Surah Fatiha

Al-Fatiha(the Opener), Umm ul-Kitab(The Mother of Books), Umm ul-Qur’an(Mother of Quran), As-Sab’ ul-Mathani(Seven repeated [verses]), Al-Hamd(Praise), Ash-Shifa’(The Cure), Surat As-Salah(Chapter of the Prayer), Al-‘Asas(The foundation).
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Meccan. Approx. 610-615 AD.
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Qayam, reciting surah Al Fatiha in namz

It is Supplication to Allah for guidance told by Allah Himself. This surah shows the basic principles of the Quran in short form. The surah is divided into two parts. The first half is speaking about Allah, then the next half is about humanity. Thus Allah has divided its concepts between Himself and mankind. Moreover, Surah Fatiha is repeated in every rakah of five-time prayer. And prayer is not complete without Surah Fatiha. It is an introduction to Allah and prayer to Him.  A prayer that Allah has himself taught to all those who want to spend their lives according to Allah’s Will. 

Surah Fatiha is the prayer from the true slave of Allah, and the Quran is the answer from Allah to that prayer. A slave asks Allah to guide him on the exact path which leads him to His pleasure and paradise. Surah Fatiha encloses in it all needs and requirements of the human race. Allah introduces it in Quran as:

And We have bestowed upon you the Seven Oft-repeated (verses) and the Grand Quran.

Quran 15:87

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, the Especially Merciful

The phrase “Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim”, abbreviated as Bismillah, is recited at the beginning of each surah of the Quran except for the Surah Tawbah. This statement is also known as the Tasmiya. Now we will look at each part to understand its meanings.

  • Bismillah begin with the name of Allah i.e. “Bismillah, with the name of Allah”. Starting everything with the name of Allah is a way to get blessings and success from Allah’s help in a particular matter. Moreover, seeking His help while reading Holy Quran will lead to success and acceptance from Him.
  • ‘Allah’ is a personal name referring to the only Lord of the universe. Alone he has the right to be worshipped without partners. “Allah” is among the names of Allah that are specific to Him. So, this beautiful name cannot be given to anyone other than Him.
  • ‘Ar-Rahmaan’ (Entirely Merciful, The Beneficent) is one of the names of Allah. It means that Allah’s mercy expands over all His creation. Allah is Ar-Rahmaan, The One who blesses all of his creations devoid of disparity. He is most merciful, kind and loving towards all his creation. The Merciful whose mercy has no limits. His mercy is like rain. The rain nourishes everything without a difference.
  • ‘Ar-Raheem’ (Especially Merciful) is also one of the beautiful names of Allah. It is a form of mercy from Him reserved specifically for the believers. He bestows His special mercy on them again and again. Ar Rahmaan is intense mercy on creations in this World, but Ar Raheem refers to His mercy in this World and the life after death.

Brief Summary of Surah Fatiha

All praise is to Allah اَلْحَمْدُ ِللهِ

All praise belongs to Allah means only He has all the attributes of perfection. He Has no partner in Excellence and beneficiaries.  Whenever there is any excellence, beauty, and perfection in anything, its ultimate source is none other than Allah. No creation other than that alone creator possesses any of innate excellence. wherever excellence exists, it is a gift from Allah. Thus, if there is anyone we ought to adore and worship, to whom we ought to feel indebted and grateful, towards whom we should remain obedient, it is definitely the creator of that excellence, not its possessor. He is the giver of all the blessings. Gratefulness is the essence of worship, and He is the only one who deserves to be worshipped.

Lord(Rubb) of all the worlds رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْنَ

The Arabic word Rubb رَبِّ means that “He who owns”, “who creates”, who looks after and sustain all that exists. He is the creator of all that exists and everything else is creation. His relationship with creatures is only of creator and creation. He is the sustainer of all that He has created. Moreover, here word “worlds” is used which shows that He has created numerous worlds that we can’t count and able to know.

Most Gracious, Most Merciful الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِیْمِۙ

The two Arabic words, Rahman and Raheem, conveys the meaning of mercy.  Rahman is more intensive than Raheem and refers to Allah’s mercy to all His creation in this life i.e. general mercy and love for all creations. Raheem means His specific mercy for believers. He is Raheem for believers in his world as well as in life after death.

Master of the Day of Judgment مٰلِكِ یَوْمِ الدِّیْنَ۠

Allah is the Master of all days and all things. Master of something is one who has the fullest right to use His possession as he wishes. Allah is the master of this world and the world after death. But here Allah is called as a master of the day of judgement because that intense day will show clearly that Allah is Master. Moreover, this phrase also shows the mercy of Allah because on that day Allah himself will take decisions for everybody. So there will be no chance of injustice.

You Alone do we worship and You Alone do we ask for help اِیَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَ اِیَّاكَ نَسْتَعِیْنَ۠

After getting an introduction to Allah next step is confession. Surah start as that all praise belongs to Allah. He is Rubb of all the worlds, Most Gracious and Most Merciful, and that He Alone is the Master of the Day of Judgment. We admit that only Allah has praiseworthy perfection. Only He is the sustainer of all worlds and The Beneficent, the Merciful. So admitting all this has a clear meaning that no one is worthy of worship besides Him.

Moreover, only Allah is capable of helping us. This verse emphasizes the fact that it is not important to worship Allah, but important is that to worship none besides Him. No one deserves to be worshipped except Allah.  Worship in the broader includes meaning that to obey none but Him in any absolute sense, love no one more than Him and pray to no one except Him. It includes that no one other than Him has the power to solve our problems but Allah. This doesn’t mean that don’t accept help from His creations in any matter. It only means that believe that any help one receive or give is ultimately coming from Allah. Because nothing in this world can happen without Allah’s will and power.  So we all are depending upon Him and ultimately turning for help to Him.

Guide us to the Straight path اِهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِیْمَۙ

Alone Allah deserves our worship and only He is one to ask for help. Now Allah teaches us to ask Him each and everything. Most important for us to be successful in this world and life after death. The path which leads us to Jannah is a straight path. So, ask Him to grant us the thing that we need most. We just want to know the shortest path that leads to Him. Allah has all the powers to divert our heart and making a straight path visible to us. This verse is an invocation to Allah to make our heart follower of the true path.

The Path of those on whom You bestowed Your bounties صِرَاطَ الَّذِیْنَ اَنْعَمْتَ عَلَیْهِمْ

Allah has directed believers in this verse that what to ask Allah. When we ask for a straight path, what’s the concept of a straight path to us. It is the path of Prophets and people who are dear to Allah. The path which leads to Allah’s pleasure and success in life and hereafter.

Not the path of those who incurred Your wrath or those who went astray غَیْرِ الْمَغْضُوْبِ عَلَیْهِمْ وَ لَا الضَّآلِّیْنَ۠

In the above verse, the believer asks Allah for a Straight Path and request Him to guide us to the path of beloved people. Here we ask our Lord to keep us away from the paths taken by people who deviate from the right path. These are of two types:

  1. The first group of people were those who knew the truth about religion and refused to follow it. They brought upon themselves the great anger of Allah.
  2. The second group of people were those who made their own religion i.e. according to their desires. In this way, they lost the right path.

The Quran tells us the main deviations, which are: no respect for Allah or His words, regarding Him imperfect and insulting attributes, distorting His words to suit own wishes. Here two groups pointed are Jews and Christians. Jews know the truth but due to stubbornness did not act accordingly. Christians changed the true knowledge and then coming generations lost the right path.