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Surat al-Faatihah (The Opening) (Revealed in Makkah)
The translation of the meaning of the surah :
1. In the name of Allah, the Most Kind, the Most Merciful.
2. All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds.
3. The Most Kind, the Most Merciful.
4. Master of the Day of Judgement.
5. You alone we worship, and to You alone we turn for help.
6. Guide us to the Straight Path.
7. The path of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace; not of those who earned Your anger, nor of those who have gone astray.
Explanations
The Aayah (Bismillaah-Arrahmaan-Arraheem) occurs in the Qur’an before every surah except Surat at-Tawbah, that is, surah nine in the Qur’an. This aayah has two of the most beautiful names of Allah: ar-Rahmaan and ar-Raheem. Both these names of Allah show how Kind, Merciful and Caring He is! The word Allah in (Bismillaah) is the personal Name of Allah.
The word ‘hamd’ means praise and thankfulness. Al-Hamd means pure praise of Allah. It also includes praise for the gifts and blessings He has given us. And finally it expresses thankfulness for all the good, which comes from Him, and all the favours we receive from Him. We start the day, for example, by Allah who has after causing us death, and to Resurrection.’ One who praised and to grateful. saying, Praise be to brought us to life to die (sleep is like a small death and Allah alone is the deserves to be whom we should be ).
The Lord of all the worlds means that He is the Master of every single aspect of Life of this world and the afterlife, of everything seen and unseen. A world (aalam) is something other than Allah, and everything other than Allah is completely subject to Him and in need of Him. Everything other than Allah is His slave and the result of His blessing.
The ‘Most kind, The Most Merciful.’ We live in Allah’s Mercy. His Mercy, knowledge and forgiveness encompass everything in existence!
‘Master of the Day of Judgement.’ Allah is the Master both in this life and on the Day of Judgement. On that day, He alone will be the Master, and no one will be allowed to speak without His permission.
On that day, those who do right actions will be rewarded, and those who do wrong actions will be punished. The belief of accountability in the Aakhirah (Hereafter) is the central part of imaan. This gives courage and support to the believers. They suffer untold miseries and injustices in this life and remain steadfast. They do not deviate from the path of doing well. They always remain hopeful of receiving the reward in the afterlife. Besides, it is a warning for the wrongdoers that Allah is well aware of their misdeeds. They may escape justice in this world, but they will not escape the punishment they deserve on that day. Allah will reward those who have iman and do right actions with Jannah (Paradise). He will also punish the wrongdoers with Jahannam (Hellfire).
‘You alone we worship, and to You alone we turn for help.’ O Allah! We worship You alone. We seek Your help. We do not seek the help of anyone else. Everything other than You is in need of You.
‘Guide us to the Straight Path. The path of those on Whom You have bestowed Your Grace.’ A straight line is the shortest path between two points. All the prophets Allah sent to their people called to the Straight Path of Allah. Its foundation is: There is only one God and all the dwellers of this earth and heaven are in need of Him, subject to His Judgement and Command in this world and the next; and so they should worship Him alone.
‘Those on Whom Allah bestowed His Grace’ are, according to the Qur’an, the Prophets, the truthful, the martyrs and the righteous. Once the Prophet
() explained the straight path by drawing a straight line in the sand and then on each side of this he drew some crooked lines, saying, ‘The Straight Line is the way of Allah and the crooked lines are the pathways, and on each of them there is a devil inviting people to it’. This is why Muslims are instructed to pray for guidance and remain constant on the Straight Path. Allah has made it obligatory to recite this surah in every prayer. In fact, it contains great truths, and it is the earnest supplication of a slave seeking the pleasure of his Lord.
‘…not of those who earned Your anger, nor of those who have gone astray’.
We repeat this surah in our lives in the same way that we bathe and wash ourselves. We never stop to do so. Is it enough to wash the human body once or twice in a lifetime? Of course not! The washing must be repeated continually. It is the same with the repetition of al-Faatihah. Human nature will not be perfected by one or two prayers. It is necessary to stand in the presence of our Lord time and again. The heedlessness of the self and the whisperings of Satan never stop. So the prayer must be repeated continually.
