Tafsir Surah al-Fatiha

al-F膩tihah

The Opening

Ab奴鈥檒-Mu岷揳ffar al-Sama士膩n墨 (d. 489),

with additional notes from Ab奴 Mu岣mmad al-Baghaw墨 (d. 516)

[Italics indicate an alternative, accurate translation. Normal font indicates a variant reading which is mutaw膩tir, recurrent. The smaller, blue font indicates a reading which is sh膩dh, irregular (but with an authentic chain). It should be noted that all sh膩dh readings mentioned here should be considered explanations to the verse in question.]

This S奴rah has four names: The Opening of the Book (F膩ti岣tu鈥檒-Kit膩b), The Mother of the Qur示膩n (Umm al-Qur示膩n), The Seven Oft-Recited Verses (Sab士 al-Math膩n墨) and Seven of the Oft-Recited Verses (Sab士 min al-Math膩n墨).[1]

The Opening of the Book: this title is given because the S奴rah acts as an exordium to the Book, i.e. the Qur示膩n.

The Mother of the Qur示膩n: this title is given because it is the essence of the Qur示膩n, and it starts the Book. The Mother of something is the core and foundation of that thing. This is why Mecca is called The Mother of Cities because it is the foundation of all cities.[2]

The Seven Oft-Recited Verses: this title is given because the S奴rah comprises seven verses by agreement of the Im膩ms, although a sh膩dh narration has it as eight verses. It is called Oft-Recited because it is frequently repeated in prayer, indeed it is recited in every cycle of the prayer. Muj膩hid said, 鈥業t was called Math膩n墨 because All膩h exclusively chose it for this nation. He did not give a S奴rah like it to any other nation.鈥

Seven of the Oft-Recited Verses: There are two opinions concerning this title. 1) They are seven specific verses of the Math膩n墨, which is the Qur示膩n. All膩h says, 鈥淎 scripture that is consistent and oft-recited (or: paired).鈥[3]

The Qur示膩n is referred to as something paired because promise is paired with threat, command is paired with prohibition and so on. 2) The title has the same meaning as Sab士 al-Math膩n墨, with the preposition min acting as a conjunctive. This difference arose as a result of divergent understandings of the 膩yah, 鈥淲e have given you the seven oft-recited verses.鈥[4]

In the view of ibn 士Abb膩s, this S奴rah was Meccan. Muj膩hid, on the other hand, was of the view that it was Medinan. Another view has that it was revealed twice, once in Mecca and once in Medina. The proponents of the latter view said that this is why it was called Math膩n墨 in that it was revealed twice, but this is an odd view.[5]

1/0   With the Name of All膩h, the All-Merciful, the Most Merciful.[6]
        With the Name of All膩h, the Lord of Mercy, the Bestower of Mercy.[7]
        With the Name of All膩h, Merciful to all, Compassionate to each.[8]

Some scholars viewed this 膩yah to be an 膩yah of al-F膩ti岣h itself, and this view is related from ibn 士Abbas and Umm Salamah. Others held the view that this was not an 膩yah of the S奴rah, and the evidences for and against these positions are detailed in the works of Fiqh.[9]

Bismill膩h

The ba in bismill膩h is a preposition and the full meaning imparted by its usage is given by context: 鈥業 begin with All膩h鈥檚 Name,鈥 or 鈥業 began with All膩h鈥檚 Name.鈥

There is a difference of opinion concerning the derivation of the word ism. Mubarrad and other Basran linguists held the view that it is derived from the word sumuww, or elevation and prominence because the name raises to notice the thing denoted and sits on top of it. Amongst the Kuf膩n linguists, Tha士lab said the word was derived from wasam or simah (sign), meaning that it acts as a signpost pointing to the thing denoted. The first opinion is more likely because the diminutive form of the latter would be wusaym like wu峁yl is the diminutive of wa峁 and wu士ayd is the diminutive of wa士d.[10]

All膩h

Khal墨l and Ibn Kays膩n said that this word was All膩h鈥檚 proper Name, and a unique designation for Him. They said that it is not derived from any other word, as such it is like proper names used for humans such as Zayd and 士Amr and so on. This was the view preferred by Qaff膩l al-Sh膩sh墨 and a group of the people of knowledge. Others said that it was a word that was derived from another (mushtaqq), but then went on to hold two positions concerning what it was actually derived from:

1) aliha il膩ha, which means 士abada 士ib膩dah (worship),

Ibn 士Abb膩s recited, 鈥溾nd abandon you and your il膩ha?鈥[11]

and said, 鈥渋.e. and your worship.鈥 Therefore, the meaning is that He alone is deserving of worship and all acts of worship should be directed to Him. He alone is the object of worship and none else must be worshipped.

