Surah No 111: Al-Masad
Number of Ayats: Five
Meaning of the name: It takes its name from the last word of ayat no 5, ‘Masad’ which means “the palm fiber”.
Summary: This is a Makki surah. When Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) ascended Mount As-Safa, and called upon the people of Quraish to come and listen to his message and to warn them against their sins, his uncle Abu Lahab (whose nickname was ‘father of flame’ because of his flushed complexion and hot temper) cursed him by saying ‘May you perish! You gathered us only for this reason?’ This surah was revealed then, as in ayat no. 1 it is stated “Perish the two hands of Abu Lahab”. And indeed he met his end a week after the battle of Badr.
His wife also used to slander Hazrat Muhammad (SAW). She used to bundle together thorns with ropes of twisted palm leaf fiber. Then she would scatter them on the path where she knew Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) would pass by. Little did she know that she was would find that same twisted rope of palm fiber around her neck (the chain which is in the Fire (of Hell)) in the Hereafter.
Surah No 112: Al-Iklaas
Number of Ayats: Four
Meaning of the name: It takes its name from the subject matter of the surah, as the word “Iklaas” does not occur anywhere in the surah. It means “the sincerity”.
Summary: This is a Makki surah. It states the fundamental doctrine of Islam in four short ayats. Firstly Allah is One and Only, none is equal to Him. Secondly He is Everlasting, He does not depend on anything, rather every existing thing depends on Him. Thirdly He is neither a Father nor a Son. Fourthly and Lastly He is Magnificent. He is like no person or thing that we know or could imagine.
A man heard another man reciting (in the prayers): ‘Say (O Muhammad): “He is Allah, the One.” (112.1) And he recited it repeatedly. When it was morning, he went to the Prophet and informed him about that as if he considered that the recitation of that Sura by itself was not enough. Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) said, “By Him in Whose Hand my life is, it is equal to one-third of the Quran.”
Surah No 113: Al-Falaq
Number of Ayats: Five
Meaning of the name: It takes its name from the last word of ayat no1, ‘Al Falak’ which means “the daybreak”.
Summary: This is a Makki surah. In five short ayats it has been beautifully explained that we must trust Allah with a true heart, and in return He will guard us against all evil, ignorance, superstition and fear that we encounter in this world. He is a pure and shining light that can penetrate into any darkness and illuminate it, that is why ‘daybreak’ has been mentioned here. For daybreak is the time when the sunlight pierces through the night and a new dawn arrives.
Here three types of dangers are mentioned: 1) physical dangers, these include injuries, mishaps, disasters and things that can cause us bodily harm. 2) black magic or witchcraft that is practiced by women. This includes secret plotting, spreading of false rumors or using charms to lure people. 3) envy, this destroys both the material and spiritual happiness of people.
We are told that if we seek protection in His Divine guidance and goodness, we need not be afraid or fear any of these.
Surah No 114: An- Naas
Number of Ayats: Six
Meaning of the name: It takes its name from the last word of ayat no1, ‘Al Naas’ which means “mankind”.
Summary: This is a Makki surah. Allah’s relation to man has been mentioned here in three capacities: 1) He is our creator and provides us with care, sustenance and opportunities to develop, as well as protects us so that no evil can harm us. 2) He is the King of mankind, as he guides man’s activities and has given him laws. 3) He is the Supreme Judge, for we will all return to Him and give account of our deeds and He will be the judge of them.
Here mankind as well the Jinns are being addressed and are asked to seek refuge with Allah in every matter. Also we are told that man’s will which is Allah’s gift to us, is often tested by evil in order to corrupt and weaken it. Evil can be the luring of Satan, evil men or such tendencies within one self. Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) said “The (Hell) Fire is surrounded by all kinds of desires and passions (inordinate ones), while Paradise is surrounded by all kinds of disliked undesirable things.”
That is why the deeds that would take us to Hell are very easy to do, and the deeds that would take us to Paradise are very difficult!