Shaiyh Salim at-Taweel
After praising Allaah, and asking Allaah to send His peace and blessings upon the seal of all Messengers, and his family and companions, the shaykh said:
Allaah, Tabarak wa Ta'aala, revealed in His Book two great sooras (chapters). The Prophet (salallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to seek refuge in Allaah with them, and they are the two chapters Mu'awadhatain - Soorat al-Falaq and Soorat an-Nas. And [before that] the Prophet (salallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to seek refuge in Allaah with many legislated adhkaar (remembrances and supplications). So when Allaah revealed Soorat al-Falaq and Soorat an-Nas, the Prophet (salallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) left those adhkaar for Soorat al-Falaq and Soorat an-Nas, specifically for seeking refuge.
It is desirable for a Muslim to concern himself with these two soorahs, both in terms of reciting them and reflecting upon them. So it is legislated that the Muslim recites these two chapters in the prayer itself, and after every single prayer, and before he sleeps. For verily, this is a Sunnah that contains a great amount of benefit. So when a person secludes to his bed or sleeping place, let him bring together his two hands and spit lightly into them - a very light type of spitting - and recite Soorat al-Ikhlaas, al-Falaq, and An-Nas, and then wipe his whole body til the extent of where his hands reach, beginning with his head.
And this will aid against:
1- harmful or annoying dreams
2- diseases or illnesses related to the soul
3- the jinn
4- the evil eye
And this is something that is beneficial, and all Praise is for Allaah.
When that thing that one is seeking refuge in Allaah from doesn't go, then he should continue to repeat this along with the recitation of Aayatul-Kursee [ayah 255 of Sooratul-Baqarah].
So what is the meaning of isti'aadha, seeking refuge? It is to seek a shelter, and this means to find protection in something. So this is seeking protection in Allaah that He protects you and shelters you from that which you sought refuge from in the first place - from the various devils or envy, or other than that.
And the meaning of: قُلۡ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ ٱلۡفَلَقِ
Say (O Muhammad): "I seek refuge with (Allaah) the Lord of the daybreak. (Al-Falaq, ayah 1) ------> Allaah commanded the Prophet that he should say: "I seek refuge with (Allaah) the Lord of the daybreak" to seek protection in the Lord of the daybreak, to refer back to Him. And the Lord of the daybreak is Allaah, Subhanahu wa Ta'aala. He is The Lord of everything. And what is meant by Falaq is as-subH, the dawn. It's also said that the meaning of Falaq is a seed that splits. And both meanings are correct. For, Allaah is the Lord of the SubH (dawn), and Allaah is the Lord of the seeds and fruits, plants and whatever is in the earth.
And Allaah is The One in Whom refuge is sought. And from the things that refuge (in Allaah) is sought from is: مِن شَرِّ مَا خَلَقَ
"From the evil of what He has created. (Al-Falaq, ayah 2) -----> from all the evil that exists in whatever is created. All the different types of evil, the evil we may be aware of and the evil we may not be aware of.
And so this isti'aadha in this ayah - (Al-Falaq, ayah 2) - is a general type of isti'aadha (seeking refuge) from evil in general terms. So therefore it is legislated that a person seeks refuge from evil, whatever evil he knows or doesn't know. To the extent that he even seeks refuge from the evil within his own soul. Just as the Prophet (salallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to say: Naoodhubillaahi min shuroori anfusina (We seek refuge in Allaah from the evil of our own souls.)
وَمِن شَرِّ غَاسِقٍ إِذَا وَقَبَ
"And from the evil of the darkening (night) as it comes with its darkness. (Al-Falaq, ayah 3) ------> And the darkening is the night or darkness. And the reason for the appropriateness (necessity) of seeking refuge at the approach of the night is because this is when the jinn and devils spread. And also this is when the harmful things like the scorpions emerge. And since these things are harmful to a person, Allaah legislated that we seek refuge in Him from them.
