Although these two Surahs of the Qur’an are separate entities and are written in the Mushaf also under separate names, yet they are so deeply related mutually and their contents so closely resemble each other’s that they have been designated by a common name Mu’awwidhatayn (the two Surahs in which refuge with Allah has been sought). Imam Baihaqi in Dala’il an-Nubuwwat has written that these Surahs were revealed together, that is why the combined name of both is Mu’awwidhatayn. We are writing the same one Introduction to both, for they discuss and deal with just the same matters and topics. However, they will be explained and commented on separately below.
Hadrat Hasan Basri, ‘Ikrimah, ‘Ata’ and Jabir bin Zaid say that these Surahs are Makki. A tradition from Hadrat ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas also supports the same view. However, according to another tradition from him, it is Madani and the same view is held also by Hadrat ‘Abdullah bin Zubair and Qatadah. One of the traditions which strengthens this second view is the Hadith which Muslim, Tirmidhi, Nasa’i and Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal have related on the authority of Hadrat ‘Uqbah bin ‘Amir. He says that the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peach) one day said to him: “Do you know what kind of verses have been revealed to me tonight? These matchless verses are A’udhu bi-Rabbil-falaq and A’udhu bi-Rabbin-nas. This Hadith is used as an argument for these Surahs to be Madani because Hadrat ‘Uqbah bin ‘Amir had become a Muslim in Madinah after the hijrah, as related by Abu Da’ud and Nasa’i on the basis of his own statement. Other traditions which have lent strength to this view are those related by Ibn Sa’d, Muhiyy-us-Sunnah Baghawi, Imam Nasafi, Imam Baihaqi, Hafiz Ibn Hajar, Hafiz Badr-uddin ‘Ayni, ‘Abd bin Humaid and others to the effect that these Surahs were revealed when the Jews had worked magic on the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) in Madinah and he had fallen ill under its effect. Ibn Sa’d has related on the authority of Waqidi that this happened in A.H. 7. On this very basis Sufyan bin Uyainah also has described these Surah as Madani.
But as we have explained in the Introduction to Surah Al-Ikhlas, when it is said about a certain Surah or verse that it was revealed on this or that particular occasion, it does not necessarily mean that it was revealed for the first time on that very occasion. Rather it sometimes so happened that a Surah or a verse had previously been revealed, then on the occurrence or appearance of a particular incident or situation, the Holy Prophet’s attention was drawn to it by Allah for the second time, or even again and again. In our opinion the same also was the case with the Mu’awwidhatayn. The subject matter of these Surahs is explicit that these were sent down at Makkah in the first instance when opposition to the Holy Prophet there had grown very intense. Later, when at Madinah storms of opposition were raised by the hypocrites, Jews and polytheists, the Holy Prophet was instructed to recite these very Surahs, as has been mentioned in the above cited tradition from Hadrat Uqbah bin Amir. After this, when magic was worked on him, and his illness grew intense, Gabriel came and instructed him by Allah’s command to recite these very Surahs. Therefore, in our opinion, the view held by the commentators who describe both these Surahs as Makki is more reliable. Regarding them as connected exclusively with the incident of magic is difficult, for to this incident related only one verse (v.4), the remaining verses of Surah al Falaq and the whole of Surah An-Nas have nothing to do with it directly.
