Al-Fatiha

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Sura 1 of the Quran
الْفَاتِحَة
Al-Fātiḥah
The Opening
ClassificationMeccan
PositionJuzʼ 1, Hizb 1
No. of verses6 or 7
No. of words25 or 29
No. of letters113 or 139
A 14th- or 15th-century manuscript of the chapter
#بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ #ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلْعَـٰلَمِينَ #ٱلرَّحْمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ #مَـٰلِكِ يَوْمِ ٱلدِّينِ #إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ #ٱهْدٱلْمُسْتَقِيمَ #صِرَ ٰطَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ ٱلْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ ٱلضَّاۤلِّينَ [needs Eng. translation]

Al-Fatiha, alternatively transliterated Al-Fātiḥa or Al-Fātiḥah (Arabic: الفاتحة‎, IPA: [ʔal faːtiħah]; lit. "The Opening" or "The Opener") is the first surah (chapter) of the Quran. It consists of 6[citation needed] or 7 āyāt (verses) which are a prayer for guidance and mercy.[1] Al-Fatiha is recited in Muslim obligatory and voluntary prayers, known as salah.

Quranic chapter titles are not considered by Muslims to be part of the divine revelation of the Quran.[2] The primary literal meaning of the expression "Al-Fatiha" is "The Opener," which could refer to this Surah being the first in the Quran, the first chapter recited in full in every rakat of salah, or to the manner in which it serves as an opening for many functions in everyday Islamic life. Some Muslims interpret it as a reference to an implied ability of the Surah to open a person to faith in God.

Summary[edit]

Al-Fatiha is narrated in the Hadith to have been divided into two halves between Allah and His servant (the person reciting), the first three verses being His half and last three being the servant's.[3] There is disagreement as to whether the Basmala is the first verse of the surah, or even a verse in the first place.[4] The chapter begins by praising Allah with the phrase Alhamdulillah, and stating that it is Allah who has full authority over all creations (verse 1/2),[5] that He is Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim or the Most Gracious and Most Merciful (verse 2/3),[6] and that He is and will be the true owner of everything and everyone on the Day of Judgement (verse 3/4).[7]

The last three verses, which comprise the servant's half, begin with the servant stating that they worship and seek only Allah's help (verse 4/5), asking Him to guide them to the Sirat al-Mustaqim (the Straight Path) of those who God has been bountiful to, and not of those who have earned His anger (verse 5-6/6-7).[8]

Some Muslim commentators believe Jews and Christians are examples of those evoking God's anger and those who went astray, respectively.[9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16]: 45 Others view this as an exclusive condemnation of all Jews and Christians from all times.[17][18][19] The Noble Quran (Hilali–Khan), which is said to be the most widely disseminated Quran in most Islamic bookstores and Sunni mosques throughout the English-speaking world, defines the two groups as Jews and Christians respectively.[20]

Other Muslim commentators have interpreted these verses as referring exclusively not to a specific group of people but instead interpret these in the more general sense.[21][22][23][24][25][26][27]

Verses and meaning[edit]

بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ۝‎
Bismillaah ar-Rahman ar-Raheem
In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.[28]
  1. ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّٰهِ رَبِّ ٱلْعَالَمِينَ ۝
    Al hamdu lillaahi rabbil ‘alameen
    [All] praise is [due] to Allah, Lord of the worlds -
  2. ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ۝
    Ar-Rahman ar-Raheem
    The Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful,
  3. مَالِكِ يَوْمِ ٱلدِّينِ ۝
    Maaliki yaumid Deen
    Sovereign of the Day of Recompense.
  4. إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ ۝
    Iyyaaka na’abudu wa iyyaaka nasta’een
    It is You we worship and You we ask for help.
  5. ٱهْدِنَا ٱلصِّرَاطَ ٱلْمُسْتَقِيمَ ۝
    Ihdinas siraatal mustaqeem
    Guide us to the straight path -
  6. صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنعَمتَ عَلَيهِمْ غَيرِ المَغضُوبِ عَلَيهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّالِّينَ ۝
    Siraatal ladheena an ‘amta’ alaihim Ghairil maghduubi’ alaihim waladaaleen
    The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have earned [Your] anger or of those who are astray.[29][30]

Background[edit]

