Introduction to Al Fatihah

1. In the name of Allah, the All Merciful, Most Merciful.
2. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds.
3. The All Merciful, Most Merciful.
4. Master of the Day of Recompense.
5. You alone we worship and You alone we seek help.
6. Guide us the straight path.
7. The path of those who are blessed, not those who incur Your wrath and not those who are astray.

1. Al Fatihah is the first chapter in Quran, although not the first in revelation. It is considered as one of its most important chapters because God wants it to be read in every prayers (solah, specific type of prayer with physical movements).

2. Besides Al Fatihah i.e. The Opening, this surah i.e. chapter, is also called Al Matsani i.e. the one going back and forth (between khauf i.e. fear, and raja’ i.e. hopeful) because the ayah (i.e verses)  alternate the focus between fear and hope.

3. It contains God’s most glorious names, all three dimensions of tawhid i.e. God singularity, and plea for His guidance, all of which were repeated at least 17 times daily in solah, for our remembrance of Allah. The plea is answered by Allah by sending down the Qur’an to mankind for guidance.

4. It is the gist of the Qur’an and faith.
It explains the logic of why we worship Allah alone, what we needed from Him.

5. The answers to these questions explain the reality of our creation i.e. we are always in need of Allah. With this in mind, we will be ready to understand Quran, with humility and hope and without prejudice or arrogance.

6. Imam Muslim related a hadith stating that Allah answers each ayat a servant reads from this chapter. This shows that this chapter is purposely sent by Allah to guide mankind on what and how to interract with Allah (properly with praises, humility, hope and request).

Wallahu ‘alam.


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