Ramadan reflections: A mine of wisdom lies within the opener of Holy Quran

The fact that Surah Fatiha is is recited every time in each Rakat makes it more important

By Aftab H. Kola

Published: Sun 24 Apr 2022, 9:00 PM

Last updated: Sun 24 Apr 2022, 9:07 PM

Surah Fatiha, which comprises seven verses, is the first chapter of the Holy Quran and thus its gateway. The fact that it is recited every time in each Rakat (unit/cycle of prayer) makes it more important. This Surah has been referred to in the Quranic verse: “We have given you (Muhammed) the seven oft-repeated verses and the great Quran.” (15:87).

Surah Fatiha was revealed in the very early part of the Makkan period. Al Fatiha, from the same root, means ‘The Opener’. The title of the chapter signifies its importance as well as its purpose and serves as an apt preamble to the Islamic scripture. The first half relates to Allah, the second pertains to man, and the different parts of each portion correspond to one another in a beautiful manner.

Corresponding to the name ‘Allah’ which stands for the being possessing all noble attributes in the first half, we have the words “Thee alone do we worship” in the second half. It talks about the straight path that leads us to Jannah. It clearly spells out that no one deserves to be worshipped except Allah. To obey none but Him in any absolute sense, love no one more than Him and pray to no one except Him. Known by several names, the surah is Fatihatul-Kitab (the opening chapter of the book) and Ummul-Kitab (the essence of the book). Allah replies to each of the seven verses whenever they are recited. It is part of the supplication that we make. One of the special elements of the prayer contained in this Surah is that it calls to the inner instincts of man in a perfectly natural manner.

In a nutshell, it is a short chapter of seven brief verses, but it is a veritable mine of knowledge and wisdom. Al Fatiha is a supplication that should be made with our hearts and souls. Surah Al Fatiha is our gateway to the realm of divine guidance, while the rest of the Holy Quran gives us the roadmap to that journey. Its reading, study, memorisation and vocalisation are mandatory for every Muslim.

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