SURAH ALFATIHA Tafheemul Quran( My Ustaz syed Mowdoudi)

1. Surah Al Fatihah (The Opening)

This Surah is named Al-Fatihah because of its subject-matter. Fatihah is that which opens a

subject or a book or any other thing. In other words, Al-Fatihah is a sort of preface.

Period of Revelation

It is one of the very earliest Revelations to the Holy Prophet. As a matter of fact, we learn

from authentic Traditions that it was the first complete Surah which was revealed to

Muhammad (Allah’s peace be upon him). Before this, only a few miscellaneous verses were

revealed which form parts of ~Alaq, Muzzammil, Muddaththir, etc.


This Surah is in fact a prayer which Allah has taught to all those who want to make a study

of His book. It has been placed at the very beginning of the book to teach this lesson to the

reader: if you sincerely want to benefit from the Quran, you should offer this prayer to the

Lord of the Universe.

This preface is meant to create a strong desire in the heart of the reader to seek guidance

from the Lord of the Universe, Who alone can grant it. Thus Al-Fatihah indirectly teaches

that the best thing for a man is to pray for guidance to the straight path, to study the Quran

with the mental attitude of a seeker- after-truth and to recognize the fact that the Lord of the

Universe is the source of all knowledge. He should, therefore, begin the study of the Quran

with a prayer to him for guidance.

From this theme, it becomes clear that the real relation between Al-Fatihah and the Quran is

not that of an introduction to a book but that of a prayer and its answer. Al-Fatihah is the

prayer from the servant and the Quran is the answer from the Master to his prayer. The

servant prays to Allah to show him guidance and the Master places the whole of the Quran

before him in answer to his prayer, as if to say, “This is the Guidance you begged from Me.”

Surah Begins

 (1:1) In the name of Allah, the Merciful, and The Compassionate!

1. One of the many practices taught by Islam is that its followers should begin their activities

in the name of God. This principle, if consciously and earnestly followed, will necessarily

yield three beneficial results. First, one will be able to restrain oneself from many misdeed,

since the habit of pronouncing the name of God is bound to make one wonder when about

to commit some offence how such an act can be reconciled with the saying of God’s holy

name. Second, if a man pronounces the name of God before starting good and legitimate

tasks, this act will ensue that both his starting point and his mental orientation are sound.

Third – and this is the most important benefit – when a man begins something by pronouncing

God’s name, he will enjoy God’s support and succor; God will bless his efforts and

protect him from the machinations and temptation of Satan. For whenever man

turns to God, God turns to him as well.

(1:2) Praise to Allah, the Lord of the entire universe.

2. As we have already explained, the character of this surah is that of a prayer. The prayer

begins with praise of the One to whom our prayer is addressed. This indicates that

whenever one prays one ought to pray in a dignified manner. It does not become a

cultivated person to blurt out his petition. Refinement demands that our requests should be

preceded by a wholehearted acknowledgement of the unique position, infinite benevolence

and unmatched excellence of the One to Whom we pray. Whenever we praise someone, we

do so for two reasons. First, because excellence calls for praise, irrespective of whether that

excellence has any direct relevance to us or not. Second, we praise one who, we consider to

be our benefactor; when this is the case our praise arises from a deep feeling of gratitude.

God is worthy of praise on both counts. It is incumbent on us to praise Him not only in

recognition of His infinite excellence but also because of our feeling of gratitude to Him,

arising from our awareness of the blessings He has lavished upon us. It is important to note

that what is said here is not merely that praise be to God, but that all praise be to God alone.

Whenever there is any beauty, any excellence, any perfection-in whatever thing or in

whatever shape it may manifest itself- its ultimate source is none other than God Himself.

No human beings, angels, Demigods, heavenly bodies-in short, no created beings-are

possessed of an innate excellence; where excellence exists, it is a gift from God. Thus, if there

is anyone at all whom we ought to adore and worship, to whom we ought to feel indebted

and grateful, towards whom we should remain humble and obedient, it is the creator of

excellence, rather than its possessor.

3. In Arabic the word Rabb has three meanings: (i) Lord and Master; (ii) Sustainer, Provider,

Supporter, Nourisher and Guardian, and (iii) Sovereign, Ruler, He Who controls and directs.

God is the Rabb of the universe in all three meanings of the term.

 (1:3) The Merciful, the Compassionate!

4. Whenever we are deeply impressed by the greatness of something we try to express our

feelings by using superlatives. If the use of one superlative does not do full justice to our

feelings, we tend to re-emphasize the extraordinary excellence of the object of our

admiration by adding a second superlative of nearly equivalent meaning.* This would seem

to explain the use of the word Rahim following Rahman. The form of the word Rahman

connotes intensity. Yet God’s mercy and beneficence towards His creatures is so great, so

extensive and of such an infinite nature that no one word, however strong its connotation,

can do it full justice. The epithet Rahim was therefore added to that of Rahm

(1:4) The Master of the Day of Recompense3.

5. God will be the Lord of the Day when all generations of mankind gather together on

order to render an account of their conduct, and when each person will be finally rewarded

or punished for his deeds. The description of God as Lord of the Day of Judgment

following the mention of his benevolence and compassion indicates that we ought to

remember another aspect of God as well-namely, that He will judge us all, that He is so

absolutely powerful, that on the Day of Judgement no one will have the power either to

resist the enforcement of punishments that He decrees or to prevent anyone from receiving

the rewards that He decides to confer. Hence, we ought not only to love Him for nourishing

and sustaining us and for His compassion and mercy towards us, but should also hold Him

in awe because of His justice, and should not forget that our ultimate happiness or misery

rests completely with Him.

(1:5) You alone do we worships, and You alone do we turn for help

6. The term ibadah is used in three sense: (i) worship and adoration; (ii) obedience and

submission; and (iii) service and subjection. In this particular context the term carries all

these meanings simultaneously. In other words, we say to God that we worship and adore

Him, that we are obedient to Him and follow His will, and also that we are His servants.

Moreover, man is so bound to none save God, that none but He, may be the subject of man’s

worship and total devotion, of man’s unreserved obedience, of man’s absolute subjection

and servitude.

7. Not only do we worship God, but our relationship with Him is such that we turn to Him

alone for help and succour. We know that He is the Lord of the whole universe and that He

alone is the Master of all blessings and benefactions. Hence, in seeking the fulfilment of our

needs we turn to Him alone. It is towards Him alone that we stretch forth our hands when

we pray and supplicate. It is in Him that we repose our trust. It is therefore to Him alone

that we address our request for true guidance.

(1:6) Direct us on to the Straight Ways,

8. We beseech God to guide us in all walks of life to a way which is absolutely true, which

provides us with a properly-based outlook and sound principles of behaviour, a way which

will prevent our succumbing to false doctrines and adopting unsound principles of conduct,

a way that will lead us to our true salvation and happiness. This is man’s prayer to God as

he begins the study of the Qur’an. It is, in short, to illuminate the truth which he often tends

to lose in a labyrinth of philosophical speculation; to enlighten him as to which of the

numerous ethical doctrines ensures a sound course of conduct; to show which of the myriad

ways and by-ways is the clear, straight, open road of sound belief and right behaviour.

(1:7) The way of those whom You have favored’, who did not incur Your wrath, who

Are/were not astray.

9. This defines the ‘straight way’ which we ask God to open to us. It is the way which has

always been followed by those who have enjoyed God’s favours and blessings. This is the

way which has been trodden from the beginning of time by all those individuals and

communities that have unfailingly enjoyed God’s favors and blessings.

10. This makes it clear that the recipients of God’s favor are not those who appear, briefly,

to enjoy worldly prosperity and success; all too often, these people are among those whom

God has condemned because they have lost sight of the true path of salvation and happiness.

This negative explanation makes it quite clear that in’am (favour) denotes all those real and

abiding favours and blessings which one receives in reward for righteous conduct through

God’s approval and pleasure, rather than those apparent and fleeting favours which the

Pharaohs, Nimrods and Korahs (Qaruns) used to receive in the past, and which are enjoyed

even today by people notorious for oppression, evil and corruption.

Categorized as quran

By Tariq Saleem

I am a student of Quran and keen to make dawah for inviting peoples to save there selves from hellfire. This life is very short then the eternal life after death every body has to think about it and do some research to walk on a true path.

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