Here are my study notes for word analysis of Quran Lesson 1, Surah Al Fatiha ayets 1-7. I hope you find them beneficial to your studies.
Surah Al Fatiha
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ (١)
Surah Fatiha has 7 verses, 25 words, 113 letters. This Surah is a supplication to Allah for guidance taught by Allah himself.
The Surah is called Al Fatiha because:
- it is the opening of the Quran, the opening chapter, the beginning.
- It is also called Al Fatiha because it is the opening of Salah (prayer).
When you pray salah, we always start with Al Fatiha.
الفَاتِحَة Al Fatiha literally means the opening derived from the root letters ف ت ح
ف ت ح
|to open something, to remove a block, to remove the confusion from something so that it becomes clear.
Imagine a door that is blocking access to a room, fatah-al-baab, is to open up the door, to remove the block so that you can enter.
Abu Huraira narrated that the Prophet (saw) said, Surah Al Fatiha is the Mother of the Book. In arabic, اُمْ الكتاب, Ummul Kitab. Umm meaning mother, Kitab meaning book. The mother is the foundation of something.
Surah Fatiha is the foundation of the Quran. If a person is able to understand and accept the message of Surah Al Fatiha, the rest of the Quran is also easy to comprehend as all the main concepts and themes are mentioned in Surah Al Fatiha.
There are other names for Surah Al Fatiha:
Al-Salah - The Prayer
Ah Shiffa - A Cure
Ar Rukeya - The Remedy
Al Hamd - The Praise
Al Asas - The Foundation
Fatiha Al Kitab - Opening of the Book
It is from the etiquette when a person begins the recitation of the Quran, he should seek protection from the Shaytan (devil), with Allah (swt)
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
1. In The Name of Allah The All-Merciful, The Always All-Merciful
بِسۡمِ Bismi is a combination of Bi (with) and ism - name. (ism) also includes all the names of Allah.
Bismi means, I begin with name, by mentioning the name of Allah (swt)
You begin this journey with the help and blessing of Allah (swt)
Ism - derives from the root س م و samoo, which means height from the same root of the word samah which means sky.
There is a connection between ism and samah
Ism - name which can be anyone's name
Samah - sky which is high above us. That which is high above becomes prominent. The main prominent thing of someone will be their name بِسۡمِ with name.
ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ we begin with two names of Allah, they both have the same root letters.
|رَّ حۡ مَ
|to want what is good for those who deserve it, intention to do good, compassion, sympathy, kindness, pity
Used for womb of a mother, source of baby's growth, nurture. It is out of Allah's Rahma that we are here.
The difference between ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ Ar Rahman and Ar Rheem,
Ar Rahman: The Entirely Merciful
- Conveys the meaning of excessiveness/vastness of the attribute of Mercy. No one else is more merciful than Allah (swt).
- A great amount of Mercy, exceedingly merciful, he shows mercy again and again and again.
- Possessor of Mercy
- General Mercy for all mankind
Ar Raheem: The Especially Merciful
- Indicates the action of Mercy, he puts the quality of Mercy into action, he shows it
- Specific Mercy in particular for those that deserve that special mercy
ٱلۡحَمۡدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ
2. All Praise is for Allah the Sustainer of the Worlds
ٱلۡحَمۡدُ Alhumdu: All thanks, praise are due to Allah.
|ح م د
|Praise that is based on respect and love
To mention the perfect attributes of the one who is praiseworthy, the one who deserves praise.
These perfect attributes are of three types:
- in the being, eg Allah deserves praise as he is the Creator
- in the qualities, eg Allah has the quality of Mercy that is all-encompassing
- in action, eg Allah created us, sent us the Quran,
Hamd also includes gratitude. Thanking Allah for his actions/blessings upon you. Includes praise and thanks.
لِلَّهِ Allah: Lillahi, the Laam conveys two meanings:
- used for specification.
It is he who only deserves complete praise, no one else other than him.
Only he who is worthy of complete praise.
رَبِّ Rabb: Sustainer
|ر ب ب
|To gradually nurture something, to make something grow until it reaches its stage of completion and perfection.
- To nature with a lot of care, protection, concern, mercy. e.g, for a seed to turn into a plant, it needs nurturing and time, care and love.
- To bring from non-existence into existence.
Allah is the one who manages, nurtures, creates all that is exists in the world of people, angels, jinns, ants, fish, birds etc. There are two ways to look at the word Rabb:
- Rabb in a general way. He creates all, nurtures all.
- Rabb specifically. Only for the believers, Allah nurtures them generally (physically) but also spiritually, increases their faith (emaan).
The term Rabb includes three things:
- Khaliq: Creator
- Maalik: Complete authority. Owner.
- Mudabbir: Planner. The One who manages the affairs of that being.
ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ Alameen: plural of 'alam. relates to any being or object that points to the existence of its creator, relates to everything besides Allah (swa)
|عَ لَ مِ
|A sign, a flag, to mark, to distinguish, A means of which one knows a thing, it signifies world or creation, it points to Allah the Creator.
3. The All-Merciful, The Always All-Merciful
See Ayet (Chapter) 1 above for word analysis.
مَـٰلِكِ يَوۡمِ ٱلدِّين
4. Master of The Day of Recompense
مَـٰلِكِ Malik: Master
|مَ لِ كِ
|To have complete authority over something that a person owns
Allah is the Real Malik, he owns everything and has complete authority over it.
People are also described as Masters, but when it comes to people their mastery is incomplete, they may have authority over others but they don't own them.
