In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
Hamd (Most thanks) to Allah; the Rabb of all all worlds, confirms the name Rabb with revelations sent to mankind and educate them as a sign of lordships compassion and kindness.
Salat (Most sincere greetings) to our beloved Rasul (Prophet), the foremost teacher of revelation, he who declared and explained that words to mankind with its original; without corrupting, changing, adding or subtracting.
And Selâm (Greetings) to all precious Mumins (True Believers), who try to live that revelations, try to change their living styles to its instructions for a better life order. May that be bless. May that be salvation.
Today in our first lesson of Qur’an; we will study the Tafsir (Detailed translation) of Al-Fatihah. Before we begin however; I’d like to start with the translation of “Euzu-Besmele”, which without a doubt the beginning of every sura (parts of Qur’an) also the first words we have to say when we start reading the Qur’an.
First, I will pause on the meaning of “Euzubillahimines sheytanirraciym”
I seek refuge in Allah, from the raciym (stoned as in rejected) Satan as “Euzubillahiminessheytanirraciym” is also an order of Qur’an to us in the sura of NAHL.
With ayet(verse) (An-Nahl/98); “Fe iza kara’tel kur’ane festeiz billahi minesh sheytanir raciym.” An order is set by Qur’an; whenever you begin to read Qur’an, seek refuge in Allah from the stoned (accursed and rejected) Satan.
Again in another verse-kareem, a command is given; Ve imma yenzeganneke minesh sheytani nezgun feste’iz Billah.(Al-A’raf/200). If Satan gives you temptation, blow to your heart, cloud your mind; seek refuge in Allah. Command as; “From all temptations he give you, all blurriness he throw to your heart and shadows he brings to your mind; seek refuge in Allah.”.
Of course, even those addressings are for Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) in person, they are generally for all of us. Because none of us, our hearts and minds, are immune to Satan’s temptations, tricks, blows and shadows.
At this point, I would like to stay on the mood, which tries to be awakened by the sentence of “euzubillahimines sheytanirraciym.” The saying of “I seek refuge in Allah from the rejected Satan’s temptations and evil.”.
Refuge: An operation of taking sanctuary, a wake up call for soul. A construction of mind, so to speak. Refuge is ordered to accomplish an awakening in mind. But why “awakening”? Because it isn’t necessary for us to connect with Allah’s words with absency.It is wanted from human to listen with care and make those connections; not like a cow or a bird or a fly or a worm; but as intelligent and savvy beings blessed with the gift of wisdom by Allah.
That’s why the words “euzubillahimines sheytanirraciym” are representing an awakening operation call of preparation for revelations. This state of mind requires to completely surrender to Allah and close our hearts and minds to any kinds of forbidden emotions and thoughts. So, in this position; a human who says to words, “euzubillahimines sheytanirraciym” also says, “I surrender to the refreshing breath of revelations.”. Because Allah words demand a ready mind, a ready human being, a ready consciousness and a ready heart in their presence, which is also possible to see in Qur’an.
in huve illa zikrun ve kur’anun mubin Liyunzira men kane hayyen.. (Ya-sin/69-70) It is a reminder. A reminder of the essence in human, reminder of its creation, reminder of its nature and it is a kareem Qur’an. Also the following verse indicates;
Liyunzire men kane hayy.. (Ya-sin 69-70) The sending of Qur’an is for warning the vigorous ones. So Allah doesn’t want to see dead souls in presense of The Words, The Revelations. Doesn’t want dead bodies or absent minds.
The word vigorous means-which you already figured out- is not about a physical vigor, but a mentally, heartly one. That’s why “Liyunzire men kane hayy..” To warn the vigorous people. For this reason Qur’an wants vigorous souls, hearts anda minds in its presence.
Also in another kareem verse; ustecibu lillahi ve lir rasuli iza deakum lima yuhyikum. (Al-Anfal/24). Give your response to Allah and Ras’ul invitation (calling). Calling of what? Calling of Awakening. When you are called, give your response and say yes. In that meaning Allah’s call, Ra’sul’s call is an awakening call.
So for whom is this resurrecting call? Surely for the ones who maintain their hearts and minds with vigor. This resurrection is a call of eternalize. A call of immortalize. Therefore Refuge; “euzubillahimines sheytanirraciym” is a key of resurrection. And with using these words, you mean;
“My Allah, I’m calling “lebbeyk” (welcome) to your callings with an open heart, open mind, open conciousness. Welcome to my heart, O Rab; with your words. Let your sayings stay in me. Your holy words in me. And I’m announcing that I’m at your disposal, with this state of being.”
Refuge, is not expressing something, it’s about forming an attitude. Therefore in the first example verse we read;
“Fe iza kara’tel kur’ane festeiz billahi minesh sheytanir raciym.” (An-Nahl/98)
This meaning of verse is expained. When you start to read The Qur’an; Seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. Not “Say I seek refuge.”; “Take refuge” as an act. It’s not an order of verbally performing an expression. It is an order of an action. To make what? The action of refuge… With what? With conciousness… For what? Because Qur’an want vigorous people in its presence. Refuge…
“Euzubillahimines sheytanirraciym” was a sentence said by Ras’ul (P.B.U.H), when he was beginning to read the Qur’an or performing the sal’at(pray). Not only the words he said, also the action he took. An action of heart. A reconstruction of mind. Now after the refuge action, we can move on to “Besmele.”
