Secret of the Qur’an

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Secret of the Quran : Sūrat All-Munājāh (Chapter of The Private Invocation) (Chapter 1)

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 Secret of the Qur’an  Sūrat Al-Munājāh (Chapter of The Private Invocation) (Chapter 1)

 Preface

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds, The Most Merciful, The Most Compassionate, The Sovereign of the Day of Recompense,and may Allah's peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions.The Sūrat of al-Fātihah is the greatest surah whereby Allah addressed the creation.That is because the Qur’an is the best divinely-revealed book, and the Sūrat of al-Fātihah is the best surah in it.Thus, it is the best and most excellent surah that Allah Almighty has revealed,that is why it is prescribed to recite it in every prayer; rather, in each rak‘ah of every prayer.It is sufficient, when highlighting its excellence, to cite the Hadith narrated by Al-Bukhāri in his Sahih on the authority of Abu Sa‘eed ibn al-Mu‘alla, that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said to him:"Indeed, I will teach you a surah that is the greatest surah of the Qur’an before you leave the mosque."Then he took my hand as he was leaving the mosque. So, I observed: "Have you not told me that you will teach me a surah that is the greatest surah of the Qur’an?" He said:"Sūrat al-Fātihah; it is the seven oft-repeated verses and the great Qur’an that I have been granted." [1]

1. [1] Narrated by Al-Bukhāri in the Book of Tafseer, under the chapter entitled: What Is Reported about al-Fātihah, Hadith no. 4204, and under the chapter entitled: We have certainly granted you the seven oft-repeated verses and the great Qur’an, Hadith no. 4426, and in the Book of Virtues of the Qur’an, under the chapter entitled: The Virtue of al-Fātihah, Hadith no. 4720.

Al-Hāfizh Ibn Hajar said:"This explicitly indicates that Allah's statement in the Qur’an:{We have certainly granted you the seven oft-repeated verses }refers to Sūrat al-Fātihah." [2]

2. [2] Fat'h al-Bāri (8/9).

Muslim and others reported that Ibn ‘Abbās, may Allah be pleased with both of them, said:"While Jibrīl (Archangel Gabriel) was sitting with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, he heard a great noise coming from above his head. Thereupon, he said:This is a gate of the heaven that has been opened today. It has never been opened except today.'An angel descended from it, so he said:This is an angel that has come down to the earth and has never come down except today.'The angel offered the greeting of peace and said:Rejoice for being granted two lights which no other prophet before you has ever been granted: Sūrat al-Fātihah and the last verses of Sūrat al-Baqarah. You will not recite a letter thereof except that you will receive the reward for it (or whatever you ask Allah for by means of it.'" [3]

3. [3] Narrated by Muslim in the Book of Prayer of Travelers and Shortening it, Chapter on the Virtue of al-Fātihah and the Last Verses of Sūrat al-Baqarah, and Encouraging the Recitation of the Last Two Verses of Sūrat al-Baqarah, Hadith no. 806.

The Hadiths reported on the excellence of al-Fātihah are numerous and weighty.

What further indicates the honor and great status of al-Fātihah are the many names and glorious descriptions given to this great surah.Indeed, having many names indicates the high status of the named.Some of its names are: Umm al-Qur’an (Mother of the Qur’an), Fātihat al-Kitāb (Opening Chapter of the Book), As-Sab‘ al-Mathāni (The Seven Often-Repeated Verses), Sūrat al-Hamd (Chapter of Praise), Ash-Shāfiyah (The Healer), Al-Kāfiyah (The Sufficient), Sūrat as-Salāh (Chapter of Prayer), and Sūrat ad-Du‘aa’ (Chapter of Supplication).It is also called Sūrat al-Munājāh (Chapter of the Private Invocation), because the Muslim recites it in each rak‘ah of his prayer, therewith conversing privately with his Lord and detaching himself from worldly affairs to speak to Him, supplicate Him, and implore Him.According to a Hadith in Sahih Al-Bukhāri:"When one of you stands in his prayer, he is in private conversation with his Lord..." [4]

4. [4] Narrated by Al-Bukhāri in the Book of Prayer, Chapter of Directing One's Face toward the Qiblah. Hadith no. 397.

