الَّذِي يُوَسْوِسُ فِي صُدُورِ النَّاسِ
“From the evil of the whisperer (devil who whispers evil in the hearts of men) who withdraws (from his whispering in one’s heart after one remembers Allah).”
(Surah An-Nas, 114:5)
Excerpts from Tafsir Ibn Kathir about this ayah:
In the Book of Medicine of his Sahih, Al-Bukhari recorded that `A’ishah said, “The Messenger of Allah was bewitched until he thought that he had relations with his wives, but he had not had relations with them.” Sufyan said, “This is the worst form of magic when it reaches this stage.” So the Prophet said,
« يَا عَائِشَةُ، أَعَلِمْتِ أَنَّ اللهَ قَدْ أَفْتَانِي فِيمَا اسْتَفْتَيْتُهُ فِيهِ؟ أَتَانِي رَجُلَانِ فَقَعَدَ أَحَدُهُمَا عِنْدَ رَأْسِي وَالْاخَرُ عِنْدَ رِجْلَيَّ، فَقَال الَّذِي عِنْدَ رَأْسِي لِلْاخَرِ: مَا بَالُ الرَّجُلِ؟ قَالَ: مَطْبُوبٌ، قَالَ: وَمَنْ طَبَّهُ، قَالَ: لَبِيدُ بْنُ أَعْصَمَ: رَجُلٌ مِنْ بَنِي زُرَيْقٍ حَلِيفٌ لِيَهُودَ، كَانَ مُنَافِقًا، قَالَ: وَفِيمَ؟ قَالَ: فِي مُشْطٍ وَمُشَاطَةٍ، قَالَ: وَأَيْنَ؟ قَالَ: فِي جُفِّ طَلْعَةٍ ذَكَرٍ، تَحْتَ رَاعُوفَةٍ فِي بِئْرِ ذَرْوَانَ »
(O `A’ishah! Do you know that Allah has answered me concerning that which I asked Him Two men came to me and one of them sat by my head while the other sat by my feet. The one who was sitting by my head said to the other one, `What is wrong with this man’ The other replied, `He is bewitched.’ The first one said, `Who bewitched him’ The other replied, `Labid bin A`sam. He is a man from the tribe of Banu Zurayq who is an ally of the Jews, and a hypocrite.’ The first one asked, `With what (did he bewitch him)’ The other replied, `With a comb and hair from the comb.’ The first one asked, `Where (is the comb)’ The other answered, `In the dried bark of a male date palm under a rock in a well called Dharwan.’) `A’ishah said, “So he went to the well to remove it (the comb with the hair). Then he said,
« هَذِهِ الْبِئْرُ الَّتِي أُرِيتُهَا، وَكَأَنَّ مَاءَهَا نُقَاعَةُ الحِنَّاءِ، وَكَأَنَّ نَخْلَهَا رُؤُوسُ الشَّيَاطِين »
(This is the well that I saw. It was as if its water had henna soaked in it and its palm trees were like the heads of devils.) So he removed it (of the well). Then I (`A’ishah) said, `Will you not make this public’ He replied,
« أَمَّا اللهُ فَقَدْ شَفَانِي، وَأَكْرَهُ أَنْ أُثِيرَ عَلَى أَحَدٍ مِنَ النَّاسِ شَرًّا »
(Allah has cured me and I hate to spread (the news of) wickedness to any of the people.)”