1 – “Bismillahirrahmanirrahim”
By the one who is denoted by the name Allah (who created my being with His Names in accord with the meaning of the letter ‘B’), the Rahman, the Rahim. (A.Hulusi)
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
Bismillahirrahmanirrahim. If Qur’an is a mansion, then we can say the Al-Fatihah is the door, the portal of this magnificent building. Doors of houses, villas, mansions are like the faces of humans. You can read all the expressions of attitudes, fears, griefs, pains and agonies by looking a mans face. So just like this, you can understand the nature of the mansion by looking to its door. Therefore you can understand the characteristics of Qur’an, by looking at Al-Fatihah.
If Al-Fatihah is the door of Qur’an, then “Besmele” is the key of this door. You can open this door with the key of “Bismillahirrahmanirrahim”. Now I’d like to stay on the meaning of besmele, “In the name of Allah; Rahman (Most Gracious), and Rahim. (Most Merciful)
The sole meaning of besmele, as we all know it; “In the name of Allah; Most Gracious and Most Merciful. The letter “B” at the beginning is a joinder in Arabic language. That means connecting one thing to another, building bridges between two things, providing a communication between two beings. Those are the meanings of the letter “B”, at the beginning of “Besmele”.
So, what do besmele bind; and to what? What is this joinder for? That’s the secret of besmele all together. The sole wisdom of besmele is given to that letter of “B”. Because besmele is the bridge connecting life to Allah. It is the bond connecting materials to holiness. Besmele is the cable, binding the heart to its Lord. A bond between earth and heaven, temporary and eternity, created and creator.
With this meaning, besmele is a philosopy of life. The man with “Besmele” is the man with “Allah”. Our Ras’ul had pronounced the besmele as a start of any kind of works and he recommended us too. Why? Because it is a philosopy of life. The business you start with besmele, is a business you entrust to Allah.
With the pronounciation of besmele when you start to something, you also say two things as well.
1 – I’m doing this with Allah. I’m not thinking of acting without Allah. I’m blending my Lord to my doings.
2 – I’m doing this work thanks to Allah; thanks to the power I took from Allah, the intellect, the blessing, the body lord has given me. I couldn’t have done anything, without the things, Allah has blessed me with; things like hands, feet, eyes, ears, tongue, lips, mind, stuff, money whatever he blessed me with to make this action succeed. Therefore, besmele is also a thank you declaration. A thanks; to Allah.
With another meaning besmele is also; “O Grace! I’m asking for your help.” Pray. “My Rab, I’m doing this and I’m telling you also. For hopes that you come to my help, reach me and bless this thing with your intervention.”
As you can see, how besmele is a point of view, a life philosopy. Which also means besmele refuses secularism. Meaning there isn’t any job that Allah won’t interfere. So; you cannot commit a sin with besmele. Why? Because you cannot start an act, Allah don’t approve; with any kind of blessing.
The following letters “ism” after the first letter “B” in “Bismillahirrahmanirrahim” points out two possible aspects. In one view, sumu as greatness. The other opinion is about the word root of vesm which means sign. These two different opinions are also the comments of two different movement of thoughts. But I digress and summarize both meanings. If it is the root of sumu, it points out the greatness, the high position of all things and everything that has its names. Means glory. Glory of being existed. Glory against oblivion.
If it comes from the root word of vesm; it means sign. A name of a thing is a sign of its existence.It is a proof. Name of a thing is a documented proof of its essence.
The name of Allah, is a unique name. I’d like to explain the word “Allah” in Besmele, (as well as in Al-Fatihah) now. So, I won’t have to tafsir it in Fatihah altogether again. I have to slow down a little and think about the word “Allah”.
The unique name of “Allah”, is also the most mentioned name in Quran Kareem, with the count of more than 2000 times. And this name, because of its unique nature, act as an establisher when all the other names act as its adjectives. You can say Allah-u Kerimun, Allah-u Halikun, Allah-u Azizun, Allah-u Alimun. That means you can use other names of Allah as an adjective to this one unique name. Therefore there is only one name of Allah. And no being can use that holy name as his own. It’s not derived. Although there are other opinions tell us otherwise, common knowledge indicates that there is not a word root to that particular name.
Hence there is no plural form either. You cannot say “Allahs”. The person who use that expression, only shows his ignorance. Also, there is no word as a replacement for “Allah”. No name can hold the meaning of it. For example; God, Ilah; those words are not capable of defining Allah. But you can use other names of Allah as a pointer as well as the adjectives.
Er Rahman. The name Rahman has the effect of unchanged in Arabic language. It points out the essence root of something. It is an answer to the question of “Who”. So if you ask “Who is Allah?”, then the supreme being defines and introduce himself as Rahman. Because of that, the name Rahman is also unique to Allah. You cannot give anyone or anything this name. The scholars and interpreters confirms that Rahman is unique as a name, yet common as a verb. Meaning, Er Rahman is unique to Allah, but also the reflection contains all universe. Allah gives blessings to universe with the reflection of the name Rahman. (Most Gracious)
There aren’t only true believers in the extent of the name Rahman, also the heretics. Not only living beings, also the unliving things. Not only conscious beings, also the unconscious as well. The name Rahman holds skies, gives lives to animals, trees, plants; basically holds together all creations and worlds. That’s the reflection of the name Al-Rahman.
The name Rahim (Most Merciful) is a verbal name with the nature of its word. With exaggeration, it reveals the verbal meaning of Allah. Rahman expresses the being itself as a whole. You can answer the question of “My Allah, Who are you?” with the name “Al-Rahman”.
So what question holds the answer “Al-Rahim”? That question is; “O My Allah, How do you accomplish your doings?” “With Rahim. With Mercy. I’m Merciful, I’m compessionate and caring. I love and I do what I do with mercy.” That’s why Al-Rahim is a verb. The name Rahman is uniquely personal. An adjective only to its nature. But Rahim is concerned with the actions of Allah. It means what Allah do, Allah do with mercy. So we can put it like this. Allah is Most Gracious with the essence and Most Merciful with the actions.
