Monday 28 November 2022

Whenever you read the Qur’an, seek refuge with Allah from Satan, the accursed

Reading Qur'an is central to everyday routine of Muslims around the world. Since the reading of Qur'an is one of the most liked acts in the eyes of Allah, the accursed Satan gets awfully worried for he feels threatened that his grip over the believers is being loosened. And thus, he tries to disturb the concentration of the believers to worldly attractions as an act of deviation. 

Mindful of the Satanic machinations, Allah has cautioned believers about it and has asked them to seek refuge with Allah from the Satan whenever reading Qur'an. The 98th verse of Surah An Nahl spells out the attitude towards Qur’ānic Recitation:

فَاِذَا قَرَاۡتَ الۡقُرۡاٰنَ فَاسۡتَعِذۡ بِاللّٰهِ مِنَ الشَّيۡطٰنِ الرَّجِيۡمِ‏  
(16:98) Whenever you read the Qur'an seek refuge with Allah from Satan, the accursed.
This does not mean that one should merely repeat the Arabic words: (I seek Allah's refuge against the accursed Satan). It means that one should have a sincere desire and do one's utmost to guard against Satan's evil suggestions when one is reciting the Holy Qur'an and should not allow wrong and irrelevant doubts and suspicions to enter one's heart. One should try to sec everything contained in the Qur'an in its true light, and refrain from mixing it up with one's self-invented theories or ideas foreign to the Qur'an so as to construe its meaning against the will of Allah. Moreover, one should feel that the most sinister and avowed design of Satan is that the reader should not obtain any guidance from the Quran. This is why Satan tries his utmost to delude the reader and pervert him from getting guidance from it, and mislead him into wrong ways of thinking. Therefore, the reader should be fully on his guard against Satan and seek Allah's refuge for help so that Satan should not be able to deprive him of the benefits froth this source of guidance, for one who fails to get guidance from this source, will never be able to get guidance from anywhere else. Above all, the one who seeks to obtain deviation from this Book, is so entangled in deviation that he can never get out of this vicious circle.

The context in which this verse occurs here is to serve as an introduction to the answers to the questions which the mushriks of Makkah were raising against the Qur'an. They have been warned that they could appreciate the blessing of the Qur'an only if they would try to see it in its true light by seeking Allah's protection against Satan's misleading suggestions, and not by raising objections against it. Otherwise, Satan does not let a man understand the Qur'an and its teachings.

The next two verses augment the substance of the aforementioned verse, which assures the believers that Satan has no power over them as long as their faith in Allah is unwavering and their belief in destiny is cemented with trust in Allah:

اِنَّهٗ لَـيۡسَ لَهٗ سُلۡطٰنٌ عَلَى الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَعَلٰى رَبِّهِمۡ يَتَوَكَّلُوۡنَ‏ 
(16:99) Surely, he has no power over those who have faith and who place their trust in their Lord.
اِنَّمَا سُلۡطٰنُهٗ عَلَى الَّذِيۡنَ يَتَوَلَّوۡنَهٗ وَالَّذِيۡنَ هُمۡ بِهٖ مُشۡرِكُوۡنَ
(16:100) He has power only over those who take him as their patron and who, under his influence, associate others with Allah in His Divinity.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (The Command to seek Refuge with Allah before reciting the Qur'an)
This is a command from Allah to His servants upon the tongue of His Prophet, telling them that when they want to read Qur'an, they should seek refuge with Allah from the cursed Shaytan. The Hadiths mentioned about seeking refuge with Allah (Isti`adhah), were quoted in our discussion at the beginning of this Tafsir, praise be to Allah. The reason for seeking refuge with Allah before reading is that the reader should not get confused or mixed up, and that the Shaytan would not confuse him or stop him from thinking about and pondering over the meaning of what he reads. Hence the majority of scholars said that refuge should be sought by Allah before starting to read.

Muhammad Asad Explanation:
The present passage (verses {98-105}) evidently connects with the broad ethical exhortation given in verse {90} above and, thus, with the statement (in verse {89}) that the Qur'an is meant "to make everything clear and to provide guidance and grace and a glad tiding unto all who have surrendered themselves to God" - which, in its turn, implies that the Qur'an is the ultimate source of all God-willed ethical and moral values, and thus an unchanging criterion of good and evil. But since man is always, by virtue of his nature, prone to question the very validity of the moral standards established through revelation, the believer is now called upon to seek, whenever he reads or meditates on this divine writ, God's spiritual aid against the whisperings of what the Qur'an describes as "Satan, the accursed" - that is, all the evil forces, both within man's own soul and within his social environment, which tend to undermine his moral convictions and to lead him away from God.

Yusuf Ali Explanation
Evil has no authority or influence on those who put their trust in Allah. It is good to express that trust in outward actions, and a formal expression of it-as in the formula, "I seek Allah's protection from Evil"-helps us. Man is weak at best, and he should seek strength for his will in Allah's help and protection.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
This directs the Prophet (sws) to seek God’s refuge when he presents the message of the Qur’ān. Imām Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī writes:
The potent effect of the Qur’ān is dependent on the state of the heart of a person. If a person seeks refuge of God through his tongue only, it does not have much of an influence on him. However, when this supplication comes out from the depth of his heart, he is braced with such force that it gives him support to counter the onslaught of Satan and his accomplices. This onslaught is a consequence of the trial which the Almighty has ordained in this world for human beings. Hence there is no escape from this in any situation. The hidden potential of a person comes to the surface because of this. If a person has the support of the blessing of seeking refuge with the Almighty, he can never be defeated by Satan and his agents. (Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 4, 448)
Tafsir Qur'an Wiki: (Attitude to Qur’ānic Recitation)
The Sūrah then speaks about the Qur’ān and the values to be observed when reciting it. It also mentions some of the false assertions the unbelievers used to make about it. “Whenever you read the Qur’ān, seek refuge with God from Satan, the accursed. He certainly has no power over those who believe and place their trust in their Lord. He has power only over those who are willing to follow him, and thus ascribe to him a share in God’s divinity.” (Verses 98-100) Seeking God’s refuge against Satan prepares the atmosphere such that it is more congenial for the recitation of God’s book. It gives a sense of purity that strengthens the reader’s bond with God, so that he is free from any other preoccupation, that is with any aspect of the world of evil that Satan represents.

This is all generated by seeking refuge with God from Satan and his schemes. Yet it is made clear that Satan “has no power over those who believe and place their trust in their Lord.” (Verse 99) Those who appeal to God alone and purge their hearts of any loyalty to any other bond are free of Satan’s power. Much as he may whisper to them, their bond with God protects them from toeing his line. They may slip and commit errors, but they do not submit to Satan. They will always purge their hearts of Satan’s influence and turn to God in repentance. “He has power only over those who are willing to follow him, and thus ascribe to him a share in God’s divinity.” (Verse 100) It is such people who make Satan their patron, who allow their desires to dictate their actions under Satan’s influence that are subject to his power. Indeed, some of them make Satan their Lord. Indeed, some have even worshipped Satan, or a similar deity of evil. However, following Satan’s footsteps is a kind of associating him as a partner with God.

Now you may listen to the following short clipped video to explanation of the aforesaid Ayat by eminent Muslim scholar Nouman Ali Khan:
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages  and Understanding Al Qur'an for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
Photo | Tafsir References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that the exegesis of the chapters of the Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided, additional input has been interjected from the following sources: 
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Translation Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Qur'an Wiki
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
In addition, references of other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

If you like Islam: My Ultimate Decision, and to keep yourself updated on all our latest posts to know more about Islam, follow us on Facebook

Please share this page to your friends and family members through Facebook, WhatsApp or any means on Social Media so that they can also be benefited by it and better understand Islam and the Qur'ān - Insha Allah (Allah Willing) you shall be blessed with the best of both worlds.


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More