Ayah 2: What is meant by the evils that He has created?
Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Jabir said, “Al-Falaq is the morning.” Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas, “Al-Falaq is the morning.” The same has been reported from Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Abdullah bin Muhammad bin `Aqil, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi and Ibn Zayd. Malik also reported a similar statement from Zayd bin Aslam.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,
مِن شَرِّ مَا خَلَقَ
“From the evil of what He has created.” This means from the evil of all created things. Thabit Al-Bunani and Al-Hasan Al-Basri both said, “Hell, Iblees and his progeny, from among that which He (Allah) created.”
Over here it must be kept in mind that the creation of evil has not been attributed to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, but the creation of creatures has been attributed to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and of evil to the creatures. It has not been said: “I seek refuge from the evils that Allah has created” but that “I seek refuge from the evil of the things He has created.” This shows that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has not created any creature for the sake of evil, but all His work is for the sake of good and a special purpose. However, from the qualities that He has created in the creatures to fulfill the purpose of their creation, sometimes evil appears from some kinds of creatures in most cases.
The most suitable and effective prayer for seeking refuge from the evil of the creatures is that refuge should be sought with their Creator, for He is in any case dominant over His creatures and is aware of their evils, which we know, as well as of those which we do not know. Hence, His refuge is the refuge of the supreme Ruler Whom no power can fight and oppose, and with His refuge we can protect ourselves from every evil of every creature, whether we are aware of it or not. Moreover, this contains the prayer for refuge not only from the evils of the world but also from every evil of the Hereafter.
The word sharr (evil) is used for loss, injury, trouble, and affliction as well as for the means which cause losses and injuries and afflictions; for example, hunger, disease, injury in accident or war, being burnt by fire, being stung or bitten by a scorpion or snake, being involved in the grief of children’s death and similar other evils which are troubles and afflictions.
Contrary to this, unbelief, polytheism and every kind of sin and wickedness cause loss and affliction, although apparently they do not cause any trouble at the moment, rather some sins give pleasure and bring profit. Thus, seeking refuge from the evil comprehends both these meanings.
Seeking refuge from the evil contains two other meanings also. First, that man is praying to his Creator to protect him from the evil that has already taken place; second, that man is praying to his Creator to protect him from the evil that has not yet taken place.