbaab al Nuzool).

There is alot of context and historical background in these last 10 surahs.

When you speak in general terms, people may not necessarily get the message, so sometimes you directly have to mention 'You' to the person - to make them realise that they need to change their evil ways.

The same is in regard to the Quraysh and anyone who opposes a message - they will not accept that the threat is towards them unless it is specifically said; YOU will be punished.

So now we will see that there is a direct address to the Quraysh themselves.

Previous surah al Humazah; one feature of hell was Hutama - that which tramples and crushes people in hell.

= the produce that comes under your feet and crushes into powder.

Since the previous surah Humazah was the last surah on the afterlife, Allah is threatening the Quraysh now with punishment in this world.

We will see how Allah sends a punishment, in this world - against the army of the Elephant.

What is the punishment?

ayah 5 of this surah. They turned up into like chewed up corn.

1 - From the universal warning to the specific warning.
2 - What connects these 10 surahs together. Ten components of one main subject.

This ideological conflict took place in the city of Makkah.

originally it was called Bakkah. It's founder was Ibraheem/Abraham.

His du'a is the reason why Allah caused this city to exist.

Du'a is mentioned in Baqarah and Ibraheem.

وَإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ رَبِّ اجْعَلْ هَٰذَا بَلَدًا آمِنًا وَارْزُقْ أَهْلَهُ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ مَنْ آمَنَ مِنْهُم بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۖ قَالَ وَمَن كَفَرَ
فَأُمَتِّعُهُ قَلِيلًا ثُمَّ أَضْطَرُّهُ إِلَىٰ عَذَابِ النَّارِ ۖ وَبِئْسَ الْمَصِيرُ

And [mention] when Abraham said, "My Lord, make this a secure city and provide its people with fruits - whoever of them believes in Allah and the Last Day." [ Allah ] said.

"And whoever disbelieves - I will grant him enjoyment for a little; then I will force him to the punishment of the Fire, and wretched is the
[Baqarah 2:126]

This change in language signifies that at one time, this place was just desert. At another time, he realised this place was going to be a city - so he asked Allah to make it peaceful.

A few years later - there was a city.

So there are 2 prayers at different times.

His prayer was for it to be:

- Safe and Peaceful (aaminan)
- Provide its people with all kinds of fruits = Prosperity

Peace and Prosperity.

According to Political Science, a society cannot survive - unless it has Peace and Prosperity.

You have a house, business, money and cars - if it isn't safe - society can't survive.

You can have safety - but you don't have any wealth, business, trading, money etc - then that society cannot function.

This is the Genius of Prophet Ibraheem that he knew this.

But then we learn about him that he worries that Allah has made him Imam (leader) over mankind.

All believers are leaders of their families. So you are asked about those who are under you.

وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا

Rabbana hablana min azwajina wa min dhurriyaatina qurrata a'yunin wa ja'alna lil muttaqeena Imaama -

Our Lord, accept from us and our partners and out descendants, make them a coolness for our eyes and make us Leaders for the God fearing/consciess who guard against evil [surah Furqan 25:74]

We will be asked about those who we are responsible over.

So Ibraheem says;

وَإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ رَبِّ اجْعَلْ هَٰذَا بَلَدًا آمِنًا وَارْزُقْ أَهْلَهُ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ مَنْ آمَنَ مِنْهُم بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۖ قَالَ وَمَن كَفَرَ فَأُمَتِّعُهُ قَلِيلًا ثُمَّ أَضْطَرُّهُ إِلَىٰ عَذَابِ النَّارِ ۖ وَبِئْسَ الْمَصِيرُ
And [mention] when Abraham said, "My Lord, make this a secure city and provide its people with fruits - whoever of them believes in Allah and the Last Day." [ Allah ] said. "And whoever disbelieves - I will grant him enjoyment for a little; then I will force him to the punishment of the Fire, and wretched is the destination." [Baqarah 2:126]

Ibraheem does not want his descendants who do not believe in Allah and the Last Day (Judgment Day) to be fed by Allah because they are not worthy of it. He would be pleased if they did not live because they would do sin and oppression.

This is the similar to the du'a of Prophet Nuh [Noah]:
إِنَّكَ إِن تَذَرْهُمْ يُضِلُّوا عِبَادَكَ وَلَا يَلِدُوا إِلَّا فَاجِرًا كَفَّارًا

"If You leave them, they will mislead Your slaves, and they will beget none but wicked disbelievers." [Nuh 71:27]

Don't let them live because they will give birth to more oppressive, ungrateful disbelievers who do all sorts of evils without shame.

Allah does not answer this du'a of Ibraheem, instead He says;
wa man kaf-fara fa umati'uhoo qaleela -those who disbelieve, I will provide him a little also - then I will force him into the punishment of the fire...

All this du'a is in surah al Baqarah - and the video on the Legacy of Ibrahim by Nouman Ali Khan.

Last 10 Surahs'

Surah Feel [105].

An army of Elephants, arabs had never seen them in battle before. This was so strange and different to the Arabs that they called this year - 'Aam al Feel - The Year of the Elephant.

How are they going to fight an army of Elephants?

So when you see the army of Elephants - you knew the peace of of Makkah had broken. There was fear. Elephants were like war Tanks.

The people of Makkah fled to the Mountains. Except a few who tried to negotiate with Abraha.

None thought the peace in Makkah would remain. Abraha - the one who was the leader - had the main intent to destroy the Ka'bah and the city of Makkah.

Under the most impossible of circumstances - Allah kept the du'a/prayer of Ibraheem answered - He kept the city safe by destroying Abraha and his army.

Surah Quraysh [106]

The du'a of Ibraheem was for Allah to make the city safe, and to provide thamaraat (fruits/food) to the people. So the next surah after Surah Feel is surah Quraysh - where Allah is telling them that He has kept them safe and provided them with all sorts of fruits and foods throughout the year.

No tribe could travel for trade safely throughout the year except the Quraysh tribe. Any other tribe who did so would be robbed.
Why doesn't anyone mess with them? Because the Arabs thought that these were sacred people who looked after the Holy House (Masjid al Haram). The thiefs would fear to rob them because they thought they would get Divine punishment.

Also politically - all the tribes had false gods. These idols would be in the Haram (Masjid al Haram/main mosque in Makkah) - which the tribes would visit at Hajj time.

If some people tried to steal from the Quraysh - the Quraysh would warn them that they would harm their tribes idol in the Haram (main mosque in Makkah). So the thiefs/robbers would back away.

So both parts of Prophet Ibraheem's duas' are fulfilled.

In the end of Surah Quraysh 106 ayah 3: - fal ya'budu Rabba haadhal bayt - then let them enslave themselves to the Master of this House [Ka'bah].

The bayt/home is this city, they are being reminded of the one who prayed for this house - Ibraheem. That they should be monotheists like him.

Surah Quraysh 106 ayah 4: الَّذِي أَطْعَمَهُم مِّن جُوعٍ وَآمَنَهُم مِّنْ خَوْفٍ -aladhee at'ammahum min joo'in wa aamanhum min khawf - the one who has fed them from hunger, and given them safety/peace from fear.

This is the exact same things Prophet Ibraheem had prayed for. Food and Peace/safety - despite fear.

But are they worthy of these benefits of the du'a of Ibraheem? Didn't Ibraheem ask Allah to give only to those who believe? Yet these people do not believe in the last day, they are polytheists, so should they really deserve these blessings - when they are opposing his way?

"And whoever disbelieves - I will grant him enjoyment for a little; then I will force him to the punishment of the Fire, and wretched is the destination." [Baqarah 2:126]

Are these the worthy children of Ibraheem or the unworthy?

Surah Ma'un [107]

The surah after Quraysh is surah Ma'un - a surah which shows that they are not really worthy of Allah's favours.

Ibraheem continues his du'a/prayer in Surah al Baqarah [2:126-9]:

وَإِذْ يَرْفَعُ إِبْرَاهِيمُ الْقَوَاعِدَ مِنَ الْبَيْتِ وَإِسْمَاعِيلُ رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ. رَبَّنَا وَاجْعَلْنَا مُسْلِمَيْنِ لَكَ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِنَا أُمَّةً مُّسْلِمَةً لَّكَ وَأَرِنَا مَنَاسِكَنَا وَتُبْ عَلَيْنَا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ. رَبَّنَا وَابْعَثْ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًا مِّنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِكَ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ

And (remember) when Ibrahim (Abraham) and (his son) Isma'il (Ishmael) were raising the foundations of the House (the Ka'bah at Makkah), (saying), "Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us. Verily! You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knower."

"Our Lord! And make us submissive unto You and of our offspring a nation submissive unto You, and show us our Manasik (all the ceremonies of pilgrimage - Hajj and 'Umrah, etc.), and accept our repentance. Truly, You are the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful.

Our Lord, and send among them a messenger from themselves who will recite to them Your verses and teach them the Book and wisdom and purify them. Indeed, You are the Exalted in Might, the Wise."

The believers are good, and the evil are bad.

The custody of the house (in Makkah) should be to the Messenger, not to those who are not worthy - those who are Ma'un - those who might sacrifice but are so greedy for more.

So Allah tells us in the surah after that who the authority of the Masjid al Haram should belong to the good/obedient slaves of Allah, Allah's Messenger. So Allah gives Him many favours in surah Kawthar.

Kawthar [abundant good to Allah's Messenger] includes; the victories, the Qur'an, the legacy of Ibrahim, the cleansing of the house from idols.

Allah's Messenger has the honor of removing the idols from the house built by Ibraheem originally for Allah's worship alone.

Surah al Kawthar

So Allah says in ayah 2 of surah Kawthar [108];

fa sallee - so pray.

the first sign of gratefulness to Allah is prayer.

waNhar - and sacrifice.

prayer and sacrifice are the legacy of Ibraheem.

That tradition of sacrifice with that entire incident of Isma'il.

Now you are no longer one family of Ibraheem - rather, now you are enemies (shaani') to each other; believers and disbelievers are enemies to each other.

قَدْ كَانَتْ لَكُمْ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ فِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ إِذْ قَالُوا لِقَوْمِهِمْ إِنَّا بُرَآءُ مِنكُمْ وَمِمَّا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ كَفَرْنَا بِكُمْ وَبَدَا بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةُ وَالْبَغْضَاءُ أَبَدًا حَتَّىٰ تُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَحْدَهُ إِلَّا قَوْلَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ لِأَبِيهِ لَأَسْتَغْفِرَنَّ لَكَ وَمَا أَمْلِكُ لَكَ مِنَ اللَّهِ مِن شَيْءٍ ۖ رَّبَّنَا عَلَيْكَ تَوَكَّلْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ أَنَبْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ

There has already been for you an excellent pattern in Abraham and those with him, when they said to their people, "Indeed, we are disassociated from you and from whatever you worship other than Allah . We have denied you, and there has appeared between us and you animosity and hatred forever until you believe in Allah alone" except for the saying of Abraham to his father, "I will surely ask forgiveness for you, but I have not [power to do] for you anything against Allah . Our Lord, upon You we have relied, and to You we have returned, and to You is the destination. [Mumtahinah 60:4]

Surah Kafiroon

In Arab history - your identity/citizenship is your tribe (Qabeelah). Allah's Messenger is being told by Allah to renounce his citizenship by Allah ordering him to say;

Qul ya ayuhal Kafiroon
(Say: O you who disbelieve)

He isn't saying 'O my people! O Quraysh!'