It is also postulated that the il膩h is one who created all creation, provides for them, regulates their affairs and determines their destiny.

2) wil膩h which derives from al-walah (devotion). Therefore, it is as if the servants are devoted to All膩h, resorting to Him, submitting to Him, and taking refuge with Him at times of hardship.[12]

al-Ra岣膩n al-Ra岣ツ玬

Ibn 士Abb膩s said, 鈥楾hey are two names indicating tenderness, one moreso than the other.鈥 It is also related that he said, 鈥al-Ra岣膩n: the One who is gentle to His servants. al-Ra岣ツ玬: the One who is compassionate to them.鈥

Some scholars said that al-Ra岣膩n has a meaning not to be found in al-Ra岣ツ玬, while others said that both Names carry the same meaning. Those who said that the meanings were different said that al-Ra岣膩n had a general meaning while al-Ra岣ツ玬 had a specific meaning. al-Ra岣膩n is the One who provides in this worldly life, to both the believer and the disbeliever. al-Ra岣ツ玬 is the One who forgives and pardons in the Hereafter, specifically the believers. This is why it is mentioned in the du士膩, 鈥極 One who is Ra岣膩n in this world and Ra岣ツ玬 in the Hereafter.鈥[13] So al-Ra岣膩n is One who shows mercy to the entirety of creation whereas al-Ra岣ツ玬 is One who shows mercy to a specific section of creation. It is for this reason that a person can be named Ra岣ツ玬 but not Ra岣膩n because it is only All膩h鈥檚 mercy that can extend to the entirety of creation as He Himself says, 鈥淢y mercy extends to all things.鈥[14] Those besides All膩h can only show mercy to some things, as such they can be ra岣ツ玬 (but not ra岣膩n).

As regards those who said that the meanings were the same, Qu峁璻ub said that the second Name was mentioned to emphasise the first just as one would say lahf膩n and lah墨f, nadm膩n and nad墨m. Mubarrad said, 鈥楾his is an example of perfection after completion (itm膩m ba士d tam膩m), grace on top of grace, encouragement to the hearts of those desiring (All膩h), and a promise that will not fail the one who hopes in it.鈥

The meaning is that He possesses mercy, and mercy is to grace and bless.鈥

2/1  All praise (and thanks) belong to All膩h, the Lord of the worlds,
       All praise (and thanks) are due to All膩h, the Sustainer of all beings.
                                                  , (O) Lord of the worlds,[15]
                                                  , (who is) the Lord of the worlds,[16]

All praise (and thanks) belong to All膩h

Praise, 岣md, can occur in response to a favour received. It can also occur by extolling and lauding praiseworthy qualities.[17] A person can say, 鈥業 praised so-and-so for the favours he lavished on me.鈥 And a person can also say, 鈥業 praised so-and-so for his courage and knowledge.鈥 Gratitude, shukr, on the other hand is only ever said in response to a favour received. Therefore, praise has a wider meaning than gratitude. Everyone who praises also expresses gratitude, but not everyone who expresses gratitude, praises. A person would say, 鈥業 praised so-and-so for his courage,鈥 but he would not say, 鈥業 expressed gratitude for the courage of so-and-so.鈥[18]

Moreover, we should know that All膩h鈥檚 praising Himself is something good but that this does not hold true for an object of creation praising himself. A human being praising himself will always be false praise since man by nature is deficient and flawed. Therefore, it is repugnant for such a person to praise himself. All膩h, on the other hand, is absolved of fault and deficiency, as such His praising Himself is good.

When All膩h says, 鈥淎ll praise (and thanks) belong to All膩h,鈥 either He is informing us of this truth, or He is teaching us to say this. He is either informing us that He alone is deserving of praise, and that all forms of praise are due to Him. Or He is teaching us that just as He praised Himself, so too should we praise Him; as such it is as if He is saying, 鈥楽ay: All praise (and thanks) belong to All膩h.