﴿ بِسۡمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ﴾
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
﴿ قُلۡ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ ٱلنَّاسِ • مَلِكِ ٱلنَّاسِ • إِلَـٰهِ ٱلنَّاسِ • مِن شَرِّ ٱلۡوَسۡوَاسِ ٱلۡخَنَّاسِ • ٱلَّذِى يُوَسۡوِسُ فِى صُدُورِ ٱلنَّاسِ • مِنَ ٱلۡجِنَّةِ وَٱلنَّاسِ ﴾
(1. Say: “I seek refuge with the Lord of An-Nas,”) (2. “The King of An-Nas,”) (3. “The God of An-Nas,”) (4. “From the evil of the whisperer who withdraws.”) (5. “Who whispers in the breasts of An-Nas.”) (6. “Of Jinn and An-Nas.”) These are three attributes from the attributes of the Lord, the Mighty and Majestic. They are lordship, sovereignty and divinity. Thus, He is the Lord of everything, the King of everything and the God of everything. All things are created by Him, owned by Him, and subservient to Him. Therefore, He commands 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 Sahih that he (the Prophet) said,
« مَا مِنْكُمْ مِنْ أَحَدٍ إِلَّا قَدْ وُكِّلَ بِهِ قَرِينُهُ »
(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” He replied,
« نَعَمْ، إِلَّا أَنَّ اللهَ أَعَانَنِي عَلَيْهِ فَأَسْلَمَ، فَلَا يَأْمُرُنِي إِلَّا بِخَيْرٍ »
(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 Sahihs from Anas, who reported the story of Safiyyah when she came to visit the Prophet 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, they began walking swiftly. So, the Messenger of Allah said,
« عَلَى رِسْلِكُمَا، إِنَّهَا صَفِيَّةُ بِنْتُ حُيَيَ »
(Slow down! This is Safiyyah bint Huyay!) They said, “Glory be to Allah, O Messenger of Allah!” He said,
« إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ يَجْرِي مِنِ ابْنِ آدَمَ مَجْرَى الدَّم، وَإِنِّي خَشِيتُ أَنْ يَقْذِفَ فِي قُلُوبِكُمَا شَيْئًا، أَوْ قَالَ: شَرًّا »
(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.) Sa`id bin Jubayr reported that Ibn `Abbas said concerning Allah’s statement,
﴿ ٱلۡوَسۡوَاسِ ٱلۡخَنَّاسِ ﴾
(The whisperer (Al-Waswas) who withdraws.) “The devil who is squatting (perched) upon the heart of the Son of Adam. So when he becomes absentminded and heedless he whispers. Then, when he remembers Allah he withdraws.” Mujahid and Qatadah also said this.
Al-Mu`tamir bin Sulayman reported that his father said, “It has been mentioned to me that Shaytan is Al-Waswas. He blows into the heart of the Son of Adam when he is sad and when he is happy. But when he (man) remembers Allah, Shaytan withdraws.” Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas;
﴿ ٱلۡوَسۡوَاسِ ﴾
(The whisperer.) “He is Shaytan. He whispers and then when he is obeyed, he withdraws.” As for Allah’s saying;
﴿ ٱلَّذِى يُوَسۡوِسُ فِى صُدُورِ ٱلنَّاسِ ﴾
(Who whispers in the breasts of An-Nas.) Is this specific for the Children of Adam as is apparent, or is it general, including both mankind and Jinns
There are two views concerning this. This is because they (the Jinns) are also included in the usage of the word An-Nas (the people) in most cases.
Ibn Jarir said, “The phrase Rijalun min Al-Jinn (Men from the Jinns) has been used in reference to them, so it is not strange for the word An-Nas to be applied to them also.” Then Allah says,
﴿ مِنَ ٱلۡجِنَّةِ وَٱلنَّاسِ ﴾
(Of Jinn and An-Nas.) Is this explanatory of Allah’s statement,
﴿ ٱلَّذِى يُوَسۡوِسُ فِى صُدُورِ ٱلنَّاسِ ﴾
(Who whispers in the breasts of An-Nas.) Then, Allah explains this by saying,
﴿ مِنَ ٱلۡجِنَّةِ وَٱلنَّاسِ ﴾
(Of Jinn and An-Nas.) This is supportive of the second view. It has also been said that Allah’s saying,
﴿ مِنَ ٱلۡجِنَّةِ وَٱلنَّاسِ ﴾
(Of Jinn and An-Nas) is an explanation of who is it that whispers into the breasts of mankind from the devils of mankind and Jinns. This is similar to Allah’s saying,
﴿ وَكَذَٲلِكَ جَعَلۡنَا لِكُلِّ نَبِىٍّ عَدُوًّ۬ا شَيَـٰطِينَ ٱلۡإِنسِ وَٱلۡجِنِّ يُوحِى بَعۡضُهُمۡ إِلَىٰ بَعۡضٍ۬ زُخۡرُفَ ٱلۡقَوۡلِ غُرُورً۬اۚ ﴾
(And so We have appointed for every Prophet enemies — Shayatin among mankind and Jinn, inspiring one another with adorned speech as a delusion.) (6:112) Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, “A man came to the Prophet and said, `O Messenger of Allah! Sometimes I say things to myself that I would rather fall from the sky than say (aloud openly). ‘The Prophet said,
« اللهُ أَكْبَرُ، اللهُ أَكْبَرٌ الْحَمْدُ للهِ الَّذِي رَدَّ كَيْدَهُ إِلَى الْوَسْوَسَةِ »
(Allah is Most Great! Allah is Most Great! All praise is due to Allah Who sent his (Shaytan’s) plot back as only a whisper.)” Abu Dawud and An-Nasa’i also recorded this Hadith.
