Surah Fatiha: Meaning, Commentary & Benefits
Surah Fatiha is the first chapter of the holy Quran, which contains a total of seven verses. It should be noted that Surah is an Arabic word for chapter, and Ayat translates to Verse. Surah Fatiha is one of the earliest and complete surahs revealed to the Prophet Muhammad(SAW) in Mecca. The word Fatiha refers to “The Key or The Opening “, so Fatiha means the opening chapter of the holy Quran. It acts as a door to the holy Quran, or in simple words, and Surah Fatiha gives you access to the Quran.
Surah Fatiha is a request (dua) in Arabic to the almighty Allah from his obedient servants. Allah taught us Surah Fatiha as a way to seek his guidance. Surah Fatiha is a complete Quran, as our beloved Prophet Muhammad(SAW) said. It forms the foundation of the holy Quran. It is recited in every bow of the Islamic prayers. Muslims repeatedly recite it in all five prayers they offer in a day. Surah Fatiha is a Salah, and we recite additional things during prayers. Surah Fatiha is all about seeking guidance from Allah, and Surah Baqarah( Chapter Cow) onwards is his answer to our request.
We divide Surah Fatiha into three parts. The first section is all about praise to our creator Allah. The second part of the Surah Fatiha is a promise we make with Allah, and the third and last portion is about a request to our lord Allah. One Islamic Scholar has said that the first verse takes us to the past, the second verse talks present, while the third verse of Surah Fatiha points toward the future.
Commentary & Analysis of Surah Fatiha
Surah Fatiha composes seven(7) verses. Imam Shafi (RA) said that even [Bismillah] is a part of it, but Abu Hanifa Numanrh says [Bismillah] isn’t part of the Surah Fatiha. Here is the complete commentary of Surah Fatiah verse by verse:
All praise is for Allah—Lord of all worlds,1Surah Fatiha, verse 1
There is no one except our lord Allah in the entire universe who created anything that exists. When we have understood that Allah alone has made it all and he alone sustains it, why shouldn’t we praise him? If we don’t praise him even after accepting that he has created all the worlds, there is something wrong with our brains. He made all that is within and beyond our universe.
He owns everything in our universe, yet we refuse to praise him. Man is selfish; when we find ourselves in trouble, we turn to Allah, and when he gets us out of the crisis, we forget to thank him. When you build a home, everyone associates it with your name. It belongs to Rehman Ahmad because he made it. Likewise, we should praise and honour Allah because he created the universe, and it isn’t fair to give credit to others who haven’t done anything to create and sustain our world.
the Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,Surah Fatiha, verse 2
You can’t find an example of anyone who is most sympathetic and forgivable as Allah. He is so merciful that he even ignores our sins and gives us time to repent. He isn’t a judge of our courts who gives you a penalty for a crime. Allah gives you some time to turn to him and repent your sins. He is so merciful and compassionate that he awards you with forgiveness before punishing you. He punishes you when you fail to take advantage of the time of repentance. Allah is far more merciful than even a mother is to her child. He loves us more than our mothers love us. If that weren’t the case, Allah would have destroyed us all for the sins we commit in our life.
Master of the Day of Judgment.Surah Fatiha, verse 3
Allah owns the day of judgement. It is a day when he will bring us all humans together, from Adam(AS) to the last one who comes to our world in one place. Everyone will be judged by the deeds they have done during their life. There will be a proper declaration of our results. Those who have done good deeds but with an intention to make Allah happy will go to Paradise, and those who do and support evil will find their place in hellfire. Allah has the right to do so because he owns us all and, at the same time, has given us a right to prove ourselves in this world.
You ˹alone˺ we worship and You ˹alone˺ we ask for help.Surah Fatiha, verse 5
Here we promise Allah, and our promise with him is that we will worship you alone. Worshipping Allah means leaving behind everything and giving importance to Allah over other affairs of our life. We surrender our existence to Allah. There is nothing as valuable as Allah, and we should give him priority over other things in our life. When we worship Allah, we require help from Allah because Satan comes in all ways to deviate us from Allah’s path.
Guide us along the Straight Path,Surah Fatiha
There is only one path to Allah: a straight path. It isn’t easy to walk that straight path. We need Allah’s help to keep firm on his path. We seek guidance as we may derail ourselves from the path of Allah. The straight path of Allah has rewards at the end. We shouldn’t miss getting those rewards from him by continuously seeking his guidance. Satan may mislead us, but we must keep him away, so we bag those awards from Allah.
the Path of those You have blessed—not those You are displeased with, or those who are astray.Surah Fatiha
We ask Allah to count us in those he has guided and blessed. They walk the straight path of Allah. But, there is another group Allah isn’t happy with because of their evil deeds. Allah dislikes them and derails them from his way because they keep doing sins. They have become so arrogant that they can’t find Allah’s mercy. We should seek Allah so that he shouldn’t make us among those who rebel against Allah.
Benefits of Surah Fatiha
If somebody is unwell, you can recite the Surah Fatiha forty times and then blow on them, and by the grace of Allah, the sick person should be cured. You may also use water, and once you have read Surah Fatiha, you can blow water on the sick person; in this way, the ill person will be cured of his illness and will have no further complaints about it. Because of this specific factor, Surah Fatiha is more frequently than not referred to as Surah Shifa. There are several other benefits of Surah Fatiha, but our intention should be finding guidance in Quran, not using it for our personal benefit.