Now it is clear - conflict, I am not a disbeliever, I am not of you.

Allah has made his Messenger say that he is officially an enemy of his tribes people now, and that a conflict is drawing near.

So when a conflict occurs, one side has to be Victorious.

Surah Nasr

Allah says;
idha jaa'a nasrullahi wal fat-h

- when the help and victory of Allah comes.

Many say it is Madani, others say it is Makki. But it is a promise of Allah that His Messenger will win in the conflict.

This is a very big occasion in history - Allah's religions Establishment on Earth.

The final Messenger and the final victory of this Messenger.

Minor signs are shown to show that the major help will come.

When you see the small signs;

When you see the clouds and rain slightly come - you know a storm is going to occur.

So what is the small sign that a big victory (of Nasr) will come.

Surah Lahab [111]

So Allah tells in Surah Lahab that He will destroy an enemy, a sign of eventual major victory.

Shaikh Ameen al Islaahi
(in Tadabbur al Qur'an) and Shaikh Muhammad Farooq az-Zayn (Nadhm al Qur'an) - when people are in war for a long time - they forget what they are fighting about. 'Why were we even in conflict?'

Surah al Ikhlas [112]

The conflict between the believers and disbelievers is quite long. So Allah reminds us why this conflict happened. Belief vs Disbelief.

If you want to summarise what Ibraheem's unique legacy was, it is well known - Tawheed - the Oneness of Allah, depending on Him alone, asking Him alone, serving Him alone etc.

That's his legacy.

So we are reminded of the agenda of this Ummah - Qul huwa Allahu ahad. To remind us we are struggling for Allah's religion.

The unparalleled Oneness of Allah is what believers are always striving to uphold.

Surah Falaq [113]

But as time progresses - negative influences from outside and internal influences from inside will affect that Tawheed - trying to make it weaker, as has happened throughout history.

So Allah sent surah Falaq - to protect the believers from evil on the outside.

Surah al-Naas [114]

And Allah sent surah an-Naas to protect the believers from evil whisperings on the inside.

All these surahs tie to the legacy of Prophet Ibraheem, which is tied to Allah's Messenger reviving it in a beautiful way.

قُلْ صَدَقَ اللَّهُ ۗ فَاتَّبِعُوا مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ

Say, " Allah has told the truth. So follow the religion of Abraham, inclining toward truth; and he was not of the polytheists." [aal Imran 3:95]

A History Lesson of the Arabs of Makkah and Yemen:

Specifically the Arab world can be split up into 3 parts:

- Iraq
- Sham (Syria)
- al Jazeera (Gulf) - meets sea on 3 sides, including Yemen.

For a great period in history, the rule of Saba' controlled trade between Europe and Asia and the rest of the world. Their ports gave them alot of strength, wealth and in effect - Political power.

The great flood occurs at 450-451 CE - so everything they had is destroyed.

So now - There needs to be a new location where the travelling route can take place in Yemen.

So how is this connected to the Arabian Peninsula?

The Yemeni Arabs left that region and settled as tribes in different places.

'Aws and Khazraj
are also Yemeni tribes who settled in Medinah. And earlier times from Yemen had already settled at the location of Zamzam water when Isma'il was a baby with his mother Hajar - where Ibraheem had been commanded by Allah to leave them.
Those people had left Yemen in search for water and settled with them. Isma'il grew up amongst them and got married into them.

In Hijaz
[western arabia] - the children of Isma'il are settling in different places during this similar time period. And there is a historical figure Uthayb bin Kalaam/al Mujami' [born around 400 CE] (mentioned by Ibn Khaldun) - he makes the children of Isma'il to unify and make a state/city.

They are trying to unify their family as one block of family strength. And because he is charismatic - the people agree.

So the population of Makkah grows.

This man who united the sons of Isma'il has 3 sons. The most popular of them is Abd al Manaf, and he had 4 sons; Hashim, Mu'tallib, Abdul Shams and Nawfal.

Hashim is born on 464 CE - after the flood. (the flood was on 450 CE).
As Hashim grows up - he feels that the Makkans might be able to take advantage of the Economic vacuum which is taking place.

So Hashim starts to make trade agreements of Makkah with other business empires in the surrounding countries.

Traders from Yemen have already left the region because they couldn't survive their economically.

So Hashim goes to secure a business connection in Sham (Syria) to an Arab King of Ghassan.
Abdul Shams - to Habasha (Ethiopia)
Nawfal - to Iraq.
And sent one of his brothers to Yemen.

So he made Makkah - a central port for trade. Since Makkah is central between all these 4 lands.

These brothers made an Agreement (Eelaaf) - these brothers are called As-haab al Eelaaf (the companions of the United Agreement).
Also they are known as Al Mutajreen - the traders.

This is the exact same word mentioned in the beginning ayah of surah Quraysh.

Hashim was of the 4 brothers who had started Makkah as an economic power.

He had a son known as Abdul Mu'tallib (457 CE born) - who had Abdullah - who had; Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah (sal Allah alayhi wasalam).

The Ethiopian Christian/Roman World during all this time Period:

300 years after Jesus, the Romans rule Rome, Western Asia, Turkey, Egypt, Ethiopia, part of Yemen.

There was a brief time when Yemen became partially Jewish - they started oppressing the Christians. Some even say this oppression was against the Monotheistic followers of Jesus mentioned in surah Burooj of as-haab al Ukhdood (the companions of the ditch.)

The Ethiopians saw the oppression against other Christians in Yemen by the Jewish rule - so they invaded Yemen. They set up a king from the Christian Yemeni group who ruled them. But soon there was infighting between the kings for power.

Abraha does a military coup - he takes over the king of Yemen, while keeping good ties with Ethiopia - telling them that he did this only for the sake of wanting to apply justice.
It became weaker than before - but the allegiance was still there.

The way kings encourage people to gain strength again is by reminding the people how powerful they once were - and how they need to return to their former greatness once more.

So what does Abraha remind the people of? About their fame when they were a powerful business empire.

So now Abraha decides to build al Qullays - a christian centre, a huge building/shrine/temple made of the most expensive materials - hoping it will undermine Makkah.

You can't change peoples religious mentality within a small amount of time.

So he sends a letter to Ethiopia - saying that the Arabs (of Yemen and Arabia) - are still preferring the Ka'bah over al Qullays - the christian temple.

The arabs found out about this and they went there out of hatred - and they defecated in the building to show that no-one respects it. Others say they burnt the place down.

Abraha is extremely anger - if they have insulted him and his religion - it incites him and his army even more to attack Makkah who has taken away, their former economic power of the past.

He has an army of between 12,000 - 60,000 in his army - directing to attack Makkah with the help of Yemenis and Ethiopians. The Arabs do not have professional armies, they are divided and their numbers are far less.

The army of Abraha had 9 - 13 elephants. Mahmood was a Massive elephant from them.

When they get to at-Ta'if - Ta'if negotiated with them. Why? Because they had their main idol Laat with them. So they did not fear their idol would get destroyed if Makkah was destroyed.
The other tribes did not fight because their idols were in Makkah, and if their tribe idol did get destroyed - who would they turn to in worship?

Abu Righal was appointed by the tribe of at-Takheef, from the town of at-Ta'if - to guide the army of Abraha to the Ka'bah. Because the path between the two towns (Makkah and at-Ta'if is complicated).

Abu Righal died on the way. This became a monument because he was a historical betrayer of the Arabs. So the arabs would spit on and stone his grave.

Abraha's army reached Makkah in the month of Muharram. The reasons why Makkah was attacked is because of politics, and religious issues.

Allah talks about Military/political issues of the surah in surah Feel.

In surah Quraysh - Allah talks about the economic issues of Quraysh.

Ayah 1:

أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ فَعَلَ رَبُّكَ بِأَصْحَابِ الْفِيلِ
Alam tara kayfa fa'AAala rabbuka bi-as-haabi al feel

Have you not seen, [O Muhammad], how your Lord dealt with the companions of the elephant?

alam taRa - did you not See?

alam taraW - did You (Plural) not see?

The scholars wondered whether this was referring other peoples individually, or to Allah's Messenger?

There is evidences for both.

1 - To Individuals

wa bil waalidayni ihsaana
- and be good to both your parents. (Surah al Isra' )

Allah's Messenger does not have two parents in his lifetime because they had died along time ago before this command was given.

This command is to other people. Even though the singular was used.

Also - Maybe alot of people saw the event because they were alive when this event occurred? Some say this event occurred abit before the birth of Allah's Messenger.

So it is possible that it refers to certain individuals who did see this event within their childhood. And that Allah is talking to them - did you not see..?

2 - the Messenger is being asked:

But Allah's Messenger did not see it then. He was born after.

so it can be in a figurative way; have you not heard, have you not realised how your Master dealt with the people of the Elephant?

The Arabs did not have a christian calendar, they would say to eachother; Do you remember the event which occurred 10 years after 'Aam al Feel (the Year of the Elephant)?

It can also be; are you not amazed at how your Master dealt with the people of the Elephant?

If you look at the size of the army - it is bigger than the amount of people living in Makkah.
When a army with Elephants loses to a people - without any fighting -
this shows Allah has plans of keeping this city secure through ways which He wills.

Did you not realise that this can happen - that Allah can keep peace in Makkah - by Himself? That He can destroy an entire deadly army without needing the help of anyone else? An army which has elephant tanks that can flatten the whole city down with their feet?

alam taRa - did you not see? Have you not heard about it? Are you not amazed?

Dr Fadil Hassaan ar-Ra'i: This surah is a lesson for every rebellious tyrant, oppressor and dictator who lives in any civilization at any time.

Anyone who seeks to overpower others with their armies, they do not care about their enemy and will not fear any consequences.

The weak ask for the law, and the strong oppressors say that the law does not apply to them because they are 'above the law.'

This is seen throughout history, and can even be seen today.

This is the concept the surah is alluding to.

This is why the word Tarra was placed in this ayah. Didn't you See (Tarra)?

Tarra is the verb in present tense.

Common Translation of ayah 1: Didn't you see..? It is translated in past tense.

ammaa Ra'ayta would be past tense in arabic.

However - Present tense in arabic Balaghah/Rhetoric implies; something Continuous.

It didn't happen - but it happened over and over again.

This will be a continuous Theme in the Surah - we will see how the Present-future tense in Arabic is used to imply continuity.

That - Allah dealing with oppressors - won't just occur for that present Time (of the Army of the Elephant event), but it refers to Allah dealing with future oppressers too, always.

3 - In the phrase Alam Tarra there are two benefits:

Something you see physically (literally) with your eyes, or you visualise with your mind (figuratively).

taRa - Ra'a - to see literally and with insight.

Some scholars say that Allah's Messenger did not see the event of the Army of the Elephant. They say he was born in the same year, but 50 days after that major event.

So he did not see the event with his eyes, but he has heard it over and over again within his lifetime as we will see from the commentaries of Tafseer (explanations on the Qur'an).