(Tafsir Ibn Kathir)
On Speaking Good or Remaining Silent:
We have learned here that the Prophet سلى الله علىه و سلم was oppressed by becoming bewitched by an evil doer. Though Allah عزوجل revealed the truth to him (The Prophetسلى الله علىه و سلم), He chose restraint by refusing to make this evil known to the people. His obedience and fear of Allah عزوجل can be seen in this action as there would have been no blame on him (The Prophet سلى الله علىه و سلم) for making this matter known due to Allah’s saying;
لَّا يُحِبُّ اللَّهُ الْجَهْرَ بِالسُّوءِ مِنَ الْقَوْلِ إِلَّا مَن ظُلِمَ ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ سَمِيعًا عَلِيمًا
“Allah does not like that the evil should be uttered in public except by him who has been wronged. And Allah is Ever All-Hearer, All-Knower.”
(Surah An-Nisa, 4:148)
The Prophet سلى الله علىه و سلم was very kind and merciful with the believers, by Allah’s Mercy. He thought of the hearts of the believers before deciding upon actions. His care in this matter made him empathetic, understanding the sensitivity and vulnerability of mankind to their naafs and their enemy- Shaytan. Prophet Muhammad سلى الله علىه و سلم, by Allah’s permission, understood the heart of mankind very well and refused to do anything (even the permissible in some cases) to weaken its resolve.
Prophet Muhammad سلى الله علىه و سلم chose not to speak on a matter in which He had proof. How many of us speak thoughtlessly on matters of which only our suspicions support? May Allah forgive us, Ameen. Allah عزوجل says in The Qur’an;
وَلَا تَقْفُ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ ۚ إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُولَٰئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْئُولًا
“And follow not (O man i.e., say not, or do not or witness not), that of which you have no knowledge. Verily, the hearing, and the sight, and the heart, of each of those one will be questioned by (Allah).”
(Surah Al-Isra, 17:36)
The believer should understand that He/she is never defenseless in their pursuit of justice. They must understand that Allah is;
Al Wailyy (The Guardian Lord), the Ruler who guides, protects, guards, and supports HIs believing Servants by delivering them from the darkness of disbelief, doubt, and hesitation, into the light of plain, clear, explained, easy, and unequivocal truth. The protector and ally of those who believe in Him and His messengers. The Ally. The Protector. The close protecting friend.
Duaa is the weapon of the believer;
Abu Darda reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “No Muslim servant supplicates for his brother behind his back but that the angel says: And for you the same.”
(Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2732)
May Allah عزوجل keep you and all the Muslims safe from evildoers. Ameen.
One must be careful what they say to others. Especially what they say to those who are in they are in authority over as Allah says in The Qur’an;
الَّذِي يُوَسْوِسُ فِي صُدُورِ النَّاسِ
مِنَ الْجِنَّةِ وَالنَّاسِ
“Who whispers into the heart of mankind, from the jinn and mankind.”
(Surah An-Nas, 114:5-6)
Narrated Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari رضى الله عنه: That the Prophet (ﷺ) was asked: “Which of the Muslims is most virtuous?” He said: “The one from (the harm of) whose tongue and hand (other) Muslims are safe.”
Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri رضى الله عنه narrated (that the Prophet ﷺ) said:“When the son of Adam wakes up in the morning, all of his body parts bow to the tongue and say: ‘Fear Allah regarding us, we are only part of you. If you are straight we are straight and if you are crooked we are crooked.”
‘Uqbah bin’ Amir رضى الله عنه narrated:“I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! What is the means to salvation?’ He said: ‘That you control your tongue, suffice yourself your house, and cry over your sins.’