The conditions under which these two Surahs were sent down in Makkah were as follows. As soon as the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) began to preach the message of Islam, it seemed as though he had provoked all classes of the people around him. As his message spread the opposition of the disbelieving Quraish also became more and more intense. As long as they had any hope that they would be able to prevent him from preaching his message by throwing some temptation in his way, or striking some bargain with him, their hostility did not become very active. But when the Holy Prophet disappointed them completely that he would not effect any kind of compromise with them in the matter of faith, and in Surah Al-Kafirun they were plainly told: “I do not worship those who you worship nor are you worshipers of Him Whom I worship. For you is your religion and for me is mine”, the hostility touched its extreme limits. More particularly, the families whose members (men or women, boys or girls) had accepted Islam, were burning with rage from within against the Holy Prophet. They were cursing him, holding secret consultations to kill him quietly in the dark of the night so that the Bani Hashim could not discover the murderer and take revenge; magic and charms were being worked on him so as to cause his death, or make him fall ill, or become mad; satans from among the men and the jinn spread on every side so as to whisper one or another evil into the hearts of the people against him and the Qur’an brought by him so that they became suspicious of him and fled him. There were many people who were burning with jealousy against him, for they could not tolerate that a man from another family or clan than their own should flourish and become prominent. For instance, the reason why Abu Jahl was crossing every limit in his hostility to him has been explained by himself: “We and the Bani Abdi Manaf (to which the Holy Prophet belonged) were rivals of each other: they fed others, we too fed others; they provided conveyances to the people, we too did the same; they gave donations, we too gave donations, so much so that when they and we have become equal in honor and nobility, they now proclaim that they have a Prophet who is inspired from the heaven; how can we compete with them in this field? By God, we will never acknowledge him, nor affirm faith in him”. (Ibn Hisham, vol. I, pp. 337-338).
Such were the conditions when the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) was commanded to tell the people: “I seek refuge with the Lord of the dawn, from the evil of everything that He has created, and from the evil of the darkness of night and from the evil of magicians, men and women, and from the evil of the envious”, and to tell them: “I seek refuge with the Lord of mankind, the King of mankind, and the Deity of mankind, from the evil of the whisperer, who returns over and over again, who whispers (evil) into the hearts of men, whether he be from among the jinn or men.” This is similar to what the Prophet Moses had been told to say when Pharaoh had expressed his design before his full court to kill him: “I have taken refuge with my Lord and your Lord against every arrogant person who does not believe in the Day of Reckoning.” (Al-Mu’min: 27). And: “I have taken refuge with my Lord and your Lord lest you should assail me.” (Ad-Dukhan;20).
On both occasions these illustrious Prophets of Allah were confronted with well-equipped, resourceful and powerful enemies. On both occasions they stood firm on their message of Truth against their strong opponents, whereas they had no material power on the strength of which they could fight them, and on both occasions they utterly disregarded the threats and dangerous plans and hostile devices of the enemy, saying: “We have taken refuge with the Lord of the universe against you.” Obviously, such firmness and steadfastness can be shown only by the person who has the conviction that the power of His Lord is the supreme power, that all powers of the world are insignificant against Him, and that no one can harm the one who has taken His refuge. Only such a one can say: “I will not give up preaching the Word of Truth. I care the least for what you may say or do, for I have taken refuge with my Lord and your Lord and Lord of all universe.”
THE HOLY QURAN FACTS
• The Quran is the Holy Books of Muslims.
• The Quran has 114 Chapters also called “Surah” or “Surahs” in the Arabic Language.
• Each Chapter, meaning each Surah has Verses also called as “Ayah” or “Ayahs” in the Arabic Language.
• Each Chapter consists of Verses. In other words, each Surah consists of Ayahs.
• Surah Baqarah is the longest chapter/surah with 286 verses in The Holy Quran.
• Surah Kauther is the shortest chapter/surah with 3 verses in The Holy Quran.
• The longest verse of the Quran appears in Surah Al-Baqarah verse number 282, also commonly known as Ayatul Kursi.
• Surah Yaseen is called the heart of The Holy Quran.
• The Holy Quran has been translated in more than 100 languages in the world.
• The best month among all months is mentioned as Ramadan in The Holy Quran.
• The best night mentioned in the Quran is Laylatul Qadr and has been described as a night better than 1000 months.
• The name Muhammad is mentioned 4 times in The Holy Quran.
• Friday & Saturday are the only days of the week that are mentioned in the Quran.
• The first Chapter/Surah in Quran, Surah Al-Fatiha is known as the Mother of Quran or Ummul Quran.
• The meaning of Quran is “reading” and “reciting”.
• Each Chapter/Surah of The Holy Quran follows a theme and gives a specific message about the fundamentals of faith and practicing of belief.
• Total Chapters/Surahs in the Quran: 114.
• Total Verses/Ayahs in the Quran: 6236.