4 - Alam Tarra - also Produces the meaning of Shock.

Didn't you not see/hear about how your Master dealt with them?!

5 - Iltifaat - transisions in the Qur'an.

Allah talks to different audiences in the Qur'an. So even though Allah's Messenger is being spoken to in this ayah - he will recite it to the people - so the disbelievers who listen to this ayah will be warned, but they will also realise that Allah is siding for His Messenger (because Allah says; RabbuKa [Your Master (O Muhammad)] dealt with the companions of the Elephant).

So Allah is warning the elders of Quraysh - who did see the event of the companions of the Elephant - through His Messenger; didn't you see how your Master (O Muhammad) - [how He dealt with the oppressors?).

: to give the Messenger amazement with what Allah did with the people of the elephant. You know and the people with you know very well because of what came to them continuously of the story of the Elephant.

They knew this because at the time the Army of the Elephant came - all the people of Makkah had to evacuate to the mountains. Apart from a few who made negotiations with Abraha (the leader of the Elephant army).

This year was so famous to the Arabs - that they made it a calendar from which they compared other dates too. I.e. Someone might say; 'Do you remember the event which happened 2 years after the Year of the Elephant ('Aam al Feel)?'

The Arabs all recognised the Holiness of the Ka'bah, so the Ka'bah and its guardians - the Quraysh gained more respect due to this event. This was a proof that it was a holy sanctuary which Allah had, and would protect.

continues; Alam tarra kayfa - did you not see? (how Allah dealt with His enemies?) So the disbelievers should be aware that if they oppose Allah's Messenger, Allah can destroy them too. Just like He destroyed the people of the Elephant.

They took pride in how Allah protected His holy house - the Ka'bah, so they should take one more step in enslaving themselves to Him by following His final Messenger.

The Hamza (letter 'A' on A lam in the first ayah) signifies a question in the statement;

you not see (A lam Tarra?).

What is the significance of the Hamza (A)? What is the significance of the statement being in Question form?

- To give emphasis to the event, and evoke the Conscience of the one who has recieved a favour from Allah.

(i.e. Don't you remember how your Master dealt with the companions of the Elephant? Why aren't you grateful to Him for that?)

This question addresses Allah's Messenger and also indirectly to the disbelievers.

To the disbelievers
: It warns them that they should remember Allah's favour upon them, and be grateful to Him for that. And that if they do not - they will become His enemies - and He can destroy them like He destroyed Abraha's army.

To the Messenger
: Allah is giving reminder to His Messenger that He is on his side;Your Master will give you help through whatever means it takes. The same way your Master protected the Ka'bah when it had no other human to defend it.

Historical Account continued

When Abraha reached near Makkah, he met Abdul Mu'tallib, and Abdul Mu'tallib (the grandfather of Allah's Messenger) tried to make a settlement. He offered Abraha the lands/plains of Tahamah, a third of the revenues of the Treasury of Tahamah.
But Abraha refused and prepared his armies - showing defiance. He wasn't bothered with making piece. He just wanted to show his strength.

as-haab al Feel - companions of the Elephant.

is the word for Elephant, and it is in singular form.

Why did Allah use the singular word Elephant, when we know there were between 9 to 13 elephants in the army (the plural for Elephant is aFyaal [Elephants].) So why didn't Allah use the word aFyaal?

1 - Because the army was known for the most famous Elephant which was huge/extremely big and the most famous of the elephants (known as Mahmood)

2 - Feel is a singular word which can refer to an entire category [Ism Jam'].
The Elephant People. Iddaafah (causes an Identification) - these people were associated with the elephants.

As-haab al Feel will be discussed in more detail later insha' Allah.

Alam tarra:

1 - Why did Allah say - did you not see? When Allah's Messenger was not there?

Seeing = knowledge and reminder.

Don't you know? Have you forgotten what happened?

It indicates that the news of this event was spreading amongst the people continuously always.

This acquired knowledge is more powerful to mention as 'did you not see?' instead of 'did you know?' Did you not see is more graphical and visual.

2 - There is Condemnation in the Qur'an many times when Allah says; Alam tarra - did you not see? i.e.:

أَلَمْ يَرَوْا كَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا مِن قَبْلِهِم مِّن قَرْنٍ مَّكَّنَّاهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ مَا لَمْ نُمَكِّن لَّكُمْ وَأَرْسَلْنَا السَّمَاءَ عَلَيْهِم مِّدْرَارًا وَجَعَلْنَا الْأَنْهَارَ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهِمْ فَأَهْلَكْنَاهُم بِذُنُوبِهِمْ وَأَنشَأْنَا مِن بَعْدِهِمْ قَرْنًا آخَرِينَ

See they not [alam yaraw] how many a generation We destroyed before them, whom We had established in the earth more firmly than We have established you, and We shed on them abundant showers from the sky, and made the rivers flow beneath them. Yet we destroyed them for their sins, and created after them other generations.

[al An'am 6:6]

3 - Tafseer ul Waseet fi Tafseer il Qur'an al Kareem
(a contemporary written Tafseer) - by at-Tantawi (not the present one but the one before him):

Allah put the question in the way of 'How' - Allah didn't say What He did, but HowAllah dealt with them.

The How (Kayfa) tells in more detail than just the word What (Maa). The word What would tell what happened (destruction). But the word How would explain how the destruction happened = more detail.

4 - Kayfa (how) is used for Amazement. How could it be that a massive army of strong elephants come to you and you have no army to defend your city - yet they are destroyed?

When a nations army dies abroad, the nation gets angry and sends more people to avenge them. However, Abraha did not die - he survived and made it all the way back to Yemen, so when the pebbles of Sijjeel hit him - they had peeled and burned his skin off as though he was melting (through which he gradually painfully died), so when he returned to his people - they saw his skin melting off and never wanted to avenge them - out of fear that they would get the same disease as him.

It was an amazing plan of Allah.

أَفَلَمْ يَنظُرُوا إِلَى السَّمَاءِ فَوْقَهُمْ كَيْفَ بَنَيْنَاهَا وَزَيَّنَّاهَا وَمَا لَهَا مِن فُرُوجٍ

Have they not then observed the sky above them, how We have constructed it and beautified it, and how there are no rifts therein? [Qaf 50:6]

So Allah makes us amazed at all the sky and universe above us through this ayah.

There is no doubt that this miracle of the Creator dealing with Abraha is a proof of His power and control (qudrah) and wisdom in the way He planned. I.e. If Abraha died in Makkah, the Yemenis and Ethiopians might have sent more people to avenge him. However, his slow melting painful death which they had seen with their own eyes in Yemen scared them from doing similar to what he did.

6 - This incident is a proof of the honor of Prophet Muhammad because miraculous events occur in the year a Prophet is born and appointed by Allah. As a indication and confirmation of their Prophethood.

And that is why they say the clouds would cast shadow over the Messenger of Allah as he travelled, and the plants prostrated to him etc.

Similarly - the year Prophet Moses was born, Pharoah started to kill the sons of the Bani Isra'il (Jewish Muslims) because Pharoah had a dream that a boy from Bani Isra'il would be born -who would remove him from his kingdom. Yet Moses/Musa survived secretly because Allah protected him in the house of Pharoah himself as a adopted child.
Then when Moses was about to get Prophethood - he accidentally killed a man (to defend another man) and Moses ran away from the kingdom of Pharoah out of fear that he would get killed.

Then he returned back after a few years to Pharoah as a Messenger from Allah.

So such miraculous moments of remembrance occur - so the people remember that this is the upcoming time for a Messenger from Allah.

Abdul Mu'tallib made Poetry as a Supplication/Du'a to Allah:

La hum il-la al mar'a yamhalahu famna' halaalak

(there is no doubt about it - there is a man who has the intent of wreaking havoc in it [Makkah], then keep him away from your halaal [permissible]

I.e. He is implying that the holy house is called the Haram (forbidden to do evils sanctuary), and the only one it is Halal/permissible for Allah alone. You're the only one who can defend it.

wansur 'ala Aala as-Sareeb
- so help (us) over the people of the Cross/crucifix.

The army of Abraha was Christian and influenced by the Ethiopians Christians. These Ethiopians were the people who had given them the Elephants.

wa 'aabidheehi
- and those who worship it.

Al yawma aalaK
(this day (help) your people [against the worshippers of the cross/crucifix)

So he is saying to Allah that we are your people who lookafter your House of worship, so help us against the cross worshippers.

la yaghlibana sareebuhum wa mahaalahum 'udwan
(let not there cross/crucifix or there plans of destruction - out of animosity - destroy your Place/sanctity.

In kunta taarakahum wa ka'batuna
(if you are going to leave them and abandon our Ka'ba

fa'mur maa badaalak
- then do what you decide.

He also made a du'a;

Ya Rabb la arju lahum waaka
- my Master I don't wish for them Waaka (i.e. Success).

- in crop season there is harvest. And the farmer works hard to produce crops. This effort is Waaka.

Abdul Mu'tallib is wishing that Allah does not make their hard efforts - of getting to Makkah to destroy the Ka'bah - be a success.

I do not wish that they see the fruits of their labour/success.

Ya Rabb famna 'anhum habaka
- My Master - keep them from attacking those who support you.

These are the poetic supplications of Abdul Mu'tallib.

Fa'ala - Did

According to Taaj al Uroos (a famous Arabic Reference lexicon dictionary):

Fi'l -
1 - action.
2 - movement
3 - something that occurs.

Refers to something abstract.

; bi fi'li kadha (bi ta'theeriha) = because of it's Impact.

bil Fi'l / Fi'lan - ofcourse / truly / obviously.

It is real, its not hypothetical. It really takes place.

Ja'ala (transformed) and Khalaqa (created) is not used becauseFi'l cover's both meanings.

could also be used but it is an action with intent. Fi'l is not. 'Aml also requires some effort.

Fi'l is used for Allah instead of 'Aml because it signifies there is no effort.

إِنَّ رَبَّكَ فَعَّالٌ لِّمَا يُرِيدُ
Verily, your Lord is the doer of what He wills. [Hud 11:107]

أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ فَعَلَ رَبُّكَ بِعَادٍ
Have you not considered how your Lord dealt with 'Aad - [Fajr 89:6]

Alam taRa kayfa Fa'ala Rabbuka bi as-hab al feel.
Have you not considered how your Lord dealt with the companions of the Elephant. [Surah Feel ayah 1]

When an 'aml is done - you are alluding that other actions without intent.
So 'Aml is not used because Allah always does everything with ease, and with full knowledge of what He is doing.

Al Aloosi in Rooh al Ma'ani
If He had mentioned all 3 words (i.e. Khalaqa, Ja'ala, 'Aml) the speech would be prolonged unnecesarily. So Allah spoke the most comprehensive of speech without having to mention other unnecessary words. Fi'l sufficed, so Allah used that.

In every word - there is wisdom from Allah.

RabbuKa - Your Master.

He didn't use the word Allah.

Allah is an Ism 'Aalam - a Name of Allah with ALL His Qualities included within it.