We can translate besmele with this meaning. “In the name of Allah, who treats all creations with mercy by the feature of the name Rahman. To be able to translate in total; we can also say; “In the name of Allah, whose treatments and actions are forms of mercy for all creations by the feature and characteristics of the name Rahman.
I don’t want to argue the fact that besmele is a verse in Al- Fatihah as a decree or not. This particular subject had debated long before us. But the fact that besmele is a verse in Qur’an, is an absolute truth that no one can claim otherwise.
As we all know, Besmele is a verse in the sura of Naml.
“Innehu min suleymane ve innehu bismillahirrahmanirrahiym.” (An-Naml/30)
According to the information the Qur’an has given us, the letter sent to the queen of Sheba, Balquis written by Solomon (p.b.u.), besmele was the first sentence. From that information, we understand that besmele is not an expression ,not a keyphrase performed by only the community of Muhammad (p.b.u.). It is a keyphrase performed by all Islamic prophets before him as well. Another verse in Qur’an verifies our judgement also.
..bismillahi mecraha ve mursaha .. (Hud/41) It is an expression used by Noah and his believers when they boarded the ship and when the ships first movements happened. bismillahi mecraha ve mursaha. First words of Noah and his believers; when the journey of Flood finally arrived. We can easily understand that besmele had used by all Islamic prophets as a keyphrase throughout the human history.
What does that explain us? It explain this. One of the constant values of Islam; (which happens to be the other name of constant values of universe) is the perspective of besmele. It means Allah,
1 – Manifests in all business related to a person.
2 – If a man wants the help of Allah, than he has to start with Allah.
3 – Man should have to remember his debt and be thankful to Allah with all the things he has done. This is a constant indicator of real humanity and one of its constant values.
There is no hesitation in whether besmele is a verse or not. That’s a fact. Yet “Is it a must beginning verse of all suras(chapters)?” question has been asked and different answers came forward. I have the opinion of quotation. As in, Besmele is a quote verse, which can be used as a marker, a checkpoint between suras. I also think that the first verse in Fatihah has that feature as well. Since the first verse sent down to Ras’ul, began with the order of besmele.
“Ikra’ bismi rabbikelleziy halak.” (Al-Alaq/1) “Read” with the name of your Rab who created. That indicates first verse ordered him to start with besmele. It’s not a beginning expression, it is a direct order of besmele. This was the reason why, Ras’ul began to read Qur’an with besmele as an act of obedience. Therefore I too believe that Besmele should be used as a starting quote for all suras, to uphold the order of Allah, like the mentioned verse in sura Al-Naml.
Now we can pass to Al-Fatihah. Fatihah means opening. Mother of books as a different translation. Why mother of books? Because just like the besmele, Fatihah has the essence of Islam as a constant value as well. Al Fatihah is a part of revelations contains universal values.
According to hadith (sayings and deeds of Muhammad (p.b.u) Fatihah didn’t just send for this community. It was also sent to communities before with the books .With meanings and reflections as a sequence of virtues . Because of that, like besmele, Al-Fatihah contains constant values of Islam unbound by time and space.
“Ikra’ bismi rabbikelleziy halak” (Al-Alaq/1)
And the following of four verse. The first five verses in total. But not a complete sura of Al-Alaq. Other verses of this sura delivered by pieces later. But the first complete sura is Al-Fatihah. With that meaning it is the opening, the mother of books.
It is a proof that every salat (pray) has Fatihah inside. Because from the first year, us, true believers have made prays with Fatihah. Also we know from the words of our Prophet;
“la salate limen lem yekra’ bi fatihatil kitabi” This or some other forms of the same saying; “No pray without Fatihah, is a pray.” As expressed in hadith, from the first moment, true believers both prayed and read fatihah in their prays. That indicates the fact Al Fatihah delivered in Mecca, not in Madina (like according to some scholars). Even the early stages of Islam in Mecca.
2 – “El hamdu lillahi rabbil alemin”
Hamd (the evaluation of the corporeal worlds created with His Names, as He wills) belongs to Allah, the Rabb (the absolute source of the infinite meanings of the Names) of the worlds (the universe created within the brain of every individual) (A.Hulusi)
Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds
El hamdu lillahi rabbil alemin Hamd to Allah, Rab of all worlds. We encounter the phrase “El ham du” 38 times in Qur’an in this exact from. El ham du… They all have the same meaning. This word has no other meaning anywhere in Qur’an. For this reason it is an absolute word. Doesn’t have a second meaning and it is the reference of perfection. That means to give something the concept of perfection. The perfect praise, the perfect love, the perfect deification… For whom? For Allah.
It means this. Perfection can’t be owned by anyone but Allah. For all the beauty we know and recognize; we can attribute its perfection to Allah. That is the meaning of this word.
The “el” is for assignment. All praises, loves, glories and perfections are for and from “Lillahil” Allah. I’m moving on the explanation of Allah, since we already processed it when we were making the tavsir of Besmele.
Rabbil alemin Allah in what form and how? This is the question we should ask first. For answer in Qur’an says “Allah; Rab of All worlds (kingdoms, universe). So it is a spesific choice. Being the Rab of the worlds, it is a qualification we need to hear at the beginning by the wish of Allah. We asked before; “Who are you, Allah?” The answer came, “I’m Rahman (Most Gracious) and for this I act with mercy.” “Bismillahirrahmanirrahim.” We learned it just a while ago.