Whispering evil to others, is a form of witchcraft that causes one to loose connection with themselves through Cognitive Dissonance. Those who tread this path of becoming disconnected with themselves (their inherent goodness, talents, mental abilities from Allah) will ultimately become disconnected from Allahعزوجل and more given to catering and appealing to the desires of others. This is shirk. This also causes anxiety, depression, obsessive and compulsive disorders, personality disorders, among other ailments making one a prime target for jinn possession.
It is especially important to avoid this evil behavior with children. One should not tell children they are selfish, mean, etc. as they are young in development an (mainly) a product of their environment. Allah عزوجل says in The Qur’an;
وَقُل لِّعِبَادِي يَقُولُوا الَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ ۚ إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ يَنزَغُ بَيْنَهُمْ ۚ إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ كَانَ لِلْإِنسَانِ عَدُوًّا مُّبِينًا
“Say to My servants that they should (only) say those things that are best: for Satan doth sow dissensions among them: for Satan is to man an avowed enemy.”
(Surah Al-Isra, 17:53)
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ has given us an excellent example of correct behavior towards those under our care;
Anas (رضى الله عنه) reported:I never felt any piece of velvet or silk softer than the palm of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), nor did I smell any fragrance more pleasant than the smell of Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). I served him for ten years, and he never said ‘Uff’ (an expression of disgust) to me. He never said ‘why did you do that?’ for something I had done, nor did he ever say ‘why did you not do such and such’ for something I had not done.
If someone follows the evil that you have inspired in their heart it could be a means of misguidance for them and you will be responsible for hindering others from the path of Allah;
مَّنَّاعٍ لِّلْخَيْرِ مُعْتَدٍ مُّرِيبٍ
“Hinder of good, transgressor, doubter.” (Pickthall)
“Everyone who hindered good, was aggressive, caused others to doubt.” (Abdul Haleem)
(Surah Qaf, 50:25)
It is common for those who have been mistreated by these evil ways during their childhood, to treat their children in a similar manner. This is why it is imperative educate oneself about in matters of The Religion of Al-Islam and to submit oneself to Allah and following His Messenger, completely.
Surely, there will be test and trials that arise from those around us as Allahعزوجل says in The Qur’an;
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنَّ مِنْ أَزْوَاجِكُمْ وَأَوْلَادِكُمْ عَدُوًّا لَّكُمْ فَاحْذَرُوهُمْ ۚ وَإِن تَعْفُوا وَتَصْفَحُوا وَتَغْفِرُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
“O you who believe! Verily, among your wives and your children there are enemies for you (who may stop you from the obedience of Allah); therefore beware of them! But if you pardon (them) and overlook, and forgive (their faults), then verily Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
(Surah At-Taghabun, 64:14)
Allahعزوجل directs the believers to be a benefit and source of safety to those members of our families who are enemies to us. This courageous act is a means of purification for the one who performs it and a means of feeling nearness to Allah’s Mercy to the one who benefits from it (this act). This practice is a means by which both hearts are softened, as Allah says in The Qur’an;
وَلَا تَسْتَوِي الْحَسَنَةُ وَلَا السَّيِّئَةُ ۚ ادْفَعْ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ فَإِذَا الَّذِي بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَهُ عَدَاوَةٌ كَأَنَّهُ وَلِيٌّ حَمِيمٌ
وَمَا يُلَقَّاهَا إِلَّا الَّذِينَ صَبَرُوا وَمَا يُلَقَّاهَا إِلَّا ذُو حَظٍّ عَظِيمٍ
“The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with one which is better (i.e. Allah orders the faithful believers to be patient at the time of anger, and to excuse those who treat them badly) then verily he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend.
But none is granted it (the above quality) except those who are patient-and none is granted it except the owner of the great portion (of happiness in the Hereafter i.e. Paradise and of high moral character) in this world.”
(Surat Fussilat, 41:34-35)
May Allah عزوجل make us of those who have this beautiful quality of patience and a owners of a great reward. Ameen yaa Allah.
May we always remember;
Tariq رضى الله عنه reported: Abdullah ibn Mas’ud رضى الله عنه, said, “Verily, the best speech is the book of Allah, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him.”
We must deliver The Speech of Allah عزوجل in the most beautiful way through our manners and actions;
It was narrated from Abu Hurairah رضى الله عنهthat the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:“Allah is Gentle and loves gentleness, and He grants reward for it that He does not grant for harshness.”