Perhaps this brief commentary is limited to fulfilling this objective; so that a Muslim would bear in mind while offering his prayer that he is standing before his Lord and speaking to Him privately by reciting this great surah.

It is reported that al-Fātihah is called As-Salāh (the prayer), as per the Hadith Qudsi reported by Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, wherein he said:"I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, say:Allah, The Exalted, said: I have divided prayer between Myself and My slave into two halves, and My slave shall have what he asks for. When the slave says: Al-hamdu lillahi rabb al-‘ālameen (All praise is for Allah, Lord of all worlds), Allah says: My slave has praised Me. And when he says: Ar-Rahmān ar-Raheem (the Most Compassionate, Most Merciful), Allah says: My slave has extolled Me. And when he says: Māliki yawm ad-deen (Master of the Day of Judgment), Allah says: My slave has glorified Me - and on one occasion He said: My slave has referred the affairs to Me. And when he says: Iyyāka na‘budu wa iyyāka nasta‘een (You alone we worship and You alone we ask for help), He says: This is between Me and My slave, and My slave shall have what he is asking for. And when he says: Ihdina as-sirāta al- mustaqeem, sirāt alladheena an‘amta ‘alayhim ghayr al-maghdūbi ‘alayhim wa la ad-dālleen (Guide us along the Straight Path, the Path of those You have blessed—not those You are displeased with, or those who are astray), He says: This is for My slave, and My slave shall have what he has asked for.'" [5]

5. [5] Narrated by Muslim, the Book of Prayer, Chapter on the Obligation of reciting al-Fātihah in each rak‘ah, and If he cannot recite it properly or learn it, he may recite what is easy for him, Hadith no. 395.

This gives the impression that reciting al-Fātihah is the most important thing that one should pay attention to in his prayer.When we know that prayer is of such an influence that it deters one from committing immorality and wrongdoing, as stated by the Lord of the Worlds in the following Qur’anic verse:{and establish prayer. Indeed, prayer deters [one] from immorality and wrongdoing} [6]

6. [6] Sūrat Al-‘Ankabūt - part of verse 45.

And since many people do not find that influence in their lives,then this means that they do not perform prayer in the way that achieves its purpose,and that their recitation of al-Fātihah needs a pause of reflection and submissiveness.Sūrat al-Fātihah highlights the right of the Creator and creation, and calls the slave to achieve perfect servitude to Allah Almighty.So, he stands before his Lord in the prayer expressing praise, exaltation and glorification,then he proclaims that his worship is sincerely devoted to Him alone, and asks Him for help,for, indeed, a slave has no ability to do anything and complete it except by Allah's help and granting of success.Since worship is not validly performed except by doing what Allah has ordained and accepted, the slave has to ask his Lord to guide him to the Straight Path,because it is the way to salvation and permanent success. He also asks his Lord to keep him away from the way of those who have incurred His wrath and those who have gone astray and swerved from the straight path by following ignorance and personal inclination.Thus, they deserved Allah's anger and punishment. That is because Allah's right upon the slave is that he worships Him sincerely, and the slave's right upon his Lord is that He helps him, guides him, and keeps him away from the path of error, if the slave fulfills His right of sincere worship.

 Purposes of the Surah

Anyone who contemplates people's conditions will realize that the reason behind their misery lies in their distance from moderation, by adopting either excess and exaggeration or negligence and carelessness.Therefore, Sūrat al-Fātihah sets a moderate approach that secures happiness for humanity and success for the slave in the worldly life and the Hereafter.

The Muslim is commanded to ask his Lord to guide him to the straight path and recite in each rak‘ah of the prayer the verse that reads: {Guide us along the Straight Path}

