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The 11 Knots

During the stay of the Prophet(sallallahu alayhi wasallam) in Madinah a Jew cast a magic spell over
him.The main reason for this was hasad(envy).
The incident narrated in Musnadi Ahmad is that a Jew performed magic over the Prophet(sallallahu alayhi
wasallam) through the effect of which he became ill. Jibraeel(Alaiyhis salaam) came and informed the
Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam that a Jew has performed magic over him on a certain object which is
in such and such well. The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam sent men to the said well. They brought the
object (upon which) magic was spelled from the well with knots in it. The Prophet(sallallahu alayhi
wasallam) recited the Surahs (Falaq and Naas) and opened the knots and immediately he recovered fully
and was up on his feet. (Although the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam knew from Jibraeel(A.S.) the
name of the Jew, but because the habit of personal vengeance never existed in his life) he never said a
word to him nor were any signs of complaint (or displeasure) seen on his auspicious face while he (the
Jew) was present. (The Jew being a hypocrite was regular in attending the gatherings of the Prophet
sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

In the narration of Bukhari from Aaishah(radhiyallahu anha) it is stated; Magic was worked on Allah's
Messenger(sallallahu alayhi wasallam). (The effect was such that) he used to think that he had sexual
relations with his wives while he actually had not. (One of the narrators,Sufyaan said: That is the hardest
kind of magic as it has such an effect.)

Then one day he said, "O Aaishah! Do you know that Allah has instructed me concerning the matter I
asked Him about? Two men came to me (in my dream) and one of them sat near my head and the other
sat near my feet. The one near my head asked the other. 'What is wrong with this man?' The latter
replied, 'He is under the effect of magic.' The first one asked, 'Who has worked magic on him?' The other
replied, 'Labeed Ibne Aasim, a man from Bani Zurayq who was an ally of the Jews and was a hypocrite.'
The first one asked, 'What material (did he use)?' The other replied, 'A comb and the hair stuck to it.' The
first one asked, 'Where (is that)?' The other replied, 'In a skin of pollen of a male date palm tree kept
under a stone in the well of
Zarwaan."

So the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam sent some companions to that well and took out those things
and said "That was the well which was shown to me (in the dream). Its water looked like the infusion of
Henna leaves and its date-palm trees looked like the heads of devils." The Prophet sallallahu alayhi
wasallam added, "Then that thing was taken out." I said (to the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam), "Why
do you not let the people know about it?" He said, "Allah has cured me; I dislike to let evil spread among
my people." (i.e. if the Jew was exposed, people would have harmed him or even killed him).

According to a narration in Musnadi Ahmad, this illness of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam lasted
for six months. In some narrations it is also stated that those Companions who came to know the fact that
this was the work of Labeed Ibne Aasim, asked the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam,"Why don't we kill
this wretched one?" The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam gave the same reply as the one to Aaishah
radhiyallahu anha.

According to a narration of Imaam Tha'alabi, a Jewish boy served and attended to the Prophet sallallahu
alayhi wasallam. The hypocrite Jew allured him and he brought a few teeth from Rasulullah sallallahu
alayhi wasallam 's comb and hair stuck to it. The Jew made eleven knots on a thread and tied a needle in
each knot.He then enclosed it in a skin of pollen of a male date palm tree and buried it under a stone in a
well.

Allah revealed these two chapters(Surah Falaq and Surah Naas) consisting of eleven verses. When the
Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam recited a verse of these two surahs a knot opened and thus upon
recitation of the total eleven verses all the knots opened, and suddenly a burden-like heavy load was
removed from the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam. (All the narrations are quoted from Ibne Katheer). -

Commentary
The chapter Surah Falaq and the following chapter Surah Naas, both were revealed at the same time
upon the same incident. Haafiz Ibne Qayyim has written the commentary of these two chapters together
as a unit. In it he writes,"The benefits and blessings of these two chapters and the people's need towards
them is such that no human can become independent of them. These chapters have great effect in
removing (the effects of) magic, witchcraft, evil eye and all spiritual and physical calamities. And if we
understand the reality, then the human is in more need of it than his breathing, food,clothing and
everything else.
By Mufti Shafi Rahmatullahi Alaiyhe.

Tafseer of Soorah Falaq (Chapter 113)


Imaam ibn Katheer rahimahullaah
Translation by Habib Badr
Surat-ul-Falaq
The Daybreak (113)
Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Raheem.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
1. Qul 'aoodhu bi-Rabbil-falaq.
Say: "I seek refuge with (Allah), the Lord of the daybreak,"
2. Min sharri ma khalaq.
"From the evil of what He has created."
3. Wa min sharri ghasiqin idha waqab.
"And from the evil of the darkening (night) as it comes with its darkness; (or the moon as it sets or goes
away),"
4. Wa min sharrin-naf-fathati fil 'auqad.
"And from the evil of those who practise witchcraft when they blow in the knots,"
5. Wa min sharri hasidin idha hasad.
"And from the evil of the envier when he envies."

Tafseer Ibn Katheer


1. "Say: "I seek refuge with the Lord of the daybreak,"
Jabir(R.A.) says that Falaq means morning. The Qur'an itself says faliqu al-iSbah (Cleaver of the
daybreak) [6:96]. Ibn Abbas(R.A.) says that Falaqmeans creation. Ka'b Al-Ahbar says that Falaq is a
place in the Hell. When its gate is opened all the inmates of Hell cry out because of the intensity of its
heat. Ibn Jarir(R.A.) and Imam Bukhari(R.A.) say that it means morning and this view seems reasonable.
Allah directs believers to seek refuge in the Lord of the Falaq.