When All膩h says, 鈥渢o All膩h,鈥 the l膩m is either used to indicate possession or to indicate deservingness. It is the latter meaning that is meant here. The one who is truly deserving of all praise is All膩h.

Lord of the Worlds

The word lord, rabb can have the meaning of nurturing and correcting and it can have the meaning of ownership. In this 膩yah, both meanings are meant. All膩h is the One who nurtures creation and He is the owner of creation.[19]

With regards to al-士膩lam奴n, ibn 士Abb膩s said that it means, 鈥榯he Jinn and mankind,鈥[20] whereas 岣san, Qat膩dah and Ab奴 士Ubaydah said that it refers to all of creation.[21] It is said that the first opinion is more likely since the address is directed to legally responsible individuals, those who were the primary purpose of creation: the Jinn and man.[22] It is said that the Jinn constitute one 士膩lam and man constitutes another 士膩lam.[23] All膩h has four corners of the earth and in each one there are fifteen hundred 士膩lams.[24]

3/2   The All-Merciful, the Most Merciful,[25]
         The Lord of Mercy, the Bestower of Mercy,
         Merciful to all, Compassionate to each,

This 膩yah is mentioned again by way of emphasis.

4/3   Master of the Day of Judgement.[26]
        King of the Day of Judgement.[27]

             (O) Master of[28]

             (O) King of[29]

             (who is) the King[30]

             Proprietor of[31]

             (who is the) Proprietor of[32]

             Owner of[33]

             He has sovereignty of the Day of Judgement.[34]

This 膩yah is recited in two ways: as M膩lik (Master and Owner) and as Malik (King).[35] Ab奴 岣つ乼im al-Sijist膩n墨 said that recitation of M膩lik was to be given precedence reasoning that the meaning is wider and more comprehensive. You would say, M膩lik al-D膩r, M膩lik al-峁琣yr, M膩lik al-士Abd but would not say these phrases using the word, Malik.[36] On the other hand, Ab奴 士Ubaydah and Mubarrad said that the recitation of Malik was to be given precedence because, they argued, its meaning was more comprehensive. Malik incorporates the meaning of M膩lik but not vice-versa. They also stated that this recitation is more in tune with the rest of the Qur示膩n where All膩h says, 鈥淓xalted be All膩h! The true King.鈥[37] and 鈥淲hose is the kingdom this Day?鈥[38] and so on. M膩lik is derived from the word, milk and milka or ownership, whereas Malik is derived from mulk and mulka or dominion. All膩h is both M膩lik and Malik.[39]

Day

This a noun referring to a known period of time.

Day of Judgement

What is referred to here is the Day of Rising (Yawm al-Qiy膩mah). The meaning of Day of D墨n is the Day of Reckoning (岣s膩b) and Recompense (Jaz膩示). The word d墨n can carry the meaning of obedience and is used in numerous other senses, but it is the one mentioned previously that is meant here.[40]

If someone were to ask why the Day of Judgement has been specifically mentioned in this 膩yah when it is known that All膩h is the M膩lik of all days without exception, the response would be that all command on that Day will solely and exclusively be His. All膩h says, 鈥淥n that Day, command will belong to All膩h.鈥[41] In this world, on the other hand, kings have a say, Muslims have a say, and Prophets have a say etc.[42]

5/4   You (alone) we worship and to You (alone) we turn for help.

              You (alone) are worshipped[43]

You (alone) we worship

Meaning: we worship You. The term 士ib膩dah, worship means obedience combined with submission and humility.[44] One says, 鈥峁琣r墨q mu士abbad,鈥 to refer to a well-trodden, beaten path. So the meaning of the 膩yah is that we worship you with submission.[45]

To You (alone) we turn for help

Meaning: we seek aid and assistance from You.[46]

If someone were to ask why is worship mentioned before seeking help in this 膩yah when it is All膩h鈥檚 help that is needed for a person to worship? And why is iyy膩ka repeated twice when just once would have sufficed? In response to the first question we would say this question is only really relevant if a person believes that seeking help comes before an act, whereas we believe – and all praise belongs to All膩h – that seeking help and divine accord go hand-in-hand with the action. Therefore, mentioning it before or after does not really matter. Or we could say that seeking help is actually an example of worship, so All膩h mentioned 士ib膩dah in general first, followed by a specific instance of it.

