Bismillahi, Wal Ahamdulillahi, Was-salatu was-salamu ‘ala Rasulillah, sal-lal-lahu ‘alyhi wa sallam

In the name of Allah, and exaltation be to Allah, and blessings and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah, (peace and blessings be upon him).

Structure:
Verses 1-3: Praising Allah and believing in His Oneness
Verse 4: The Last Day
Verse 5: Worshipping Allah Alone
Verse 6: Seeking help from Allah
Verse 7: The path of the good doers and the path of the veil doers

Revelation:
– Meccan Surah
– First to be revealed
– Consists of 7 verses
– Titled as ‘The Opener’ also translated as ‘The Opening’

Key Themes and Messages:

– Sometimes referred to as al-Sab’a al-Mathani (seven oft-repeated verses)

– Also referred to as Umm al-Kitab (mother of the book), it is referred to as this for it is the foundation and essence of the Quran

– Mandatory part of the Salah (prayer), and is recited at least 17 times a day in the 5 obligatory prayers

– The prayer is taught by Allah to mankind, as a favour, allowing mankind to see the format of prayer which is acceptable to him

– Allah responds to each segment of the prayer

– Importance of supplication and its etiquettes

This Surah covers core themes of the Quran:
– Belief
– Worship
– Living guide

Al-Fatihah has a prayer and answer relationship with the rest of the surahs in the Quran, Al-Fatihah is the prayer from the reader and the rest of the Quran is the answer from Allah. While engaged in salah and reading Al-Fatihah we are making supplications to Allah and without understanding of the Quran we could be getting the answers to our problems in the surah we could be reading or the surah the imam could be reading, but without this ability we are at a loss.

Selected Verses:

1:1 Allah’s beautiful names

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the name of Allah , the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.

1:2 Praise is only for Him

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

[All] praise is [due] to Allah , Lord of the worlds

1:4 First mention of the Hereafter

مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ

Sovereign of the Day of Recompense.

1:5 Sincerity

إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ

It is You we worship and You we ask for help.

1:6 Steadfastness

اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ

Guide us to the straight path

1:7 Seeking good companionship

This is the way of “the prophets (nabiyyeen), the truthful ones (siddiqeen), martyrs (shuhada) and the righteous (saliheen)” [4:69]

صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ

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

Virtues:

While I was praying in the Mosque, Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) called me but I did not respond to him. Later I said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! I was praying.” He said, “Didn’t Allah say’–“Give your response to Allah (by obeying Him) and to His Apostle when he calls you.” (8.24) He then said to me, “I will teach you a Sura which is the greatest Sura in the Qur’an, before you leave the Mosque.” Then he got hold of my hand, and when he intended to leave (the Mosque), I said to him, “Didn’t you say to me, ‘I will teach you a Sura which is the greatest Sura in the Qur’an?’ He said, “Al-Hamdu-Li l-lah Rabbi-l-`alamin (i.e. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds) which is Al-Sab’a Al-Mathani (i.e. seven repeatedly recited Verses) and the Grand Qur’an which has been given to me.”

[Sahih Al Bukhari 1: Chapter 66, Hadith 4474]

On the authority of Abu Hurayra, the Prophet (s) said: “Whoever does not recite the mother of the Quran ‘Surah al-Fatihah’ in the prayer, then the prayer is invalid.”

[Tirmidhi 2953]

Supplications:

اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ

Guide us to the straight path

صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ

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

Selected Vocabulary:

Lord [v.2]                     رَب

Owner [v.4]                 مَالِكِ

Path [v.6]                     الصِّرَاطَ

Straight [v.6]                الْمُسْتَقِيمَ

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