أَعُوذُ (Seek refuge) It is to seek help, shelter, and safe keeping. You only seek help and protection from someone who is stronger than the one who is going to cause harm to you. So that, when you bring to your mind the meaning of seeking protection while you are filled with faith, then you seek refuge from the One Who created you and created the devil, thus the devil will escape from your path because he knows that you returned to The Strong and The Capable.
النَّاسِ (mankind): All the species of Adam (pbuh) till the resurrection day. Some orientalists argued about this word and wanted to involve us into a maze of doubts about the Holy Qur’an, they said: The Holy Qur’an contains unnecessary repetition, otherwise why the word of (mankind) is repeated thrice in this Surah?
Those people understood that this word carried one meaning in these verses because they are not qualified with the Arabic language.
The word of (mankind) in not the same in these positions, Allah (swt) wanted for every word in the Holy Qur’an to bring its meaning and for every meaning to bring its suitable word. Thus, the word (mankind) is general when the speech is connected to a general ruling, on the other hand, it is specific in other positions, such as when Allah (swt) says:
﴾ أَمْ يَحْسُدُونَ النَّاسَ عَلَىٰ مَا آتَاهُمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ ﴿
(Or do they envy people for what Allah has given them of His bounty?) (An-Nisa’: 54)
(people) intended here for the Prophet (saws).
Accurate examination of this Surah indicates that its first verse represents a declaration of Allah’s Lordliness to all creatures. We seek refuge just in Him because He (swt) is the Lord, Who created and decided the characteristics of each creature, who cannot escape Him (swt) because He (swt) is: