Surah Al-Fatihah 1 Dtailed Explanation  (Introduction)


Al-Fatihah 1-1


In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful,EN1-1,


EN1-1 - Islamic culture requires a man to commence everything with the name of Allah.  If this is done consciously and sincerely, it will surely produce three good results.  First, it will keep him away from evil, because the very name of Allah will impel him to consider whether he is justified in associating His name with a wrong deed or an evil intention.  Secondly, the very mention of the name of Allah will create in him the right attitude of mind and direct him to the right direction.  Thirdly, he will receive Allah's help and blessing and will be protected from the temptations of Satan, for Allah turns to a man, when he turns to Him.




Praise is only for Allah,EN1-2 the Lord of the Universe,EN1-3


EN1-2- Al-Fatihah is a prayer.  It begins with the praise of Allah to Whom it is addressed in order to teach us the right way of making a supplication.  We should not put forward our request bluntly without an appropriate introduction.  The right way is to acknowledge the excellences and the favors and the high position of the One to Whom we address our prayer.  That is why we begin our prayer with the praise of Allah, for He is the perfection of all excellences and is also our Benefactor.  We pay homage to Allah to show that we sincerely acknowledge His excellences and also are grateful to Him for His countless favors.


It should also be noted that only "Praise is for Allah" but also "Praise is only for Allah".  This distinction is very important because it cuts at the root of the worship of any of His creation.  As none of them is worthy of praise, none is worthy of worship.  No man, no angel, no prophet, no so-called god, no star, no idol, in short, none of His creation inherently possesses any good quality.  If one has any, it is given by Allah.  Hence the Creator of these qualities alone deserves devotion, worship, gratitude, and none of His creation.


EN1-3 - The Arabic word "Rab" which has been translated into "Lord" stands for (a) Master and Owner, (b) Sustainer, Provider and Guardian, (c) (c) Sovereign, Ruler, Administrator and Organizer.  Allah is the Lord of the Universe in all these senses.


Al-Fatihah 1-3

the All-Compassionate, the All-Merciful,EN1-4


EN1-4 - Although the Arabic word "Rahman" itself in the superlative form and denotes the attributes of beneficence and mercy in the highest degree, even this word fails to express the boundless extent of these attributes of Allah.  Hence another word "Rahim" of the same root has been added to make up for the deficiency.


Al-Fatihah 1-4


the Master of the Day of Judgment.EN1-5


EN1-5 - After saying that Allah is Beneficent and Merciful, it has immediately been added that He is the master of the Day of Judgment to that the qualities of mercy and kindness might not mislead anyone into forgetting that on that Day He will gather together all human beings from the first to the last and require each and every one to give an account of all one's acts to Him.  A Muslim should, therefore, always keep in view that fact that Allah is not only Merciful, but He is also Just.  He has, however, has full authority to pardon or punish anyone He pleases, for He has complete power over everything.  Therefore, we should have full conviction that it lies absolutely in His power to make our end happy or sorrowful.


Al-Fatihah 1-5

Thee alone we worshipEN1-6 and to Thee alone we pray for helpEN1-7


EN1-6 - The Arabic word "ibadat" is used in three senses: (a) worship and devotion, (b) submission and obedience, (c) subjection and servitude.  Here it implies all the three, that is. "We are Thy worshipper, Thy subject and Thy slaves" and "We keep these relations with Thee and Thee alone" and "We make none else the object of our worship  in all the three senses".


EN1-7 - It means, "We ask for Thy help because we know that Thou art the Lord of the whole Universe and Thou hast all powers and Thou art the Master of every thing.  Therefore, we turn to Thee for help for the fulfillment of our needs and requirements."


Al-Fatihah 1-6

Show us the straight way,EN1-8


EN1-8 - That is, "Show us that way which may lead us right in every walk of life and keep us absolutely free from errors and evil consequences and bring us success in the end".


This is the request which the servant of Allah makes to Him when he begins the study of the Qur'an.  He prays to Him to guide him in every walk of life and save him from the labyrinths of doubt and uncertainty, which results from the lack of true knowledge. The servant also requests the Master to show him the right and the straight way of life from among the many by-paths and crooked ways.


Al-Fatihah 1-7

the Way of those whom Thou hast blessedEN1-9; who have not incurred Thy wrath, nor gone astray.EN1-10


EN1-9 - The "straight way" for which we are praying is "the way which has always been followed by the people favored by Thee and which has always brought Thy favors and blessings."


EN1-10 - This is to show that the "favored people" are not those who go astray and incur the wrath of Allah, though apparently they might be enjoying the transitory good things of life.  The really favored people are those who receive blessings on account of their righteous living.  From this it becomes clear that by "favors" are meant those real and permanent rewards, which result from righteous living and from winning the pleasure of Allah, and not those transitory good things of life which have been enjoyed by the tyrants and worshippers of mammon and which are being enjoyed even today by all sorts of evil-doers who have gone astray from the straight way.