1:6 Guide us the straight path
Guidance is what we really need from Allah and He answers our plea later in surah Al Baqarah: 2.
As SiraTal mustaqim (the straight, uncrooked, undeviating path) can mean sunnah (way of the prophet guided by Allah). It will also be explained later in other chapters.
Allah answers our plea by giving us laws and limits to guide us towards the straight path.
This ayat symbolises a servant’s dependence on His Master. Our inherent helplessness and ignorance long for His might, knowledge and mercy.
It also explains the reality of free will. The qadariya, muktazila and some shi’a believes that our actions and fate are all within the influence of our free will. However, this ayah proves that Allah has the power to guide and misguide as He wills, our free will is not enough.
Allah made this surah a model for all supplications. Half of it comprises His praises and the other half is our needs.
It is best to use Allah’s word for supplication.
O Allah, incline our hearts to the truth.
1:2 The (specific) praise is due to Allah…
Hamdu is used instead of Madah and Shukr.
Madah is used for flattering someone to obtain favours in return.
Shukr is used for thanking/ acknowledging someone after receiving benefits.
However linguistically Hamd is more than these. It means comprehensive praise, more general than thanks, the opposite of blame.
Allah praises Himself and teaches us to do the same. In this chapter (surah), He explained the reasons for that praise:
- He is the Lord of the worlds. We thank Him for creating the earth for mankind’s provision and dwellings. We also praise Him for His wisdom and ability to create all things. These relate to what had happened.
- He is the all merciful, most merciful. We thank Him for His constant provisions to us regardless our faith. We also thank Him for choosing to guide us to know and believe in Him.
- He is the owner of the day of recompense. We praised Him for being the most just judge in rewarding and punishing His servants. We thank Him for His mercy and abundant rewards for the believers. These relate to what will happen.
Allah teaches us that the phrase alhamdulillah is the statement of thankful persons in the Qur’an as what was said by prophets/the faithfuls in 23:28 by Nuh (Noah) when they were rescued, 14:39 by Ibrahim (Abraham) for being blessed with children at old age, 27:15 by Dawud (David) and Sulayman (Solomon), 17:111 Allah teaches mankind, 35:34 by people of the Gardens and 10:10 by the faithfuls.
Allah deserves the praise no matter what He does or doesn’t. He is the wise and all knowing. Everything He does has reasons behind them. He is the best planner and we are ignorant except what He decides for us to know.
The word alhamdulillah (also known as tahmid) is better than the world and its treasures, because the world will perish but the word will last, to be rewarded in the Hereafter.
Praise is due to Allah, regardless of anything.
1:1 In the name of Allah, the All Merciful (Ar-Rahman), the Most Merciful (Ar-Rahim).
These are the 3 most glorious names of Allah. Together, this phrase is refered as basmalah.
1. Allah was used in arabic language referring to the highest Lord. The pagans believed in Allah but they still believe lesser pagan gods e.g. hubal, lata, uzza etc.
2. Some people relates God to love i.e. Ar Rahim. Allah has all rights to choose who among His servants to be favoured and guided. That is why we pray to Him, dedicate our lives for Him and hope that He will choose us to be among those blessed. Allah is the most just, with our sincere efforts, we will be rewarded.
3. Ar Rahman is even higher than Ar Rahim as Ar Rahman is loving towards all creations, disregarding their beliefs and deeds. Allah provides for all of His creations regardless.
Allah used these names to:
– Attract attention of listeners from various backgrounds and understandings about God.
– Remind mankind that the gods referred to by mankind in worship refer to the same and only God.
– Enlighten mankind on His various names and attributes.
Always mention basmalah, hopefully:
- We will be guided and supported.
- We will be rewarded in the Hereafter as the deeds are intended for Him.
- We will be mindful in transgressing His boundaries in achieving our objectives
- We will be God-conscious and remember our place in the universe.