Allah has complete Authority and Possession. He is the Ruler and the Owner.
يَوۡمِ Yaum: Day
|يَ وۡ مِ
|Begins with one sunset and ends with the next sunset. A period of time
In the Lunar calendar, the day changes after sunset (maghrib). Allah is the Malik of the Day of Judgment.
دِّينِ Deen: Recompense
|د ى ن
|To give recompense to someone
Recompense means to get back exactly what you deserve, it could be reward or punishment.
There are other meanings of the word Deen but it depends on context. Here it means The day when people will be given what they deserve for their actions and it will be done with justice.
إِيَّاكَ نَعۡبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسۡتَعِين
5. Only You We Worship and Only You We Ask for Help
إِيَّاكَ Iyyaka: Only You. Combination of إِي Iyya and كَ Kaa.
Iyya comes to support the Kaa (You). Gives the meaning of Only.
The word Iyya you will never find it alone by itself, it will always be used with a pronoun. When the word is combined with a pronoun it is conveyed as specific, only, non-but.
نَعۡبُدُ Na'budu: We worship.
|عۡ بُ دُ
|To show humility and love
To express one's humility in front of someone. To express oneself as weak and insignificant out of intense love. To submit.
Another word from the same root:
A slave will do everything that the master commands.
'Ibadah is everything, every action that Allah (swt) loves and is pleased with.
- To do what Allah says
- To refrain from what he forbids.
- To do all that He loves
It includes all the rituals of salah, fasting, zakat etc but also all acts throughout the day that is done with the intention of pleasing Allah. It also includes statements such as speaking the truth as well as actions. They can be hidden or visible, eg, salah is visible, hidden could be good thoughts or gratitude about Allah or someone.
وَإِيَّاكَ Wa iyyaka: And You Alone.
نَسۡتَعِين Nasta'een: We seek help
|ع و ن
|a general help, any and every kind of help
Only you we ask for help in all matters.
ٱهۡدِنَا ٱلصِّرَٲطَ ٱلۡمُسۡتَقِيمَ
6. Guide Us to The Straight Path
ٱهۡدِنَا Ihdina: Guide us. Ihdi - guide, Na - us, combination of two words.
|ه د ى
|to guide someone with affection and kindness
- To Show the path
- To make a person walk on the path
- To make sure they reach the destination.
Hidaya is also of two types:
- Hidayah Irshaad - to give knowledge information about that which is correct.
- Hidayah Taufiq - to implement the knowledge that he has been given.
ٱلصِّرَٲطَ Siraat: The path
|ص ر طَ
|a path that is wide and open
- Some roads are wide, others narrow. This path can accommodate many people at the same time.
- Some say it is a path that is very difficult to walk upon
|ق و م
|The one straight
|that which is straight, that which is upright, that which is balanced, to go straight to the destination
Characteristic of the path. We want to go on the Straight Mustaqeem
- To show us what the straight path is that will lead to the destination - Jannah. So many opinions, sects, so we need to be on the straight path.
- Once you are shown the way, to keep firm on it.
- Hidaya is to stay on the path till you reach the destination.
صِرَٲطَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنۡعَمۡتَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ غَيۡرِ ٱلۡمَغۡضُوبِ عَلَيۡهِمۡ وَلَا ٱلضَّآلِّينَ
7. Guide Us to The Right Path, The Way of Those Whom You Favored Not of Those Who Have Earned Your Anger or of Those Who are Astray.
صِرَٲطَ Siraat: a path
ٱلَّذِينَ Alladheena: those who
أَنۡعَمۡتَ An'amta: You have bestowed favour
|ن ع مۡ
|To do a favour to someone.
Ni'ma - a blessing. Not just about tangible blessings, here it refers to the blessing of Emaan (faith).
This is a blessing that fulfills some need of a person. We have spiritual, emotional, mental, and social needs, as well as physical needs. In this context, it is referring to the blessings of emaan, Islam, guidance, piety, religion, deen.
عَلَيۡهِمۡ 'Alayhim: Upon them ( the favored)
غَيۡرِ Ghayri: Other than
ٱلۡمَغۡضُوبِ Al Maghdubi: those who earned your anger.
|غ ض بِ
|such anger that turns into revenge. inflicting punishment on the one that has angered you.
Gha-dab. Used for anger. There are so many words in the arabic language for anger. Gha-dab is anger that turns into revenge.
These people know what they have to do but they don't do it so this is why they incur the punishment of Allah. The people who have earned the anger of Allah refers to people who have the knowledge, yet they still disobey. Thus, they earn the punishment. We are asking Allah not to make us like them. Every time we knowingly disobey Allah, we are inviting Allah's punishment.
عَلَيۡهِمۡ 'Alayhim: Upon them.
وَلَا Wa la: and not, la means no, not
ٱلضَّآلِّينَ Ádhaulleen: Dalala: Misguidance
|ض ل ل
|to lose one's way, to get lost, to be away from the right destination, to go off the guidance
Refers to someone who goes astray because of lack of knowledge and therefore he is lost. He is ignorant of it. What's his fault: He chooses to remain ignorant. Whoever truly seeks guidance, Allah shows them the way. Think of Salman al-Farisi (ra). It was said about him that if Islam was found on the moon, he would have gone there for it.
Ameen: In Arabic, it means, "O Allah, hear and accept" listen and respond.
Hadith mentioned in Sahi Muslim in which the Prophet (saw) said when any of you says in the prayer Ameen, and the angles in the heavens say Ameen at the same time, then all of his previous sins will be forgiven.