So why different now? “Because I’m Rahman, I act with mercy and educade the worlds. And for the conclusion of this education I sent revelations. I addressed people. I gave my words to them.” For that we replies, elhamdulillahi rabbil alemin, Hamd to Allah, Rab of all worlds. Hamd to Allah; edificator, teacher of all worlds.
Actually this is also the answer of the question, “O Allah, Why are you Rahman and Rahim?” or “O Allah, what are the signs of your being Most Gracious and Most Merciful?” “If you want to see my grace, to see my compassion and mercy to you; then look; I’m addressing to you. I’m sending you salvation. I’m sending you guidence, the prophets, the books. Those are for your education. I’m with you. I’m not leaving you alone. I’m not leaving you adrift.” Those are the meanings in Qur’an.
Evla leke feevla. Woe to thee, (O men!), yea, woe!
Summe evlaleke feevla. Again, woe to thee, (O men!), yea, woe!
Eyahsebul’insanu en yutreke suden. Does man think that he will be left uncontrolled, (without purpose)? (Al-Qiyamah/34-35-36)
The Rab has this meaning. It denies the opposite view of left being uncontrolled.
Rab has a lot of meanings. For starters; educator, mentor who raises someones potantial step by step, a helper who enables a man to reach his highest level of maturity. A creator, and a higher being who watches over the creations and helps them to exist by controlling and creating the enviroment. Rab’s existence equals to the feature of constant creating process which we are able to survive in it. Not just that. A meaning of enabler for mankind to be educated and reach for a higher level of maturity.
Rab also means a judge over creations. The one who creates the rules for following the right path. The one adjudges. Those are the meanings of Rab.
The name Rab, comes as an adjective for Allah in Qur’an. But I want to point out an interesting fact here. First 30 suras delivered from Qur’an; contain the name Allah 20 times, but the adjective Rab 80 times. This 30 suras have the sura Al-Rahman in them as well. This sure is no coincidence. No, we cannot say that. So, what is the wisdom behind this?
The name, adjective Rab, is a feature denied by non-believers. Non-believers accepted the fact there is Allah. But they denied that Allah has a feature of Rab. And that denial is action-based. They prayed to their idols and asked for their helps because of this. Because they believe, Allah is far out there somewhere. An Allah who won’t interfere with their lives, an Allah who cannot see or hear them and reach them. And for that, they put the idols as a conduit and they claimed (according to Qur’an);
“…li yukarribuna ilellahi zulfa…” (Az-Zumar/3)
These idols are conduits between Allah and us. Therefore the Rab name came up 4 times more than the name Allah in these first 30 chapters. Because it wasn’t a problem of denying Allah. It was a problem about believing the Rab feature of Allah. Qur’an doesn’t prove the existence of Allah. There is not a single verse about that claim. But it proves the feature of Allah as Rab all the time. The words claim that Allah had created the universe, humans and all things in existence and educated them and because of this there are rules and judgements are exist as well. This is an important point.
The word Alemin… For some linguistics this word is not in arabic vocabulary. It is an outside word which came from Hebrew; as a form of a language root of Sami. There is no reason to accept that, since Hebrew, Arabic, Syrian and Aramic both share the root of the same language family of Sami. All have the same origin. Because of the same systematics for the rootwords and possibly the same derivities according to linguistic scholars, it is impossible to choose or find out the real origin of this word. But the word “Alemin” expresses “Alems” as plural. “Alem” is the meaning of whole worlds, universe, all categories of beings.
But the word “alemin” here is an addressing for beings with intellect. “All hamd and praises to Allah, Rab of all conscious creations we know and don’t know.”
Other forms of Alemin in different parts of Qur’an have wider meanings. As in another verse the word alemin comes with a meaning of all creations. Another verse contains non-living things. Yet another contains angels too. But the word “Alemin” in Al-Fatihah is an addressing just for all conscious beings.
3 – “Errahma nirrahim.”
The Rahman (the quality with which He forms the dimension of Names; the Quantum Potential), the Rahim (the quality with which He continually creates the engendered existence with the meanings of the Names)(A.Hulusi)
Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Errahma nirrahim. Again the two names of Allah “Er-rahman” and Er-rahim”. Most gracious in essence and acts with mercy and compassion in actions. Because I gave these meanings with details in “Besmele”, I’m moving on.
4 – “Maliki yevmiddin”
The Maleek (the Sovereign One, who manifests His Names as he wishes and governs them in the world of acts as He pleases. The One who has providence over all things) or the Maalik (the Absolute Owner) of the eternal period governed by the decrees of religion (sunnatullah). (A.Hulusi)
Master of the Day of Judgment
Maliki yevmiddin Again, Allah’s identity has been given in quotation marks within fatihah.
“Master of the Religion Day” What is the religion day? The Day of Judgement without a doubt.
There’s a famous saying in arabic literature which we encounter as a hadith also… “Kema tedinu tudan.” How you judge, is the way you will be judged. The behaviour of yours for others are the behaviours of people for you. What goes around, comes around. This saying is famous with such meanings. So “Din” here means the judgment. “Judgement Day.” And for that reason the word “Malik” can also be read as “Melik.” Ruler of The Judgement Day. If you believe a judgement day, you should also believe, a ruler will be present there. If there’s a court, than there’s a judge. “Maliki yevmiddin”; indicates the Judge of Judgement Day.
A while ago, we saw the names, adjectives of Allah as Rahman and Rahim. So we feel joy. Allah addressed us with grace, blessing; we were introduced with Allah’s mercy and compassion by the effects of Allah’s adjectives. So, why suddenly there’s a mention of judgement and being a master of judgement day? That’s important.