But Rabb signifies one main attribute of Being Master and therefore necessitating slavery. (it also signifies other Attributes like; al Mun'im [giver of favours], al Qayyim [powerful], al MuRabbi [Master], Mu'ttee [who gives alot]).
But the main concept of Rabb is Him being the Master, and us therefore being the slaves.

This destruction of Abraha's army was done by your Master and so we have to be His dutiful slaves.

Rabb (Master) in this ayah places demands on you to be a slave of Allah, but the word Allah would not do achieve that same result.

This is clearer in the next surah;

fal ya'budu Rabba haadhal bayt
- then let them enslave themselves to the Master of this House. (Quraysh 106:3).

RabbuKa - Your
(singular 'you') Master.

Your Master
(O Muhammad)

He mentions His Messenger, so He will protect him - just like He protected the Holy House in Makkah.

- It is as if Allah said; it is no doubt that when the people saw the revenge, and you did not see the punishment on Abraha, but you were still an obedient slave to Allah while they were not.

So it is like you saw the punishment truly, and they did not. So Allah has picked him over all others.

By saying Rabbuk - Your Master. Allah is implying that I am on your side (O Muhammad), and that I am enemies with your enemies. I can destroy them, just like I destroyed the enemies of this Holy House.

I only did this against the people of the Elephant to show the gratefulness of you and to honour your arrival.
And I have been the carer for your people before your coming, so how am I going to leave your caring after you have come?

It is also a proof that Allah's Messenger will be victorious soon and clean the House from idol worship.

By saying Rabb instead of Allah, Allah has illustrated the ugliness of what has been done of shirk/polytheism in the Holy House of Allah in the Holy Mosque.

'How dare you enslave yourself to other masters when your true Master is only Allah who provides you with all that you have?'

Rabb has negated and attacked their shirk/polytheism.

As-haab al Feel.

Allah did not say arbaab or amlaak (the owners/masters) of the Elephant/s. He said as-haab, which means Companions.

Saahib can be a categorical statement, i.e. You are like those who you are companions (as-haab) with.

So these people are called As-haab al Feel = Elephant people.
Allah is humiliating them and implying that these people are like animals, like elephants. In their morals and etiquettes - they have a lack of understanding and intellect ('aql).

Whenever there is companionship between two people;
it is said; lil adwanu innahoo saahib ul a'la - the lesser one is the companion of the higher one.

i.e. If there are 2 men, the one who has less skills than the other will be called the saahib (companion), and the higher skilled one will be called the higher one.

i.e. Allah's Messenger is higher than the companions (sahaba), and this is why - they are called sahaba and Allah's Messenger is not called a Sahabi/companion of his companions.

So these people in Abraha's army are called the companions (as-hab) of the Elephant. It is like Allah is implying that the elephant/s are of a level higher than these people in the army!

So they are the elephants' companions', while the elephants are the higher ones!

وَلَقَدْ ذَرَأْنَا لِجَهَنَّمَ كَثِيرًا مِّنَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنسِ ۖ لَهُمْ قُلُوبٌ لَّا يَفْقَهُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ أَعْيُنٌ لَّا يُبْصِرُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ آذَانٌ لَّا يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ كَالْأَنْعَامِ بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْغَافِلُونَ

And We have certainly created for Hell many of the jinn and mankind. They have hearts with which they do not understand, they have eyes with which they do not see, and they have ears with which they do not hear. Those are like livestock; rather, they are more astray. It is they who are the heedless. [al A'raf 7:179]

He proves this point. Why? Because when the elephants were commanded to destroy the house, everytime the elephant was pointed towards the house - he would turn away and run in the opposite direction.

Just like the hadith:

قول النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم : " لا طَاعَةَ لِمَخْلُوقٍ فِي مَعْصِيَةِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ . " رواه الإمام أحمد 1041 وهو حديث صحيح

La ttaa'ata li makhlooqin fee ma'asiyyatin Khaliq

There is no obedience to a created being if it involves disobedience of the Creator” (reported by Ahmad, 1041; a saheeh hadeeth)

The animal refuses to obey the creation in destroying the Ka'bah - yet these people who are worser than animals are bent upon destroying it.
The elephant was in a better state than even them humans were.

al Aloosi
Isn't it true that the polytheists have done a worse crime (of shirk) than Abraha's plan of taking down the walls of the Ka'ba?

So why did Allah not destroy them? Aren't they both criminals?

Allah waged His destruction on the one who was harming the rights of other humans in this life - so Allah destroyed him in this life.
But the one who harmed the rights of Allah - his destruction will be in the next life.

Ayah 2:

أَلَمْ يَجْعَلْ كَيْدَهُمْ فِي تَضْلِيلٍ

Alam yajAAal kaydahum fee tadleel

Did He not make their decieving plotting go into great waste?

Didn't He make their plot go to waste?

the second: A lam -
didn't He..?

This is further emphasis of Allah helping and reminding us of His favours.

yaj'al is also present tense. Showing Continuity - He took their plot, and took it to waste.
Showing that He will always do this - He will always make the plot of those who attempt to harm Allah's signs (religion etc.) go to waste.

This is why Present-future (Muddaari') tense is used.

Ja'ala as opposed to Fa'ala in this ayah.
Ja'ala - take something and transform it into something else.

So Allah let them make their plan, prepare for it, train for it, march forward in their armies for it, then fully execute it, and then suddenly - Allah transformed it into waste.

Allah didn't alleviate it at the beginning. Rather - He let them think that the plan was working. Yaj'al - Allah played them along and failed and fooled them right at the end.

Nouman's teacher Dr Sami
: when someone is rebellious - Allah let's them go free.

Like a wild dog with a lead. At first you might tie them to a lead of 1 metre.
But if he is really rebellious, take him to a 400 meter field. He will think he is free - he will run at full speed in this field - thinking he is free to rebel. As he runs really fast, when he reaches the 400 metre level - he gets yanked, and chokes - that pain is much worse for him.

اللَّهُ يَسْتَهْزِئُ بِهِمْ وَيَمُدُّهُمْ فِي طُغْيَانِهِمْ يَعْمَهُونَ
Allah mocks at them and gives them increase in their wrong-doings to wander blindly. [Baqarah 2:15]

Allah could have destroyed them earlier, but because of their sincerety in going down this evil path - Allah allows them to go down this way and then He fails them. But this evil will only increase their punishment with Allah.

In the last ayah of this surah - past tense is used to describe the unique punishment. And past tense is used because Allah will not continuously send such a punishment.

The word Qayd is similar to Makr - a Plot (a plan made to harm someone).

Military plans are Qayd, i.e. Ambush which is secret.

Makr = deception in a Plan. I.e. You lead people on and you are decieving them.

Didn't He take your secret plot and put it to waste?

Qayd is used as an attempt to harm someone secretly.

How come it's called when his plan was open in clear day time?


1 - Because they were hiding animosity in their hearts against the Makkans which they did not show to them.
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا بِطَانَةً مِّن دُونِكُمْ لَا يَأْلُونَكُمْ خَبَالًا وَدُّوا مَا عَنِتُّمْ قَدْ بَدَتِ الْبَغْضَاءُ مِنْ أَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَمَا تُخْفِي صُدُورُهُمْ أَكْبَرُ ۚ قَدْ بَيَّنَّا لَكُمُ الْآيَاتِ ۖ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ

O you who have believed, do not take as intimates those other than yourselves, for they will not spare you [any] ruin. They wish you would have hardship. Hatred has already appeared from their mouths, and what their breasts/hearts conceal is greater. We have certainly made clear to you the signs, if you will use reason. [aal Imran 3:118]

2 - Society which revolves around religion, similar to secular nations who now call to patriotism to ones nationality. These people use these these calls (of religion or national loyalty) to incite people to fight another people - even though the battle is usually for Economic benefit.

So Abraha called people to have war of faiths, but the real Qayd was for economic benefits.

This is the exact same situation of Quraysh rejecting the Messenger of Allah.
Ja'ala aalihata illaaha wahida, inaha shay'un 'ujaab - (has he made all the gods into One God? This is a strange thing indeed!) - quran

The Quraysh is not really shocked that all the gods are not real and that there is One God. They are inside fearful that if people find out about this One God - they will desert the idol worship, and Quraysh will lose out financially in selling idols.

Qayd is the secret plans of the Abraha in doing a economic war secretly, and pretending it is a Christian cause.

Dalaala (taddleel) - to waste, to destroy.
So it is no longer useable at all.
dal-la - to be lost literally, to place something somewhere and not be able to find it.

Didn't We take put the efforts of the Ethiopians /companions of the Elephant go to waste?

Taddleel (taf'eel) - repetition. On many occassions, Allah made it go to waste.


I.e. They built al Qul-lays (the Chrisitian temple - so people would worship at it) - that failed.
- he tried to urge Arabs to love it like the Ka'bah - that failed.
- It was burnt, and defecated on - another fail.
- They planned and marched to take the Ka'bah and break it down - they failed.

taddleel (in taf'eel format) signifies continuous failures.

Allah put their entire plans to fail.

Imru' al Qays (a famous pre-Islamic poet) - was called; the king with the quality of Ddaleel ضلي ل - because he wasted the fortunes of his father after recieiving his inheritance.

Failing Abraha's plans added respect to the Ka'bah instead of lowering its status.

وَمَا دُعَاءُ الْكَافِرِينَ إِلَّا فِي ضَلَالٍ- what is the prayer of the disbelievers except to waste?
[ar-Ra'd 13:14]

Fee - in

Allah did not say; He put their plan to waste.

He put their Plan Fee (In) waste.

What's the benefit of that?

Fee - (in) is used for imagery.

it is harf ad-dharff (zamaan or makaan) - word of imagery; of time or location.

Allah is making us visualise that you take something good, and you throw it in a fire so it is burnt and worthless.

I.e. The elaborate plan was completely destroyed and wasted.

Ayah 3:

وَأَرْسَلَ عَلَيْهِمْ طَيْرًا أَبَابِيلَ
Waarsala AAalayhim tayran abaabeel

And He sent upon them birds in flocks,

sent against them birds

- herds upon herds upon herds.

When Abdul Mu'tallib made the du'a (prayer) to Allah, he saw flocks/herds of birds flying from the direction of Yemen (interestingly because the army of Abraha also came from Yemen).

He then said;
wallahi inaha la tayrun ghareeba, ma hiyya bi najdiyya wa la tah-hamiyyah,
- I swear by Allah, these are strange birds, they are not from Najd, nor are they from Tahhaam.

Each bird carried 3 stones, two in its feet claws, and one in its beak.

Then the stone that would land - would land on a person and hit their head and come out from the other side.

Abu Ubayda
said: Ababeel - multiple groups of different kinds (species).

It is said; the horses (or birds?) came herds upon herds from many different directions.

(a great arabic grammarian in our Islamic history) said: The reality is that they are huge awesome flocks of many different kinds of birds / species.

They were coming from every part of the sky - so it was very dark in the sky.

The arabs had an amazing imagination, with picturesque poetry. This is proven through their literature because they lived in a plain desert. So they needed to put colour and description in their lives through their media - poetry.

It was said; They were green birds coming from the oceans.

Allah might not want us to see what He did, but How He did it (kayfa).

Weightless birds destroyed an army of Elephants?

How can Allah use birds destroy an army?

