Quran English Translation & Commentary

Abdullah Yusuf Ali

Surah Al Nas

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Introduction and Summary

This early Makkan Surah is a pendant to the last, and concludes the Holy Quran with an appeal to us to trust in Allah, rather than man, as our sure shield and protection. it warns us specially against the secret whispers of evil within our own hearts.

C.294 - The running Commentary, in Rhythmic Prose

Insidious Evil lies in wait

For man, and loves to whisper and withdraws.

Thus testing his will. But man can make

Allah his sure shield: for Allah doth care

For him and cherishes him: Allah is

The heavenly King Who gives him laws:

And Allah is the Goal to which he will

Return and be judged. Let man but place

Himself in Allah's hands, and never can Evil

Touch him in his Essential and inner life.

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ النَّاسِ (١)

1. Say: I seek refuge with the Lord and Cherisher of Mankind,

C6307. The previous Surah pointed to the necessity of seeking Allah's protection against external factors which might affect an individual.

C6308. Man's relation to Allah may be viewed in three aspects: Here the need of protection from internal factors, mankind being viewed as a whole, is pointed out. For this reason the threefold relation in which man stands to Allah is mentioned, as explained in the next note.

1.     Allah is his Lord, Maker, and Cherisher; Allah sustains him and cares for him; He provides him with all the means for his growth and development, and for his protection against evil;

2.     Allah is his king or ruler; more than any earthly king, Allah has authority to guide man's conduct, and lead him to ways which will make for his welfare; and He has given him laws; and

3.     Allah is He to Whom mankind must return, to give an account of all their deeds in this life (2:156)-, Allah will be the Judge-, He is the goal of the Hereafter, and the only Being entitled to man's worship at any time.

From all these aspects man could and should seek Allah's protection against evil.

مَلِكِ النَّاسِ (٢)

2. The King (or Ruler) of Mankind,

إِلَهِ النَّاسِ (٣)  

3. The Allah (or Judge) of Mankind --

مِن شَرِّ الْوَسْوَاسِ الْخَنَّاسِ (٤)  

4. From the mischief of the Whisperer (of Evil), who withdraws (after his whisper)

C6309. Evil insinuates itself in all sorts of insidious ways from within so as to sap man's will, which was given to man by Allah.

This power of evil may be Satan, or evil men or the evil inclinations within man's own will: for there are "evil ones among men and Jinns, inspiring each other with flowery discourses by way of deception" (6: 112).

They secretly whisper evil and then withdraw, to make their net the more subtle and alluring.

الَّذِي يُوَسْوِسُ فِي صُدُورِ النَّاسِ (٥)

5.     (The same) who whispers into the hearts of mankind --

مِنَ الْجِنَّةِ وَ النَّاسِ (٦)  

6.     Among Jinns and among Men._

C6310. This last clause amplifies the description of the sources from which the whisper of evil may emanate: they may be men whom you may see or invisible spirits of evil working within. See last note.

So long as we put ourselves in Allah's protection, and trust in Allah, evil cannot really touch us in our essential and inner life.


© Copy Rights:

Zahid Javed Rana, Abid Javed Rana,

Lahore, Pakistan

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