Chapter One

Chapter One

            بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

       And We have certainly given you, [O Muhammad],
       seven of the often repeated [verses] and the great
       Qur’an. (Surah Al-Hijr 15:87)

        ‘The seven of the oft-repeated verses’ refer to Surah
        Al-Fatiha,The Mother of the Quran.

                               —

It’s the Opener of the Quran, The Opener of Salaah,
The Opener to the gates of Mercy, The Opener to our
Hearts. The essence of this Surah and the sublime
message hidden in the heart of this is so incredible; it
can take an entire lifetime for one to truly understand
this Surah alone. It is the chosen Surah to commence
the Quran. Just that alone proves to us the virtue of
this Surah. To understand it, is totally different to
reading it without understanding it.

1:1 In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the
Especially Merciful

1:2 [All] praise is [due] to Allah, Lord of the Worlds

1:3 The Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful

1:4 Sovereign of the Day of Recompense

1:5 It is You we worship and You we ask for help

1:6 Guide us to the straight path

1:7 The path of those upon whom You have bestowed
favour, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or
of those who are astray

Basics of Islam

The core message of surah Fatiha represents the entire religion of Islam that Muslims follow:

*Remembering the benefits and endowments of Allah
*Remembering and reiterating the most beautiful
names of Allah – the relationship between Allah and
mankind is dependant upon mercy
*Reminding oneself that Allah is the Owner of the Day of Judgment and preparing for it
*Showing sincerity when we beseech for help (for each and everything).
*The unity of our Ummah, as the subject pronouns addressing the reader and the supplications are in plural… ‘we worship… we ask for help’
*The importance and the code of supplication – The Surah ends with a supplication
*We ask to follow the right path
*Seeking good and righteous company
*Warning us of bad company

The Opener of the Quran

It is the chosen Surah to commence Quran; the key to the Quran i.e. its meanings. It opens every Surah of the Quran, if we understand Al-Fatiha, we will understand all the Surahs that come after it because the Surahs are sequential in their meanings and objectives. Each Surah is related to the one
preceding it according to the order of the Quran, and it can only be related to the Surah that precedes it; except Al-Fatiha.

If you recite Al-Fatiha before any Surah, you will find
a related or complementing meaning within them both
hence, we start our Salaah with Al-Fatiha followed by
any Surah, without losing the coherence in meaning.

Teacher: What is the summary of the Quran in two
sentences?

Nouman Ali Khan: (1) Accept that Allah is Master and
accept yourself as a slave. (2) Accept that the Guidance
is only beneficial to those who accept themselves as
slave.

In summaryIyyaka na budu wa iyyaka nasta in’
You (solely) do we worship, and You (solely) do
we beseech for help.

The Arabic Language

The English language does not qualify to translate the
Arabic language. For example, the word Salaah, we
call that Prayer. But a prayer is dua; an act in which
we raise our hands and supplicate. Salaah is an entire
unit made up of words, actions, with an intention, a
belief, together with so much spirituality. Starts with
an intention ends with salaam (peace). That is a brief
definition of Salaah.

                       
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعٰلَمِين
                      
                         Al-hamdu lillahi Rabbil ‘alamin

               All Praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds (i.e.
              mankind, jinns and all that exists)

‘Hamd’ is Haa, Meem, Daal ﺩ ﺡ ﻡ – Used to mention
the good attribute of a person; an attribute that
reaches the level of perfection . It’s based on love
and honour, not simply to please the person or
without significance rather Hamd implies admiration,
a true praise that one deserves.

‘Al’ is Alif and Laam ﻝ ﺍ – This includes all the
different types of the nouns that is pronounced after
it. It means that the entire praise, every single type
of praise and at all times, is due to Allah. ‘Li’ ِﻝ
in ‘lillah’ (meaning, for Allah) implies limitation –
Allah is the only One who deserves the Hamd.

All praise is for Allah. It means we are thankful to
him, we know He is Praiseworthy. Realise how we say
this term quite often when something good happens –
Alhumdullilah , All Praise to Allah.

Notice the word ‘ Rabb’ , it does not have an English
translation, it would take pages upon pages to explain
literally what is meant by it. Some scholars say the
word Rabb includes; Creator, The One who Nourishes,
Cherishes, Provides for, Protects. The One who has
Absolute Control of all aspects of existence is known
as Rabb.

     All Praise is due to Allah, The Creator, The Nourisher,
     The Cherisher, The Sustainer, The Provider, The
     Protector and The Curer of one and all.

Al-alamin and people

Mentioning the word al-alamin (man and jinn) in this
context has a graceful meaning. Al-Fatiha starts with
“Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the alamin (mankind,
jinn and all that exists)”, whereas the last Surah of
the Quran ends with ‘Naas’ meaning
mankind, suggesting that this Quran was not just
revealed for Muslims but to guide the entire
humanity .

Why does Allah speak of his Mercy?

Islam is the religion based on Mercy. On Allahs
Mercy. Notice how there is no form of punishment
mentioned in this Surah at all. It is repeated so many
times during the day to show us, He is Most
Forgiving, The Most Merciful – He will forgive us for
every single sin we have committed when we seek His
forgiveness.

The Master of the Day of Judgement

Allah is the Master of everything but on the Day of
Judgement it will be manifest.

That Day, everyone will follow [the call of] the Caller
[with] no deviation therefrom, and [all] voices will be
stilled before the Most Merciful, so you will not hear
except a whisper [of footsteps]. (Surah Taha 20:108)

All the voices shall be silenced for the sake of Allahs
voice to be heard, we will hear nothing but Allah and
He permits who can talk. So in this verse we confirm
he is the owner of all including The Day by declaring
His Ownership and Dominion.

‘Day of Judgement’ The day when Allah will judge
people and rule on peoples’ hearts… For that reason,
when we find ourselves judging others, when we find
ourselves ruling and judging peoples hearts we
haven’t truly grasped or believed in this verse
correctly. When we continue to say bad things about
others our deeds are then passed on to them and in
essence they may be better than you… Allah has set
aside a whole day to judge people, to judge us, we
have no right to start judging others on Earth.

The Supplication

We begin by praising Allah in the first three verses,
the fourth is now between Allah and the worshipper
‘ Iyyaka na budu wa iyyaka nasta in’ Allah reveals to
us that He gives whatever we ask for, we then
continue making our supplication, ‘ Ihdina s-sirata l-
mustaqim, siratal ladhina an amta alayhim ghayril-
maghdubi alayhim wa la d-dallin’ We ask for
guidance and steadfastness on the straight path
because that is the most important gift that we can all
have.
The description of the straight path: The path whom
Allah has guided; Prophet Muhammed (pbuh), his
companions and the previous Prophets (Adam,
Abraham, Moses, Jesus – Peace be upon them all)…
Allah knows who he has guided.
not of those whom erred Your are anger: Those who
knew the scriptures and hid them intentionally. Those
who knew the truth but they rejected it and did not
follow it or they don’t want it.
nor of those who are astray: Neither did they know it
or did they bother to know it. Those people who are
not in search of the truth and at times know what is
right but their weakness has led them far away.

The Opener of Salaah

This Surah is recited at least 17 times a day, with
obligatory prayers even more then 17. There is no
Salaah for one who does not read Surah Fatiha, it will
become invalid. We open this Salaah by thanking
Allah, every segment we read we acknowledge that He
is the Owner. By declaring Allah is our creator we
automatically become the worshipper. One of the
names of Al-Fatiha is As-Salaah; The Surah that
prayers are begun and reciting it is a condition for the
precision of our Salaah. By understanding the true
meaning when reciting this Surah in each rakaat
(unit) we will notice how sharp our focus is and how
our concentration levels will gradually increase.
Insha’Allah.

Opening a dialogue with Allah

When we begin to pray this Surah we don’t realise
that Allah hears us and is responding to us. If we felt
that we would immediately take our time in Salaah.
The Hadith Qudsi tells us how freely a believer can
communicate with his Lord. Hadith Qudsi are sacred
quotations sent directly from Allah through our
beloved Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) but are not part
of the Quran.

Hadith Qudsi No. 8 of 40

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be
pleased with him) from the Prophet (PBUH), who said:

‘A prayer performed by someone who has not recited
the Essence of the Quran (1) during it is deficient (and
he repeated the word three times), incomplete.’

Someone said to Abu Hurayrah: [Even though] we are
behind the imam? (2)

He said: Recite it to yourself, for I have heard the
Prophet (may the blessings and peace of Allah be up
on him) say:

Allah (mighty and sublime be He), had said: I have
divided prayer between Myself and My servant into
two halves, and My servant shall have what he has
asked for.

When the servant says: Al-hamdu lillahi rabbi l-
alamin (3), Allah (mighty and sublime be He) says: My
servant has praised Me. And when he says: Ar-
rahmani r-rahim (4), Allah (mighty and sublime be
He) says: My servant has extolled Me, and when he
says: Maliki yawmi d-din (5), Allah says: My servant
has glorified Me – and on one occasion He said: My
servant has submitted to My power. And when he
says: Iyyaka na budu wa iyyaka nasta in (6), He says:
This is between Me and My servant, and My servant
shall have what he has asked for. And when he says:
Ihdina s-sirata l- mustaqim, siratal ladhina an amta
alayhim ghayril-maghdubi alayhim wa la d-dallin
(7), He says: This is for My servant, and My servant
shall have what he has asked for.

(1) Surah al-Fatiha, the first chapter of the Qur’an.

(2) i.e. standing behind the Imam (leader) listening to
him reciting Al-Fatiha.

(3) “Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.”

(4) “The Merciful, the Compassionate”.

(5) “Master of the Day of Judgement”.

(6) “It is You we worship and it is You we ask for
help”.

(7) “Guide us to the straight path, the path of those
upon whom You have bestowed favors, not of those
against whom You are angry, nor of those who are
astray”.

It was related by Muslim (also by Malik, at-Tirmidhi,
Abu-Dawud, an-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah).

Omar Ibn-Abdul-Aziz (ra) used to recite Al-Fatiha, one
ayah after the other with a pause between each ayah.
When he was asked for the reason of these silent
pauses he answered, ‘To enjoy Allah’s reply (to my
supplication).’

Without doubt there is contentment in the certainty of
Islam and Surah Al-Fatiha is a gateway to
understanding the Quran; The book of Allah, The
instruction manual for mankind, The complete
guidance for humanity. After contemplating some of
the great aspects of this Surah Insha’Allah my
remembrance of Allah (swt) increases. He has the
right over me, He controls every aspect of my life and
I need to rectify myself in order to continue on a
healthy path. The straight path. And I truly hope
whoever has read this, wherever you are, through
Allahs Mercy, may you also benefit from this just like
I have. Ameen.

SOURCE

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