Exercises
A. Answer the following questions.
1 . Write three meanings of ‘Hamd’.
2. We say ‘Bismillaah’ before we take up any task. Explain from the lesson the reason for this.
B. Put true at which allah has favoured
jealous
truthful
envious
righteous
Prophets
liars
martyrs
cheats
C. Activity
Belief in the Day of Judgement makes us do good actions even though we may get laughed at. Write an incident when you did something for Allah’s Pleasure even though others laughed at you.
Some Names of the Surah
Al-Faatihah is the first surah of the Qur’an. It was sent down to our Prophet () while he was in Makkah. This is why it is called a Makkan surah. It consists of seven aayaat, or verses.
This surah is known by various names. The first is al-Faatihah (The Opening) because the Qur’an opens with it, and with it the prayers begin.
It is also known as Umm al-Kitaab (Mother or Essence of the Book) because it contains the summary of the Qur’an. It is the summary of all the teachings of the Qur’an. It is also called as-Sab’ al-Mathaanee wal Qur’aan al-Adheem. ‘The seven oft-repeated verses and the Great Qur’an’ because it is repeated several times in each of the five daily prayers. According to Imam Al-Bukharee, the name Umm al-Kitaab was given to it by the Prophet ( M ) himself. This was in view of the fact that it contains, in a short form, all the fundamental principles laid down in the Qur’an.
Some of these principles are:
A. The principle of Allah’s Oneness and Uniqueness [at-Tawheed].
B. The principle that Allah is the Originator and Carer of the universe, the One to whom man is ultimately responsible.
C. The principle that Allah is the Only Power that can guide and help.
D. The principle of guidance through Allah’s Messengers.
It is for this reason that this surah has been formulated as a prayer, to be constantly repeated and reflected upon by the believers.
Some other titles of the surah are: al-Hamd (the praise), as-Salaat (the prayer), al-Waaqiyah (the one that protects) and al-Kaafiyah (the sufficient one).
Al-Faatihah is the greatest surah of the Qur’an. Whoever performs any prayer without reciting in it the ‘essence of the Qur’an’, his prayer will not be accepted.
A. Circle the correct answer.
1 . Al-Faatihah is the surah of the Qur’an, [third, first] 2. Al-Faatihah is a surah. [Makkan, Madinan] 3. It consists of aayaat. [seven, nine] 4. The name Umm-al-Kitaab was given by . (Angel Jibreel (), the Prophet ()
B. Answer the following questions.
1 . Give any three names of surat al-Faatihah along with their translation.
2. What are some of the fundamental principles in the Qur’an.
A hadeeth concerning Surat al-Faatihah Allah’s Messenger () said:
Allah says, ‘I have divided the prayer between Myself and My servant into two halves, and My servant will have what he has asked for.’
When the servant says: Alhamdulillah Rabell’alameen
Allah says: ‘My servant has praised Me.’
And when he says: Arrahmaan Arraheem
Allah says: ‘My servant has extolled Me.’
And when he says: Maleke Yawm Ed-Din
Allah says: ‘My servant has glorified Me.’
And when he says: Iyaka Na’bodo wa Iyaka Nasta’een
Allah says:‘This is between Me and My servant, and my servant will have what he has asked for.’
And when he says: Ihdena Alserata Almustaqeem , Serata Allathena An’amta ‘Alayhem, Ghayer Elmaghdobe ‘Alayhem , Wa La Ad-Daaleen.
Allah says: ‘This is for My servant and My servant will have what he has asked for.’
[Reported by Abu Hurayrah in Saheeh Muslim] A. Answer the following questions.
1 . According to the hadeeth, into how many parts is surat al-Faatihah divided and between whom?
2. Does Allah answer the du’aas we do in this surah?
B. Think-up
Do you think Allah will reject any du’aa if He is asked sincerely?

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