As regards the repetition of iyy膩ka, this was done to emphasise that He alone is the one who is to be worshipped and that He alone is the who is turned to for help. This is a rhetorical device well known to the Arabs and is used to emphasise and intensify the meaning or impart to it a sense of exclusivity. It is not a faulty use of the language.[47]

6/5  Guide us (to and on) the Straight Path,

             Guide us (to and on) a Straight Path,[48]

             Direct us to the[49]

             Show us the[50]      

Guide us (to and on) the Straight Path

Direct us to it and keep us firm on it.[51] The word hid膩yah is used in a number of different senses in the Qur示膩n: inspiration, direction, explanation and calling.

Inspiration: 鈥淥ur Lord is He who gave everything its form then gave it guidance,鈥[52] i.e. inspired it.

Direction: 鈥溾nd guide us to the right path.鈥[53]

Explanation: 鈥淎s for the Tham奴d, we gave them guidance,鈥[54] i.e. We explained it to them.

Calling: 鈥淓ach community had their guide,鈥[55] i.e. someone who would call them and proselytise.

The meaning here is guide, but if someone were to ask, 鈥楾he believer is already guided, so why does he need to ask for guidance?鈥 We would say this question really arises from someone who thinks that All膩h鈥檚 grace to a person has a specific limit. The position of Ahlu鈥檒-Sunnah, on the other hand, is that All膩h鈥檚 grace and guidance has no such limit. So the meaning of 鈥淕uide us鈥 is actually requesting an increase in said guidance. It is also a request to remain firm on the Straight Path;[56] it is in this sense that a person would say, 鈥楺um 岣tt膩 a士奴du ilayk,鈥 i.e. keep standing until I return.

The Straight Path

士Al墨 and Ibn Mas士奴d said that the Straight Path was Isl膩m, and J膩bir said that it was the Qur示膩n.[57]

Lexically, al-峁r膩峁 al-Mustaq墨m means a clear road. Isl膩m is a clear road, and the Qur示膩n is a clear road.[58]

7/6   The Path of those You have blessed,
        The Path of those upon whom Your grace abounds,[59]

The Path of the ones You have blessed[60]

士Umar recited this as, 鈥楾he Path of the ones You have blessed, not of those upon whom there is anger, and not of those who are astray,鈥 but this is a sh膩dh recitation. It is said that the ones who are blessed are the Prophets. It is also said those who are blessed are the ones that All膩h has made firm in their faith which would then include the Prophets and all the believers.[61] Ab奴鈥檒-士膧liyah said that they were the Messenger, Ab奴 Bakr and 士Umar.[62]

7/7  not of those upon whom there is anger, nor of those who are astray.

(whose state is) not of those[63]

(who are) not those who[64]

                                                          , and not of those who are astray.[65]

The ones upon whom there is anger are the Jews and the ones who are astray[66] are the Christians.[67]

It is narrated that 士Ad墨 b. 岣つ乼im came to All膩h鈥檚 Messenger (SAW) to accept Isl膩m, and asked, 鈥楳essenger of All膩h? Who are those upon whom is anger?鈥 He replied, 鈥淭he Jews.鈥 He asked, 鈥榃ho are those who are astray?鈥 He replied, 鈥淭hey are the Christians.鈥 士Ad墨 said, 鈥業 bear witness that I am a 岣n墨f and a Muslim.鈥 士Ad墨 said, 鈥業 saw the Messenger of All膩h鈥檚 face light up as he smiled out of joy at my accepting Isl膩m.鈥[68]

As regards saying, 鈥m墨n,鈥 then we should know that this word is not part of the Qur示膩n. The Sunnah is for the person to pause a little before saying it. There are two ways of saying it: 鈥樐m墨n鈥 elongating the first letter and 鈥楢m墨n鈥 without elongating it. It means, 鈥楢ll膩h, accept my supplication,鈥 and it is said that it is like a seal on the supplication.[69]

ENDNOTES

[1] Tirmidh墨 #3124, Ab奴 D膩w奴d #1457, A岣ad #9788-9790 record from Ab奴 Hurayrah that All膩h鈥檚 Messenger (SAW) said, 鈥淸The S奴rah beginning with] 鈥楢ll praise (and thanks) belong to All膩h, the Lord of the worlds鈥 is the Mother of the Qur示膩n, the Mother of the Book, the Seven Oft-Recited Verses, and the Great Qur示膩n.鈥

Tirmidh墨 said it was 岣san 峁岣ツ弗, it was ruled 岣san by Suy奴峁, al-J膩mi士 al-峁gh墨r #3833, and 峁岣ツ弗 by Alb膩n墨, 峁岣ツ弗 al-Jmi士 #3184.