The most commonly accepted view about the origins of the surah is the view of Ibn Abbas, among others, that Al-Fatiha is a Meccan surah, although some believe that it is either a Medinan surah or was revealed in both Mecca and Medina.[31] Most narrators recorded that al-Fātiḥah was the first complete Surah revealed to Muhammad.[1]

The name Al-Fatiha ("the Opener") could refer to the surah being the first in the Mus'hafs, the first to be recited in each rakat of salah, or to the manner of its usage in many Islamic traditions as an opening prayer. The word itself comes from the root f-t-ḥ which means to open, explain, disclose, conquer, etc.[1][32] Al-Fatiha is also known by several other names, such as Al-Hamd (The Praise), As-Salah (The Prayer), Umm al-Kitab (Mother of the Book), Umm al-Quran (Mother of the Quran),[33] Sab'a min al-Mathani (Seven Repeated Ones, from Quran 15:87),[34] and Ash-Shifa' (The Cure).[35][36]

Opening of a Splendour Quran

Benefits and virtues[edit]

Muslims attribute special significance to some surahs for their virtues and benefits (fada'il, Arabic: فضائل‎) described in the hadith. Acceptance of the different hadith varies between Sunni and Shia Muslims and there is a variety of terms to classify the different levels of confirmed authenticity of a hadith. However, both Sunnis and Shia believe Al-Fatiha to be one of the greatest surahs in the Quran, and a cure for several diseases and poisons.[36]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Maududi, Sayyid Abul Ala. Tafhim Al Quran. Archived from the original on 2013-07-28. Retrieved 2013-06-17.
  2. ^ Nevin Reda Archived 2020-08-14 at the Wayback Machine, Introduction to the Quran in Three Testaments: Torah, Gospel and Quran (Plymouth: Rowman and Littlefield, 2012)
  3. ^ Ibn al-Hajjaj, Abul Hussain Muslim (2007). Sahih Muslim - 7 Volumes. 1. Darussalam. pp. 501–503. ISBN 9960991903.
  4. ^ Mubarakpuri, Safiur Rahman (2000). Tafsir Ibn Kathir (10 Volumes; Abridged). Darussalam. p. 25. ISBN 9781591440208. [The scholars] disagree over whether [Bismillah] is a separate Ayah before every Surah, or if it is an Ayah, or a part of an Ayah, included in every Surah where the Bismillah appears in its beginning. [...] The opinion that Bismillah is an Ayah of every Surah, except [At-Tawbah], was attributed to (the Companions) Ibn 'Abbas, Ibn 'Umar, Ibn Az-Zubayr, Abu Hurayrah and 'Ali. This opinion was also attributed to the Tabi'in 'Ata', Tawus, Sa'id bin Jubayr, Makhul and Az-Zuhri. This is also the view of 'Abdullah bin Al-Mubarak, Ash-Shaf i'i, Ahmad bin Hanbal, (in one report from him) Ishaq bin Rahwayh, and Abu 'Ubayd Al-Qasim bin Salam. On the other hand, Malik, Abu Hanifah and their followers said that Bismillah is not an Ayah in Al-Fatihah or any other Surah. Dawud said that it is a separate Ayah in the beginning of every Surah, not part of the Surah itself, and this opinion was also attributed to Ahmad bin Hanbal. Malik, Abu Hanifah and their followers said that Bismillah is not an Ayah in Al-Fatihah or any other Surah. Dawud said that it is a separate Ayah in the beginning of every Surah, not part of the Surah itself, and this opinion was also attributed to Ahmad bin Hanbal.
  5. ^ Mubarakpuri, Safiur Rahman (2000). Tafsir Ibn Kathir (10 Volumes; Abridged). Darussalam. pp. 33–37. ISBN 9781591440208.
  6. ^ Mubarakpuri, Safiur Rahman (2000). Tafsir Ibn Kathir (10 Volumes; Abridged). Darussalam. pp. 30–33, 37. ISBN 9781591440208.
  7. ^ Mubarakpuri, Safiur Rahman (2000). Tafsir Ibn Kathir (10 Volumes; Abridged). Darussalam. pp. 39–42. ISBN 9781591440208.
  8. ^ Mubarakpuri, Safiur Rahman (2000). Tafsir Ibn Kathir (10 Volumes; Abridged). Darussalam. pp. 42–55. ISBN 9781591440208.
  9. ^ Leaman, Oliver (2006). Leaman, Oliver (ed.). The Qur'an: an Encyclopedia. Routledge. p. 614. ISBN 0-415-32639-7. Archived from the original on 2021-03-28. Retrieved 2020-11-05. The Prophet interpreted those who incurred God's wrath as the Jews and the misguided as the Christians.