2. "From the evil of what He has created,


And to seek refuge from the evil of what He created. His creation includes Hell, Iblis (Satan) and his
offspring.

3. "And from the evil of the darkening as it comes with its darkness,
One should seek refuge from the evil of nightfall. According to Ibn Zaid(R.A.) the Arabs called the setting
of the star Pleiad as Ghasiq and believed that after its setting and at its rising, disease increases and
spreads. Some commentators say that the word Ghasiq means moon. They base their argument on a
Hadith that the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam once held the hand of 'Aisha(R.A.) and pointing to the
moon, said, "Seek refuge from the evil of this Ghasiq." (Imam Ahmed). However, the rising of the moon
and the apearance of the stars are things that happen at night.

4. "And from the evil of those who practise witchcraft when they blow in the knots,

5. "And from the evil of the enviers when he envies."


...'witchcrafts when the blow in the knots' refers to sorceresses. Mujahid says that such incantations are
nearest to polytheisim as are made to blow on a snake bite or magic stricken man. A Hadith says that
Jibraeel(A.S.) came to the Prophet (sallallahu alayhiwasalam) and said, "O Muhammad! Are you sick?"
When the Prophet (sallallahualahywasalam) said yes, he said, (the interpretation of the meaning) "I invoke
the Name of Allah against every disease that pains you, against the evil of every envier and against any
evil eye. May Allah heal you." The disease referred to in this Hadith was probably a magic spell. Allah
healed His Messenger (sallallahu alayhiwasalam) and repelled that magic.

Ahmad bin Hanbal(R.A.) reported that a Jew bewitched the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) and then
he remained under its spell for several days. Then Jibraeel(A.S.) came to him and informed him that such
and such Jew had enchanted him and has hidden a knotted rope in such and such well. He asked him to
send somebody to get it. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) sent someone to bring them back,
untied them, and the spell was broken. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) never mentioned it to that
Jew nor showed him any anger.
Bukhari reported a Hadith from Aisha (radhyallahu anha). She narrated that when the Prophet (sallallahu
alayhi wasalam) was bewitched under a magic spell, he thought that he came to his wives while he had
not done so. Once he said to me. "I asked my Lord and He showed me. Two persons came and one sat
near my head and the other near my legs. The man sitting near my head asked the other, 'What has
happened to this man?' He said, 'He is under the spell.' He asked, 'Who bewitched him?' He answered,
'Labid bin a'sim from the Bani Zuraiq ribe. They are allies of the Jews.' The man asked, 'What has
charmed?' The other answered, 'The comb and the hair.' He asked, 'Where are those things?' 'In the well
of Dharwan, under a rock.'" The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) sent 'Ali (radhyallahu anhu) to the
well and had the things dug out. I (Aisha) suggested that the magician should be punished. The Prophet
(sallallahu alayhi wasalam) said, "Praise is for Allah. He healed me. Now I do not like to incite people for
me.

VOCABULARY
Qul - Say
A'udhu - I seek refuge
Bi - with
Rabbi - the Lord
Al-Falaq - The morning and all creations(morning coming from the night)
min - from
sharri - mischief, evil
ma - (conjunctive pronoun) What, whatsoever, as, as much as, as far as; that which
khalaq - created
wa - and
ghasiqin - INFLUX [a stream of people or thing coming in] "darkening as it comes"
idha - when (pointing to the future)
an-naf-fathati - sorcery = magic, witchcraft (blow words & expell on knots)
fee - on; in
al-'aqad - ties, knots
hasadin - envier
hasad - envy

Virtues of Muawazzatain(= Surah Falaq + Surah Naas)


In a Hadeeth, it has appeared that the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) used to seek refuge from evil
eye of Jinn and human beings by means of various words untill these two surahs(the Muawazzatain) were
revealed upon Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasalam). Thereafter, Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) chose these
two surahs and left out all the other words of Ta'awwuz(of seeking refuge). Hisne Haseen
Hazrat Uqbah ibn Amir(R.A.) reported that " Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) bade me, that I should recite
after every salaat, the Muawazzatain." ( Ahmad, Abu Dawood, Nasai, Bayhaqi)
Ayesha (R.A.) reported that the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) used to recite these surahs three times
each before going to sleep, and then he would blow into his palms and rub them all over his body. Bukhari
and Muslim
In another report the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) said, "Recite them there is no Surahs like them."
An-Nisai
Aishah(R.A.) narrates that: During the Prophet(sallallahu alayhi wasalam)'s fatal illness, he used to recite
the Mu'auwidhaat (Surah Al-Falaq and Surah An-Naas / Quran chapters 113 and 114) and then blow his
breath over his body. When his illness was aggravated, I used to recite those two Surahs (chapters), blow
my breath over him and make him rub his body with his own hand for its blessings."Bukhari 7.631
{(Ma'mar asked Az-Zuhri: How did the Prophet(sallallahu alayhi wasalam) used to blow? Az-Zuhri said: He
used to blow on his hands and then passed them over his face.)}