Then He describes that straight path clearly as He says:{the Path of those You have blessed—not those You are displeased with, or those who are astray}A Muslim does not follow the approach of those who have evoked Allah's anger or that of those who have gone astray, for both approaches revolve around excessiveness and negligence.Instead, he should follow the straight and moderate path of the believers.Being the "Mother of the Book", Sūrat al-Fātihah includes the greatest purposes and glorious meanings of the Qur’an.The main purpose of Sūrat al-Fātihah and the mainstay on which it revolves around is:1. Achieving full devotion to Allah, The Exalted, through showing perfect servitude to Him alone and affirming Allah's deserving of this because lordship exclusively belongs to Him. 2. Acknowledging that divinity is an exclusive right of Him. 3. Asking Him for guidance to the way of those upon whom He bestows His favor, who observe perfect servitude to Him. 4. Disassociation from the path of those whom He is displeased with and those who have gone astray.Commencing the Mighty Book by Sūrat al-Fātihah is proof of its virtue and high status.It also reflects the easiness and simplicity of Islam, and its being understandable to people.Simplicity and easiness are the main features of this surah, despite its briefness and few words.This also indicates that the surahs that will come after it will be easy and understandable to those competent for religious assignments;as the content of this mighty book is evident from its opening chapter (Sūrat al-Fātihah).This signifies that one should start by what is most important before what is less important, and by fundamental issues before sub-issues, and by the main principles of creeds and laws before their details.The legislation has observed this order in prayer, making it obligatory to start the prayer by reciting Sūrat al-Fātihah after Takbeerat al-Ihrām (commencement Takbeer) and before reciting any other surahs.The first halfThe right of Allah AlmightyThe Muslim starts his recitation in the prayer by reciting Allah's statement:{All praise is for Allah—Lord of all worlds}

Praise is to attribute perfection to the praised entity, along with love and glorification. The Arabic definitive article 'al' (the) denotes comprehensiveness. That is, all perfect praises are due to Allah.

The preposition 'l' in Arabic that is equivalent to (for) denotes deserving and exclusiveness. Hence, Allah Almighty deserves perfect praise from all aspects and it is something exclusive to Him. So, absolute praise should be attributed to none but Allah Almighty.That is because Allah alone is the One to Whom belong permanent and enduring attributes of glory and perfection.He alone is praised for the perfection of His Essence, Names, Attributes, and Actions, for His creation and blessings, for His revelation and guidance, and for His decree and fate.For this reason, whenever something pleasant happened to the Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, he would say:"Praise be to Allah, by Whose favor good things are accomplished."But, if something otherwise happened to him, he would say:"Praise be to Allah in all cases." [7]

7. [7] Narrated by Ibn Mājah in the Book of Manners, Chapter on the Virtue of Those Who Praise Allah. Hadith no. 3803. Al-Albāni classified it as Hasan/Sound.

Allah Almighty's statement:{All praise is for Allah—Lord of all worlds} includes declaration of Allah's Oneness with all its kinds.Allah Almighty is exclusively deserving of perfect praise because lordship belongs to Him alone. That Allah Almighty is the Lord of all the worlds is the greatest proof of His divinity, and that He alone deserves that worship be dedicated to Him. It also includes a refutation to those who believe in the Lord, yet worship others along with Him.For, being the Lord of them all, then none other than Him deserves to be worshiped. There is also in this verse a proof that the name "Allah" is the greatest of all His names.Moreover, describing Him of being the Lord of the worlds means that He is the One Who rules over them, brings them up and amends their affairs.We have to believe with certainty that the upbringing that Allah gives to His slaves cannot be paralleled by an upbringing given by any human whosoever. Allah Almighty, by means of His uncountable blessings, brings up His slaves,and by means of the divine decrees to which He subjects them.When the slave accepts this upbringing and is pleased with it,and knows that Allah sends good things along with such divine decrees, the good and bad thereof from where the slave does not expect or realize,he will be pleased with Allah and His decrees, and Allah will be pleased with him, and show him signs of His mercy and gentleness.Then Allah Exalted mentioned after this:{the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful,}given the encouragement and reassurance which those two attributes involve. He stated them explicitlyso as to highlight that among the most significant features of His lordship is His mercy to His slaves, and that His mercy precedes His anger.In fact, the greatest thing by which the slave evokes the mercy of His Lord is to show submissiveness to Him and to display to Him servitude, humility, incompetence, and need to His mercy, along with having good expectations of Allah, the Most Glorious.Therefore, Allah Almighty has mentioned those two names in particular, apart from all His other names, in this great context so as to invite His creation to aspire for His vast mercy.Allah, the Exalted and Almighty, is Ar-Rahmān (The Compassionate) in the worldly life and the Hereafter, and He is Ar-Raheem (The Most Merciful) to His believing salves.According to the aforementioned Hadith of Abu Hurayrah:"And when he says: Ar-Rahmaan Ar-Raheem (the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful,), Allah says: My slave has extolled Me."To extol means to repeat the praise and to mention Allah's beautiful Attributes.{and when he says: Māliki yawm ad-deen (Master of the Day of Judgment), Allah says: My slave has glorified Me."To glorify means to exalt.The Day of Judgment is the Day of Resurrection. It is called as such because people will be called to account on it and be recompensed according to their deeds, being good or evil.This verse also includes affirmation of the Last Day, resurrection after death, and reckoning and recompense.It also highlights the fact that Allah Almighty is the Lord of the worlds in the worldly life and the Hereafter, not in the worldly life only,and that His praise, mercy, and justice entail that He gives recompense to the slaves according to their deeds, and gives everyone his right in full.