  10. ^ Ayoub, Mahmoud M. (January 1984). The Qur'an and Its Interpreters: v.1: Vol 1. State University of New York Press. p. 49. ISBN 978-0873957274. Archived from the original on 2021-03-28. Retrieved 2020-11-05. Most commentators have included the Jews among those who have "incurred" divine wrath and the Christians among those who have "gone astray".(Tabari, I, pp. 185-195; Zamakhshari, I, p. 71)
  11. ^ Ibn Kathir. "The Quran Commentaries for 1.7 Al Fatiha (The opening)". QuranX. Archived from the original on 29 May 2020. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  12. ^ Al-Amin Ash-Shanqit, Muhammad (10 October 2012). "Tafsir of Chapter 001: Surah al-Fatihah (The Opening)". Sunnah Online. Archived from the original on 31 May 2019. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  13. ^ Al Kindari, Fahad (6 June 2007). The greatest recitation of Surat al-Fatiha. Sweden Dawah Media Production (on behalf of High Quality & I-Media); LatinAutor - Warner Chappell. Retrieved 20 December 2019. The saying of the Exalted, 'not the Path of those who have earned Your Anger, nor of those that went astray': the majority of the scholars of tafseer said that 'those who have earned Your Anger' are the Jews, and 'those that went astray' are the Christians, and there is the hadeeth of the Messenger of Allaah (SAW) reported from Adee bin Haatim (RA) concerning this. And the Jews and the Christians even though both of them are misguided and both of them have Allaah's Anger on them - the Anger is specified to the Jews, even though the Christians share this with them because the Jews knew the truth and rejected it and deliberately came with falsehood, so the Anger (of Allah being upon them) was the description most befitting them. And the Christians were ignorant, not knowing the truth, so misguidance was the description most befitting them. So with this the saying of Allaah, 'so they have drawn on themselves anger upon anger' (2:90) clarifies that the Jews are those that 'have earned your Anger'. And likewise His sayings, 'Say: shall I inform you of something worse than that, regarding the recompense from Allaah: those (Jews) who incurred the Curse of Allaah and His Anger' (5:60)
  14. ^ "Surah Al-Fatihah, Chapter 1". al-islam.org. Archived from the original on 8 December 2019. Retrieved 11 December 2019. Some of the commentators believe that / dallin / 'those gone astray' refers to the misguided of the Christians; and / maqdubi 'alayhim / 'those inflicted with His Wrath' refers to the misguided of the Jews.
  15. ^ al-Jalalayn. "The Tasfirs". altafsir.com. Archived from the original on 4 September 2019. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  16. ^ Abdul-Rahman, Muhammad Saed (2009). "The meaning and explanation of the glorious Qur'an, 2nd Edition, Volume 1". MSA Publication Limited. ISBN 978-1-86179-643-1.
  17. ^ Bostom, Andrew (29 May 2019). "Ramadan Koran lesson: Curse Jews and Christians 17-times daily: Part 1". Israel National News. Archived from the original on 30 November 2019. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
  18. ^ Bostom, Andrew (29 May 2019). "Ramadan Koran lesson: Curse Jews and Christians 17-times daily: Part 2". Israel National News. Archived from the original on 9 December 2019. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
  19. ^ Shrenzel, Israel (4 September 2019). "Verses and Reality: What the Koran Really Says about Jews". Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Archived from the original on 9 December 2019. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  20. ^ Hilali-Khan (2020). "Interpretation of the meanings of the Noble Quran - Surah 1". King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Quran.
