During this blessed month of Shahru Ramadan, we will meditate upon various Surahs of the Quran Majid, so that we can become closer to our holy book, during its month of revelation.

In our previous meditation we examined the first three ayats of Surah Al-Falaq, where Allah (SWT) told us to seek refuge with the lord of the dawn and from the mischief of his created things, especially at times when the Moon is in eclipse or is absent at the end of the Lunar month.

Today, in sha Allah, we will meditate upon the final two ayats in this Surah.

In the fourth aya, Allah (SWT) says ‘Wa min sharrin-naffaa-saati fil ‘uqad’ (and from the evil of those who practice witchcraft and blow in knots).

Islam accepts that there is black magic performed in this world. It is performed through people reciting something and then blowing into either a rock or the hair or cloth that belongs to the victim, in order to negatively affect them.

When we began meditating on this Surah, we reflected on how this Surah was revealed, when Lubaid (LA) had black magic performed on Rasulullah (SAW). The way that Lubaid (LA) could do this was through a comb that Rasulullah (SAW) used. One of the teeth of the comb had broken off and one of the servants of Rasulullah (SAW), a boy, had given it to Lubaid (LA).

As we also mentioned, Jibraeel (AS) came with Mikaeel (AS) and told Rasulullah (SAW) to recite this Surah. Every time Rasulullah (SAW) recited this Surah and one of the knots became loose, Jibraeel (AS) would say: ‘In the name of Allah (SWT) I will recite on you and Allah (SWT) will cure you from everything that will harm you, from an eye and from evil persons.’

When they took the boy to Rasulullah (SAW) to tell him that he had given the tooth from the comb to Lubaid (LA), Muhammad (SAW) said that Allah (SWT) had already cured him and he did not like to harm anyone and then Rasulullah (SAW) forgave the boy, as Rasulullah (SAW) would only get angry if anyone went against Allah (SWT), not against himself.

As we have seen, this harm was caused through black magic by blowing. When we look at the term for this in Arabic, it is called Azima. Likewise, just as blowing something for harm is called Azima, blowing something to cure it is also called Azima.

This is why we receive Shifa through blowing. Whenever someone recites either ayats from the Quran Majid or the Hadith Mubarak of Rasulullah (SAW), in Arabic only, then they receive shifa. Rasulullah (SAW) used to recite Surah Al-Ikhlas, Surah Al-Falaq and Surah An-Nas three times whenever he felt pain. He would blow into his right hand and rub where the pain was and Allah (SWT) would grant him shifa.

When we start to understand the concept of pain, we realise that there are two types of pain, physical and spiritual. Likewise, when we understand the concept of the knot, we start to realise how it applies to us.
When we look at our body, we see that it is full of knots and, especially, the veins around our heart have these knots. In fact, heart-attacks are caused by blockages in the main arteries, where knots form to prevent the heart from pumping blood around the body.

Just as the knots that were tied with black magic caused Rasulullah (SAW) weakness, in many ways we are doing black magic to ourselves and causing these knots by our own heart. Our bad behaviours, bad manners and bad desires affect us physically and spiritually. There are 70,000 veins between us and Rasulullah (SAW) and each of our bad behaviours, manners and desires causes knots in them and prevent us from ascending and reaching towards Allah (SWT)

In fact, just as a doctor removes knots in our heart by an angioplasty, Surah Al-Falaq is, in many ways, a spiritual angioplasty. It is our duty to remove these knots and, many do not. This is why when they pray or visit a holy place they do not feel a deeper spiritual connection, as these knots are preventing this.

In the final aya of this Surah, Allah (SWT) says ‘Wa min shar ri haasidin iza hasad’ (And from the harm of those who are envious and jealous of us).

The reason why Allah (SWT) mentioned hassad last is because it is the most dangerous of all of the evils mentioned in this Surah. Rasulullah (SAW) said that hassad eats through our good deeds as quickly as fire eats through wood.

When we look at the first act of hassad. We understand this. Iblees (LA) had worshipped Allah (SWT) for thousands of years, but for a purpose, to reach maqam al-mahmood (the highest position). However, when he saw that the light from this position was transferred into Adam (AS) so that it could be transferred into Rasulullah (SAW), Iblees (LA) began to feel hassad.

This hassad caused him to not perform a sajda of obedience to Adam (AS) and, consequently, all of his good deeds in the past were burnt through so quickly, just like a fire quickly destroys wood.

Likewise, when we look at the second act of hassad, we see that this is such a dangerous emotion that it can cause one to kill another. Allah (SWT) commanded Habil and Kabil to offer him a sacrifice. Habil chose the healthiest and strongest ram from his flock and sacrificed it for Allah (SWT). Kabil chose the weakest sheep that would have not survived and sacrificed it for Allah (SWT). When Kabil saw that Habil’s sacrifice was accepted and his was not, he developed hassad and killed Habil.

Even today, many of the great problems in this world are caused by hassad and it is an emotion we must avoid. In fact, to avoid hassad is the greatest jihad that there is, the internal jihad.

When we return back to our heart, we see that this is the source of all that is pure. It is the only part of our body that pumps, and it is where everything good, such as love, comes from. It is because of this that our heart and our nafs (our ego) is always in conflict, our heart wants to spread good and our ego wants us to be important. This is how the Shaitan (LA) works his evil, by convincing the ego to rule the heart, to tempt us into thinking that we are important and greater than others, which is how envy and hassad is born, when we see that we are not as important as we thought we were.

Instead, our heart reminds us that Allah (SWT) is the master and we are the slave, the greatest pursuit we can have is to win Allah’s (SWT) acceptance and just as a slave cannot ask from a master, we cannot ask, only gratefully receive from the greatest giver of all.

May Allah (SWT) protect us from our own black magic, that is caused by our bad manners, bad intentions and bad actions, that cause physical knots by our heart (through pressure and stress) and spiritual knots that prevent us from getting closer to Allah (SWT). May we be protected from hassad, that can destroy our good deeds like fire and cause us to do acts of great evil, by ensuring that we always win the internal battle between our heart and our nafs, our ego. Aamin.

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