Believing in the Day of Judgment fosters reassurance within the soul, because the believer's righteous deeds shall never go in vain, and his efforts shall never go fruitless.

Allah Almighty mentioned His sovereignty on the Day of Judgment in particular, although He is the Sovereign in the worldly life and the Hereafter, because it is the day when there will be no sovereignty for any created being;Allah Almighty says:{The Day all will appear ˹before Allah˺. Nothing about them will be hidden from Allah. To whom belongs ˹all˺ sovereignty this Day? To Allah, the One, the Prevailing.} [8]

8. [8] Sūrat Ghāfir - verse 16.

When the slave remembers that momentous day, he will never be beguiled by any perishable wealth that he or any other person owns.

Between Allah and His slave((The Secret of the Qur’an)){It is You alone we worship and You alone we ask for help.}This great verse is the middle verse in Sūrat al-Fātihah, as previously stated.It is that which is between the slave and his Lord. When the slave recites it in his prayer,Allah says: "This is between Me and My slave, and My slave shall have what he is asking for."Some scholars called it "the Secret of the Qur’an", for it contains reference to the actions of man in terms of the right of the Creator, which is worship, and the right of the created beings, which is seeking help from the Creator.In fact, the whole religion is based upon this verse, and upon it monotheism and servitude are founded. That is because man's life consists of two halves: one half is worship,which is the purpose and aim behind creating mankind, and the other half is reliance and seeking help.Man's life is nothing but worship and seeking help. If he wishes for happiness in the worldly life and the Hereafter, and gives precedence to Allah's right of worship, Allah will give him his right of help and will facilitate for him the easy way and guide him to the straight path.So, rest assured that the more you are sincere to Allah, and the more you are a devout worshiper of Him, the more He grants you help, success, and guidance.The second person pronoun "you" is repeated in Allah's statement:{It is You alone we worship and You alone we ask for help}so as to highlight what is entailed by the statement, and to denote restriction of the meaning, and to evoke its importance. All this implies that it is obligatory to devote worship sincerely to Allah Almighty and seek His help alone.For one to be sincere in seeking Allah's help, he must have two great principles combined in his heart: trust in Allah and reliance upon him.Whoever has his heart attached to Allah, trusts His Ability and Mercy, and relies upon Him, He will Help him and fulfill his need.Dear reader, be certain that in order to achieve your purpose and aim, there is no other way than seeking help from Allah. So, keep your heart attached to Him,be reassured by His Decree in all matters, whether small or great, and beware not to let your heart be inclined to other than Him.And, in your pursuit of lawful means, you should consider them to be of no effect in and off themselves. [9]

So, rest assured that the more you are sincere to Allah, and the more you are a devout worshiper of Him, the more He grants you help, success, and guidance.

The second person pronoun "you" is repeated in Allah's statement:

{It is You alone we worship and You alone we ask for help}

so as to highlight what is entailed by the statement, and to denote restriction of the meaning, and to evoke its importance. All this implies that it is obligatory to devote worship sincerely to Allah Almighty and seek His help alone.

For one to be sincere in seeking Allah's help, he must have two great principles combined in his heart: trust in Allah and reliance upon him.

Whoever has his heart attached to Allah, trusts His Ability and Mercy, and relies upon Him, He will Help him and fulfill his need.

Dear reader, be certain that in order to achieve your purpose and aim, there is no other way than seeking help from Allah. So, keep your heart attached to Him,

be reassured by His Decree in all matters, whether small or great, and beware not to let your heart be inclined to other than Him.

