Al Fatiha – Part 2

Part 2 of Al Fatiha….

It is You we worship and You we ask for help

 إِيَّاك نَعْبُدُ وإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِين

La ilaha ilallah (there is none worthy of worship except for Allah)

We do not seek aid from anyone but Allah swt because the affair in its totality is under His control Alone, no one else has even an atoms weight of control over it. We put our trust wholly in Allah, the  One Who deserves worship because no one else has control over the affairs.

“We worship” means we obey. Worship is obedience and it means humbling yourself before Allah (swt) and to submit to His Will. This humility is a glorification and beautification of Allah swt. The ayah affirms the Lordship of Allah and affirms that worship is due to Him alone.

Guide us to the straight path

 اهدِنَــــا الصِّرَاطَ المُستَقِيم

Hidayah, guidance is the greatest gift.

What is the Straight Path, the Sirat al mustaqeem? It is RasoolAllah sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam. And it is the connection with RasoolAllah sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam that is the path.

AbduAllah ibn Rawaha sahabi and a poet from the Ansaar was among many of companions who used to praise the Prophet. His connection was so strong to the extent that he was connected with the Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam wherever he was. Once the Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam was in the masjid amongst his companions and they stood up for him, he never used to allow it because he was very simple and very humble so he told the companions to sit down.. Rawaha was in his house, very far from the masjid but when the Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam said ‘Sit down’ he heard him sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salaam and   he sat down. His wife asked him why did he sit down? And he said didn’t you hear that Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam. Now you may ask is this impossible? Well, if we have manmade telecommunication connections why cannot Allah allow for such connection?

Sayyidna Anas reported that he had never had a night that he didn’t see Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam.

Sayyidna Thawban (one of the companions) he used to be with his wife and children and then used to leave to spend time with the Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam. When he would see him he used to say Ya RasoolAllah I was with my family but I couldn’t rest until I saw you. Then one day when the Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam went out and he took a long time to return. When he arrived, he found Thawban crying. He asked him about the reason for his crying. Thawban said, “I missed you, O Prophet of Allah”. You went away for just one day and I missed you, so I remembered Jannah (Paradise), where you will be in the highest level and I will be where I will be. I won’t be with you so I’ll miss you in the Jannah, and that is why I cried.” I’m worried about later… Jannah? You are my Jannah O Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam.  Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam told him, “Thawban, don’t you know that every one of us will be assembled with those whom he loves!”

After the departure (death) of Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam, Bilal RA  couldn’t stay in Madina because everything reminded him of Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam and he wanted to leave Madina. Why? Because before calling every adhan, he used to seek the Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam’s permission, but after the death of the Prophet he asked himself who will I ask now? So he went to Damascus. He saw him once in his dream saying to him “Oh Bilal, how come you never visit me?Don’t you miss us? Why have you abandoned us?” So when he woke up he fled to Madina straight away. When he arrived all the people of Madina asked him to call the athaan but he refused until Sayyidna Hassan and Hussain came to him and he could not refuse their request because he knew how dear they were to the Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam. “Make adhan like you used to” they asked him. As he started to call the athaan,  all the people of Madina came out of the house in anguish, looking for the Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam asking after his presence … but when Bilal RA reached Ash-hadu anna Muhammad RasoolAllah, he could not continue the athaan. These stories are mere examples of the connection to the Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam.

Jafar As Sadiq AS has told us that Allah was aware that His creation would be incapable of pure obedience to Him so He informed us in this order – the Messenger, then Allah – so it would be realized one would never be able to aspire to the achievement of pure obedience to Him. Therefore between Himself He placed a human, adorning him with His own attributes of the Kind and Merciful. He made him a truthful ambassador for creation and decreed that when a person obeys him, they are in fact obeying Allah, and when someone complies with him, they are also complying with Allah.  Allah swt sent from His Noor, the Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam to teach us how to worship Him.

Hidayah is the greatest hadiya (gift in Arabic) and every gift is temporary except this gift… To have this Jannah in your chest is irreplaceable. One of the Saliheen said, “What can my enemies do to me? My jannah is in my heart. If they kill I will be shaheed, if they put me in prison I will be in khalwa (solitude for worship)  and no one can take this away from me.”

If you have Allah swt with you you have missed nothing but if you don’t have Allah swt you have nothing.

 من وجد الله فقد وجد كل شي ومن فقد الله فقد فقد كل شي

We ask to be guided to the straight path… the straight path is also the Qur’an. The Qur’an is the best source of barakah if you can’t read Al Fatiha and Al Ikhlaas. If you read Al Ikhlaas three times, it is as if you have completed one Khatma of the Qur’an. Sayyidna Uthman ibn Affan RA used to read the whole Qur’an in one rak’ah. Imam Al Shafi RA completed two khatmas in one day, one during the day and one during the night. Look at how much baraka (blessings) they had in their time and look at how much they enjoyed this ibadah. Allah swt has gifted them the joy of worship. Sayyidna Umar ibn Al Khattab RA once said “If it weren’t for two things I wouldn’t want to be alive in this dunya. The first thing is Salat, it is the joy I have during prayer and the second is to be in the company of people that they chose their words as they choose their food.”

ربنا لا تزغ قلوبنا بعد إذ هديتنا وهب لنا من لدنك رحمة إنك أنت الوهاب

 “Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us, and grant us mercy from You. Truly, You are the Bestower.”

When we read Al Fatina, think about it, think about what we are asking Allah swt, we are asking Him for the greatest gift, hidayah.  Beg Allah swt and He loves when His slave asks Him for such a thing and Allah’s door is never closed, it is always open. Allah swt has made it very easy for us. Build up this relationship to enjoy ibadah. Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam said: Wisdom is a process. One of the Saliheen said ‘I have been striving for 20 years to pray Qiyyam Al Layl then finally the other 20 years became a joy for me’.