This is one of many addressing styles of Qur’an. There are some basic measurements for Qur’an’s style. This is the first of many.
What is this? It turns people both to hope and fear. It opens two doors, one to heaven and one to hell and it shows you both ways. It leaves you at the middle of two distinct reality and Qur’an does that consistently.
Also Qur’an opens three timelines in front of people. First it warns you with “Present.” It turns you into you. It reminds you yourself and wants you to check enviroment, universe, earth and heaven. It doesn’t settle just with that. Opens a page from history and reveals an occurance happened back. It takes you to “Past”. That turn is so vivid, you can reach to your own souls past.
And it turns to future. To eternal future. Other world. Heaven for some and Hell for others. But always a judgement, always a ruling and always an apocalypse.
Qur’an works in three different times like that. And it takes them all in front of people like a curtain or a movie. Why? Because if a man can holds those three occurances all in mind, he can live with vigor. Only then he can live the life he will be judged later. Only then he can be careful enough to walk the right path. So, he won’t do anything that he cannot defend later at the presence of Allah. He won’t take actions that he cannot reply. That is the sole definition of “Takva” So to awaken this state of mind, Qur’an always turns people into their past, present and eternal future. “Maliki yevmiddin” Hamd and praises to Allah, The Supreme Ruler of Judgment Day.
And now all of a sudden, Qur’an comes to a different type of time and a different type of addressing. We are moving on from an attitude of Supreme Ruler to “you”. There is an intimite line of communication is established between Allah and mortal man.
5 – “Iyyake na’budu ve iyyake nestaiyn”
You alone we serve, and from You alone we seek the continual manifestation of your Names (By manifesting the meanings of Your Beautiful Names we, as the whole of creation, are in a state of natural servitude to You, and we seek guidance to attain and maintain this awareness at all times) (A.Hulusi)
Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.
Iyyake na’budu ve iyyake nestaiyn Now that you know these names, these characteristics of Allah; how should you behave, o mankind?
How should I behave? Or as for humans response; “O Rab. All right, I know you. You are “Allah”, you are “Rab”, you are “The Rab of all worlds”, you are “Most Gracious”, you are “Most Merciful”, you are “The Supreme Ruler of Judgement Day.” So what should I do, O Allah?” And this is the response… Say;
Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.
This is almost like a digression, a summary of the verses above. Almost like a preparation to say this verse. First verses of Fatihah so far, are for us to say this particular words. How should you behave in front of a being like that? A being; Allah, Rab, Rab of all worlds. Not just that. Rahman, Most Gracious in essence and Rahim, Most Merciful in actions. Also a being so supreme to rule over The Judgement Day.
So you should behave like this; “Iyyake na’budu ve iyyake nestaiyn”
Only Allah you should worship, and only Allah’s help you should seek. Is it logical to ask for someone elses help, when you already have the blessing of Allah? Is it sane to worship some other god, when you are always with a Rab so powerful? This is another meaning of the verse, “Iyyake na’budu ve iyyake nestaiyn”
This is a verse to explain the very essence of tevhid (unity). It is almost like a translation of Kelime-i Tevhid (Word of Unity) “La ilahe illallah” Iyyake na’budu ve iyyake nestaiyn. We can declare that this verse is a continuum of tevhid as well. Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek. Because; “La ilahe illallah” No god, only Allah. They unite within each other. It is an explanation to open the soul of unity. A sign it is, this verse.
Reading this verse, is to deny any form of polytheism, because in grammar, “iyyake” word is complement. In arabic syntax, complements come after subject or predicate. So why in this verse a complement came before any of them. To give the meaning. “Only you.” “Only you, we worship, only your help we seek.”
This is denying the shirk. Every form of shirk (polytheism). Shirk doesn’t only mean to worship statue forms of idols. The responsibilities of yours to Allah, actions of yours regarding Allah; if you perform them for any other being, than in that subject you perform shirk, you put an equal to Allah. A muslim is only complete whenever he/she manages to live the ideal of unity in Allah, with ideas, actions, both mind and heart related.
A complete muslim live the ideology of unity, not only in his heart, but in life, actions and in every job, thought and emotion. Therefore tevhid (unity) is a way of life. A standard of life. And because of that, limiting the idea of tevhid just with words of “La ilahe illallah” is almost as insufficent as naming shirk, worshipping to clay idols. Just like, shirk isn’t a clay worhipping, tevhid is not just reading the words, “La ilahe illallah” either. This sentence is to sign the long contract of unity. And shirk is an action which has so many variables and forms. We can put a metaphor to the secrecy of shirk, like a footstep of an ant over a black stone in the middle of the night. So when we hear shirk, we shouldn’t thing of total worshipping and surrender to idols. We shouldn’t forget the prophet’s hadith described us shirk has a lot of different forms and it can be unnoticed as an ants footsteps over a black stone, in the middle of the night.
At that point a true believer, cannot worship anything but Allah. Yet in another verse, we see; “..la tagbudus sheytan.” (Ya-sin/60)
Don’t worship Satan. From the content of this verse, we understand that, people haven’t worshipped Satan out open. Those addressing aren’t for Satan worshipping heretics. This verse is for true believers, mumins. So why the need of this warning, why “Don’t worship Satan”? Obeying Satan’s rules, do what he tells are named as worshipping Satan altogether in this verse. Submission is another name for worshipping here. From this road, we can reach the point, “The only authority to be obeyed implicitly is Allah.” This is the lesson we should learn here.
Another incident had occured in Century of Happiness (Times of Muhammad (P.b.u.h)) we can learn from. Adi bin Hatem a Christian priest had converted to Islam. When he came to see the prophet, Hz. Muhammad read this verse;
“Ittehazu ahbarahum ve ruhbanehum erbabem min dunillahi” (Al-Tauba/31) They take their priests and their anchorites to be their lords beside Allah.