And, in your pursuit of lawful means, you should consider them to be of no effect in and off themselves. [9]

9. [9] like someone who fastens the safety belt around himself while on board a plane controlled by a clever pilot, and for Allah belongs the best example. Hence, a Muslim is required to pursue means while being sure that nothing of these lawful means can bring to him benefit or avert harm from him except by Allah's Decree and Will.

This is the hard pillar of faith: that you pursue the means while losing hope in them but instead, you pin all your hope on the One Who causes them, may He be exalted.

The style in which the verse is introduced:{It is You alone we worship and You alone we ask for help.} implies restriction. So, the meaning is: we restrict obedience and worship to You alone, and dedicate nothing thereof to anyone other than You.This implies that it is mandatory to dedicate worship sincerely to Allah alone, and that lacking this condition renders worship invalid.Whoever understands the meaning of {It is You alone we worship and You alone we ask for help} can never dedicate any sort of worship to other than Allah Almighty.Thus, when a Muslim recites {It is You alone we worship}, should consider treating ostentation, since this statement involves a reminder of the status of sincerity.And when he recites {It is You alone we ask for help}, should consider treating arrogance,as this statement involves a reminder of the slave's need to his Lord.Also, Allah Almighty says:{It is You alone we worship and You alone we ask for help}using the first person plural pronoun 'we', so as to remind people that this upright religion of Islam constitutes a strong bond between the Muslimsregardless of their races and languages, and regardless of the distance between their countries and lands,and that a Muslim is strong when he is among his brothers and with them in the same row.My dear Muslim brother and sister, worship truly purifies the human soul and purges it from the impurities of the worldly life that might affect it.Unless this happens, the purpose of worship is not achieved. If the soul attains purity and sublimity, it will overflow with goodness, giving, and sacrifice in favor of those around it. This is the social impact of worship.But, if this is not achieved, the Muslim is required to reconsider his state and look for the point of deficiency in his worship.One of the most dangerous matters that have afflicted the Muslim ummah is separation between creed and worship on one hand,and between worship and its impacts on the individual and society on the other hand. As a result, worship has turned into a mere habit for many people, with its social and educative implications unfulfilled.The second half((The Right of the Salve))In this situation, the slave starts to implore his Lord, the Compassionate, the Most Merciful. So, he recites Allah's statement:{Guide us to the Straight Path,}while heedful that the greatest thing a slave asks his Lord for is to guide him to the straight path and grant him success to adhere to that path.This is the eternal success in the worldly life and the Hereafter. Verily, guidance is the noblest thing one can ask for, and attaining it is the most sublime grant.The words {Guide us} in Sūrat al-Fātihah is proof that the Book of Allah Almighty is a book of guidance, as further asserted in the statement of Allah, the Exalted:{Surely this Quran guides to what is most upright...}Whoever asks for guidance through the Qur’an, Allah Almighty will guide him, and whoever looks for guidance, he should adhere to the Qur’an.Guidance is of two types: guidance of granting success and inspiration, and guidance of directing and instruction.Anyone who recites Al-Fātihah sincerely, he, in fact, asks Allah to guide him to the straight path, make it clear to him, lead him to know it, and help him to abide by it and be steadfast on it.Using the plural pronoun 'us' in {Guide us to the Straight Path} highlights the believer's keenness on supplicating Allah, and a sign of the Muslim's care for himself, his brethren, family, relatives and all Muslims by including them in his supplication.

{It is You alone we worship and You alone we ask for help.} implies restriction. So, the meaning is: we restrict obedience and worship to You alone, and dedicate nothing thereof to anyone other than You.

This implies that it is mandatory to dedicate worship sincerely to Allah alone, and that lacking this condition renders worship invalid.

Whoever understands the meaning of {It is You alone we worship and You alone we ask for help} can never dedicate any sort of worship to other than Allah Almighty.

Thus, when a Muslim recites {It is You alone we worship}, should consider treating ostentation, since this statement involves a reminder of the status of sincerity.

And when he recites {It is You alone we ask for help}, should consider treating arrogance,

as this statement involves a reminder of the slave's need to his Lord.

Also, Allah Almighty says:

{It is You alone we worship and You alone we ask for help}

using the first person plural pronoun 'we', so as to remind people that this upright religion of Islam constitutes a strong bond between the Muslims

regardless of their races and languages, and regardless of the distance between their countries and lands,

and that a Muslim is strong when he is among his brothers and with them in the same row.

