Sura Nas (Mankind)
I Take Refuge With the Lord of Mankind.
In this Sura, which is the last Sura of the Holy Qur'an, the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) , again, is personally addressed, as an example to and a leader of people, and the command is:
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It is interesting that, here, three attributes of the magnificent attributes of Allah; Lordship, Ownership, and Divinity, are emphasized, all of which are directly concerned with the training of Man, and his rescue from the grips of the tempters.
Of course, the objective of 'taking refuge with Allah' is not that a person says this phrase merely with his tongue, but he should accomplish it with his thoughts, Faith, and actions. He should avoid devilish routes, devilish programs, devilish minds and communications, and devilish societies and meetings; and travel the divine paths; otherwise, the person who follows those devilish ways and lets himself fall into the hands of those temptations cannot be safe by only reciting this Sura.
With saying 'The Lord of Mankind', he confesses His Lordship and places himself under His guidance.
By saying 'The King of Mankind', he knows himself as His object, and His obedient servant.
By saying 'The God of Mankind', he goes on the path of worshipping Him, and avoids worshipping others but Him. Undoubtedly, the person who is actually qualified with these three attributes, and truly believes in them, will be safe from the mischief of the tempters.
In fact, these three attributes are three important lessons of instruction and three means of rescue from the evil of temptations which keep Man safe.
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The term /waswas/ has the infinitive meaning 'to tempt' and sometimes it is used, as in this verse, with the subjective meaning, 'tempter'.
The term /khannas/ is derived from /khunus/ with the meaning of 'to gather, to remain behind', and /khannas/, here, means 'Satan' because he hides himself at the name of Allah and hiding is with the action of remaining behind, so, the word has been used in the sense of 'to hide'.
Therefore, the meaning of the verses are: 'Say I take refuge with Allah from the devilish tempter who runs away and hides himself from the name of Allah'.
Basically, the devilish ones act hiddenly, and sometimes they murmur temptations into our ears so that we believe that the ideas are our own thoughts. This very kind of thinking causes us to go astray.
The method of Satan is alluring and shows injustice in the form and under the guise of justice; lies inside a shell of truth; sin in the semblance of worship, and aberration in the appearance of guidance.
In short, they, themselves, and their affairs, both, are hidden, and this is a warning to all followers, of the right and the path of truth, not to expect to see Satans in their real form, or observe their activities in their true, crooked shape. No, it will never be so. They are 'slinking whisperers' and their job is to plot, lie, be mischievous, be hypocritical, commit fraud and deceit, simulating truth, and hiding the right.
If they appear on the scene in their real form, if they do not mix wrong with right, and if they speak clearly and honestly, the truth would become apparent; as Hazrat Ali (p.b.u.h.) says: The fact is, had falsehood been allowed to appear separately from truth, seekers of truth would have easily discerned it and would have kept away from falsehood.... (1)
(1) Nahj-ul-Balaqa, Sermon 50, (Arabic version) .
They always take parts of truth and falsehood and mix them together to get control over people; as Amir-al-Mo'mineen Ali (p.b.u.h.) , continuing the above sermon, says: ...and Satan took advantage of this situation and gained complete control over the minds of its followers... (1)
The words 'whispers' and 'hearts' used in the verse: Who whispers evil into the hearts of Mankind are an emphasis on this idea.
All of these are on the one hand, and on the other hand the phrase: 'From Jinn and Mankind' informs us that 'the slinking whisperer' is not among only a group of people or a special class of Man with a particular sign, but they can be found here and there among Jinn and Man with any form and in any society. We should be careful of them and take refuge with Allah from the evil of all of them.
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Why Do We Take Refuge With Allah?
At any moment it is possible that one may go astray, and when Allah bids His Apostle to take refuge with the Lord from the evil of the 'slinking whisperer' it is an evidence that becoming involved in the trap of the tempters, who whisper evil in people's minds, is possible. So, everyone must seek refuge to Allah, with His name /rabb/, i.e., the Lord of Man, i.e., the Cherisher and Sustainer. By invoking this great attribute, Man can be hopeful and expect an especially particular retreat. Everyone should seek refuge with Allah as their King and Owner, invoking His authority over the affairs of Man, i.e., He is the One Who can independently act over His creation to seek the protection by invoking the divinity of the Lord as the God of Mankind for it is His authority which must necessarily be obeyed, i.e., it is His command or His Will which is always done. Therefore, against the evil of these whisperers, there are heavenly angels for the believing servants of Allah and seekers of Truth, to come to help them, as Sura Fussilat, No. 41. Verse 30 says:In the case of those who say: 'Our Lord is Allah', and,further, stand straight and steadfast, the angels descend on them (from time to time) ...
(1) Nahj-ul-Balaqa, Sermon 50, (Arabic Version)
But, in any case, we should never be proud and feel that we are not in need of the Divine lessons, admonishments and assistance. We should always take refuge with Him and be aware and prepared.
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O Lord! Protect us all from the evil of every tempter and dark inspiration.
O Lord! The trap is deep, the enemy is wakeful, his plots are hidden, and rescue is impossible but with Your Grace.
The End of Sura Nas (Mankind)