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)
ٱلۡحَمۡدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ (٢) ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ (٣) مَـٰلِكِ يَوۡمِ ٱلدِّينِ (٤) إِيَّاكَ نَعۡبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسۡتَعِينُ (٥) ٱهۡدِنَا ٱلصِّرَٲطَ ٱلۡمُسۡتَقِيمَ (٦) صِرَٲطَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنۡعَمۡتَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ غَيۡرِ ٱلۡمَغۡضُوبِ عَلَيۡهِمۡ وَلَا ٱلضَّآلِّينَ (٧)

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 OpeningFatihato 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.

Root EnglishArabicMeaning
رَّ  حۡ   مَMercyRahmato 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.

Root EnglishArabicMeaning 
 ح  م  دPraiseHamdPraise 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.

  • worthiness

Only he who is worthy of complete praise.

رَبِّ Rabb:  Sustainer

Root EnglishArabicMeaning
ر ب بSustainerRabbTo 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:

  1. Rabb in a general way.  He creates all, nurtures all.
  2. Rabb specifically. Only for the believers, Allah nurtures them generally (physically) but also spiritually, increases their faith (emaan).

The term Rabb includes three things:

  1. Khaliq: Creator
  2. Maalik: Complete authority. Owner.
  3. 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)

Root EnglishArabicMeaning
عَ  لَ مِWorldsAlameenA 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.

ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

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

Root EnglishArabicMeaning 
مَ   لِ  كِMasterMalikTo 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

Root EnglishArabicMeaning
يَ  وۡ مِDayYaumBegins 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

Root EnglishArabicMeaning
د  ى  نRecompenseDeenTo 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.

  • Justice
  • Religion
  • Judgment
  • Recompense

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.

Root EnglishArabicMeaning
 عۡ  بُ  دُWorship'IbadaTo 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:

  • 'Abd--Slave.

A slave will do everything that the master commands.

'Ibadah is everything, every action that Allah (swt) loves and is pleased with.

  1. To do what Allah says
  2. To refrain from what he forbids.
  3. 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

Root EnglishArabicMeaning
ع  و  نseek helpNasta'eena 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.

Root EnglishArabicMeaning
ه  د  ىGuidanceHidayato guide someone with affection and kindness

Hidaya  Includes:

  1. To Show the path
  2. To make a person walk on the path
  3. To make sure they reach the destination.

Hidaya is also of two types:

  1. