INTRODUCTION OF SURAH AL FATIHA
The word “Fatiha” comes from the verb “Fataha”, which means in this text “to open”. “Al” is a defined article and Fatiha means the opening Surah, which opens the Quran. Some Muslims interpret it as this surah has ability to open a person’s faith in Allah. It is the Mecci Surah of the Holy Quran, which means that it was discovered on the Prophet of God while He was in Makah, It also has the honor of being the very first Surah that is made known completely.
Although it consists of 7 Ayahsonly, but it still explains the Veneration of the Almighty in a very comprehensive fashion and also is a great means of supplication of asking Allah for keeping one on the right path. It is also named Umm al-Qur’an, the Mother of the Qur’an, and Umm al-Kitab, the Mother of the Book because it summarizes the meaning of whole Quran. It is also named Sab’ul-Mathani, (the Seven Often Repeated Verses), Al-Hamd, (the Praise), Al-Shifa (The Cure) and Ar-Ruqya, the Spiritual Cure. Its recitation is a condition for the effectiveness of the prayer.
VIRTUES OF SURAH FATIHA
Surah Al Fatiha has many virtues. Some of them are briefly defined here:
It is cure of diseases such as Snake sting, Epilepsy or any otherillness. A companion once recited Al-Fatihah over a scorpion bite, to which the Prophet commanded him saying:”How did you know it was a Ruqyah (cure)?”(Sahih Al Bukhari)
It is the greatest chapter of Quran.
It is pillar of the prayer as Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) said: “Whoever does not recite SurahAl Fatihah in his prayer, his prayer is invalid”.”(Sahih Al Bukhari)
It is the seven oft-repeated verses because it is repeated in everyunit of prayer.
It is mother of Quran.
It was sent from Heaven as a light. An Angel addressed the Prophet(SAW) saying:
“Rejoice in two lights brought to you which have not been brought to any prophet before you, Al-Fatihah and the last verses of Al- Baqarah”
It is cure for heart as it protects heart from offensive motives.
THEME OF SURAH FATIHA
It declares that God alone is the maintainer of all the known and the unknown worlds, ultimate source of mercy, justice and guidance for mankind. Only He can guide man to the way of life acceptable to him though he doesn’t compel anyone to follow that way. Instead, in the words of the Quran, it is man’s duty to beg before Him for guidance: Allah said in Quran that: call on Me,I shall answer your supplication” (40:60). He also tells man the consequences of following this code of conduct or going astray. Therefore, man needs to praise and worship him and resort to him alone. AsHe is the supreme justice and everybody will have to answer Him on the day of Judgement for his worldly deeds.
TAFSEER OF SURAH ALFATIHA
1. In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
This statement is also known as the basmala.
Baa means In the name of Allah or seeking help or blessing with the name of ALLAH.As in Arabic language it has three different meanings.
The Meaning of al-Rahman and al-Raheem:
Both these names are derived from the same root letters: raa, haa, meem; which means to have mercy. They are thus similar in meaning and both are connected to Allah’s (SWT) Mercy. Allah has started the first surah with his names of mercy rather than might and power that shows that how important this characteristic is.And there also exist a difference between Al Rahman and AL Raheem.
It is Allah’s mercy to all the creation as in one of hadith it is mentioned that Allah has divided his mercy into 100 parts and only one part is sent down to this dunia.It is from this one part of His Mercy that animals show mercy to their offspring (Sahih Muslim)
Allah says in QURAN: My Mercy encompasses all things. (Al-A’raf: 156)
Al-Raheem indicated the Mercy of Allah which is specific for the believers. It indicated the doing of action that only those people have mercy who believes in Allah.
Allah says in Quran: He is full of mercy to the believers (Al-Ahzab:43)
2. [All] praise is [due] to Allah, Lord of the worlds
According to scholarsHamd and shukar has same meaning i.e.Thankfulness or gratitude. But in actual they have some difference i.e.Hamd is something which must be done with love and reverence, but shukr does not need this. Shukr is done in response to a favour which is done to a person but hamd is done simply because the one being praised and thanked is worthy of that.
Rabb:Rabb comes from the root letter Raa; Baa, Baa means one having control over something. SoRaab means one who controls or cherishes everything and is the king and master of everything. In case of ALLAH; He is alone the master whole universe and cherishes it.
Aa’lameen means everything that exists other than ALLAH TALA which includes those things which have an intellect, and they are four i.e. mankind, Jins, angels and devils. It also includes those things which have souls. But it is believed that the view about everything that exists other than Allah is best because of proofs being ayah 23 and 24 of Surah Shu’ara.
Said Pharaoh, “And what is the Lord of the worlds?” (23)
[Moses] said, “The Lord of the heavens and earth and that between them, if you should be convinced.”(24)
3. The Entirely Merciful, and beneficial
Here these two names are repeated to again emphasis on two important attributes of Allah that is mercy. When something is repeated in Quran pak we see ayah before it and after it to see how they are related. Here the previous ayah told the power of Allah that He has the control over everything yet again here Allah defined Himself as the most merciful as well and tells that His taking of and sustaining and providing for us is all part of his mercy towards us.
4. Master of the Day of Judgment
The first word of this ayah can be recited in two ways: either as “Maalik” (with a madd after the meem) or as “Malik” (without the madd). Maalik means master, and it refers to “milk” – the ownership of something. Malik means king, and it refers to “mulk” – the dominion of a person.
It is the Day of Recompense for deeds. Everyone will be gathered on this day. Some will be rewarded through His Mercy while others punished through His Justice. Allah specifically mentions His sovereignty alone on the Day of Judgment in this verse because no one will claim anything on that day and no one will be allowed to speak except by His permission. For some scholars it is the most alarming ayah of Quran whereas some scholars says it’s the most calmest ayah of Quran which gives ry of hope to people that there would be day of justice.
5. It is You we worship and You we ask for help.
At this point, there is a shift in the Surah from informing us about Allah (SWT) and praising Him, to addressing Him.
“We worship” means we obey. Worship is obedience and self-abasement. It means to humble yourself before Allah (SWT) and to submit to His Will. Outwardly it is self-abasement, but in reality, it is glory and beautification. The ayah affirms the Lordship of Allah and affirms that worship is due to Him.
“Iyyaakanasta’een” means we seek help, support and success.
It also refers the status of the slave and his worship which is lower so it will come after mentioning the Lord, Allah (SWT).This verse is a proof that the slave is not allowed to divert any type of worship to other than Allah. The verse also contains remedy for the hearts from the illness of being attached to other than Allah. There is also a cure in it against spiritual diseases of showing off, self-admiration, and arrogance.
6. Guide us to the straight path
This part of Surah Al-Fatiha is dua in which we asks ALLAH to show us right path so that we do good deeds to get closer to Allah. We need to struggle towards Allah (SWT) by doing good deeds and by staying away from all bad deeds which will distance us from Him.
The word “siraat” in ayah means path. But it is not any other ordinary path rather it has certain conditions which has to be fullfilled.Theseconditions are that it must be straight path. It must reach the goal and it must be shortest route to achieve the goal. Otherwise it would be called something else such as tareeq or sabeel.
The word “Mustaqeem” in ayah is derived from istaqaama, which means to be straight, upright, and correct. We already said that for a road to be a sirat it must be straight, so this adjective of mustaqeem again emphasis the straightness of this Path. Another meaning of mustaqeem is to remain firm or to stand firm without tilting. For example, a tree that is firmly grounded when the wind blows it is not affected by it. So, the Straight Path is a path on which people are firmly grounded.
7. The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray.
Who are the people who have been blessed by Allah (SWT) and whose Path we ask to guide to? This is explained by Allah (SWT) in another ayah where He says:
” Whosoever obeys Allah, and the Messenger, they are with those whom Allah has favored, the Prophets, the sincere, the martyrs and the righteous, and these are the best company. “(Al-Nisa’: 69)
So, the favored and blessed people are the Prophets, the righteous, the martyrs and the pious.
And who are the people with anger on them and those who are astray? This is explained by the Prophet. ‘AdiibnHatim (RA) asked him about those with anger on them and he replied that it refers to the Jews. He then asked him about those who are astray and he replied that it refers to the Christians. This is reported by al-Tirmidhi and is authentic.
IMPACT OF SURAH AL FATIHA ON MUSLIMS
Surah Fatiha has great impact on Muslims. According to some scholars this surah opens the faith of people. And repeatedly recitation of Surah Fatiha brings one closer to Allah. It drive us to ensure that we are sincere to the meaning of words that You alone we worship and to You alone we ask for help. This Surah gives Muslims ray of hope that they will have justice on the day of judgment as ALLAH has said He is the Master of the day ofjudgement.And this Surah helps us to seek guidance from Allah and thank Allah always when we have something from all.
Muslims have great belief that by reciting Surah Fatiha they can cure diseases. Apart of that, This Surah always remind us through reciting that all praises belongs to ALLAH and He is the only one who worth worshiping. And it reminds Muslims that they have to return back to Allah one day and He will ask about their worldly deeds so they try not to commit bad deeds and act upon the commands of Allah.
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