In the opening chapter of the Quran, first of all we praise Allah (SWT). In fact, everything must start with the praise of Allah (SWT). In this opening chapter we then ask Allah (SWT) for two things. Firstly, for His help and secondly to show us the straight path. Both these things are crucial for the success of a person in this world and in the life to come. When a person tries to achieve these two things, satan does his best to interfere. Satan interferes in two ways. Firstly, by making plans and plots against the obedient servants of Allah (SWT). Secondly, by whispering evil in the hearts of the people. Yusuf # 5
Shaitan (Satan) is to man an open enemy!
And in Sad # 82-83
(Satan) said: “By Your Might, then I will surely mislead them all, except Your chosen slaves amongst them (i.e. faithful, obedient, true believers of Islamic Monotheism).”
Allah (SWT) has given us very powerful tools to fight against satan and his followers in the form of the last two surahs of the Quran.
Hafiz Ibn-e-Qayyim said that there are great benefits and blessings for the people in these two surahs. These surahs dispel magic and all other physical and spiritual calamities. In fact, person needs treatment and relief from these calamities more than his breathing, eating and clothing. Without relief from these hardship the life of a person will be miserable in spite of all the amenities of life available to him. Even the Prophets may be affected by magic.
Aisha narrated that one hypocrite did magic to Prophet Mohammad (SAS). As a result of it Mohammad (SAS) fell ill. The nature of this illness was such that sometime he thought that he had finished a certain task, although it was not yet done. Hence it caused a kind of forgetfulness. One day, Prophet Mohammad (SAS) said to Aisha [, “Allah (SWT) has informed me the cause of illness.” He added, “Two persons came to me in my dream. One sat down near my head and the other near my feet. The person near my head asked the other person, ‘what kind of illness Mohammad (SAS) has?’ He replied, ‘Mohammad (SAS) is under the influence of some magic.’ First person asked, ‘Who did the magic on him?’ He replied, ‘Labeed bin Asam who is hypocrite and a friend of jews.’ First person asked, ‘How he did the magic?’ He replied, ‘Using a comb and the teeth of comb.’ The first person asked, ‘Where is this comb?’ He replied, ‘This comb is wrapped in a cover and is buried under a stone in a well. This well is called Zarwaan’”
Prophet Mohammad (SAS) went to that well and took the comb out. Mohammad (SAS) became healthy. (Bukhari)
Ibn-e-Kathir has described from Imam Thalbi that there was a thread with eleven knots along with that comb. Allah (SWT) revealed the last two surahs of Quran with eleven verses in them. Prophet Mohammad (SAS) undid each knot of the thread after reciting one verse from these two surahs. When all knots were undone, he suddenly felt a great relief.
Imam Malik said in his book Muwatta, “Aisha narrated that whenever Prophet Mohammad (SAS) got ill, he used to recite the last two surahs of Quran and after breathing on his hand, he used to touch his body with his hands. When he was extremely ill near his death, she used to recite these two surahs and then breathe on his hand. After that he would touch most of his body with his hands.”
In fact nothing can harm or benefit a person without the will of Allah (SWT). Hence, in order to save ourselves from all forms of evils, we must try to come under the complete protection of Allah (SWT). We should not only seek His protection but also should make ourselves a good candidate for His protection through our good deeds and actions. Surah Al-Falaq teaches us how to come under the protection of Allah (SWT) against the worldly evils. Similarly surah An-Nas teaches us how to come under the protection of Allah (SWT) against evil which ruins our spiritual lives.
In Surah Al-Falaq we see protection of Allah (SWT) specifically against three things.
(i) From the night when its darkness has spread. It is because during the night Jinn, Satan, harmful animals, and insects, thieves and enemies come into action. Magic is also more effective at night. Breaking of dawn reduces their harmful influence.
(ii) From the evil of the witchcraft when they blow in the knots. It is very destructive since a person under the influence of the magic is usually not aware of the magic done to him. He keeps finding other cures for his ailment.
(iii)From the evil of a jealous person. Some people are jealous of the success of another person. For example satan became jealous of Adam and Eve.
Recitation of Surah Al-Falaq protects us against above evils in this world.
Uqba-bin-Amar (RU) narrated that prophet Mohammad (SAS) said “Tonight such verses are revealed to me which have no match at all. Al-Falaq and An-Nas.” (Muslim)
Uqba-bin-Amar (RU) narrated that Mohammad (SAS) said to me during a journey, “ Would you like to learn two fantastic Surah.” I said, “please teach me.” He taught me Surah al-Falaq and Surah An-Nas. He recited the same suras in Salat-ul-Maghreb that day. He then said to me, “You should recite these suras when you go to sleep and when you wake up.”
(Tirmidhi, Abu-Dawud, Nasai,)
Ibn-e-Kathir has mentioned that satan is with each person and that satan tries to make sins attractive to the person. If satan fails in this, he tries to bring show-off and arrogance in various forms of worship performed by a person. Satan also tries to put doubts in the knowledge of scholars. Hence satan tries his best to ruin a person spiritually. Only Allah can save us from evils of satan. Recitation of Surah An-Nas will provide this protection of Allah (SWT).
Anas (RU) narrated that Prophet Mohammad (SAS) said, “One night I was walking in this street with my wife Saffiya. Two of my companions came across me in the street. I stopped them and informed them that my wife Saffiya was with me. They said to me, ‘O dear Prophet, we did not have any wrong ideas in our minds.’ I said to them, ‘Satan may induce doubts about me in your minds.’’’
Hence we must always make things clear to other persons so that doubts are not created among us. This will defeat the satan.
The last two Surahs are our shield against satan and will protect us against all physical and spiritual evils. The opening as well as the closing of the Quran is indeed fantastic.