Adi bin Hatam replied;
– O Rasul-Allah, we weren’t prostrate them, weren’t bowing our heads, weren’t perform salat to their person!
Prophet explained immediately.
– No…! That is not what this means.
The wrong concept of worshipping had been corrected there. Worshipping isn’t necessarily mean prostrating. So what?
– They forbid you something, and you follow them.
They give passes to things Allah makes forbidden, and you follow them. They make things forbidden, things Allah give passes, and you follow. You see their rules as the utmost authority. You put them on authority to make your own life decisions. This is what taking someone as Rab besides Allah.
This translation of Prophet shows us this. Being the slave of someone or seeing him as a God isn’t just like pharaohs or King Nemrut claiming to be the greatest god. And people bow to them. It just means, in his person giving the Allah’s authority to him, putting him besides Allah in decisions. This is the definition of worshipping another. So in this content we say, “Iyyake na’budu ve iyyake nestaiyn”
In truth, my dear friends; obligation of reading Al-fatihah in every prays every parts, is to give us this spirit.
O People! You have violated the truth within Fatihah so much everyday, you are in need of constant reminder. Because you forget all the time. Because you brake the rules of being a believer. You forget the truth. So, a muslim reminds himself Al-Fatihah at least 17 times a day. 40, if you include the secondary prays(sunnets). All for refreshing the bond of Iman to Allah. To awaken the mind. Because Al-Fatihah is not a chore of repitition.
But Alas! Today’s people who doesn’t understand Allah’s words, read Fatihah a life time without the real meaning within. They do things to prove wrong the bond he just gave after finishing the pray. The reason behind this is, they cannot comprehend the very soul of Al-Fatihah. They cannot understand both what it says and what it means to say. Both words and meanings themselves. And because of that, their salats (prays) cannot change anything in their lives, which ironically those prays didn’t just change a generation, they changed the entire world once.
Remember the times, a bunch of brave people had been carrying the Islam as a waking sun on earth, with this Al-Fatihah. Every muslim should ask himself now. The same Fatihah which changed all things in those peoples lives, why hasn’t changed mine?
(Additional Info: This is a floor of thanking. In other words, We accept that we only worship you and seek only your help. You have no partner. For those who put in front of me like I’m in front of you, I only seek you, not another one. I help them with thanks to you only, not to myself. So you are the true helper, not me. So in this verse man proves himself in his claim of “Allah is the sole ruler without any partner.” [İbn. Arabi- F. Mekkiyye/c-1 s-327.))
6 – “Ihdinas siratal mustekiym.”
Enable the realization that leads to our innermost essential reality (sirat al-mustaqeem) (A.Hulusi)
Show us the straight way
Ihdinas siratal mustekiym Now the praying section. Actually Al-Fatihah can be named as a pray altogether and read with this intention.
The verses before taught us the manners of begging and praying. When you beg and seek help from Allah, O people; start with hamd to Allah. Begin your pray with Allah. Say your besmele. After that give your thanks, hamd. Then glorify Allah. Tell the names, Rahman and Rahim. Remember those adjectives. Remember Allah’s grace and mercy. Then remember Allah’s supremacy. Role of Allah as a ruler over worlds, judge of the judgement day. After that make two things. Only worship Allah and seek Allah’s help. And now you are ready to raise your hands and pray for your needs.
But the very first thing you should ask for; I mean if you have one shot, one chance of something, you should ask for this. Because we sometimes forget what truly matters. Sometimes we ask for small things instead of big ones. But nonetheless Allah is supreme. Ask for great things from the great Allah.
So what should I ask for?
“Ihdinas siratal mustekiym.”
Ask for Guidance(Hidayet) which is the greatest gift of all. No fortune may replace the guidance. No treasure is big enough to cover for guidance. The one who has the gift of guidance, has a treasure more valuable than any other treasures. But if you aren’t blessed with this gift, than what good does it make to have all the entire world in your pocket. But if you have guidance, what do you lose if you haven’t got any other possessions. Because now you have the key for eternal joy. Therefore ask for guidance. This is the manner of asking. You can ask for anything else later. But ask for guidance first. “Ihdinas siratal mustekiym.” Show us the straight way.
Dear fellows, what is guidance? We should analyze this first. The guidance from Allah, didn’t only come with revelations.There was guidance before that time. This guidance is pre-historic. The first moment of life is this guidance. It means there is this guidance in our nature. The uncorrupted nature (fitrat), is entirely blessed with guidance. Untouched and pure. It contains the act of guidance by essence. In that mean, we can easily say this is a guidance in advance.
But our Rab didn’t settle with that. We had another blessing. The blessing of intellect, mind. So there is a second guidance. But wait, there’s more. Another blessing of conscience which is a guidance by nature. Because if you have a pure conscience, that thing can lead you to the straight way. IF it’s not corrupted. IF it isn’t screwed and manage to remain intact… And last but not least mankind blessed with another guidance, which are the books.
So if a person says, “Ihdinas siratal mustekiym.” “Show us the straight way”, happens to mention this. “Return me to my very nature, to my fitrat, to my pure form of conscience.” It means, don’t let my conscience corrupt, return me to the path of right,the path I set foot on my first moment of pure conscience. Because a mans conscience always calls him to the right acts.
Again, return me to the spot where my mind wasn’t corrupted. The road of common sense. And with this words people say, “Return me to the path of the book calls, the message shows. This is the opening of “Ihdinas siratal mustekiym.”
