Surat Al-Fatiha (The Opening)
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
(Friday Speech was delivered by Imam Mohamed Baianonie at Islamic Center of Raleigh, N. C., on November 25, 1988)
*All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the lord of the "Alamin" (Mankind, Jinns, and all that exists).
* The most Beneficent, the most merciful.
* The only Owner (and the only Ruling Judge) Of the Day of Recompense (I.e. the Day of Resurrection)
* You (Alone) we worship, and you (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything).
* Guide us to the straight way
* The Way of those on whom you have bestowed your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned your anger, nor of those who went astray.
This is surat Al-fatiha, the greatest surah in the Qur’an. Which the companions of the prophet chose it to be the beginning of Qur’an. Also Allah chose it to be repeated seventeen time per day in the prayer and about double this if a person prayed the sunnan. The prayer will not be expectable without it according to the hadith reported by Imams Bukhari and Muslim what the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said: "There is no prayer for whom do not read the Fatiha."
The reader to this surah and any other suwar of the Qur’an should say "Audhu billahi minash shaitanir rajim" Which means, "O Allah, I seek your protection from the rejected Satan." This is not part from Qur’an or a verse but it is some etiquette Allah taught us, when we start reading Qur’an because Allah said in surat An-Nahl, (verse 98) what can be translated as, "So when you want to recite the Qur’an, seek refuge with Allah from Satan, the outcast (the cursed one)". Also it should be said one's feels the danger of Satan as Allah said in surat Fusselat,(verse 36) what can be translated as, "And if an evil whisper from Satan tries to turn you away, then seek refuge in Allah. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-knower"
"Bismalah" which is saying "In the name of Allah the most gracious most merciful." Is it a verse from each surah? or is it a verse from the Qur’an to start each surah with at reading? There is different opinion among the scholars. Most probably it is a verse from surat Al-Fatiha then it will be seven verse as Allah said in surat Al-Hijr, (verse 87) what can be translated as, "And indeed, we have bestowed upon you seven of Al-Mthani (seven repeatedly recited verse), (i.e. surat Al-fatiha) and the Grand Qur’an".
The meaning of "Bismallah" is to start naming Allah and remembering Him before anything asking Him assistance and success. The prophet (S.A.W.) told us to start any important matter with "Bismillah". The prophet said: "Any important work, which will be, started without Bismillah it will not be complete and without blessing." The Muslim
should start with "Bismilah" to be different than non-Muslims who were starting with the name of their status like the name of Allat or the name of Ezza and they say in these days in the name of nation or in the name of the people.
In spite of Al-Fateha is a small surah but it contains a lot of meanings therefore it is called Umm-ul-Qur’an the (mother of the Qur’an) It contains the bases and the branches. It contains belief, worshipping and sharia. As example it includes the belief in recreation and Judgment. Also it includes the belief in the names of Allah, orders us to worship Him alone. And it includes asking Allah guidance and protection from the wrong path Imams Bukhari, Muslim and Ahmad reported that the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said: "By whom my sole in His hand there is no like this surah in Torah or in Injeal or in Zaboor or in Furqan, it is the seven verses and the noble Qur’an that Allah had give to me."
This surah (Al-fatiha) started with praising Allah and in this there is a lesson to thank Allah for the blessings which Allah gave us. Rahman means with great mercy and Rahim means continuos mercy and Allah is the owner of the Day of Judgment and no body has this as Allah said in Qur’an. And Allah is the only one must be worshipped, which contains the meaning of pure tawhead (oness) and at the end there is a prayer to ask Allah His guidance.
After this supplication we should say: "Ameen" (O Allah, please answer our supplication respond) there are several ahadith mentioned it and in one which was reported by Imams Bukhari and Muslim that prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said: "If the Imam said: "Ameen" then say it. Because who ever say: Amin with the angles Allah will forgive his sins.
There are many ahadith reported in the virtue of this surah (Al-fatiha). Imam Bukhari reported that the prophet (S.A.W.) told Abou Saeed (I will teach you the greatest surah in the Qur’an, before you leave the masjid). Then the prophet took his hand and was going out of the masjid then Abou Saeed said: "O prophet you told me that you are going to teach me the greatest surah in the Qur’an." Then the prophet (S.A.W.) said: " Yes, Al-fatiha is the seven verses and the noble Qur’an which Allah had gave to me."
Imam Muslim reported that the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) declare that "Allah the Exalted had said: I have divided the prayer into two halves between My servant, and My servant and Me will receive what he asks. When the servant says: "Praise is to Allah, the Lord of the universe", Allah the Most High says: "My servant has praised Me." And when he (the servant) says:" The Most Compassionate, the Merciful", Allah the Most High says: "My servant has lauded Me." And when he (the servant) says:" Master of the Day of Judgment," He remarks: "My servant has glorified Me," and sometimes He would say: "My servant entrusted (his affairs) to Me." And when he (the worshipper) says: "(You) we do worship and of (You) we do ask help," He (Allah) says: "This is between My servant, and My servant and Me will receive what he asks for." Then, when he (the worshipper) says: "Guide us to the straight path, the path of those to whom you have bestowed your Gracious, not (the way) of those who earned Your anger, nor of those who went astray." He (Allah) says: "This is for My servant, and My servant will receive what he asked for."