وَمِن شَرِّ ٱلنَّفَّـٰثَـٰتِ فِى ٱلۡعُقَدِ
"And from the evil of the witchcrafts when they blow in the knots. (Al-Falaq, ayah 4) -----> This refers to the female sorcerers. This is because some of the female sorcerers practice magic by tying knots in a piece of string, or rope. And then they would use devilish words or satanic spells, and blow upon by way of them. Any using this technique, they would perform magic upon the people, and cause harm upon them. And when the evil brought about on account of this is something great and abundant and widespread, then Allaah legislated that we should seek refuge in Him from their evil.
وَمِن شَرِّ حَاسِدٍ إِذَا حَسَدَ
"And from the evil of the envier when he envies." (Al-Falaq, ayah 5) -----> And the meaning of envy here is that you wish and desire that a favor or blessing upon a person ends. And every person who has some sort of favor or blessing is envied. However, he may not perceive or realize that he is being envied. So therefore, it is befitting that he seeks refuge from those who envy, even if we do not know who the enviers are.
So therefore, we observe from this chapter (al-Falaq) the seeking refuge (in Allaah) from all evils. So, therefore, if Allaah responds to you and accepts your seek refuge in Him, then by the Permission of Allaah you will be delivered and saved from all the various types of evils - the evils that spread during the approach of darkness and also the evils of the female magicians who blow into knots and the evil of those who envy.
Allaah said in Soorat an-Nas:
قُلۡ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ ٱلنَّاسِ
Say: "I seek refuge with (Allaah) the Lord of mankind. (An-Nas, ayah 1) ------> And the Lord of mankind is Allaahu, Subhanahu wa Ta'aala. And the meaning of Lord is He (Allaah) is their Creator, Owner, and The One Who regulates all their affairs.
"The King of mankind. (An-Nas, ayah 2)
"The Ilah (True Deity) of mankind. (An-Nas, ayah 3) ------> The only One worthy in truth of being worshipped for them. So when He (Allaah) said that He is the Lord and King, then it is appropriate that He mentioned alongside that that He is The Ilah in truth. And this is obligatory that He is worshipped. That we worship The Ilah Who created us and controls and owns us, so therefore He is our Ilah in truth, and nothing besides Him deserves to be worshipped.
And how can worship be directed to that which does not create, nor own anything, nor does it own itself, nor have power over itself, nor over those besides it - neither in terms of bringing benefit or repelling harm - rather it is merely created like we are created.
And this is something that the mushrikoon (polytheists) fall into; they direct worship to the creation, the Prophets of Allaah and (other) righteous people, and the sun and the moon, idols and statues (and angels), and so on and so forth from the created things which are worshipped in falsehood.
And the truth is that Al-Ilah (The One worshipped in truth), He is the One Who created and the One Who owns. Thus, because the creation (and ownership) and the command are His alone, then He is The One Whom it is befitting to worship. So therefore, Allaah has taught us that we seek refuge in Him alone. And He is the Rabb (Lord), Malik (Owner), and Ilah (The One worshipped in truth).
مِن شَرِّ ٱلۡوَسۡوَاسِ ٱلۡخَنَّاسِ
"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 Allaah). (An-Nas, ayah 4) ------> We were commanded to seek refuge in Him from the whisperings of the whisperer. The waswas here is Shaytan. And this is because he whispers secretely, and therefore these whispers enter into the heart of a person. And he makes apparent to them that he is giving nasiha (advice). And he swears that he desires nothing but good for them, just as he deceived Adam ('alayhi salaam) to swerve and deviate before. So Shaytan whispered to Adam to eat from this tree until Adam ate from the tree. And in this manner, Shaytan continues to take this approach with the offspring of Adam ('alayhi salaam), just as Shaytan did with our parents before (meaning Adam ('alayhi salaam) and Eve).
ٱلَّذِى يُوَسۡوِسُ فِى صُدُورِ ٱلنَّاسِ
"Who whispers in the breasts of mankind. (An-Nas, ayah 5) ------> So therefore, he (Shaytan) is a whisperer who puts ideas and thoughts into the hearts of people. And Allaah gave him this ability as a form of trial and testing for us. However, Shaytan is also Khannas, meaning he who withdraws and holds back while we remember Allaah. So we seek refuge in Allaah from Shaytan. It is an error to say, "May Allaah curse Shaytan." Rather, we should say, "We seek refuge in Allaah from Shaytan."
