|.||Surah 114 - An-Nas
The Name of Allah, the
Compassion, the Compassionate
(1) Say: I seek refuge with the Sustainer of all people
(2) The King of all people
(3) The God of all people
(4) From the evils of the voiceless creator of obsessions
(5) that stirs suspicions and doubts in the hearts of people
(6) whether such a tempter be human or non-human.
This Surah was closely associated with Surah 113-Al-Falaq (The Split) at the time of revelation. They both start with the Arabic word “Kul” which literally means say. It is a form of an individual prayer to God to declare or to say that we should only seek the help of God in guarding against the evil that comes from doubt and suspicions.
The Surah is placed in the Qur’an as the last one in the book. Its placement as the last Surah has significance as it invokes the protection of the Sustainer of all people, the King of all people, The God of all people against the evil forces whether they are visible or invisible.
There are two points in this Surah which need more explanation: the repetition of Sustainer, King and God of the people and the Jinn. The first point emphasizes the supremacy of God in people’s lives. The variation in the epithet of God is most likely to show his preponderance in the lives of people over the role of kings, priests and rulers. For it is only He that can protect against evil powers.
The second point addresses the entity named “Jinn” in Arabic. The word “Jinn” occurs in this Surah for the first time in the Qur’an. Many scholars define “Jinn” as another race of non-humans living in the invisible world. The word “Jinn” in Arabic describes a real entity of beings invisible to the naked eye. The word “Janeen” may help explain this concept more clearly. “Janeen” means an embryo. Thus, the embryo is not visible to the naked eye but we know that it exists because of the bulge forming in a woman’s belly. “Janna”, a similar word means Heaven. It is all about that which exists in another invisible world. “Majnoun” means crazy and comes from the verb “Jann”. Thus, it is all about the invisible forces that are manifested in this world through the actions of people. They are the ideas and forces that drive people’s actions in this visible world.
The concept of “Jinn” apart from the literal definition of another race of beings can be a term used in many different instances in the Qur’an which generally refers to “concealed powers”.
|..||. Ibrahim AbuNab (1931-1991)|