The Opening Chapter Of The Qur’an
From among the beautiful Surahs of the Holy Qur’an, there is one Surah that I would like to talk about today. This Surah happens to be the cure (Shifa) or treatment (Al-Ruqya) for any disease. I hope by now the readers must have guessed which Surah I am talking about. Indeed, this Surah is the one with which the Holy Qur’an begins and so does our Salah. It is none other than the great Surah, Surah Al Fatiha (the opening).
Surah Al Fatiha is also called as the Qur’an-e-Azeem (Bukhari). In a Hadith narrated by Tirmidhi, Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) said, “Al-Hamdulillah is the Umm ul Qur’an (mother of the Holy Qur’an) and Saba’atul Mathani (the seven repeated verses).
Surah Al-Fatiha begins with the ‘hamd’ of Allah, i.e. His Praise. None but Allah has the right to be praised for He alone is the Lord of the worlds. It is He Who sustains and provides His creations and believers with innumerable blessings. He Alone is the Rabb, the Rahman, and the Raheem. Allah Alone is the Lord of the Day of Judgment and no one except Him has the power and sovereignty, and none would have the courage to open his mouth before Him. No injustice would be done on that day.
After the declaration of Allah’s praise verse number five places a duty on everyone — His creation to worship Him alone and turn only to him for help. This verse commands every worshipper to stay away from Shirk and dedicate his or her acts of worship like Salah, Dua, Sawm, Haj, etc. for Allah alone. Furthermore, it tells us to seek guidance and help only from Him. The sixth verse is then a dua where a believer asks for guidance because it is only Allah who guides us in the best way by telling us the difference between right and wrong.
The seventh verse specifies that the guidance should be sought from those who are blessed like the Noble Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), righteous people, Shuhada (martyrs), and the pious servants of Allah and not from those who were misguided and had to face His wrath.
Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was sitting with Angel Jibreel he heard a creaking sound above him. Angel Jibreel looked up and said, “This is the sound of a gate that has been opened in heaven today that has never been previously opened.” Then an angel descended and came toward Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) and said, “Rejoice our the good news of two lights that have been given to you as no Prophet before you have been given. They are Surah Al Fatiha and the concluding two verses of Surah Al Baqarah. You will never recite a word from them without being given the blessings they contain.” [Sahih Muslim]
There are many Ahadeeth that describe the virtues of Surah Al Fatihah. It is indeed a Surah full of blessings and its recitation brings peace and security to its readers. May Allah give us ‘Tawfiq’ (opportunities) to recite it in every Rakah of our Salah and in our daily life so that we can receive maximum blessings.
-By Nawal Aqil