al-Falak · Juz 30 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer of Surah Al-Falaq (Part 3)

Ayah 3: Explaining Ghasiq and Waqub

After seeking Allah’s refuge generally from the evil of the creatures, now prayer is being taught for seeking refuge from the evil of some special creatures in particular.

وَمِن شَرِّ غَاسِقٍ إِذَا وَقَبَ 

“And from the evil of darkness when it settles.” Mujahid said, “Ghasiq is the night, and ‘when it’s Waqab’ refers to the setting of the sun.” Al-Bukhari mentioned this from him. Ibn Abi Najih also reported a similar narration from him (Mujahid).

The same was said by Ibn `Abbas, Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi, Ad-Dahhak, Khusayf, Al-Hasan and Qatadah. They said, “Verily, it is the night when it advances with its darkness.” Az-Zuhri said,

وَمِن شَرِّ غَاسِقٍ إِذَا وَقَبَ 

“‘And from the evil of darkness when it settles.’ “This means the sun when it sets.”

Ibn Zayd said, “The Arabs used to say, `Al-Ghasiq is the declination (of the position) of the heavenly body known as Pleiades. The number of those who were ill and stricken with plague would increase whenever it would decline, and their number would lessen whenever it rose.”’

Ibn Jarir said, “Others have said that it is the moon.”

The support for the people who hold this position (that it means the moon) is a narration that Imam Ahmad recorded from Al-Harith bin Abi Salamah. He said that `A’ishah said, “The Messenger of Allah took me by my hand and showed me the moon when it rose, and he said,

تَعَوَّذِي بِاللهِ مِنْ شَرِّ هَذَا الْغَاسِقِ إِذَا وَقَبَ 

“Seek refuge with Allah from the evil of this Ghasiq when it becomes dark.” At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa’i both recorded this Hadith in their Books of Tafsir in their Sunans.

Prayer has been taught to seek refuge in particular from the evil of the darkness of night, for most of the crimes and acts of wickedness are committed at night, harmful animals also come out at night, and the night was a very dreadful thing in the days chaos prevailed in Arabia when these ayaat were revealed. Raiders came out in the dark of night and plundered and destroyed settlements. The people who were thinking of putting the Prophet sallalahu aalyhi wa sallam to death, also made their secret plans at night, so that the murder could not be detected. Therefore, command was given to seek Allah’s refuge from the evils and calamities which descend at night.

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