[2] 峁琣bar墨 said that it was given this name because the meaning of the entire Qur示膩n is summarised therein. The Arabs named anything that concisely summarises something or comprises its most important part, Umm, or mother.

[3] al-Zumar 39:23

[4] al-岣jr 15:87

[5] Baghaw墨: The first opinion is most correct. This is because All膩h states, 鈥淲e have given you the Seven Oft-Recited verses,鈥 (al-岣jr 15:87) which is a reference to al-F膩ti岣h. S奴rah al-岣jr is a Meccan S奴rah and All膩h would not recount this as a favour (to His Messenger) had He not already given it.

[6] Ibn Kath墨r, 士膧峁m and Kas膩示墨 have this as the first verse, the remaining seven do not. sh膩dh recitation: bi suma鈥橝ll膩hi鈥

[7] M.A.S. Abdel Halim

[8] T. Khalidi

[9] Baghaw墨: They have agreed that the S奴rah comprises seven verses. Those who held the position that the basmall膩h was an 膩yah of al-F膩ti岣h stated that the seventh verse began with 鈥淭he Path of those You have blessed鈥︹ Those who held the position that it was not an 膩yah of al-F膩ti岣h stated that the seventh verse was, 鈥淣ot of those upon whom there is anger, nor of those who are astray.鈥

[10] Baghaw墨: whereas the diminutive of ism is sumayy. Also the morphology is different, one says sammaytu (I named), but were it derived from wasm, one would have said, wasamtu.

[11] al-A士r膩f 7:127

i.e. ibn 士Abb膩s and Muj膩hid read it with the reading il膩ha as opposed to the more standard 膩liha. The full verse reads, 鈥淭he ruling circle of Pharaoh鈥檚 people said, 鈥楢re you going to leave M奴s膩 and his people to cause corruption in the earth and abandon you and your 膩liha?鈥欌

[12] Baghaw墨: or it is from al-walah which means to become bereft of reason at the loss of someone beloved. (Some commentators said that this meaning is linked to the sense of bewilderment one feels when trying to ponder something whose reality is beyond comprehension.)

[13] 峁琣bar墨 1:126 records from Ibn Mas士奴d and Ab奴 Sa士墨d that All膩h鈥檚 Messenger (SAW) said, 鈥al-Ra岣膩n: the One who shows mercy in this world and the Hereafter. al-Ra岣ツm: the One who shows mercy in the Hereafter.鈥 Ibn Ab墨 Shaybah 10:441 records from 士Abdu鈥檒-Ra岣膩n b. S膩bi峁 that All膩h鈥檚 Messenger (SAW) said, 鈥淭he Ra岣膩n of this world and the next, and the Ra岣ツ玬 of them.鈥 岣つ乲im 1:515 records from Ab奴 Bakr that All膩h鈥檚 Messenger (SAW) said, 鈥淭he Ra岣膩n of this world and the next, and the Ra岣ツ玬 of them,鈥 and Suy奴峁, al-Durr 1:15 said the isn膩d was 岣峚士墨f.

[14] al-A士r膩f 7:156

[15] rabba示l-士膩lam墨n: Kas膩示墨

[16] rabbu示l-士膩lam墨n: Ab奴 Ja士far

[17] The meaning of amd is to praise and laud out of one鈥檚 own volition. It arises from love and veneration of the praised. It also carries the meaning of ri岣嵞, or contentment, and is the opposite of dhamm, or blame.

[18] Baghaw墨: It is also said that 岣md is done on the tongue whereas shukr is done on the limbs, in action. All膩h says, 鈥淪ay: Praise belongs to All膩h, who has no child nor partner in His rule鈥 (al-Isr膩示 17:111) and 鈥淲ork thankfully, family of D膩w奴d.鈥 (Saba示 34:13)

[19] Baghaw墨: A created being cannot be referred to as al-Rabb with the definite article prefix, however the term rabb can be used in a possessive structure to refer to an object of creation. This is because the definite article prefix lends to the meaning of generality and a created being does not own everything.

