Ramadan Tafsir; Day 1: Simple Explanation of Surah Al-Fatiha

fatiha tafsirAlhamdulillaah for making us to witness this year Ramadan. As part of Rafeeqee Islamic mentoring activities, we like to begin the online tafsir of this month with ‘Surah al-fatiha.
Our goals on the Tafsir of this Surah
· To learn the translation of Surah al-Fatiha
· To learn the verse by verse explanation of Surah al-Fatiha in simple language
· To study the explanation of verses based on al-Tafseer al-Muyassar.
Surah Al-Fatiha
Surah al-Fatiha is the first surah of the Quran and is recited in each prayer as the Prophet, may Allah praise him, declared, “There is no salah (valid) without the opening chapter of the Book.”[1] On accepting Islam, a person should first memorize the Fatiha to be able to perform the prescribed prayers. Its meaning should be learnt and contemplated every time we offer salah.
Text, Transliteration, Translation, and Explanation
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِِ
1. Bismillahir rahmaanir raheem
In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
The Quran begins with the proper, unique, and personal name of God – Allah. ‘I begin with the name of Allah’ means a Muslim begins his recitation seeking the help of Allah. Allah is the God of mankind who alone deserves worship. No one else can take the name ‘Allah.’ Allah is the Most Gracious (ar-Rahman) Lord whose mercy extends to all creation. He is also especially Merciful (ar-Raheem) to the faithful.
الْحَمْدُ للّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
2. Alhamdu lillahi rabbil Aalameen
(All) praise is (due) to Allah, Lord of the worlds
Allah deserves to be praised for the perfection of His qualities, material gifts, and spiritual blessings. Therefore, people should praise Him for everything He has given them. He alone deserves it. He is the Lord of the worlds, meaning He made everything that exists, maintaining it at every moment. He is the Lord who nourishes the believers with faith and good works.
الرَّحْمـنِ الرَّحِيمِ
3. Ar rahmaanir raheem
The Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful,
‘Most Gracious’ (Al-Rahman) and ‘Merciful’ (ar-Raheem) are two of the many names of Allah.
مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ
4. Maliki yawmid deen
Sovereign of the Day of Recompense.
Allah alone is the Master of the Day of Judgment, the Day when human beings will be rewarded for their deeds. Reciting this verse in every rak’ah of payer constantly reminds a Muslim of the coming Judgment, and encourages him to do good and stay away from sins.
إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ
5. Iyyaka naabudu wa-iyyaka nasta-een
It is You Alone we worship and You Alone we ask for help.
We only submit to You in worship and seek only Your help in everything we do. Everything is in Your hands. The verse tells us that a Muslim is not allowed to direct any act of worship, like prayer and asking for supernatural, help to anyone other than Allah. The verse connects the heart with Allah and purifies it of pride and the desire to show-off.
اهدِنَــــا الصِّرَاطَ المُستَقِيمَ
6. Ih dinas siratal mustaqeem
Guide us to the straight path
Guide us and show us the straight path and make it easy for us. Make us firm on it till we meet You. The ‘Straight Path’ is Islam, the clear road leading to divine pleasure and Heaven shown by Muhammad, God’s last and final prophet. A slave of Allah cannot be happy and prosperous except by following it.
صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنعَمتَ عَلَيهِمْ غَيرِ المَغضُوبِ عَلَيهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّالِّينَ
7. Siratal latheena an Amta Alayhim ghayril maghdoobi alayhim walad daalleen
The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked (Your) anger or of those who are astray.
The path followed by those who were blessed – the prophets, the truthful, the martyrs, and the righteous. They are the guided. Do not let us follow the path of two. First, those who earned divine anger because they knew the truth but did not act on it, and that is the example of the Jews and whoever is like them. Second, do not let us follow the path of those who lost their way and were not guided, and that is the example of the Christians and their like. This is a prayer from a Muslim to purify his heart of stubbornness, ignorance, and misguidance. The verse also shows Islam is God’s greatest blessing. Those who know the way and walk on it are guided and, after the prophets they were, without doubt, the companions of Prophet Muhammad. It is recommended to say ‘Ameen’ after reciting Fatiha in the prayer. ‘Ameen’ means ‘O Allah, please accept.’

As we can see, this Surah Al-Fatihah contains seven Ayat including the praise and thanks of Allah, glorifying Him and praising Him by mentioning His most Beautiful Names and most high Attributes. It also mentions the Hereafter, which is the Day of Resurrection, and directs Allah’s servants to ask of Him, invoking Him and declaring that all power and strength comes from Him. It also calls to the sincerity of the worship of Allah alone, singling Him out in His divinity, believing in His perfection, being free from the need of any partners, having no rivals nor equals. Al-Fatihah directs the believers to invoke Allah to guide them to the straight path, which is the true religion, and to help them remain on that path in this life, and to pass over the actual Sirat (bridge over hell that everyone must pass over) on the Day of Judgment. On that Day, the believers will be directed to the gardens of comfort in the company of the Prophets, the truthful ones, the martyrs and the righteous. Al-Fatihah also encourages performing good deeds, so that the believers will be in the company of the good-doers on the Day of Resurrection. The Surah also warns against following the paths of misguidance, so that one does not end up being gathered with those who indulge in sin, on the Day of Resurrection, including those who have earned the anger and those who were led astray.

‘Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet said, Whoever performs any prayer in which he did not read Umm Al-Qur’an, then his prayer is incomplete. He said it thrice. ‘
Indeed, Surah Al-Fatiha is a prayer in which we are asking from Allah His guidance to bring us out from darkness nd guide us nd keep us on the straight path….
This surah builds a relationship b/w Allah nd us as we are not only admitting him as our Rab but also asking his mercy.. We find ourselves fully involved in our prayers in reciting Surah al-Fatiha, especially becoz we are absolutely sure and certain that it is the word of God that we are reciting, nd it is through the recitation of those words that we are establishing contact with our God. So after understanding its meaning, my salah i.e communicating wid Allah has been completely changed…
I pray to Allah to make our salah more better than the way we pray and make us be among His obedient servants…(Aameen)
Kindly tell other to sign up today to Rafeeqee Islamic Mentoring Activities on rafeeqee.com in order to be part of this Online Ramadan Tafsir.
Jazaakumullaahu khayraan
[1] Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim