Al Fatiha – Part 1

The Opener… The beginning of a series of tafseer lessons from a great teacher. Sharing is caring 🙂 hope you benefit from this as I have inshaAllah.

Al Fatiha, The Opener… revealed in the Holy city of Makkah

“Nothing like it (Al fatiha) has been revealed in the Tawrah (Torah), nor the Injeel (gospel), nor in the Zabur (the Pslams), or the Furqaan. And it is the seven oft-repeated verses and the Mighty Qur’an which I have been given.

1) Surah Al Fatiha has been described as Um Al Kitaab, the mother of The Book. Why?

Al-Bukhari said; “It is called Umm Al-Kitab, because the Qur’an starts with it and because the prayer is started by reciting it.” It was also said that it is called Umm Al-Kitab, because it contains the meanings of the entire Qur’an.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah narrated about Umm Al-Qur’an that the Prophet said,

«هِيَ أُمُّ الْقُرْآنِ وَهِيَ السَّبْعُ الْمَثَانِي وَهِيَ الْقُرْآنُ الْعَظِيمُ»

(It is Umm Al-Qur’an, the seven repeated (verses) and the Glorious Qur’an.)

2) Ash Shafiya, The Cure… “The Opening of the Book is a cure to every poison”

3) Al Kafiya, The Sufficient one.. “The Mother of the Book suffices for other than it but nothing else suffices it.”

Our salat is deficient without surah al Fatiha. In a Hadith Qudsi (i.e. hadith when the Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam informs us what Allah swt has said to him NB. this is not in the Qur’an nor can be used in salah)

“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’ , ALLAH (mighty and sublime be He) says: ‘My servant has praised Me.’ And when he says: ‘Ar-rahmani r-rahim’, ALLAH (mighty and sublime be He) says: ‘My servant has extolled Me,’ and when he says: ‘Maliki yawmi d-din’, ALLAH says: ‘My servant has glorified Me And when he says: ‘Iyyaka na budu wa iyyaka nasta in’, 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’, He says: ‘This is for My servant, and My servant shall have what he has asked for.'”

If you want to listen to Allah swt, read the Qu’ran but if you want to talk to Allah swt, perform the salah.

” إن الله تعالى لا ينظر إلى صوركم ولا إلى أجسامكم ، ولكن ينظر إلى قلوبكم وأعمالكم”

Indeed, Allah ta’ala does not look at your appearance or your bodies, but He looks to your hearts and your actions

The greatest struggle is to purify the heart. Sayyidna Ali RA has advised to sleep with a heart full of yaqeen rather than pray with a heart full of dunya

[Side note, subhanAllah during these lessons there are always some deviations but they are all khayr and all important! >>> The Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam said to Bilal RA, “Relieve us with it, O Bilal”. He was referring to Salah and asking Bilal RA to call the adhaan. Our predecessors loved reading the Qur’an and they loved praying. When praying in Jama’a (congregation) our Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam used to read relatively short surahs and once Huthayfa RA saw the Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam in the mosque praying the night prayer and he decided to join him. The Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam began to pray and read Al Fatiha, then Al Baqara, then Al Imran, then An Nisa…. he read several of the biggest surahs in the Qur’an in one rak’ah and Huthayfa was so tired but the thought of the leaving the prayer and leaving the Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam was unthinkable. Note, here the Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam was 62 at this time and Huthayfa was much younger than him.]

Abdullah Ibn Al ‘Abbas narrated in a hadith that “Jibril AS came to the Prophet and said: “Receive the glad tidings of two lights that you have been given, which no other Prophet before you was given: the Opening of the Book (Al Fatiha), and the last verses of ‘al-Baqarah.’ You will not read a letter of them except that you will gain its benefit.”

الْحَمْدُ للّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِين
[All] praise is [due] to Allah , Lord of the worlds –
Praise vs Thanking… We praise Allah because He is Allah, we praise Him because we do not expect anything in return unlike when you thank someone because when you thank someone they might not necessarily deserve it but when you praise someone it is regardless of what you benefit.
  لا نحصي ثناء عليك، أنت كما أثنيت على نفسك
We cannot praise You (Allah) enough, we leave praising to You (Allah)
This is part of a dua the Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam used to say, explaining that only Allah swt can praise Himself enough.
“If the entire world along with its contents were to be in the hand of a man from my nation and then he were to say alhamdulillah, then alhamdulillah would be better than (what his hand contained).”
Lord of the worlds… Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam described the size of the heavens; the first heaven, as compared to the second, is similar to a small ring in the desert, and he continued this narrative until he described the sixth heaven as being the size of a ring in the desert compared to the seventh heaven. The animals, humans, angels etc … all these worlds, can we imagine the entirety of these worlds? This in itself is teaches us to be humble.. تذلل لله غاية عزك  humility to Allah is your greatest status.
الرَّحْمـنِ الرَّحِيم
The Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful,

 Ar Rahman – is the Mercy of Allah to all of His creation, regardless of any factor whereas Ar Raheem, this is for the believers

It is He who confers blessing upon you, and His angels [ask Him to do so] that He may bring you out from darknesses into the light. And ever is He, to the believers, Merciful  كَانَ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَحِيمًا

It is He who confers blessing upon you, and His angels [ask Him to do so] that He may bring you out from darknesses into the light. And ever is He, to the believers, Merciful. Ahzab 43.

And subhanAllah in Surah Al Anbiya’ Allah swt tells us: And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds (107).. So even the Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam is described in relation to the worlds. There are many examples of how merciful our Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam e.g. Story of Ta’if

مَـالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّين
The Only Owner of the Day of Recompense.
More than two thirds of the Qur’an is about the Day of Resurrection. The Day of Standing. Where one day will be like 50,000 years, May Allah swt shade us with His shade on that day where there is no shade but His. We are reminded to remember this day but to also remember the Mercy of Allah swt, we are instructed with this type of hope.
“That Day when they will all come out, nothing of them will be hidden from Allah. Whose is the kingdom this Day? It belongs to Allah, the One, the Irresistible!” [40:16]
And your Lord is going to give you, and you will be satisfied. Ad Duha 93:5
When Sayyidna Zain al Abideen read this ayat he stopped worrying, because he knew that the Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam would not content unless each one of his Ummah were not among the hellfire.
Allah swt has honoured us with faith, it is a gift and it is a rahma which softens our hearts.  الْمَرْءُ مَعَ مَنْ أَحَبَّ you will be with the one you love, May Allah swt grant us Jannah and the company of Him and His Messenger sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam.
إِيَّاك نَعْبُدُ وإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِين
It is You we worship and You we ask for help.
Ibadah, worship… this isn’t just fasting, praying or giving zakat it is for your heart to be with Allah swt.
Imam Junaid RA said that if the kings of this world were to know the joys that we have, they would fight them to take it from us. Here, he is talking about the connection with Allah swt.
Help… tawakul, reliance on Allah swt. “So worship Him and put your trust in Him.” [12:123] The whole of the religion of Islam revolves around these two principles: we do not worship except Allah and we do not put our trust in anyone or anything except Allah.
When Sayyidna Ibrahim AS was thrown into the fire, Sayyidna Jibril came to him and asked him if he needed any help. Ibrahim AS replied “From you, no.” Then Jibril AS said to him “Would you like me to ask Allah anything?” And Ibrahim AS replied “Allah is watching.”
SubhanAllah, this is true faith and true reliance on Allah swt.  [Detailed story can be found here http://www.islamawareness.net/Prophets/ibrahim.html]
…. The End of Part 1
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