  21. ^ Asad, Muhammad. The Message of the Quran, Commentary on Surah Fatiha (PDF). pp. 23–24. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2019-11-26. Retrieved 2019-12-13. According to almost all the commentators, God's "condemnation" (ghadab, lit., "wrath") is synonymous with the evil consequences which man brings upon himself by wilfully rejecting God's guidance and acting contrary to His injunctions. ... As regards the two categories of people following a wrong course, some of the greatest Islamic thinkers (e.g. Al-Ghazali or, in recent times, Muhammad 'Abduh) held the view that the people described as having incurred "God's condemnation" - that is, having deprived themselves of His grace - are those who have become fully cognizant of God's message and, having understood it, have rejected it; while by "those who go astray" are meant people whom the truth has either not reached at all, or to whom it has come in so garbled and corrupted a form as to make it difficult for them to recognize it as the truth (see 'Abduh in Manar I, 68 ff.).
  22. ^ Ali, Abdullah Yusuf (2006). The Meaning of The Noble Qur'an, Commentary on al-Fatiha (PDF). p. 7. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-03-12. ...those who are in the darkness of Wrath and those who stray? The first are those who deliberately break God's law; the second those who stray out of carelessness or negligence. Both are responsible for their own acts or omissions. In opposition to both are the people who are in the light of God's Grace: for His Grace not only protects them from active wrong ... but also from straying into paths of temptation or carelessness. The negative gair should be construed as applying not to the way, but as describing men protected from two dangers by God's Grace.
  23. ^ Shafi, Muhammad. Ma'ariful Qur'an. pp. 78–79. Archived from the original on 2020-07-18. Retrieved 2019-12-13.
  24. ^ Tafsir al-Kabir, al-Razi, التفسير الكبير, Tafsir Surah al-Fatiha.
  25. ^ Al-Kashshaaf, Al-Zamakhshari, الكشاف, Commentary on surah al-Fatiha.
  26. ^ Maududi, Imam Sayyid Abul Ala. Tafhim Al Quran. Archived from the original on 2013-07-28. Retrieved 2013-06-17.
  27. ^ "Corpus Coranicum: Commentary on the Quran. Chronologisch-literaturwissenschaftlicher Kommentar zum Koran, hg. von der Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften durch Angelika Neuwirth unter Mitarbeit von Ali Aghaei und Tolou Khademalsharieh, unter Heranziehung von Übersetzungen von Nicolai Sinai". Das anaphorische ʾiyyāka (V. 6) betont die Exklusivität des Angerufenen, der anders als im Fall der paganen mušrikūn, die Gott zwar in extremen Situationen um Hilfe rufen, ihm aber nicht dienen, vgl. Q 17:67, Adressat sowohl von Hilferufen als auch von Gottesdienst ist. An diese im Zentrum stehende Affirmation der Alleinverehrung Gottes schließt die Bitte um Rechtleitung an (V. 7). Der hier erhoffte ‚gerade Weg‘ soll demjenigen der bereits von Gott mit Huld bedachten Vorläufern folgen. Sie werden nicht explizit gemacht und dürften zur Zeit der Entstehung der fātiḥa auch unbestimmt intendiert sein. Erst später – mit der Herausbildung von Kollektivbildern - ließen sich die Zielgruppen ex silentio erschließen
  28. ^ "Surah Al-Fatihah - 1-7". quran.com. Retrieved 2021-09-12.
  29. ^ Sahih International (Chapter 1; Verse 1-7)
  30. ^ "Surah Al-Fatihah - 1-7". quran.com. Retrieved 2021-09-12.
  31. ^ Ahmad, Mirza Bahir Ud-Din (1988). The Quran with English Translation and Commentary. Islam International Publications Ltd. p. 1. ISBN 1-85372-045-3.
  32. ^ Joseph E. B. Lumbard "Commentary on Sūrat al-Fātiḥah," The Study of the Quran. ed. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Caner Dagli, Maria Dakake, Joseph Lumbard, Muhammad Rustom (San Francisco: Harper One, 2015), p. 3.
  33. ^ "Hadith - The Book of the Commencement of the Prayer - Sunan an-Nasa'i - Sunnah.com - Sayings and Teachings of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم)". sunnah.com. Archived from the original on 2020-08-13. Retrieved 2020-11-30.
  34. ^ Abu al-Qasim al-Khoei. Al-Bayan Fi Tafsir al-Quran. p. 446.
  35. ^ Joseph E. B. Lumbard, "Introduction to Sūrat al-Fātiḥah," The Study Quran. ed. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Caner Dagli, Maria Dakake, Joseph Lumbard, Muhammad Rustom (San Francisco: Harper One, 2015), p. 3.
  36. ^ a b Mubarakpuri, Safiur Rahman (2000). Tafsir Ibn Kathir (10 Volumes; Abridged). Darussalam. pp. 7–8. ISBN 9781591440208.

External links[edit]