Showing patience, forgiveness, sabr, gentleness among other good qualities in your homes dear brothers and sisters will bring about tranquility. When coupled with seeking knowledge of the Deen, the members of that household (by Allah’s will) become strong rooted, confident, bright, members of society and examples for the Ummah.
We must strive to raise our families upon goodness and ask Allah to forgive us and set right our affairs when we fall short. We must also take account of ourselves and our behaviors and pray for those whom we have harmed;
Narrated Abu Huraira رضى الله عنه:
That he heard the Prophet (ﷺ) saying, “O Allah! If I should ever abuse a believer, please let that be a means of bringing him near to You on the Day of Resurrection.”
(Sahih al-Bukhari 6361)
We should also be constant in duaa for a righteous spouse and offspring;
وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا
“And those who say; “Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders of the Muttaqun (the pious).”
(Surah Al-Furqan, 25:74)
And for those who wish evil upon us we should resolve to get them out no further than they have gotten you out;
Narrated Ibn Abi Mulaika رضى الله عنه:
`Aisha رضى الله عنه said,” The Jews came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and said to him, “As-Samu ‘Alaika (ie, Death be upon you).” He replied,’ The same on you. ‘ Aisha said to them, “Death be upon you, and may Allah curse you and shower His wrath upon you!” Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) I said, “Be gentle and calm, O` Aisha! Be gentle and beware of being harsh and of saying evil things. ” She said, “Didn’t you hear what they said?” He said, “Didn’t you hear what I replied (to them)? Have returned their statement to them, and my invocation against them will be accepted but theirs against me will not be accepted.”
One should question His/herself often about how the beneficial knowledge that has reached them (Islam) is benefiting himself/herself and those around them? Are they wronging themselves and others with the knowledge?
Beneficial knowledge and abilities are all amanah from Allahعزوجل, The Most Merciful. One should not resolve to withholding giving from this amanah due to their own shortcomings or due to a fear of failing. It is Allah’s aid that we beseech for help.
We should also not be too harsh with others by seeking out their faults. Muslims are mirrors as well as friends and protectors of one another. Allahعزوجل uses us as guideposts for one another and if we see the error in our brother and sister a similar error can be seen within ourselves. Allah عزوجل says in the Qur’an;
فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لِذَنبِكَ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مُتَقَلَّبَكُمْ وَمَثْوَاكُمْ
“So know (O Muhammad) that, La ilaha illallah (none has the right to be worshiped but Allah), and ask forgiveness for your sin, and also for (the sin of) believing men and believing women. And Allah knows well your moving about, and your place of rest (in your homes).”
(Surah Muhammad, 47:19)
This is like Prophet Yusef’s عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ saying;
وَمَا أُبَرِّئُ نَفْسِي ۚ إِنَّ النَّفْسَ لَأَمَّارَةٌ بِالسُّوءِ إِلَّا مَا رَحِمَ رَبِّي ۚ إِنَّ رَبِّي غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
“And I free not myself (from the blame). Verily, the (human) self is inclined to evil, except when my Lord bestows His Mercy (upon whom He wills). Verily, my Lord is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
(Surah Yusuf, 12:53)
Many people speak from a place of their own insecurities, doubts, and fears. It is from this internal waswas that many people connect with the world around them. We constantly seek refuge in Allah from the evil within ourselves. We must also be constant in protecting others from our evil we won’t become a helper of our enemy- Shaytan.
Silence is a powerful weapon against this evil;
Narrated Abu Huraira رضى الله عنه:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, should not hurt his neighbor and whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, should serve his guest generously and whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, should speak what is good or keep silent. “
We must also fortify ourselves and seek the cure for the sicknesses of our hearts with the words of Allah عزوجل as our Beloved Prophet ﷺ did;
Narrated `Aisha رضى الله عنه:
The Prophet ﷺ, during his fatal ailment used to blow (on his hands and pass them) over his body while reciting the Mu’auwidhat (Surat-an-Nas and Surat-al-Falaq). When his disease got aggravated, I used to recite them for him and blow (on his hands) and let him pass his hands over his body because of its blessing. (Ma`mar asked Ibn Shihab: How did he use to do Nafth? He said: He used to blow on his hands and then pass them over his face.)
May Allah grant us success in this affair. Ameen.