Reflections from Surah Al-Fatiha

Every time I listen to a tafsir on any Surah, I am absolutely mind blown. One Surah that never ceases to amaze me is of course Surah Al-Fatiha. Whilst it’s fresh in my head, I just want to share some points so that you may also benefit in’shaa’Allah. 

When we say Alhamdulillah- We know it means All praise belongs to Allah (SWT). Not ‘I praise Allah’ or ‘We praise Allah’. Why? Because when me and you are gone, Allah is still praiseworthy. So, essentially, it translates to ‘All worship was, is and will always belong to Allah (SWT). 

Rabb- Means more than Lord and Master, it also means, Protector, Guider, Creator, Sustainer, and more. 

Rahman and Raheem we know as ‘the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. These are simple translations. Rahman also translates as Abuntantly and Unlimitedly Merciful. Raheem is Constantly Merciful. What an amazing and perfect combination, SubhanAllah. 

Middeen refers to the Day of Judgement. More specifically, Retribution- i.e. Getting what you deserve/ Consequences of ones actions. 

Iyaka Na’budu- It is only You we worship. In the word Na’budu also has the word abd which means slave. The Shaykh said so beautifully “Our prayer is proof that we are in fact slaves of Allah, otherwise it’s an empty claim if we don’t pray”. The reason for the ‘we’; Emphasises the importance of unity: The ultimate way to establish unity is through the worship of Allah (SWT). 

Wa Iyaka nasta iyn- The word Nasta’iyn comes from the word ayn which is one of two words for ‘help’ in the Arabic language. This help is the kind of help where you seek daily assistance. “A believer constantly seeks the help of Allah in every little thing he or she does”. 

At the beginning of the Surah, it started off in third person. Then went to second person (which is closer and more intimate) once ‘worship’ was mentioned. SubhanAllah. 

Nothing in the Qur’an is coincidental, so why did Allah (SWT) mention worship before help? The best way to ask Allah SWT for help is to ask straight after worshipping Him. 

Grammatically, the word ‘iyaka’ does not have to be repeated twice in the one sentence. So why does Allah SWT separate worship and help? To subtly inform His slaves that even if they haven’t been worshipping Him, they can still ask for help. SUBHANALLAH. 

It is mind blowing stuff. This was a tafsir done by a Shaykh, and what I have written is from my notes. There is only so much detail I could add in, please listen to a tafsir that will give you more detail and make it more personal. I haven’t even come to the end of the Surah. In the same tafsir, the Shaykh explains how Allah SWT tells His angels that we are praising Him. And how Allah SWT responds back to our praise. Any mistakes made are mine. Allah SWT is perfect. 

We know simple translations because it’s hard to add many words to one Arabic word. The English translation does not do justice to the eloquence of the Arabic language, and how Allah SWT places particular words in certain places. May Allah SWT make it easy for us to learn Arabic, ameen. 

I found this content in ‘Qalam Now’ where there is some short courses you can take, including Fiqh of Salah. I definitely recommend having a look into it. I had the first month free and after that it’s only $10 a month. Invest in your akhira. Assalamu alaykum đź’•


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