Topic: Seeking Refuge in Allah
The Surah begins with the reciter seeking refuge with his Lord, he recites,
قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبّ النَّاسِ- مَلِكِ النَّاسِ- إِلَـهِ النَّاسِ
“Say, “I seek refuge in the Lord of mankind. The Sovereign of mankind.”
Instead of saying A’udhu-billahi (I seek Allah’s refuge), a prayer has been taught to seek Allah’s refuge by reference to His three attributes: first, that He is Rabb-un nas, i.e. Sustainer and Provider, second He is Maalik-un-nas, i.e. Master of all mankind; third, that He is Ilah-un-nas, i.e. real Deity of all mankind.
Here, one should clearly understand that the word ilah has been used in two meanings in the Qur’an: first for the thing or person who is practically being worshiped although it or he is not entitled to worship; second, for Him Who is ‘ entitled to worship, Who is in fact the Deity whether the people worship Him or not, wherever this word is used for Allah; it has been used in the second meaning.
Seeking refuge by means of these three attributes means: “I seek refuge with that God, Who being the Sustainer, Master and Deity of men, has full power over them, can fully protect them and can really save them from the evil, to save myself and others from which I am seeking His refuge. Not only this: since He alone is Sustainer, Master and Deity, therefore, there is no one beside Him with Whom I may seek refuge and he may give real refuge.”
Therefore, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala commands us that whoever is seeking protection to seek refuge with the One Who has these attributes from the evil of the whisperer who withdraws. This (the whisperer) is the devil that is assigned to man. For verily, there is not any of the Children of Adam except that he has a companion that beautifies wicked deeds for him. This devil will go to any lengths to confuse and confound him. The only person who is safe is He whom Allah protects.
It is confirmed in the Saheeh that the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,
“There is not a single one of you except that his companion (a devil) has been assigned to him.”
They (the Companions) said, “What about you, O Messenger of Allah?”
“Yes. However, Allah has helped me against him and he has accepted Islam. Thus, he only commands me to do good.”
It is also confirmed in the Two Saheehs from Anas radhiAllahu ‘anhu, who reported the story of Safiyyah radhiAllahu ‘anha when she came to visit the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam while he was performing i’tikaf, that he went out with her during the night to walk her back to her house. So, two men from the Ansar met him (on the way).
When they saw the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, they began walking swiftly. So, the Messenger of Allah said, “Slow down! This is Safiyyah bint Huyay!”
They said, “Glory be to Allah, O Messenger of Allah!” He said, “Verily, Shaytan runs in the son of Adam like the running of the blood. And verily, I feared that he might cast something into your hearts — or he said — evil.”