This chapter was revealed during the Meccan period. It is one of the two al-Mu’awwidhatan (المعوذتان), which some translate as ‘the verses of refuge’, in the Qur’an. The other one being Surah al-Falaq. In this chapter, there is mention of seeking protection and refuge in the Lord from the evil of the greatest enemy: Iblees and his devilish helpers from among the mankind and jinn.
Allah finished His book with the verses of refuge and began it with Surah Al-Fatiha in order to gather the good between the beginning and end. This is a beautiful combination because the slave seeks help from Allah in the beginning of any affair and resorts back to Him at the end of it. Thus, Allah begins the Qur’an by speaking about seeking His aid in Surah Al-Fatiha and finishes His book by speaking about resorting back to Him in Surah Al-Naas.
Explanation of the Verses
Say, I seek refuge in the Lord of mankind
- Say Muhammad: I seek refuge and protection in the Lord of Mankind, the One alone able to respond to the evil of the whisperer (i.e. Shaytan).
The Sovereign of mankind
- Sovereign of mankind, the One in charge of all of their affairs. The One who is free of any need from them.
The God of mankind
- God of mankind, the One who alone has the right to be worshipped.
From the evil of the retreating whisperer
- From the harm of Shaytan, the one who whispers at times of neglect and vanishes when Allah is remembered.
Who whispers [evil] into the breasts of mankind
- The one who spreads evil and doubts in the breasts of mankind.
From among the jinn and mankind
- [I seek refuge in Allah] from the devils among the jinn and mankind.
Source: Tafseer Al-Muyassar