My dear Muslim brother and sister, worship truly purifies the human soul and purges it from the impurities of the worldly life that might affect it.

Unless this happens, the purpose of worship is not achieved. If the soul attains purity and sublimity, it will overflow with goodness, giving, and sacrifice in favor of those around it. This is the social impact of worship.

But, if this is not achieved, the Muslim is required to reconsider his state and look for the point of deficiency in his worship.

One of the most dangerous matters that have afflicted the Muslim ummah is separation between creed and worship on one hand,

and between worship and its impacts on the individual and society on the other hand. As a result, worship has turned into a mere habit for many people, with its social and educative implications unfulfilled.

 The second half

 ((The Right of the Salve))

In this situation, the slave starts to implore his Lord, the Compassionate, the Most Merciful. So, he recites Allah's statement:

{Guide us to the Straight Path,}

while heedful that the greatest thing a slave asks his Lord for is to guide him to the straight path and grant him success to adhere to that path.

This is the eternal success in the worldly life and the Hereafter. Verily, guidance is the noblest thing one can ask for, and attaining it is the most sublime grant.

The words {Guide us} in Sūrat al-Fātihah is proof that the Book of Allah Almighty is a book of guidance, as further asserted in the statement of Allah, the Exalted:

{Surely this Quran guides to what is most upright...}

Whoever asks for guidance through the Qur’an, Allah Almighty will guide him, and whoever looks for guidance, he should adhere to the Qur’an.

Guidance is of two types: guidance of granting success and inspiration, and guidance of directing and instruction.

Anyone who recites Al-Fātihah sincerely, he, in fact, asks Allah to guide him to the straight path, make it clear to him, lead him to know it, and help him to abide by it and be steadfast on it.

Using the plural pronoun 'us' in {Guide us to the Straight Path} highlights the believer's keenness on supplicating Allah, and a sign of the Muslim's care for himself, his brethren, family, relatives and all Muslims by including them in his supplication.

The fruit of being guided to the straight path is for the slave to do whatever is required from him at all times, be it knowledge or action, and avoid what is prohibited.

The obligation of asking Allah for guidance seventeen times every day and night is an indication of the importance of asking Allah for guidance,and that he resorts to Him, may He be Exalted, and prostrates himself to Him with his face stuck to the ground, perchance Allah would accept him among those whom He has accepted, and guide him to the straight path among those whom He has guided.The Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, used to supplicate Allah Almighty by saying:"O Allah, guide us to the truth concerning that over which there was disagreement, by Your Permission; indeed, You guide whom You will to a straight path."The word "path" was mentioned in the singular form in the verse because it is a single specific one which Allah has shown to those whom He has blessed and made it a way leading to His pleasure and Paradise.That way is His religion, other than which there is no religion. As for the paths of the people He is displeased with or who went astray, they are many.This is shown in Allah's statement:{Indeed, that is My Path—perfectly straight. So follow it and do not follow other ways, for they will lead you away from His Way.}Also, Allah Almighty says:{the Path of those You have blessed—not those You are displeased with, or those who are astray.}This verse includes a description of the straight path and a detailed speech after a generalization.

and that he resorts to Him, may He be Exalted, and prostrates himself to Him with his face stuck to the ground, perchance Allah would accept him among those whom He has accepted, and guide him to the straight path among those whom He has guided.

The Messenger of Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, used to supplicate Allah Almighty by saying:

"O Allah, guide us to the truth concerning that over which there was disagreement, by Your Permission; indeed, You guide whom You will to a straight path."

The word "path" was mentioned in the singular form in the verse because it is a single specific one which Allah has shown to those whom He has blessed and made it a way leading to His pleasure and Paradise.

That way is His religion, other than which there is no religion. As for the paths of the people He is displeased with or who went astray, they are many.

This is shown in Allah's statement:

{Indeed, that is My Path—perfectly straight. So follow it and do not follow other ways, for they will lead you away from His Way.}

Also, Allah Almighty says:

{the Path of those You have blessed—not those You are displeased with, or those who are astray.}

This verse includes a description of the straight path and a detailed speech after a generalization.

In the verse, Allah, the Exalted, classified people into three categories: those who are blessed, those whom He is displeased with, and those who are astray.