HOLY QURAN: REVELATION PERIOD
The Holy Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammed (May Peace and Blessings be Upon Him) over the span of 23 years. The revelation of the Quran Started in the Holy Month of Ramadan. The period of revelation of The Holy Quran can be categorized into 2 main parts, that’s is the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)’s life in Makkah that is 13 years and after His (PBUH) migration to Madinah that is 10 years. Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) received the first revelation in Cave of Hira.
HOLY QURAN: CONTENT
The Quran is the Word of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), and was revealed to mankind.
HOLY QURAN: HOW MAY PROPHETS ARE MENTIONED IN THE HOLY QURAN?
2. Idris (Enoch),
3. Nuh (Noah),
4. Hud (Heber),
5. Saleh (Methusaleh),
6. Lut (Lot),
7. Ibrahim (Abraham),
8. Ismail (Ishmael),
9. Ishaq (Isaac),
10. Yaqub (Jacob),
11. Yusuf (Joseph),
12. Shu’aib (Jethro),
13. Ayyub (Job),
14. Dhulkifl (Ezekiel),
15. Musa (Moses),
16. Harun (Aaron),
17. Dawud (David),
18. Sulayman (Solomon),
19. Ilyas (Elias),
20. Alyasa (Elisha),
21. Yunus (Jonah),
22. Zakariya (Zachariah),
23. Yahya (John the Baptist),
24. Isa (Jesus) and
25. Muhammad (Peace be upon them all).
HOLY QURAN: PRESERVATION
To ease the recitation and memorization of The Quran, it has been divided in to 30 equal parts/portions called the “Juz” or “Siparah”. The Chapters/Surahs of The Holy Quran were arranged in the present order by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) himself though there was no compiled copy of Quran during Prophet’s life and Sahaba (companions of the prophets) memorized the verses of Quran by heart or scribed the verses on stones, animal skin or palm tree.
WHAT IS THE MEANING BETWEEN TRANSLATION OF THE QURAN AND THE QURAN IN ARABIC LANGUAGE?
The translations of Quran were written to explain the meaning of the Quran in Non-Arabic languages so that the reader can understand the meaning of the Quran in their respective languages.
However, translations are written by various individuals, authors, or translators. One must understand that Quran translations are written by different people and different people have different selection of words to explain the terminologies from Arabic to their respective language. Therefore, translations are a mere effort to explain the meaning of the Holy Quran. On final notes, a translation must only be read for understanding purposes as the true word of Allah is The Holy Quran in Arabic Language Only.
WHAT IS A TAFSEER OF THE HOLY QURAN?
The word ‘tafsir’ stems from the root word ‘fassara’, which means to explain. Therefore, Tafsir of Quran means the explanation or interpretations of the verses of Quran. The Tafsir of Quran is done by people after obtaining in-depth extensive knowledge about Islam and reading the history of Islam in detail. The objective of a Tafsir is to find out the true meanings of the verses of Quran, so that the reader can benefit from it and know the right and true message of The Holy Quran.
It tries to explain Quran so that the understanding of the reader about Quran and its message increases. Where the Translation only provides a word to word meaning of the Holy Quran, TAFSIR on the other end explains a more detailed meaning of the verses and words in the Quran with context and references, it also explains of the revelation period thereby increasing the understanding of the Quran in a greater detail.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TRANSLATION VS TAFSIR
TRANSLATION: is a word-to-word explanation of the Quran from Arabic Language (i.e., the original languages it was revealed) to other non-Arabic languages to simplify the understanding of the Holy Quran for the reader.
TAFSIR: is a detailed explanation of the verses of the Quran with context, explanation, reference to get a deeper understanding of the Holy Quran.
On a final note, the beginner should start reading the translation first and then if there is a particular chapter/surah or verse/ayah or word that you do not understand in the translation, then you must refer to the TAFSIR for further explanation. For easing this process, we have a TAFSIR tab labeled as “Detail TAFSIRs” and there are 3 TAFSIRs provided from 3 different authors, you may consult each TAFSIR to understand the meaning in depth.