[20] As did 士Al墨, recorded by ibn Ab墨 岣つ乼im 1:27

[21] This opinion is also stated by ibn 士Abb膩s who said, 鈥楾o Him belongs the creation in its entirety: all the heavens and whoever is in them, all the earths and whoever is in them, and whoever is between them, that which is known and unknown.鈥 (峁琣bar墨 1:145)

Baghaw墨: because All膩h says, 鈥淧haraoh said, 鈥榃hat is the Lord of the Worlds?鈥 M奴s膩 replied, 鈥楲ord of the heavens and earth and what is between them.鈥欌 (al-Shu士ar膩 26:23-24) The word comes from al-士all膩mah (sign) since the evidence of a creator therein is plain for all to see. Ab奴 士Ubaydah said that al-士膩lam奴n were four groups: the Angels, man, the Jinn and the devils since the word was derived from 士ilm or knowledge. Animals cannot be said to have knowledge since they do not have an intellect.

[22] Since All膩h says, 鈥淚 created Jinn and mankind only to worship Me.鈥 (al-Dh膩riy膩t 51:56) and 鈥淓xalted is He who sent down the Criterion to His servant that he may give warning to the worlds.鈥 (al-Furq膩n 25:1) and he was not a warner to the animal kingdom but he was a warner to man and Jinn.

[23] Since some linguists said that the word 士膩lam designates only those who have understanding.

[24] 峁琣bar墨 1:49 from Ab奴鈥檒-士膧liyah. Ibn Kathir 1:208 said, 鈥楾hese are strange words, the likes of which require authentic evidence.鈥

[25] The majority read the verse with khaf岣. Ab奴示l-士膧liyah and others read it with na峁 (sh膩dh). Ab奴 Raz墨n and others read it with raf士 (sh膩dh).

[26] M膩lik (Master): 士膧峁m, Kas膩示墨, Ya士q奴b, Khalaf

[27] Malik (King): the remaining six

[28] M膩lika: Ab奴 Hurayrah, al-A士mash (sh膩dh)

[29] Malika: Anas ibn M膩lik, Sha士b墨 (sh膩dh)

[30] Maliku: Sa士d ibn Ab墨 Waqq膩峁, 士膧示ishah (sh膩dh)

[31] Mal墨ki: Ubayy, Ab奴 Hurayrah (sh膩dh)

[32] Mal墨ku: 士Amr ibn al-士膧峁 (sh膩dh)

[33] Mall膩ki: 士Al墨 (sh膩dh)

[34] Malaka yawma示l-d墨n: Anas, 士Al墨 (sh膩dh)

[35] Baghaw墨: Some said that the meaning of both M膩lik and Malik was one and the same and that meaning was al-Rabb. One would say: Rabb al-D膩r and, equally, M膩lik al-D膩r. It is also postulated that the meaning is that He is the one able to create things from nothing, and none besides All膩h can do this.

[36] Baghaw墨: (He also said), and because you can only be a M膩lik of something if you own it, but you can be a Malik of something without actually owning it.

[37] al-Mu示min奴n 23:116

[38] Gh膩fir 40:16

[39] Shawk膩n墨 and ibn 士A峁璱yyah argue that both Names carry a meaning that is not found in the other. The m膩lik of property is able to dispose of his property as he wills whereas the malik will only be able to dispose of the m膩lik’s property in a limited fashion. The malik is able to command the m膩lik to dispose of his property in a particular way that promotes the benefit of his kingdom, but the m膩lik is not able to command another m膩lik with the same.

[40] Baghaw墨: Muj膩hid said that al-D墨n meant reckoning (al-岣s膩b). All膩h says, 鈥渢his is the correct reckoning (d墨n)鈥 (al-Tawbah 9:36), i.e. the proper calculation. Ibn 士Abb膩s, Maq膩til, and Sudd墨 said that the meaning of Malik Yawm al-D墨n was the Judge of the Day of Reckoning (Q膩岣嵞 Yawm al-岣s膩b). Qat膩dah said that al-D墨n meant recompense (jaz膩示), be it good or bad; in this sense it is said: As you judge so shall you be judged (kam膩 tad墨nu tud膩n). Mu岣mmad b. Ka士b al-Qura岷撃 said that the 膩yah means that (He is) the King of the Day where nothing will benefit except for the D墨n, i.e. religion. Yam膩n b. Rab膩b said that D墨n means overpowering and subjugating (qahr), just as someone would say: I overpowered him and he submitted (dintuhu fa d膩na). It is also said that D墨n means obedience (峁伿縜h), i.e. the Day of Obedience.

[41] al-Infi峁乺 82:19

[42] 峁琣bari 1:98 records that Ibn 士Abb膩s said in explanation of the words yawmi鈥檒-dn, 鈥楾he Day on which the creations are judged – the Day of Rising. He will recompense them for their actions: if they were good then it will be good, if they were bad then it will be bad except for that which He forgives for the only command on that Day will be His command, 鈥淯nquestionably to Him belongs the creation and the Command.鈥 (al-A士r膩f 7:54)鈥

All膩h says, 鈥淎nd what will make you comprehend what the Day of Dn is? Again what will make you comprehend what the Day of Dn is? It is the Day when no person shall have power [to do] anything for another. The command that Day will be All膩h鈥檚 alone鈥 (al-Infi峁r 82:17-19)

[43] iyy膩ka yu士bad, iyy膩ka tu士bad: al-岣san (sh膩dh)

[44] Baghaw墨: The servant, 士abd is called so because of his humility and submission.

[45] Ibn 士Abb膩s explained this portion of the 膩yah to mean, 鈥榊ou alone we single out for worship, fear and hope; You and no one else.鈥 (峁琣bar墨 1:99)

[46] Baghaw墨: Meaning: we seek Your help in worshipping You and in all of our affairs.

[47] Ibn 士Abb膩s explained this 膩yah, 鈥極ur Lord! It is You alone that we single out for belief, fear and hope. It is Your aid alone that we seek in order to obey You and indeed in all of our affairs.鈥 (Ibn Kath墨r)

Ibn Taymiyyah said, 鈥業 pondered the most beneficial supplication and I found it to be asking All膩h to help us in doing that which pleases Him; this I found in the verse, 鈥淵ou (alone) we worship and to You (alone) we turn to for help.鈥鈥 It is for this reason that some of the Salaf would say, 鈥楾he secret of the Qur示膩n lies in al-F膩ti岣h and its secret is contained in the verse, 鈥淵ou (alone) we worship and to You (alone) we turn to for help.鈥

[48] ihdin膩 峁r膩峁璦n Mustaq墨man: al-岣san (sh膩dh)

[49] Arshidn膩: ibn Mas士奴d (sh膩dh)

[50] Ba峁a梗irn膩: Th膩bit al-Bun膩n墨 (sh膩dh)

[51] Ibn al-Qayyim, Bad膩示i al-Faw膩示id 1:262 said, 鈥楾he verse 鈥淕uide us to the Straight Path,鈥 has been mentioned without the verb 鈥淕uide,鈥 being adjoined to the particle, il膩 or li, rather it is linked directly to the object. When the verb 鈥楪uide鈥 is adjoined to il膩, it lends the meaning of reaching the goal, when the verb is linked to li, it lends to the meaning of pointing out something and specifying it. When it is mentioned with neither of the two, it lends to the meaning of both. Hence the meaning of the verse would be: define this Path to us, explain it to us, direct us to it, and grant us the accord to follow it.鈥

[52] 峁琣 Ha 20:50

[53] 峁⒛乨 38:22

[54] Fu峁a梗ilat 41:18

[55] al-Ra士d 13:7

[56] Baghaw墨: as stated by 士Al墨 and Ubayy b. Ka士b

[57] Baghaw墨: It is reported that 士Al墨 said it was All膩h鈥檚 Book. Sa士墨d b. Jubayr said that it was the road to Paradise. Sahl b. 士Abdull膩h said that it was the way of (Ahlu鈥檒)-Sunnah wa鈥檒-Jam膩士ah. Bakr b. 士Abdull膩h al-Muzan墨 said that it was the way of All膩h鈥檚 Messenger (SAW). Ab奴鈥檒-士膧liyah and 岣san said that it All膩h鈥檚 Messenger, his family and his two Companions.