This classification is based upon knowledge and deeds: those who are blessed are those whom Allah granted the blessing of faith and guidance, success and steadfastness on Allah's religion and acting upon it.They had knowledge and acted upon it. Thus, they are blessed with knowledge and with acting upon that knowledge.As for those whom Allah is displeased with, they are the people who knew the truth but failed to act upon it and rejected it. So, Allah is displeased with them.They are the Jews and all who adopt their methodology and follow their way.Those who are astray are those who have no knowledge, and their deeds are not based on knowledge. So, they worship Allah upon ignorance.They are the Christians as well as all those who follow the same way.Allah's statement: {those You have blessed} implies belief in the Divine Decree, because man believes that all blessings are from Allah Almighty and He alone owns them,and that guidance and success are in the Hand of Allah alone.In the explanation of this verse, it is stated that the reason behind deviation from the straight path and falling in the snare of desires and misconceptions is either ignorance or pride and personal inclination.Therefore, ignorance and personal inclination are among the most important matters which a believer needs that Allah saves him from.Even one might have the desire to do good, yet he is ignorant of the lawful means to achieve it, so he uses unlawful means.Or one might have knowledge, yet he lacks the resolve that urges him to act upon such knowledge. Or he might be overcome by his personal inclination, so he leaves an obligation or commits a prohibition deliberately, while being aware of the relevant ruling, due to the weakness of his faith, dominance of desires, and rushing of worldly enjoyment.Definitely, the whole success can be achieved if Allah saves one from pride and ignorance so that he becomes from the people of the straight path.Allah Almighty mentioned those who have incurred His displeasure before those who are straying in His statement:{not those You are displeased with, or those who are astray}because the time of those who incurred His displeasure, i.e. the Jews, preceded the time of those who were astray, i.e. the Christians,and also because their affair is more serious and their sin is graver. That is because when man's straying is caused by ignorance, such ignorance could be removed by knowledge.But if it is caused by personal inclination and pride, he could hardly give up his straying. Hence, a severe threat is addressed to those who fail to act upon their knowledge.The verse also includes a warning to Muslim scholars and worshipers against resembling the Jews and Christians in terms of following personal inclination and ignorance, so as not to face the same recompense as theirs.Sufyān ibn ‘Uyaynah said:"Those who are corrupt from among our scholars are similar to the Jews, and those who are corrupt from among our worshipers are similar to the Christians." [10]

They had knowledge and acted upon it. Thus, they are blessed with knowledge and with acting upon that knowledge.

As for those whom Allah is displeased with, they are the people who knew the truth but failed to act upon it and rejected it. So, Allah is displeased with them.

They are the Jews and all who adopt their methodology and follow their way.

Those who are astray are those who have no knowledge, and their deeds are not based on knowledge. So, they worship Allah upon ignorance.

They are the Christians as well as all those who follow the same way.

Allah's statement: {those You have blessed} implies belief in the Divine Decree, because man believes that all blessings are from Allah Almighty and He alone owns them,

and that guidance and success are in the Hand of Allah alone.

In the explanation of this verse, it is stated that the reason behind deviation from the straight path and falling in the snare of desires and misconceptions is either ignorance or pride and personal inclination.

Therefore, ignorance and personal inclination are among the most important matters which a believer needs that Allah saves him from.

Even one might have the desire to do good, yet he is ignorant of the lawful means to achieve it, so he uses unlawful means.

Or one might have knowledge, yet he lacks the resolve that urges him to act upon such knowledge. Or he might be overcome by his personal inclination, so he leaves an obligation or commits a prohibition deliberately, while being aware of the relevant ruling, due to the weakness of his faith, dominance of desires, and rushing of worldly enjoyment.

Definitely, the whole success can be achieved if Allah saves one from pride and ignorance so that he becomes from the people of the straight path.

Allah Almighty mentioned those who have incurred His displeasure before those who are straying in His statement:

{not those You are displeased with, or those who are astray}

because the time of those who incurred His displeasure, i.e. the Jews, preceded the time of those who were astray, i.e. the Christians,

and also because their affair is more serious and their sin is graver. That is because when man's straying is caused by ignorance, such ignorance could be removed by knowledge.

But if it is caused by personal inclination and pride, he could hardly give up his straying. Hence, a severe threat is addressed to those who fail to act upon their knowledge.