Why did Allah say; arsala 'Alayhim(sent Upon them)
and not; arsala Ilayhim (sent To them).

The word 'Ala shows Superiority and and Domination and wreaking havoc on someone and imposing oneself on them.

And this is why Allah says when punishing people; aRsala 'Alayhim (sent Upon them) - showing His domination over them.

To and Upon shows a big difference.

حَتَّىٰ إِذَا فَتَحْنَا عَلَيْهِم بَابًا ذَا عَذَابٍ شَدِيدٍ إِذَا هُمْ فِيهِ مُبْلِسُونَ

Until when We have opened upon them [
علي alayhim] a door of severe punishment, immediately they will be therein in despair. [Mu'minum 23:77]

fa arsalna 'alayhim tayran abaabeel
- so We sent Upon them birds in flocks.

So we see Allah says 'Ala (upon) when sending punishment to show Power from above.

But when He sends a Messenger, He mentions Ilaa إلى (to). (il-laa fir'awn.. - quran)

So we see that Moses was sent as a Mercy, if he was sent as a punishment - Allah would say 'alaa fir'awn.

: And your Master sent upon them birds of different natures, one kind would follow behind another kind.

- in herds/flocks/packs. There is no singular for this word.
Flocks upon flocks of birds, scores upon scores.

- used as a collective/plural noun = All kinds of birds. (in comparison to tayoor which would be many birds only) Tayran implies ALL kinds of birds.

Adding tanween on it - TayraN - showing they were many birds of different kinds and to terrify.

Because tanween is done to Terrorise (in Nasab form [fat-ha/zabar form] - TayrAN). TayrAN! Terror. All birds!

This exclamation of tanween which had guided shooting stones - they did not hit you. But you were there - what if they had hit you?

Similar words are
shammaateet شماتة

and others.

Ibn Hashim
: the arabs never used a singular word for Abaabeel (flocks).

Ibn Abbas and ad-Dahhak
: Abaabeel refers to groups that follow one after the other.

Hasan al Basri and Qatadah
: Ababeel refers to many and many.

: they are dispersed (in their species), continuous and unified in one place.

Ibn Zayd
: they came from every direction and united.

Al Farraa'
: I did not hear the arabs use the single form of the word Ababeel ever.

This surah is a gift to the Messenger of Allah.

al Bica'i
: Allah gives His Messenger gifts even before he was born. He protects this city, and He defended this holy House of worship for him, so he could clear the Holy house from idols and turn to it for prayer and the Muslims
(a house originally built for Allah's worship alone by Prophet Ibraheem).

This newly found respect for Allah's Messenger.

We gain new respect of how Allah guards this house for Allah's Messenger (alam tara kayfa fa'ala Rabbuka - do you know how Your Lord [O Muhammad] - dealt with the companions of the elephant.

The arabs thought Allah had protected this house for them. But Allah firstly, had protected this house for His beloved final Messenger, Muhammad (sal Allah alayhi wasalam) - so he could revive the legacy of Ibraheem for mankind, and unite people to the worship of Allah alone.

Ayah 4:

تَرْمِيهِم بِحِجَارَةٍ مِّن سِجِّيلٍ

tarmeehim bi hijaaratin min sijjeel

Striking them with stones of hard clay,

Allah sent upon them birds

In surah Ahzab - Allah sent winds and armies [of angels] you did not see - Reehan wa junooda lam tarawha [ رِيحًا وَجُنُودًا لَّمْ تَرَوْهَا ۚ Ahzab 33:9 ]

ۚ وَمَا يَعْلَمُ جُنُودَ رَبِّكَ إِلَّا هُوَ
- none knows the armies of Allah except Him [Mudathir 74:31]

tarmee - Ramee - to throw.

tarmee - present tense is being used. For present tense to be used to describe a past event = it was happening continuously.

The pebbles kept coming down continuously.

If Ramat (past tense of Tarmee) was used - it would imply that the birds only threw once.

But it kept coming down continuously like rain.

Tarmee - Rama / yaRmee - to throw from a distance.
Thrown with a specific target.

So the birds threw from a height. And this hurts because of the force of gravity.

Thrown with a specific target. - so it is like Allah is targetting each criminal with guided missiles.

bi hijaaratin..

With stones

min sijjeel / from sijjeel

Sijjeel was originally a Farsi (Persian) word, and gradually became an arabic word.

Sange Gil
(Sijjeel in arabic) in Farsi refers to pebbles which form on the ground when it rains, the sand clogs up like mud. Then it is baked with the extreme heat of the sun.

So sijjeel could refer to these dust based rocks.

That which is weak/powerless - Allah can destroy the strongest of things. He destroyed an army of Elephants by dust and birds.

said; Yunus the grammarian said:

The arabs said Sijjeel is the type of rock which hits you - it gets inside your body.
(discussed in the tafseer of the next ayah).

Each bird had 3 rocks, two in its claws and 1 pebble in its beak, and they heaped upon the army from the skies, and their army was not even able to return.

They continuously pebbled them with clay which is burnt by the sun.

The word Sijjee
L (Lam at end), has a similar meaning to SijjeeN.

In Arabic - when letters have a similar sound, it is likely that they have a similar meaning.

So since the letters; L and N have a similar sound in arabic - they are more likely to be with a same meaning or similar phrase.

And Sijjeen is the book of the people of the left hand on Judgment Day - those who are in loss.

Kal-laa innal kitab al fujjaara la fee Sijjeen
(surah mutaffifeen)

A huge record in hellfire which contains the names of the people in hell, like an attendance register.

So some say these peoples punishment was mentioned in the Sijjeen.

Ibn Abbas
: When the pebble would fall on anyone of them - it causes swelling and it burns and infects their skin.
The first time a plague hit the arabs - it came from this attack and the rotting corpses.

This is one of the worst calamities to have hit the Arab world in that location.

The pebbles would enter into the skulls. And the pebble would go in from one side and come out from the other side. This was like a really strong bullet.

These statements are some witness statements from the actual event.

We notice the graphical images being described in sharp violent ways. How Allah destroyed them.

This is a response to the Kayfa (how?) in ayah 1. Did you not see How your Master deal with the people of the Elephant.

Ayah 5:

فَجَعَلَهُمْ كَعَصْفٍ مَّأْكُولٍ

FajaAAalahum kaAAasfin ma/kool

So [He] made them like an empty field of stalkseaten up.

Ja'ala - you have something and make it into something else, i.e. transformed Wood into a table.

khalaqa - create out of nothing.

وَكَذَٰلِكَ جَعَلْنَاكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا
- He transformed you into a middle balanced nation.. [Baqarah 2:143]

Ja'ala - make from one form to another.

Allah has made this strong army into like totally weak and dead empty corn stalks.

"Ka" as an independent word = 'Like/similar to.'
(tashbeeh - likeness)

Allah describes us so we can imagine how this massive army transformed into like;

Asf - 'Aasif - winds which blow and cut off crumpled up leaves.

Reeh al 'Aasif - which blows leaves in the air.

'Asf also refers to straws which fly in the air.

Ma/kool - that which is eaten.

When cattle eat food, and when it eats a big piece, some part of it comes out of its mouth and flies into the air. The remains is called 'Asf al Ma/kool.

That's how they were crushed and destroyed.

Really grinded and chewed. This is how He transformed them.

It can also mean:
Ma/kool - that which is supposed to be eaten.

That which is about to be eaten up by its enemy. It is defenseless. Just like that animal is about to be eaten and it is defenseless, just like the hay and grass is defenseless before the cattle eat it.

These people were about to be eaten - about to be destroyed - and they were defenseless and weak.

Or these are the straws which the animals eat.

: Allah sent birds which threw pebbles made of clay baked into stones - so they became like eaten chewed up straws.

Allah uses this language to poke fun at them. They thought they were so strong and arrogant, and Allah destroyed them so they became like chewed up straw. They're not even like a leaf hanging off a tree (which has support to a branch), they're not even a full leaf, no - they are chewed up and worthless and totally weak.
Winds can even move it.

- Alam Tara - have you not seen/wondered?

Even though this surah is about Makkah and Allah protecting it from destruction.
Allah did not mention that He is the Lord of the Ka'ba - that He will protect it. Rather, He said He is the Master of Muhammad (RabbuKa - Your Lord [O Muhammad]). So Allah is showing defense for His Messenger.

We were expecting Allah to mention the house (Masjid al Haram in Makkah - the holy mosque in Makkah.)
But He will mention it in the next surah (Quraysh).


In this surah, Allah mentioned continuous mention of the same phonetic sound which helps in the rhythm;

Feel, Tadleel,Abaabeel, etc.

This feature of rhyme makes you appreciate the Qur'an when Allah is telling the event of the army of the Elephant. But when the narrative is concluded - Allah removes the rhyme (the last word is Ma/kool) - showing the narrative has ended, because the rhyme has ended.

By saying Rabbuka - Allah has shown who His loyalty is with - and He has shown through this surah that He has power to destroy the enemy of Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah. (sal Allah alayhi wasalam).

Surah al Falaq [Daybreak] - Miracle Dream Tafseer - Nouman Ali Khan

Asalaam alaikum warahmatulah wabarakatuh

Surah al-Falaq - The DayBreak - Miracle Dream Tafseer

Nouman Ali Khan

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The Relationship between this Surah [al Falaq] and Surah al-Ikhlas and surah an-Nas

This and the surah after it (an-Nas) are known as the Mu'awiddhatayn - the 2 surahs' of refuge, named by Allah's Messenger.

This Surah (al-Falaq's) Relationship with Surah al Ikhlas

1 - Qul (say) at the beginning of both the surahs'.
2 - Rabbil Falaq (Lord of the Daybreak) - This relation with the previous surah al Ikhlas.

These 2 surahs have been paired in classic tafseer's (al Falaq and an-Nas).

Who are you seeking refuge from?

(Musta'adh min hu)

Whose protection you are seeking?

(Musta'adhu bihee)

Both these surahs have mention of both; seeking refuge in Allah, and seeking refuge from His creations'.

The One you seek refuge in is Allah.
The ones you seek refuge from are different.

Allah mentions one description of Himself (Rabb - Master) in surah Falaq. Then He mentions many things which we seek refuge in Allah from.

In surah an-Nas - Allah mentions many of His Names, and attributes, and only mentions one thing which is sought in refuge from (the wawaas of shaytan).

The one you are seeking protection of (an-Naas).
The one you seeking protection against (al Falaq).

Both these surahs' were revealed at the same time simultaneously, there is no dispute.

Dr Faaddil Hassaan ar-Ra'i

 Surah Falaq
deals with problems which afflict a human - which he has no control over. They are other creations. I.e. The night, the sorcerers, enviers, etc.

Surah an-Naas
in contrast - deals with the actions of the human being (i.e. Wawasa - whisperings of shaytan).
And if we act upon these whisperings - we will be accountable for our actions on Judgment Day.

So we see that There is more desperation in surah an-Naas than in surah Falaq. You are calling upon Allah over and over again.

When you get affected by the whisperings - and you do evil, it will damage your Eman (belief/faith) - so you will have to call upon Allah more to strengthen it once again.