This verse is a wish of four types of guidance which happens the three of them are inside the mans himself. Of course this is a wish. A hope. And Rab of all worlds answer this wish right away in Qur’an with the words closest to Al-Fatihah.
“Elif lam mim, Zalikel kitabu la raybe fih hudel lil muttekiyn” (Al-Baqarah/1-2)
“Alif. Lam. Mim. This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah.” This is a guidance for those who have the responsibility to Allah. So there… This is the guidance, this book. What do you look for? Alas, for those who aren’t blessed with the guidances of fitrat, conscience and mind; what can this book say?
It’s been 1400 years since Allah reached us via this book. We have been literally with this book for years. So tell me why, this book hasn’t been a guidance for us like it supposed to be? Because we haven’t clinged on the guidance of our nature, our conscience, our minds. That’s why. And for that, written words of guidance couldn’t find a way to us.
“Siratal mustekiym.” Straight Path. Path of Sirath. Mustakiym is destination. A path without a bend or a fork. Even some Qur’an translator claimed that this straight path mentioned is the Qur’an’s itself. Islam’s itself, which confirms by a hadith of prophet we read from Tirmizi as Islam is in fact Sirat-al Mustekiym. “Allah laid down a path in front of man, gave them a road. This is sirat-i mustakiym.”
Allah made two walls to two sides of this roads. These are Allah’s borders. And made doors in these walls, doors that lead to sins, offenses to Allah by Satan’s and egos calls. And put curtains on this doors, which are the limitations, things designated forbidden by Allah. From the hadith we read in Tirmizi.
An invitor calls from within the path, shows us the way. And another one calls us at the beginning of this path also. The invitor at the beginning of the path is Qur’an. And the invitor within the path is Islam. So our Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) presents Islam as Sirat-i Mustakiym, an invitor who calls the road to man and man to road and illuminates both. In this quite beautiful metaphor, we understand Sirat-i Mustakiym is the straight way of Islam.
In another hadith we read this. Prophet drew a thick line on the ground. And drew some other lines crossing the first one. He said “Those are the roads besides Allah’s way. And this (thick line) is the one and only true way of Allah. One who travels this road finds salvation.” We can find this meaning also in this verse. Moving on.
7 – “Siratallezine en’amte aleyhim”Gayril’magdubi aleyhimVe laddaaalliyn
The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor (those who believe in the Names of Allah as comprising their essential self and experience the awareness of their force) not of those who have evoked Your wrath (who have failed to the see the reality of their selves and the corporeal worlds and who have become conditioned with their ego-identities) nor of those who are astray (from the Reality and the understanding of the One denoted by the name Allah, the al-Wahid-ul Ahad-as-Samad, and who thus associate partners with Allah [shirq; duality]) (A. Hulusi)
The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray.
Siratallezine en’amte aleyhim To figure out what kind of way we are talking about, again Fatihah is continuing to explain. The path of the ones we give our blessing.
Who are they? Those who are given Allah’s blessings. I myself think like this. Al-Fatihah is a sura read by Prophet himself. So what can be mentioned when he read this, when he read in his prays?
– O Rab. Lead me to the straight way. The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace.
Whenever the prophet read this sura he meant, should have meant the path of the other prophets before, for sure, which we can see some verses to reveal the truth of this belief. One one the verse says;
– “Those were the (prophets) who received Allah’s guidance. Follow the guidance they received” (Al-Anaam/90)
Prophets were counted. 14 in a row and right after that there’s this telling, follow the guidance they recieve, be on that road, be a part of it.
So whenever Muhammad (p.b.u.h) read Al-Fatihah, he was praying to follow the path of the prophets before his time. “O Rab, lead me to the road they take.” he was saying.
What does that show us? It shows us that Islam is universal and beyond time and space. Islam didn’t start with Muhammad A.S. Islam had begun when Allah decided to address to people. Islam is the constant light of humanity and Muhammad is the last guide of this road. And Qur’an is the last map we can ever take. For that, whenever we read Fatihah, we actually remember that we are walking the path of all true believers throughout the entire history. With Fatihah we are saying;
“O Rab, there is a line in this flood of humanity and I follow that line. I seek the universal truth, O Rab.”
So when Prophet read Al Fatihah, he pledged himself to other prophets beliefs. And when sahabe (desciples in Muhammad’s time) read, they were actually following the road of other believers and disciples.
“O Rab, Help us to follow the road that prophet shows us, like the other desciples did when their prophets showed them as well.”
So, based on that, what are we saying; “O Rab, like other prophets and desciples, whichever path they walked, those people of true loyalty, lead us to that path too.”
So everyone in their own category, memorialize the believers, saved and blessed ones before thier times. So in a manner of speaking, a thanks has been delivered as well. Al fatihah is an eternal thanks to the passengers of eternal way.
That indicate this.
“Siratallezine en’amte aleyhim” “The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace.
If you ask about this grace and the meaning of its content, we previously explained when we were mentioning Sirath-i Mustakiym and we said it is Islam. That is the grace. So iyya ke na’budu is a request of this grace. I only pray for you. Reaching for a guidance that allows you to pray only for Allah, is the greatest gift. Having a belief that only ask for Allah’s help and need nothing else is the biggest grace. We asked from Allah to be on the path, right next to the ones blessed with this grace.