The verse also includes a warning to Muslim scholars and worshipers against resembling the Jews and Christians in terms of following personal inclination and ignorance, so as not to face the same recompense as theirs.

Sufyān ibn ‘Uyaynah said:

"Those who are corrupt from among our scholars are similar to the Jews, and those who are corrupt from among our worshipers are similar to the Christians." [10]

10. [10] Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah reported this tradition on the authority of Sufyān in his book Iqtidā’ As-Sirāt Al-Mustaqeem (1/68)

It also implies that Islam is Allah's religion that guides to the straight path.Hence, any religion other than what Muhammad, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, came with is a false religion that does not guide its followers to the straight path.

Hence, any religion other than what Muhammad, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, came with is a false religion that does not guide its followers to the straight path.

 The praying person's saying: "Āmeen"

In both obligatory and voluntary prayers, it is prescribed for the praying person to say: "Āmeen" after saying: {or those who are astray}. This applies whether the person is praying individually or as an imam or praying behind an imam, and whether the person is a man or a woman.It is recommended for men to say it loudly. Women, however, should say it inaudibly.According to most of the scholars, the word Āmeen means: O Allah, answer our supplication.The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said about the virtue of saying "Āmeen":"When the imam says: {not those who You are displeased with, or those who are astray} say: "Āmeen", for when one of you says: "Āmeen" and it coincides with the saying of "Āmeen" by angels, all his previous sins will be forgiven." [11]

It is recommended for men to say it loudly. Women, however, should say it inaudibly.

According to most of the scholars, the word Āmeen means: O Allah, answer our supplication.

The Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said about the virtue of saying "Āmeen":

"When the imam says: {not those who You are displeased with, or those who are astray} say: "Āmeen", for when one of you says: "Āmeen" and it coincides with the saying of "Āmeen" by angels, all his previous sins will be forgiven." [11]

11. [11] Narrated by Al-Bukhāri in the Book of Exegesis. Hadith no. 4205.

ConclusionWe ask Allah to make us of those whom He guided to the straight path, and make us act according to His upright Shariah.We ask Him to make us firm on doing that, and keep us away from the path of those whom He is displeased with and those who are astray.And to make us of those who ponder on His Book, and act according to it, and those who follow the sunnah of our Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, and upon his family, and all Companions, as well as those who follow them till the Day of Judgment.

We ask Allah to make us of those whom He guided to the straight path, and make us act according to His upright Shariah.

We ask Him to make us firm on doing that, and keep us away from the path of those whom He is displeased with and those who are astray.

And to make us of those who ponder on His Book, and act according to it, and those who follow the sunnah of our Prophet, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, and upon his family, and all Companions, as well as those who follow them till the Day of Judgment.

 Bibliography

I have collected the material written in these papers from the statements of the people of knowledge. I attribute all favor to Allah alone, then to those prominent scholars who lit the way by their books and compilations. May Allah reward them!

Tadabbur Sūrat al-Fātihah/ Prof. D. Nāsir Al-‘Umar/First edition 1437 AH.

Tafseer Sūrat al-Fātihah. Prepared by the Academic section at Ad-Durar As-Saniyyah Foundation, under supervision of Shaykh ‘Alawi ibn ‘Abdul Qādir as-Saqqāf. Ad-Durar As-Saniyyah Institution for Publication. Dhahran, KSA/ First Edition 1437 AH.

Tayseer Al-Kareem Ar-Rahmān fi Tafseer Kalām Al-Mannān. Author: ‘Abdur-Rahmān ibn Nāsir ibn ‘Abdullah As-Sa‘di (d. 1376 AH). Publisher: Ar-Risālah Foundation. First Edition 1420 AH - 2000 AD.

Rūh Al-Ma‘āni fi Tafseer Al-Quran Al-‘Azheem was-Sab‘ Al-Mathāni/ Author: Shihāb Ad-Deen Mahmūd ibn ‘Abdullah Al-Husayni Al-Alūsi (d. 1270 AH) Publisher: Dār Al-Kutub Al-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut. First Edition, 1415 AH.

Al-Mawsū‘ah Al-Iliktrūniyyah Ash-Shāmilah lil Qurān Al-Kareem (Comprehensive Online Encyclopedia of the Noble Quran). http://mosshaf.com

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