For verily, some people when they err or commit a sin, say, "May Allaah humiliate Shaytan," or "May Allaah curse Shaytan." So Shaytan puffs up til the size of a mountain. And this is what the Messenger (salallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) informed us about, because Iblees is one who boasts what he can do to the people. Rather, the Messenger (salallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) commanded us to say: Aoodhubillaahi min ash-Shaytan (I seek refuge in Allaah from Shaytan). When we seek refuge in Allaah from Shaytan, Shaytan becomes little and insignificant, like the example of an atom or a spec.
مِنَ ٱلۡجِنَّةِ وَٱلنَّاسِ
وَكَذَٲلِكَ جَعَلۡنَا لِكُلِّ نَبِىٍّ عَدُوًّ۬ا شَيَـٰطِينَ ٱلۡإِنسِ وَٱلۡجِنِّ يُوحِى بَعۡضُهُمۡ إِلَىٰ بَعۡضٍ۬ زُخۡرُفَ ٱلۡقَوۡلِ غُرُورً۬ا*ۚ
And so We have appointed for every Prophet enemies - Shayaateen (devils) among mankind and jinns, inspiring one another with adorned speech as a delusion (or by way of deception)... (Al-An'aam, ayah 112)
So therefore, I advise myself and yourself to seek refuge in Allaah by reciting these two soorahs. For verily, they are great and mighty, and a person will be protected - by the permission of Allaah - from all the various evils, those which we know and those we don't know.
And Allaah knows best, and may Allaah send His peace and blessings upon Muhammad, and his family, and companions.
Someone asked: If someone is being affected by the evil eye, how (can he proceed toward being cured)?
Shaikh Salim At-Taweel Answered: When a person is envied, first he should strive to recite the Mu'awadhatain (Soorat al-Falaq, Soorat an-Nas), perhaps that Allaah might remove this from him. However, there is another way, in case he knows the specific person who is envious of him, since some people are known to be envious. So in this situation, you go to him, and it is obligatory upon him that he obeys you (in this matter). (So you command him to make wudhu with a container below the water with which he is making wudhu.) And then the container, in which the excess water falls from his hands and limbs during wudhu, should be taken and poured over the back of the one who is being envied.
It is not permissible for the one who is ordered to make wudhu to refuse. This is because the Prophet (salallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) commanded this. However, some people become agitated by this, and they say, "Why do you accuse me of this?"
Reply to him firstly: The Prophet (salallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) commanded you to make wudhu, so that the excess water from your wudhu can be taken. If it is the case that you are the one who envied me, then I will benefit from this. And if it is the case that you are not the one who envied, then this does not harm you.
Later, someone asked a follow-up regarding this question: Is it necessary that we know the envier with certainty, or is it sufficient that we just have a speculation or (suspicion)?
Shaikh Salim At-Taweel Answered: We act upon the overwhelming suspicion or speculation. When we suspect that so and so envied him, then there is no harm if he goes to him based on that, and that he request from him what we already mentioned. There is another way; perhaps it is beneficial, and maybe a person may find a way out on account of this (particular method). And it is that the envied person comes to numerous people, those for example who might have been with him yesterday, maybe four or five people were with him, suspecting that the envier was from amongst them. And so the envied person may say, "I was inflicted yesterday," or "my son was inflicted yesterday in this gathering, and perhaps one of the people in this gathering has inflicted him with the evil eye. So therefore, I don't want anyone to be angry with me, so I ask all of you in general to provide a legislative solution - no hizbiyyah, nor bid'ah."
[And later on, there was yet another follow-up question to which the Shaikh answered by giving an example of an indicator that a person has been envied, such as the case if a person drives a beautiful new car, and people saw it and were amazed by it, and the next day the car malfunctions. And the shaikh also gave an example of when it is not the case of envy, such as when one does not study and thus he performs poorly on an exam.]
Source: Tape Follow the Sunnah/Seeking Refuge in Allaah, by Shaikh Saalim at-Taweel (hafidhahullaah)