There’s another settle opening this verse has. It’s this. “O My Rab, I’m not alone in this road, I’m walking behind the ones walked before. O Rab, I want to follow your road, the road of the true believers who followed you. I’m not saying I’m the only one here. There are a lot of people walk with me and by their reaching, lead me either to our awaited destination. Lead me with your blessing, make me stay on this road, help me to stay with them all the time.” This meaning is based on the “na” pronoun and “iz” pronoun at the same time. Because this can lead the context to a group of people. Whenever a human read Al-Fatihah, he remembers “the people”. He doesn’t just pray for himself. He prays for all. He doesn’t say “I”, “Ihdini”. If he says that he have to start over his pray. Because this corrupts the meaning. No, instead he says “Us”, “Ihdina”. Show “Us” the straight way. Not, “Show me”, Show “Us” the straight way.
There’s an “Us Together” consciousness has been given us. Who are we? Not our group, our clan, our tribe, our branch groups; none. So who is this we? Our people. Every single person who are –and were part of the community of Muhammad (p.b.u.h.). If we add the ones before too, then “True believers who have been walking the eternal path of Islam and the followers who have been listening to all Islam prophets. So many… So wide… Those are the “Us” we salute when praying.
“Esselam aleykum ve rahmetullah..!”
You send your regards to millions, billions even. To black, white, yellow folks; European, African, Asian brothers and sisters. If you lose your heart on this “us” matter, you lose your way on Al-Fatihah. If you take actions to crush the community and falsify this consciousness, with that reason you deny Al-Fatihah completely. You deny the same Fatihah, right after your pray is finished. And thus, that pray cannot help you anymore.
“gayril magdubi aleyhim.” Upside was the proof, now the targets. “Not those whose (portion) is wrath”, “ve lad dallin.” “and not who go astray.”
So right after proof, there are two exact opposites. Not a conclusion, opposition. Two oppositions actually. Who are these mentioned oppositions? Those whose portion is wrath and who go astray. Isn’t it a fact that who take all the wrath are the same ones who also leave the road? So why two different references? Why an addition of “ve led dallin.” Common sense suggests that who suffer the wrath are the ones go astray. And who go their own heads will suffer all the wrath. Isn’t this the greatest punishment? So why the need to seperate those two? For the answer to this question we might look to an hadith we see in Tirmizi and some other origins.
There are Jews among those whose potion is wrath. So they are the ones. There is a variance in this hadith form. And for that scholars talked and argued about its origin is pure or not before. But there is another form of this same hadith and it comes from a reliable source and with bond. This is the form. “Jews are the ones IN THOSE whose portion is wrath. So it’s not a unique marking for Jewish community. And who go astray are Christians. That means Christians are a part of those who go astray.
And in that position we say this very truth in every Fatihah. “O Rab, protect us from being Jewishlike, from Christianishlike.” An explanation.. “O Rab. Protect us from turning our religion into a puffed up secular ceremony like Jews, and protect us from turning our religion into a far out consciousness like Christians.”
With another point of view, to behave to their own prophets; “O Rab. Protect us from insulting our prophet like Jews have done theirs.” And on the other side; “O Rab, protect us from divinizing our prophet like the Christians have done theirs.
As you can see Qur’an looks these two deviations in line of history as a differentiated whole and points out. Act with the Jew-like ideology is a deviation. There is not a whole community who suffer the wrath. Allah don’t put entire races to wrath. Being a part of a distinct race, is not the reason to suffer any form of wrath. Saying a thing like that, would be a cardinal insult to Allah. No person can choose to which community he will born into. But suffering the wrath is a consequence of logic. A logic of Jewish. And going astray is a logic of Christianish logic. In Jewish logic, religion turns into a ceremony, objectified. This logic locks religion into a shape. And the opposite side Christianism, locks the religion into human and logic into consciousness. Locks away from outer life. Both are deviations and ways that are out of truth.
To avoid both; we say in every part of every pray; “gayril magdubi aleyhim ve lad dallin.”
Dear fellows, about the ruling of Al-Fatihah, long debated had been made between scholars. Topic of these debates are about the actuality of reading Al-Fatihah in every pray. Some scholars take it as a “Vacip” (Unbinding Obligation), and some as “Farz.” (Binding Duty) and indicates that a pray wouldn’t be accepted without it. And to prove that, they show hadiths from prophet;
“la salate limen lem yekra’ bi fatihatil kitabi”
“Those who don’t read Fatihah, don’t have any pray neither.” (Muslim;kitabus-salah hadith number: 34)
Actually both theories have the same origin and proof. But the ones who claim otherwise have another proof that Al-Fatihah isn’t a “farz” and in case of not knowing Fatihah, one can read another sura or three short verses from Qur’an as well.
“..fakreu ma teyessere minhu..” (Al-Muzzammil/20)
“Read ye, therefore, of the Qurán as much as may be easy for you.” With that verse part, groups like Hanephies claims that a sura or a group of verses can be read besides Fatihah in prays.
In some other debate about reading Al-Fatihah with groups, there may be some argues but I; with the lights of all proofs and with the origin point of action possibility, believe that a person should just listen fatihah when praying in groups since Imam reads it out loud.. According to this verse,
“ve iza guriel Kurane festemiu leh ve ensitu lallekum turhamun” (Al-A’raf/204)
“When the Qurán is read, listen to it with attention, and hold your peace: that ye may receive Mercy.”
I also declare that prays in groups when imam reads fatihah silently, rest of the praying group may read fatihah too.
I say “Amen” with all my heart to this mighty pray that revelations taught us. I pray for a lifetime with fatihah and a way of life that Al-Fatihah presents us. Like the first words of Hamd we speak at the beginning, I would like to finish my words by reminding another verse in Qur’an.
“Ve ahiru da’vahum enil Hamdu Lillahi Rabbil alemiyn. (Jonah/10) “Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds!” All products of our claims, causes and lives are for Allah and our last word to our Allah is “Hamd”. “Esselamu aleykum.”