Surah Al-Fatihah

"In the name of Allah(God), Most Gracious, Most Merciful." (Quran: 1/1)

1:1 In the name of Allah(God), Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
1:2 Praise be to Allah(God), Lord of the universe.
1:3 Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
1:4 Master of the Day of Judgment.
1:5 You alone we worship; You alone we ask for help.
1:6 Guide us in the right path;
1:7 the path of those whom You blessed; not of those who have deserved wrath, nor of the strayers.
( Quran : Surah Al-Fatihah)

This Surah (Chapter) of the Holy Quran possesses a number of merits peculiar to it. Firstly, the Holy Quran begins with it and the prescribed prayer begins with it . All that the Holy Quran has to say is, in one way or another, related to either of the two themes, faith and virtuous deeds, and the basic principles of the two have been indicated in this Surah.That is why this surah has been interpreted as "Essence of the Book" .

This Surah gives a special instruction to the man who begins the recitation or the study of the Quran - that he should approach this book with a mind cleansed of all his previous thoughts and opinions, seeking nothing but the Truth and the right path, praying to Allah(God) for being guided in the right path.

As we have said, the Surah "Al-Fatihah" is the gist and the essence of the Holy Quran. It deals with three basic themes - firstly, the affirmation of Allah as the Lord (Rabb) of the universe; secondly, the affirmation that Allah alone, and none else, is worthy of being worshipped; thirdly, the prayer for guidance.

Thus, the Surah Al-Fatihah ends with the request for the straight path, and the whole of the Quran is, in fact, an answer to this request - that is to say, the man who seeks the straight path will find it only in the Holy Quran. Hence it is that the Surah "Al-Fatihah" is immediately followed by the Surah "Al-Baqarah" which begins with the words, "That is the Book", indicating that this book is the straight path one has been seeking and praying for.

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