The first deals with afflictions that will come to you externally.
The second deals with afflictions that occur internally, so you require more refuge in Allah.

al Naas
: So when you say; Qul a'oodhu bi Rabb al-naas, malik al-Naas, il-laahi al-Naas..
You are repeatedly asking Allah by His Names and Attributes. A show of your internal struggle and desperation.

al Falaq
: The evil of external influences are less powerful in comparison to the Waswasa from shaytan which affects your Emaan inside.

So refuge is sought with Allah from outside evil forces, but evil whisperings which affect your Emaan require a more desperate cry to Allah for help. This is why Allah is mentioned more in surah an-Naas.

of this Surah:

Allah has a remarkable sequencing in this surah. He transisions from the General to the More specific:

min sharri maa khalaq
- from the evil He has created. (all creation which has evil tendencies).

Min sharri ghaasiqin idha waqab
- from the evil of the night as it approaches. (specific to the evils that happen in the night.)

Wa min sharri naafathaat

min sharri haasidin
idha hasad  (those who envy).

Historical Context of this Surah:

The vast majority considered this Madani. Others said Makki.

After the Treaty of Hudaybia
(6years After Hijrah) - the Quraysh were less of a threat to the Muslims. The Jewish tribes had been expelled from Medinah due to acts of breaking their contracts of agreements with the Muslims.

These Jews had moved to Khaybar. They found out that Allah's Messenger will not be focusing on the Quraysh anymore, but on them instead.

So they started to make strategies on how to make offense against Allah's Messenger - before he could on them.

Labeed bin 'Aasim was a man from the tribe of Banu Zurayq, some say he was Jewish, others say Christian, others say he was a hypocrite (pretending to be a Muslim).

The Jews came to Labeed bin 'Aasim and said that we have tried to do different forms of magic on Muhammad (Allah's Messenger, but it has not worked. So please do magic on Muhammad (Allah's Messenger) because you are the best of magicians we know.
Do something that will 'tear him apart' - dismantle him.
Some narrations say he asked help from his daughters, who were also experienced in magic.

He pays a small boy who is a Jewish servant of the Messenger of Allah, and this boy steals some pins from the comb of the Messenger of Allah. These pins have some hair strands of the Messenger of Allah.
He takes these pins to Labeed, and Labeed starts to make sorcery with knots and a doll with pins around it etc.
This device which had magic on it - they threw it into a famous well called Dhu Riwaan - they put it into the well and put a rock over it.

The Magic Effects

- There are only a few narrations:
- Internally and Externally disturbed.
perturbed, disturbed, losing sleep, thinking he is doing something but he hasn't, or vice versa.

Physical illnesses like high blood pressure, a heavy burden on ones self, like being squeezed inside.
Physical symptoms are real with magic (brother Nouman asked 'ulama who deal with people affected by magic.)

Historical Background - Cause for Revelation
(Asbaab al Nuzool)

In the Book of Medicine of his Sahih, Al-Bukhari recorded that `A'ishah said, "The Messenger of Allah was bewitched until he thought that he had relations with his wives, but he had not had relations with them.'' Sufyan said, "This is the worst form of magic when it reaches this stage.'' So the Prophet said,

«يَا عَائِشَةُ، أَعَلِمْتِ أَنَّ اللهَ قَدْ أَفْتَانِي فِيمَا اسْتَفْتَيْتُهُ فِيهِ؟ أَتَانِي رَجُلَانِ فَقَعَدَ أَحَدُهُمَا عِنْدَ رَأْسِي وَالْاخَرُ عِنْدَ رِجْلَيَّ، فَقَال الَّذِي عِنْدَ رَأْسِي لِلْاخَرِ: مَا بَالُ الرَّجُلِ؟ قَالَ: مَطْبُوبٌ، قَالَ: وَمَنْ طَبَّهُ، قَالَ: لَبِيدُ بْنُ أَعْصَمَ: رَجُلٌ مِنْ بَنِي زُرَيْقٍ حَلِيفٌ لِيَهُودَ، كَانَ مُنَافِقًا، قَالَ: وَفِيمَ؟ قَالَ: فِي مُشْطٍ وَمُشَاطَةٍ، قَالَ: وَأَيْنَ؟ قَالَ: فِي جُفِّ طَلْعَةٍ ذَكَرٍ، تَحْتَ رَاعُوفَةٍ فِي بِئْرِ ذَرْوَانَ»

(O `A'ishah! Do you know that Allah has answered me concerning that which I asked Him Two men came to me and one of them sat by my head while the other sat by my feet. The one who was sitting by my head said to the other one, `What is wrong with this man' The other replied, `He is bewitched.' The first one said, `Who bewitched him' The other replied, `Labid bin A`sam. He is a man from the tribe of Banu Zurayq who is an ally of the Jews, and a hypocrite.' The first one asked, `With what (did he bewitch him)' The other replied, `With a comb and hair from the comb.' The first one asked, `Where (is the comb)' The other answered, `In the dried bark of a male date palm under a rock in a well called Dharwan.') `A'ishah said, "So he went to the well to remove it (the comb with the hair). Then he said,

«هَذِهِ الْبِئْرُ الَّتِي أُرِيتُهَا، وَكَأَنَّ مَاءَهَا نُقَاعَةُ الحِنَّاءِ،وَكَأَنَّ نَخْلَهَا رُؤُوسُ الشَّيَاطِين»

(This is the well that I saw. It was as if its water had henna soaked in it and its palm trees were like the heads of devils.) So he removed it (of the well). Then I (`A'ishah) said, `Will you not make this public' He replied,

«أَمَّا اللهُ فَقَدْ شَفَانِي، وَأَكْرَهُ أَنْ أُثِيرَ عَلَى أَحَدٍ مِنَ النَّاسِ شَرًّا»
(Allah has cured me and I hate to spread (the news of) wickedness to any of the people.)''

These 2 surahs' have 11 aayaat, and the black magic [voodoo] doll had 11 knots in it.

So Allah's Messenger told his companions to go and get the doll from under the rock in the well. And whenever they pulled a needle out/untie a knot - they would recite one ayah.

At the end - Allah's Messenger felt relieved. Like he had come out of darkness to light, from pain to ease.

Many scholars say that this surah is Madani, due to that event.

Other scholars say that the angels only came to remind Allah's Messenger, to recite these surahs' - although they had been revealed earlier in Makkah.

Strange View of Abdullah ibn Mas'ud

A peculiar opinion of Abdullah ibn Mas'ud, a companion of Allah's Messenger, it has been quite famous i.e. Mentioned in 'Ulum al Qur'an.

This opinion is that these surahs' are not really surahs' of the Qur'an, but they are revelation from Allah as remedies.
His opinion is that the mus-haf ends at surah al Ikhlas.

However, this is only his view and everyone else has the opinion that these surahs' are a part of the Mus-haf (copy of the Qur'an).

How could he have that opinion?

- Not every companion is aware of every incident within the life of Allah's Messenger.
- It is possible that he retracted his opinion later.
- The companions all agreed (with Ijma'/consensus) on the Mus-haf compiled by Abu Bakr. Which contained the these two surahs of Falaq and an-Naas. And he is part of this Ijma'/consensus.

The proof that it is in the copy of the Qur'an is based on many authentic ahadith which mention that Allah's Messenger recited these two surahs' in salaah/namaz. And we know that we cannot recite anything except the Qur'an in salah. Which is proof that these surahs' are part of the Qur'an.

There are several opinions which the Ijma' (consensus) never took. But some of the companions held these views. This shows that they are humans, but when they saw the truth - they would incline to that.

Ayah 1:

قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ الْفَلَقِ

Qul aAAoodhu birabbi alfalaq

Say: "I enter the refuge with (Allah) the Lord of the daybreak,

Relationship between this surah and surah Ikhlas

aadha / ya'oodhu

In Sarf
, this has many forms;
a'aadha / yu'eedhu
'awwadha / yu'awidhu

There are several forms used in the Qur'an.

فَإِذَا قَرَأْتَ الْقُرْآنَ فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللَّهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ

Fa-idha qara/ta alqur-ana fastaAAidhbillahi mina ashshaytani arrajeem

So when you recite the Qur'an, [first] seek refuge in Allah from Satan, the expelled [from His mercy].

[an-Nahl 16:98]

وَإِنِّي سَمَّيْتُهَا مَرْيَمَ وَإِنِّي أُعِيذُهَا بِكَ وَذُرِّيَّتَهَا مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ

And I have named her Mary, and I seek refuge for her in You and [for] her descendants from Satan, the expelled [from the mercy of Allah ]."
[aal Imraan 3:36]

'Aadha - by itself means to cling onto someone for protection, out of fear of something which is unseen.

Dangers that are unseen.

Ijaarah - getting protection against an enemy which you can see.

Isti'aadha is against
: Sorcery, shaytan (devil), the evil eye etc.  

A'oodhu billah.

Clinging on someone without letting them go, seeking their help.

(ism darf makaan) - a place where you seek refuge.

وَقَالَتْ هَيْتَ لَكَ ۚ قَالَ مَعَاذَ اللَّهِ ۖ إِنَّهُ رَبِّي أَحْسَنَ مَثْوَايَ ۖ إِنَّهُ لَا يُفْلِحُ الظَّالِمُونَ

And she, in whose house he was, sought to seduce him. She closed the doors and said, "Come, you." He said, "[I seek] the refuge of Allah . Indeed, he is my master, who has made good my residence. Indeed, wrongdoers will not succeed." [Yusuf 12:23]

A'oodhu - I am submitting myself and entering into the refuge.

Isti'aadh (istif'aal) - seeking refuge.

The difference is that you submit yourself to someone more powerful than you, and enter into their protection (A'oodhu.)
In comparison to when you just seek/want protection (isti'aadha).

So we are humbling ourselves to Allah and going into His protection.

Falaq -

Fal-laqa - to rip open something and something comes out of it.

I.e. to Tear open a cushion and the fluff comes out.

The rays of the morning tears through darkness. I.e. Daybreak. Cracks of Sunlight breaks through the darkness.

A seed slowly rips open and the plant comes out = falaq.

Faaliq ul habbi wa nawwa
(the One who tears open the seed, and a date plant grows out of it)

فَالِقُ الْإِصْبَاحِ - Faaliq ul isbaah (the One who tears and causes the morning). - [An'am 6:96]

Falaq will tie this subject to the previous surah.

Falaq (as mentioned in many arabic lexicons including Taj al Uroos, Lisan al 'Arab) includes the meaning of Khalq = that which is Created.

Because everything which has been created comes out of something that has been torn.

of this;

- What comes out of something else, i.e. Water springs out of mountains.
- Water tears out from the clouds.
- Plants tear through the Earth and come out of it (Nabat min al ardd)
- Children from the wombs of their mothers.

Brother Nouman also mentions; Some contemporary scholars made The Big Bang theory part of this too. Saying that this Universe came out from an origin point, forming this universe and expanding.

So Falaq is similar to 'Created' in meaning - because all life comes into existence through tearing out through something else.

Falaq =

The morning Daybreak when the sun just cracks through the night, everything which forms through tearing of creation (including humans, plants, animals, bacteria [amoeba], the sky [day/night] etc.).

All these are included.

