Islam 101Tafseer

Quran Tafsir – Surah Al-Fatihah Part 1

You can find the complete series on this link Quran Tafsir – Surah Al-Fatihah Series

Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Raheem (In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful)

Ramadan 2015 or Ramadan 1436 A.H. is fast approaching, with more or less a month from now In Shaa Allah. This is the most awaited time for celebration of Muslims around the world. Because it is the most awaited, preparing ourselves is the best decision we could ever do. Recently we already entered the month of Sha’baan.

“This month is very significant if we want to gain full reward and blessing of Ramadan. Scholars say that it’s better to get prepared starting the month of Rajab (the 7th month) then continue through Sha’baan (the 8th month) to get the benefits of Ramadan. One of the early scholars said: The month of Rajab is like the wind, and the month of Sha’baan is like the cloud, and the month of Ramadan is like the rain. So whoever does not plant in Rajab,and does not water his plant in Sha’ban, how can he/she expect to harvest in Ramadan?”.

That is a very nice example for us to understand the idea behind the preparation. We may be late if we haven’t started yet with our preparations but In Shaa Allah we can cope up, we may begin by renewing our understanding of every Surah constituting our noble Qur’an and by going back to the basic of our deen. The Hijabimag wishes to post series of tafseers/tafsirs (Qur’anic interpretations) to help us attain with this niyyah (intention) while we wait for Ramadan, until the whole month of it and beyond to remind each one of us and why we are called Muslims.

The Word “Bismillah” (The Prophecy of Moses in Bible)

Bismillahi Ar Rahmani Ar Raheem
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

We need to make it very clear that the complete Bible is NOT the word of God, although, there are some verses inside the Bible that probably preserved approximately same as it was revealed. One such possible verse of Bible is Book of Deuteronomy 18:19 “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my WORD WHICH THE PROPHET SHALL SPEAK IN MY NAME, I will require it of him.”— King James version of Bible.

This is a prophecy that Musa ‘alahi salam made inside the Bible, that after him a prophet will come who shall speak in God’s name. Prophet Muhammad said “with the name of God, the most Gracious, the most Merciful”. Open any surah of the Qur’an and produce them to the Christians and Jews. The beginning of each surah is the fulfillment of the prophecy made by Musa as. So the knowledgeable men among the people of the book, The Ahl e Kitab, even before entering the Quran, gets to know that it is from the God of Abraham, Moses & Jesus upon whom we find peace.

Al Fatiha : (Introduction)
We know Surah Fatiha is the beginning of the Qur’an. What do you expect from the beginning of any book? This can be a question to start with. When you go to a store and you want to buy a novel, there is always an introduction printed at the back of the cover. You read it and decide whether you want to read this book complete or not.

Note this point, surah Fatiha serves as an introduction through which you decide whether you are going to read this book or not. Furthermore, novels deal with stories but Qur’an is not a story book. Let’s take an example; when I was learning Arabic, I had five Arabic books to read one after the other. Each of those books had a chapter in the beginning which says “Is this book for you”. Inside those chapters there used to be stuff like “if you can read Arabic but can’t understand Arabic, then this book is for you.” And also it gives points how you should approach towards the book to gain the maximum benefit from it.

Note again, surah Fatiha has a similar theme, It let’s you decide whether this book is for you or not and it also gives you an idea how to approach towards this book. We recite Fatiha in each rakah of each salah, question is, and “Do we still know how we need to approach towards the Qur’an? The third purpose, it serves as equivalent to a chapter like “About the Author” in the beginning of any book.

Let’s summaries what we are about to discover inside Suratul Fatiha..

1.  About the Author
2.  Is this Book for You
3.  How to approach towards this Book

Ayah 1: Alhamdu li Allahi Rabbi Al A’lameen

Although the Qur’an begins with Alhamdulillah, but what is the first thing anyone reads even before reading the Fatiha?

Bismillah Ar Rahmani Ar Raheem!!!
“With the name of Allah, the most Gracious the most Merciful”

Now let’s think that a complete beginner is reading this Qur’an or listening to this message of Allah. Imagine what the first Question would arise reading this sentence Bismillah? Who is Allah? Who is this Allah about whom its written He is the Gracious & Merciful (Rahman & Raheem)? So even before someone starts reading the Qur’an Allah makes sure that he at least heard the name of Allah and he already is wondering over who Allah is. The first ayah gives answer to his Question Alhamdulillahi Rabbil A’lameen , He is the Praiseworthy Allah, the Lord of the Universe. Got your answer? That Allah is the name of the Rabb of the universe. It’s important to understand what Rabb means for an Arab. Rabb Literally means Master, Owner and Raiser.

1.  Master like in a master and slave relationship, eg  Bilal (RA). was the slave of Jew called Umayyah bin Khalaf. So in Arabic we say “Umayyah is the Rabb of Bilal”.

Rabbil A’lameen, the one whose slave is the complete universe (including you). Now imagine a person was just thinking who Allah is and what introduction Allah gave him. The first thing Allah tells him, “I am your Master you are my slave. In fact complete universe is my slave”.

2.  Rabb also means owner, it is little different from Master. When I am the owner of a laptop then there is a purpose I am keeping my laptop with me. The day when my laptop becomes dysfunctional, then what I will do? I will have it fixed; if it’s fixed then I will be happy and will forget that it was bad once. It is working fine so I will be glad.  But if the laptop has no means to be fixed no matter how much money I spend on it and what to do but to dispose it, worse smash it on the floor. Can I do this?  If I smash it on the floor will you question why I did? No, since I am the owner and I have the right to do anything with it.

Allah is our Rabb and Owner, when we don’t work properly He send his technicians (messengers). If we are able to correct ourselves then He just forgets that once we were indulged in sins. But if we won’t, does He have the right to rain stones from the sky or bring a tsunami to swallow us! Yes, are you going to question Him why He did that? No! You can’t because He is the owner and He can do what He wants.

3. Allah is our Raiser, He raise us just like a farmer raises his crops. A farmer provides vast land to these crops then protects against the sun and then provides water. Have you ever read in Qur’an something like “We spread the land for you, and made the sky a protective roof (to shade u) and we brought down the water from sky.” Sounds familiar, in fact you will find that throughout the Qur’an  Allah keeps comparing us with crops because Rabb means Raiser just like a farmer.

This is the first thing that we get to know about Allah, that He is Rabb, Master, Owner Raiser, Alhamdulillahi Rabbil A’lameen.

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