[58] Ibn 士Abb膩s explained this verse by saying, 鈥業nspire us towards Your true religion,鈥 and again, 鈥業nspire us towards the right road which is the religion of All膩h containing no crookedness.鈥(Suy奴峁 1:75)

Ibn al-Qayyim, Mad膩rij al-S膩lik墨n 1:16 said, 鈥楢 road, 峁璦r墨q, cannot be regarded to be a path, 峁r膩t, unless five conditions are met: that it is straight, that it leads to the intended goal, that it is close to the objective, that it is expansive enough to accommodate those traversing it, and that it has been sign-posted as being the actual route to the goal.

The fact that this Path is straight proves that it is close for the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. The fact that is straight proves that it leads to the object. The fact that it has been appointed for all those who would traverse it shows that it is wide enough to accommodate them. The fact that the Path has been adjoined to the One who has blessed them shows that it has been so sign-posted.鈥

[59] T. Khalidi

[60] 峁r膩峁璦 man: Ibn Mas士奴d, 士Umar, 士Ali (sh膩dh)

[61] Baghaw墨: 士Ikrimah said, 鈥楾hose you have graced with firmness of faith and steadfastness, and they are the Prophets.鈥 Ibn 士Abb膩s said, 鈥楾hey are the people of M奴s膩 and 士莫s膩 before they altered their religion.鈥 士Abdu鈥檒-Ra岣膩n b. Zayd said, 鈥楾hey are the Prophet (SAW) and those with him.鈥 Ab奴鈥檒-士膧liyah said, 鈥楾hey are the family of All膩h鈥檚 Messenger, Ab奴 Bakr, 士Umar and his household.鈥 Shahr b. 岣wshab said, 鈥楾hey are the Companions of All膩h鈥檚 Messenger and his household.鈥

[62] Ibn 士Abb膩s summarised the meaning of this verse with his words, 鈥榌Those you have blessed] by making them obedient to You and worship You including the Angels, the Prophets, the sincerely truthful, the martyrs and the righteous. This is like what our Lord says, 鈥淭hey will be in the company of those upon whom All膩h has bestowed His favour: …鈥 (al-Nis膩 4:59)鈥

[63] Ghayra示l- : 士Umar, 士Al墨 and a lesser known narration from ibn Kath墨r (sh膩dh)

[64] Ghayru示l-: 士Umar (sh膩dh)

[65] Ghayri示l-岣屇乴l墨n: 士Umar, 士Al墨, Ubayy, Ab奴 Bakr (sh膩dh)

[66] Baghaw墨: The essential meaning of 岣峚l膩l is disintegration and dissolution, as such it is said, 鈥楾he milk 岣峚lla in the water,鈥 when it is mixed such that it disappears.

[67] Baghaw墨: All膩h has stated that the Jews have anger on them in His words, 鈥溾hose who incurred All膩h鈥檚 curse and His anger鈥 (al-M膩示idah 5:60), and He has stated that the Christians are astray in His words, 鈥渁nd do not follow the vain desires of people who went astray in times gone by.鈥 (al-M膩示idah 5:60). Sahl b. 士Abdull膩h said that those who have anger on them are the ones who commit innovation, bid士ah. Those who are astray refers to those who have left the Sunnah.

[68] Tirmidh墨 #2953, 2954, A岣ad #19381, Sa士墨d b. Man峁E玶 #179, 峁琣bar墨 1:61, Ibn Ab墨 岣つ乼im #40. It was declared 峁岣ツ弗 by ibn 岣bb膩n #6246, 7206, 7365 and Alb膩n墨 #8202

[69] Muslim records on the authority of Ab奴 M奴s膩 al-Ash士ar墨 who said, 鈥楾he Messenger of All膩h (SAW) addressed us and explained to us our Sunnah [that we should follow] and explained to us [the method of performing] our prayer. He said, 鈥淲hen you pray, straighten your rows and let one of you lead you. When he says the takbr then say the takbr. When he says, 鈥淣ot of those upon whom is anger nor of those who are astray鈥 then say 膩mn and All膩h will respond to you.鈥濃

Muslim records on the authority of Ab奴 Hurayrah  that the Messenger of All膩h (SAW) said, 鈥淲hen the Im膩m says 膩mn then say 膩mn for indeed the one whose 膩mn coincides with the 膩mn of the Angels will have his previous [minor] sins forgiven.鈥

Ibn M膩jah #856 records on the authority of 士膧示ishah (RA) that the Messenger of All膩h (SAW) said, 鈥淭he Jews do not envy you for anything as much as they envy you for saying the sal膩m and 膩mn.鈥

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