Allah is signifying that He is the Master of birth, of life. Because this tearing open signifies; the birth of the day from the night, the birth of rain tearing from the clouds which gives life to the dead earth - giving it life, providing life food for all living beings - who give birth to children.. etc.

Lam yaLid wa lam yuLad - He was not born, nor was He given birth to. (Surah ikhlas 112:3).

He owns the Creation, He is not part of the creation.

as-Samad - someone who everyone is in need of, and He is not in need of them.
Samada ilayhi - when you turn to someone in desperation - in full need of them.

In this surah - we are calling upon Allah for His protection from the unseen dangers.
This surah is a practical manifestation of the previous surah. This is a practical manifestation of Tawheed.

That lesson in Ikhlas is now practical - by us asking Allah.

This surah is about being placed in psychological and social difficulty.

- Night is a time of Fear.
- Jealousy is a feeling where someone can potentially harm you.
- Magic - someone is putting you under difficulty internally, aswell as other external factors.

Falaq - ripping and tearing through all the problems you have.

It is like Allah is giving you openness and relaxation after those times of difficulty, and now Allah is giving you relaxation after you were constricted and tight.

The Master who tears things open and takes you of of darkness into light.

اللَّهُ وَلِيُّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا يُخْرِجُهُم مِّنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ ۖ وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَوْلِيَاؤُهُمُ الطَّاغُوتُ يُخْرِجُونَهُم مِّنَ النُّورِ إِلَى الظُّلُمَاتِ ۗ أُولَٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ ۖ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ

Allah is the Wali (Protector or Guardian) of those who believe. He brings them out from darkness into light. But as for those who disbelieve, their Auliya (supporters and helpers) are Taghut [false deities and false leaders, etc.], they bring them out from light into darkness. Those are the dwellers of the Fire, and they will abide therein forever. [al Baqarah 2:257]

This surah is based on darkness, and coming out of it to enter into the light.

In almost all literatures in the word; Evil is associated with darkness.
i.e. dark thoughts, dark character, dark character.

One word for Tawheed in the Qur'an is Noor.

The word for shirk/polytheism is Dhulumaat (darkness of misguidance.)

All the surah has an imagery of darkness. And Allah removes the darkness by mentioning one word; Falaq.
The Falaq which pierces the dark sky and brings the light of the Day to all.

The word in Arabic for Tawheed;

اللَّهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ Allahu Nooru as-samaawaati wal 'ardd

(Allah is describing Himself and His guidance being light [of guidance] for the skies and the Earth) - in surah Noor 24:35.

The word for darkness in arabic is Dhulma,

  إِنَّ الشِّرْكَ لَظُلْمٌ عَظِيمٌ - Inna shirka la dhulmun adheem

(surely shirk/polytheism is a great darkness/injustice indeed).
- surah Luqman 31:13]

The word of Dhulm / Injustice in arabic comes from the words original meaning of being Darkness.

It is a great loss of light, a lack of Tawheed (monotheism).

Al Falaq

Hadith 1

A hadith from a Persian/Farsi companion;

from Ibn Mardaway, from Uqba bin 'Aamir, who said - Allah's Messenger (sal Allah alayhi wasalam) said;

Recite Qul a'oodhu bi Rabbi al Falaq.

Then, (Allah's Messenger said);

Hal tadree man Falaq?
- do you know what al Falaq is?
Baabun fi al naar idha futihat su'irat jahannam - It is a door in hellfire, when it is opened - the entire hellfire is blazed.

hadith 2
: huwa sijnun fee jahanam yuhbasu feehi al jabbaroon wa al mutakabiroon wa inna jahannamma
la tata'awwadhu billahi min hu.

This Falaq

It is a prison in hell,

In it are all the tyrants and arrogant people, and it is so terrible, that hellfire itself seeks refuge of Allah from al Falaq (itself).

Falaq has all the meanings mentioned before, but it also has the meaning of punishment as seen from the ahadith quoted.

This punishment is for evil criminals;
- The magician/witch - sorcery.
- Jealousy.

Anyone involved in these crimes will be punished in al Falaq part of the hellfire.

Qul - Say.

The word Qul has a Literary rhetorical value in every context it is said in - throughout the Qur'an.

In the context of this surah; Allah wants the human to announce his weakness with his tongue. So Allah wants the human to say that he is weak, that he is helpless, and that he needs help from Allah who is greater than him.

An act of humility, powerlessness.

Because there are some humans are arrogant, their ego will prevent them from asking, and when they really need help - they might ask quietly; 'will you help me?'

Allah is telling us to humble ourselves and ask Him out loud.

The word Qul (say) - removes arrogance and Istighna (thinking falsely you are self sufficient). Allah is removing every atom of pride in our heart.

Making this announcement out aloud
, is done for many reasons. It removes;

- Your ego and self pride.
- Your false sense of 'I don't need protection'

- Having a self sense of protection is a form of shirk.

Because Allah says;

كَلَّا إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَيَطْغَىٰ . أَن رَّآهُ اسْتَغْنَىٰ -
No! Surely the human rebels, he sees himself as self sufficient
('Alaq 96: 6-7)

So Allah is telling us to declare our need to Him openly.

The previous surah was surah Ikhlas, and this surah is a proof of your Ikhlas (sincerety) to Allah.

This surah kills your ego.

Qul (Say!) is a command. So when you ask Allah out aloud, you have openly obeyed a command.

This is why the word Rabb necessitates the existent of a Master.

How can it be that your asking Allah for help while disobeying Him?
So if you really want help from Allah - you should be in obedience to Him.

Your entering into the protection and obedience of Allah.

Prophet Moses proved this;

وَقَالَ مُوسَىٰ إِنِّي عُذْتُ بِرَبِّي وَرَبِّكُم مِّن كُلِّ مُتَكَبِّرٍ لَّا يُؤْمِنُ بِيَوْمِ الْحِسَابِ

But Moses said, "Indeed, I have sought refuge in my Master and your Master from every arrogant one who does not believe in the Day of Account." [Ghafir 40:27]

That surah tells us that when someone has weak Emaan (Belief) of the Last Day, this is when their arrogance prevents them from seeking refuge in Allah sincerely.

This surah delivers punishments in the next life with the word Falaq against the arrogant who do sorcery and jealousy and they refuse to seek refuge.

O Allah, make us of those who seek refuge in you sincerely, humbly and in obedience.

Say (O Muhammad - specifically to him, and generally to the people); I humbly and sincerely go for protection of the Master of the Falaq.

Ayah 2:
مِن شَرِّ مَا خَلَقَ

Min sharri ma khalaq
From the evil of that which He created

Sharr -

3 words used for Bad in Qur'an

Sharr is the opposite of khayr. Universally known as evil, that which will cause someone harm.
Sharaara - a fire spark that can harm you.

بئس - bi'sa  - when you feel something is disgusting and detestable. (bi'sa sharaab - disgusting drink). It's opposite is Ni'ma (completely enjoyable.)

ساء - Saa'a (sayi'a) - Evil and Ugly, deformed, disfigured, hideous. its opposite is Hasuna (beautiful).

Min Sharri maa khalaq
The Sharri/evil of what He created.

I seek refuge in Allah from what He Created.

The One who created it - He can save you from it. He has power over His creation.

Sharr is not attributed to Allah, but to Khalq (creation) in this ayah.

Some 'ulama (scholars) said; The general rule is that evil is not an entity by itself, but it is a lack of good.
Just like darkness is a lack of light.

This ayah has profound lessons in it, because Allah did not reduce it to shayateen (devils) only, but to the evil that He has created.
The only One without flaws is Allah.

Everything else will have some flaws; The sun, the water, the Earth, the human - every single creation will have potential harms within it. So we are asking Allah to protect us from the potential harms of everything which He has created.

Now it is getting more specific.

Ayah 3:

وَمِن شَرِّ غَاسِقٍ إِذَا وَقَبَ

Wa min sharri ghasiqin idha waqab

"And from the evil of the darkening (night) as it comes with its darkness; (or the moon as it sets or goes away).


ghasaq - the first part of the night. When the blue sky has gone and the sky is black.

أَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِدُلُوكِ الشَّمْسِ إِلَىٰ غَسَقِ اللَّيْلِ وَقُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ ۖ إِنَّ قُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُودًا

Establish prayer at the decline of the sun [from its meridian] until the darkness of the night and [also] the Qur'an of dawn. Indeed, the recitation of dawn is ever witnessed. [Isra' 17:78]

The word Ghaasiq in arabic literature refers to that which disappears. I.e. When the sun disappears, and it has become dark.

Ghasaq al Qamar
- Lunar Eclipse.

Ghasaqat as-Samaa
' - when the clouds cover the sky, so the sky disappears from our vision.

Allah is referring to the time of the night, when it is completely dark.

Min sharri ghaasiqin
- from the evils of the night.

Allah's Messenger discouraged his companions from going out at night.

"If you knew what I knew, you would not go out at night."

The shayateen/devils meet at the oceans at night.

In our society - people act like the devils, at the night times. (Nightclub? Etc.) drugs, alcohol etc.

So there is an evil in the night times.
The potential of evil is greater.

So we ask Allah to protect us from that dark evil.

Waqab - linguistically also means Darkness.

So it is like we are asking Allah to protect us from the evil of the darkness as it darkens.

So why is a different word (waqab) used?

Waqab -
waqab ad-dhalam
- darkness so things become invisible.

there's a ditch in a mountain at night, so when something falls into it - you cannot see it. That is waqaba.

So there are things in the night (including shayateen/devils) which you cannot see.

A'oodhu / 'iyyaadh
- seeking protection from things you cannot see.

When there are things lurking in the night which you cannot see.

But Ghaasiq usually refers to the moon. And the moon - according to studies - affects the tides of the oceans.

`A'ishah said, "The Messenger of Allah took me by my hand and showed me the moon when it rose, and he said,

«تَعَوَّذِي بِاللهِ مِنْ شَرِّ هَذَا الْغَاسِقِ إِذَا وَقَبَ»
(Seek refuge with Allah from the evil of this Ghasiq when it becomes dark.)''

At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa'i both recorded this Hadith in their Books of Tafsir in their Sunans

The human body also has affects by the magnetic forces of the moon, and people tend to become more violent.

The whole genre of mythical wear wolves is a an exaggeration of how people become much more violent within the night time, and aggravated during certain cycles of the moon.

This is what the word Lunatic/crazy comes from - the word LunaR (moon).
Because people recognized that the moon affected peoples behaviour during the night.

Allah teaches us about things we are not fully aware of.

Guys/boys/men who hang out late at night alot, they need to quit doing so. They cannot be reciting this and contradicting the teachings of Allah's Messenger.

Ayah 4:

وَمِن شَرِّ النَّفَّاثَاتِ فِي الْعُقَدِ

Wa min sharri al naffathaati fee al 'uqad

And from the evil of the blowers [sorcerers] in knots

(a feminine plural) - in common arabic: women who blow on knots. I.e.

It could also be an adjective of nufoos, the plural of nafs (those who blow into knots of magic.)
Nafs is a feminine, word. Naf-fasaat = feminine plural.

It could also refer to groups, people doing this magic underground collectively. (jam'u qillah, and jam'u salim also).