Why is it the straight path?

Because the one who keeps turning right and left, he will never reach Allah swt. If you keep looking right and left, will you create a path?

إن الذين قالوا ربنا الله ثم استقاموا تتنزل عليهم الملائكة ألا تخافوا ولا تحزنوا وأبشروا بالجنة التي كنتم توعدون

Indeed, those who have said, “Our Lord is Allah ” and then remained on a right course – the angels will descend upon them, [saying], “Do not fear and do not grieve but receive good tidings of Paradise, which you were promised.

Certainty. Iman isn’t just the words we say. The substance of the religion is to love Allah swt, to have certainty/yaqeen. Focus on yourself and what you want to achieve because Allah swt is only going to ask you about yourself.

Hanbala Abu Bakr I became a munafiq, when I am around the Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam I think about akhira but when I go home to my family … Abu Bakr said maybe I have become a munafiq. These are the sahaba.  They went to Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam and said we have become hypocrites and told him we are living two different lives. Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam smiled and he said if you were to remain the way as you are like when you are with me, the Angels would come down and greet you in the streets.

The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray.

صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنعَمتَ عَلَيهِمْ غَيرِ المَغضُوبِ عَلَيهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّالِّين

Who are the blessed ones?

Those who Allah swt are please with:

1) The Prophets AS

2) As Siddiqeena, those i.e. Abu Bakr RA, Sayyida Maryam, immediately after the Prophets those whose iman have reached the highest levels. Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam explained that Abu Bakr RA was from amongst the Siddiqin, so it becomes clear that he is included amongst those whom Allah has favoured.

Allah swt has made clear that Sayyida Maryam the daughter of Imran was a Siddiqah in His saying, “And His mother was a Siddiqah.” [Al-Qur’an 5:75]. Sayyida Maryam used to worship Allah with full reliance on Allah swt and because of that Allah swt used to sustain her and provide her with the fruits of summer in winter and in the summer the winter fruits. When Sayyidna Zakariah used to come to her he often was perplexed to find this abundance and he asked her she receives this ‘rizq’ (provision)? She replied this it is from Allah. She is teaching the Prophet, her uncle Zakariah that He sustains whom He wants.

3) Ash-Shuhada (If you ask Allah sincerely from the shuhada you will be shaheed even if you die in your bed comfortably, sudden death=shaheed)

There are certain things which we have not been given choice of  i.e. family, where and when you are born but we have a choice in friends and the people we associate with. So choosing people is important because we should choose to associate with the people whom we would want to be with him/her on the Day of Standing. And even looking at the saliheen (the righteous ones) is khayr and a form of ibadah. Hassan al Basri RA said that when you have a good friendship with the saliheen, even when they enter Jannah Allah swt asks them are they pleased? They reply no, not until our associates come with us into Jannah.

The misguided ones

Misguided vs those who He is not pleased with… what is the difference between the two? Those whom He is not pleased with are those who do mistakes on purpose, those with no conscience or no rahma in their hearts. Whereas the misguided ones are in ignorance because they commit mistakes even though they want to perform good deeds, but essentially they make mistakes because they have no knowledge. Knowledge is important because this deen is a deen of knowledge.

Secrets of Al Fatiha

Before reading the Qur’an we seek refuge in Allah from As Shaytan. Why? Because Shaytan doesn’t concern himself with the misguided ones but he will approach you when you are trying to do good.

A man came to Abu Hanifa RA complaining to him that he had lost his camel, so Abu Hanifa RA replied to him wake up at the night and pray two raka’ahs and so the man did what he was advised and as he was saying Allahu Akbar, immediately he remembered where his camel is. The next day he went to Abu Hanifa RA and he told him I remembered as soon as I said Allahu Akbar and Abu Hanifa said I knew Shaytan won’t leave you to pray 2 rakahs for the sake of Allah. Therefore we must always seek refuge in Allah before reading Qur’an.

It is also important to start with the basmalah, Bismillahi ar rahman ar raheem before every surah because in a hadith the Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam said:

Any important work that does not begin with Bismillah is imperfect  كل أمر ذي بال لا يبدأ باسم الله الرحمن الرحيم فهو أبتر

You don’t need to say anything after it, the basmalah is enough. When you say basmala you are actively receiving the blessings of Allah, so when you leave your house, get dressed to go out, anything you do have the intention in your heart.

Ar Rahman and Ar Raheem: Ar Rahman is the great name of Allah swt  al rahman you are calling the same on. It is there already, it is part of Him.

Say, “Call upon Allah or call upon the Most Merciful. Whichever [name] you call – to Him belong the best names.” And do not recite [too] loudly in your prayer or [too] quietly but seek between that an [intermediate] way.

قُلِ ادْعُوا اللَّهَ أَوِ ادْعُوا الرَّحْمَٰنَ ۖ أَيًّا مَّا تَدْعُوا فَلَهُ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَىٰ ۚ وَلَا تَجْهَرْ بِصَلَاتِكَ وَلَا تُخَافِتْ بِهَا وَابْتَغِ بَيْنَ ذَٰلِكَ سَبِيلًا

Al-Husayn ibn al-Fadl, said, “He honoured him (Prophet Muhammad) with two of His own names: the compassionate and the merciful (rauf, rahim).” Ar Raheem is an attribute of Allah swt (sifa) and it is an action which has also been  given to Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam, look at this blessing that Allah swt gave the Prophet sAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam two of His names.

Remember that Al Fatiha is sufficient and enough and it is the greatest surah of the Qur’an as the mushaf begins with it.

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