A lesson from the final two chapters of the holy Quran

Here is an explanation of Verse 113 and Verse 114
of the Holy Quran

The arrangement of the Quran is the best tool we
have for understanding its message. This is
because – as Muslims tend to believe – it was
Allah Himself who inspired its compilation. Hence
its compilation must be the most optimum in order
to deliver its message.
It is for this reason, the Muslim Vibe explains that
chapters 113 and 114 (Al-Falaq and An-Naas) are
the twin formulations of the Quranic notion of good
and evil. These chapters are two of the shortest in
Quran (five and six verses respectively) and
Muslims are usually encouraged to memorize them
at an early age. Yet, even in their brevity, they
reach deep into Quranic philosophy. Let us analyze
their content to see. We will begin with their
similarities.
Both these chapters begin with the saying
‘qul’ (literally say) but on a deeper level, to adopt a
particular mindset. We are to adopt the mindset of
the opening phrase ‘a’udzu’ (I seek protection). It
is interesting to note that this protection is sought
by the single, individual reader rather than
‘na’uzdu’ (we seek protection). The protection is
sought with Allah in His capacity as
‘rabb’ (nourisher and sustainer). Both chapters
also tell us that the protection is from
‘sharr’ (badness or evil). This is where the
similarities end though.
Chapter 113 attaches the ‘rabb’ with ‘al-
falaq’ (translated as the dawn) but on a more
symbolic level, refers to the light which comes to
extinguish darkness (1:113). This dawn
extinguishes the badness which Allah himself
created (2:113). This evil is said to begin darkness
by creating spaces in which it manifests (3:113) .
The protection is also sought from the ‘blowers in
knots’ (nafaathat fil ‘uqad) which could refer to
those who prey upon the relationships and bonds
between people, hoping to cause mischief (4:113).
The final verse seems to build upon this by
focusing on the jealous folk when they exercises
their jealousness, a notable double emphasis,
perhaps telling us that this is what we need to be
especially mindful of (5:113).
Chapter 114 on the other hand attaches the ‘rabb’
with ‘an-naas’ , making it the lord of the people
(1:114). It then mentions the phrases ‘malik an-
naas’ and ‘ilah an-naas’ (the king and god of the
people respectively) in 2:114 and 3:114. This triple
statement perhaps shows the progression of our
servitude to Allah. At first, we are servile to Allah’s
lordship as He nourishes and sustains us. Then we
take him as king by following His laws. Finally, we
are to take him as a god to whom we emote and
surrender our true selves with love. The next three
verses (4-6:114) focus on the nature of the ‘sharr’.
The ‘sharr’ comes in the form of a whisper by one
who retreats. These whispers come in the chests
of people and are from the psychic forces (jinnah)
and of the people themselves.
From the above, we can see a clear formulation of
evil and its response. These formulations are not
meant to be something lengthy and theoretical as
we have the entire Quran for that! Rather it is
meant to be something we take with us in our daily
lives. These brief messages in themselves can tell
us how to carry forth ourselves in our daily lives.

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