(nun, fa, fa, Tha [with 3 dots on] - to blow with a little bit of spit coming out of your mouth.

Naf-fakha  - to blow really hard with your mouth.
I.e. Nufikha fis-soor [blowing into a trumpet].

(nun, faa, faa, Seen) - to take a breath.

The poet said; Hayaatuka anfaas  - your life is just a set of breaths.

Naf-fathaat - those who continuously blow with a little bit of spit coming out of their mouth..

..fil 'uqad - Into knots.

Ayah 5:

وَمِن شَرِّ حَاسِدٍ إِذَا حَسَدَ

Wa min sharri haasidin idha hasad
"And from the evil of the envier when he envies."

The problems were mentioned before, and now the root of the problem.

Allah told us the problems, and finally has shown us the root of the problems.

Why would someone do magic on someone and harm them?
Due to jealousy of wanting what they have.

The root is all jealosuy.

And from the evil of anyone who engages in Hasad (envy).

There are 2 types of Jealousy, a good one and a bad;

The vast majority of people have the bad kind.
I.e. He has a nicer house than me.

Teach your children good manners from a young age, wanting to share, the good reward's behind doing good.

Brother Nouman tells

The Government tries to talk and make communications with the Muslim communities. They said that they recieve hundreds of calls from Muslims who say that someone is a 'terrorist.'

So the government checks up on the people and they realise these people are not involved in any such activities.
And they said that most of these phone calls are from people who are inlaws, or in Muslim businesses competing with each other.

This is a real evil, and can have really harmful consequences, and it is all due to jealousy.

Some people might say that they have jealousy and that they can control it. But this isn't totally true. You have to seek refuge in Allah if you get such feelings.

He will no doubt envy the one he is jealous of, and that will only grow - unless we seek Allah's protection from those feelings.

Allah did not say

Min sharri haasidin INA hasad.
from the evil of the envier IF he envies.

Allah tells us that - no doubt - you will envy others if you feel Hasad/jealousy.

Min sharri haasidin IDHA hasad - from the evil of the envier WHEN  he envies.

This envy might come out through the evil eye, i.e. You curse someone or pray against them by staring at them in a jealous way.

Allah's Messenger said;

al Aynu Haq
- the (evil) eye is true.

Allah says about the evil eye;

وَإِن يَكَادُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَيُزْلِقُونَكَ بِأَبْصَارِهِمْ لَمَّا سَمِعُوا الذِّكْرَ وَيَقُولُونَ إِنَّهُ لَمَجْنُونٌ

Wa-in yakadu allatheenakafaroo layuzliqoonaka bi-absarihim lamma samiAAooaththikra wayaqooloona innahu lamajnoon

And verily, those who disbelieve would almost make you slip with their eyes through hatredness when they hear the Reminder (the Quran), and they say: "Verily, he (Muhammad SAW) is a madman!" [Surah Qalam 68:51]

min sharri haasidin Idhaa hasada - from the evil of the envier when he envies.

i.e. We are seeking Allah's protection from the one who has feelings of jealousy, and when he makes that jealousy manifest (i.e. through the evil eye etc.)

Putting this ayah into the Main Theme of Darkness, we see that the envious/jealous person will never show his jealousy in your face, but he will do it behind your back.

In ways which you won't be able to know who asked the magician, a harm which is unseen to you [Again, this is what Isti'aadha is - to seek refuge from an unseen enemy.]

Two Points of Eloquence

1 - Min sharri ma khalaq ('aam - universal - applies to anything).

Then what is the point of mentioning what comes after (i.e. of magicians, enviers etc.), when they also come into this category?

Because Allah is making us alert that these specific harms are the WORST type from the evil that Allah has created; the night, sorcery, and jealousy.

2 - How come Allah put AL (Alif, Lam) before some, while not placing it on others?

I.e. AL naf-fathaat
but; min Sharri Ghasiqan.
Min sharri haasidin.

So what is the purpose of AL?

Because Naf-fathaat - because every single one of them is evil.

And He made every dark night without the AL - because every single dark night is not necessarily evil (i.e. The Night of Qadr / Laylat-ul Qadr.

And similarly, the jealous may not be able to harm someone. Even if he wants to. So the outcome is not necessary evil.

Secondly, this surah specifically dealt with the sorcerer - when it was revealed in the situation of Prophet Muhammad.
So AL (THE) was placed there to show specificness, but also generality ('aam).

When Allah says;

wa min sharrin-naf-fathaat fil 'uqad
- and from the evil  - ayah 4.


When this ayah was revealed - no-one knew that there were people doing magic and blowing knots.
Allah's Messenger did not even inform others of these sorcerers (who do these spells in the darkness of the night in secrecy).

These aayaat are specific to the magician blowing into knots, and Allah did not say;

Min sharri as-sahara - from the evil of the sorcerers/magicians.

To pinpoint the specific act that they are doing
, Labeed bin 'Aasim and his family - they wondered how he found out about the specific evil spells (of naf-fath - dry spitting) they were doing.

All this was from Wahy (Revelation) from Allah. To let them know that Allah's Messenger has the highest source of knowledge, even more than the knowledge of these devil worshipping magicians.

Shaykh Muhammad Qaasim Nanoodwi
(one of the founders of Deoband) had a remarkable commentary on what this surah meant.

Shabeer Ahmad Uthmani narrates this in his Tafseer Uthmani (in Urdu) - his [Shaykh Muhammad Qaasim's] commentary on surah Falaq;

Allah wants us to think of ourselves as a plant which the Gardener protects the plant from.

I.e. An animal like a goat will try to eat from this plant, it is not an enemy of the farmer - but it is part of its nature to eat from it.

The same way - the things like the darkness are not by themselves evil - but that is their nature. Similar to a Shark, Lion etc. They naturally eat meat, but we percieve them as evil.

So the gardener puts a fence around these plants to protect them.

But the farmer needs to place the plant in a location where it can recieve enough sun, water, etc.

The obstacle for the human is the darkness. Just like it is for the plant.

Ayah 3
: Being overwhelmed from an outside element.
when sorcery is done on somebody - the person feels overwhelmed from within.
the same way - if a plant is overwhelmed from outside sources i.e. Too much water, too much sun heat etc. It will get harmed and overwhelmed from these sources.

Ayah 4
: The farmer finally protects his plants from an outside enemy who tries to harm his plant.
This might be due to jealousy - min sharri haasidin idha hasad - from the envier when he envies.

Allah wants to protect us from outside sources
, and He wants us to humble ourselves and ask Him for that protection sincerely.

This surah was about protecting our bodies from outside harms.

The next surah is about protection of our inside Nafs (self) against the evils from shaytan/satan and his whisperings etc.

Jealousy is a terrible thing except in 2 cases;

Allah's Messenger said;

1 - A man who destroys his wealth in Allah's Cause;

La hasadda il-laa fitnatayn (there is no jealousy except in two trials); rajulun aataahu Allahu ta'aala maala wa sulata[?] hu 'ala halakatihee fil haqq. (a man who has been given wealth and he is exhausting himself in destroying it - spending it for the truth).

Your jealous of his attitude of wanting to throw away money for the sake of truth.

2 -  A man given wisdom by Allah and he lives and judges by it:

..wa rajulun aataahu Allahu ta'aala al hikmah fa huwa yakddibiha (and a man who Allah has given wisdom -
and he judges by it).

When he lives his life according to that wisdom.
Knowledge which benefits is only wisdom. And knowledge by itself is not hikmah/wisdom.

The ancient definition of Hikmah [Wisdom] in arabic was; You learn something beneficial, and act upon it.

The same way - you learn that touching fire is hot, and then you don't touch it. That is hikmah/wisdom. It is not wisdom if you know it is hot, but you still touch it and get burnt anyway.

..wa yu 'alimuhu al-naas
- and he teaches the people.

Allah gave him wisdom and he uses wisdom to teach to people. He shares wisdom, making them love implementation of it.

2 Sad States of Jealousy:

1 - We Muslims compete with each other for small and useless things;

Masaajids are sueing each other in courts within the USA for power and competing between each other.
All because of jealousy, and ego problems - when this is the main intent of this surah - to protect against jealousy, and to originally humble yourself and fight your ego.

2 - Jealousy from those who Disbelieve:

We are still better than any other way of life. Plenty of People of other ways of life are jealous of us.

وَدَّ كَثِيرٌ مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ لَوْ يَرُدُّونَكُم مِّن بَعْدِ إِيمَانِكُمْ كُفَّارًا حَسَدًا مِّنْ عِندِ أَنفُسِهِم مِّن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الْحَقُّ ۖ فَاعْفُوا وَاصْفَحُوا حَتَّىٰ يَأْتِيَ اللَّهُ بِأَمْرِهِ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

Many of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) wish that if they could turn you away as disbelievers after you have believed, out of envy from their ownselves, even, after the truth (that Muhammad Peace be upon him is Allah's Messenger) has become manifest unto them. But forgive and overlook, till Allah brings His Command. Verily, Allah is Able to do all things. [al Baqarah 2:109]

wadaka katheeran min ahlal kitab law yuradoonakum min ba'di eemanikum kuffaaran
- there are many from the people of the book who want you to return to disbelief after your belief -

They want you to disbelieve, they don't want you to have Islam.

hasadan min 'indi anfusihim (because they have jealousy within themselves)

hasadan min 'indi anfusihim [maf'ool lahu, illa] (because they have jealousy within themselves)

min ajli hasadin - because of a jealousy rooted deep inside of them.

min ba'di ma tabayanna lahum ul haq - after what was conveyed to them of the truth.

They saw people who did change - who had become better. They however did not change with this good. So out of jealousy - they want the good doers to become evil too as disbelievers - so they can be equals in evil and disbelief.
This is a really evil form of jealousy and envy.

There will be an entity there that will want this.

So what should be our response to this?

Take Allah's advice;
wa'du ma ani'tum -

O you who have believed, do not take as intimates those other than yourselves, for they will not spare you [any] ruin. They wish you would have hardship. Hatred has already appeared from their mouths, and what their breasts/hearts conceal is greater. We have certainly made clear to you the signs, if you will use reason. [aal Imran 3:118]

But what should our response be

fa'fu (pardon them) wasfahu
(turn the page / pretend it didn't happen) hat-taa ta'tiyAllahu bi 'amrih (until Allah comes with His decision).

inAllaha 'ala kuli shay'in qadeer
- surely Allah is over everything, powerful..

You do not get insulted when a dog barks at you. That's his job.

The incident of South Park caused controversy, it would be a good response to file a lawsuit against them. Why? They did this with the intent for earning money, if you sue them [for Defamation] - they will lose money and be more respectful.

وَلِلَّهِ الْعِزَّةُ وَلِرَسُولِهِ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ  - (and to Allah belong honor, and to His Messenger and to the believers) -

[surah  Munafiqoon 63:8.]

Why do you have to worry of the enviers and those who do evil?

Allah has told us to recite this surah which is a Du'a (invocation) against all evils.

If we have a strong connection with the Book of Allah, no matter how powerful the enemies of this Book may have, Allah is the powerful One over everything, and He will respond to us with Divine Help, if we humbly and sincerely ask Him.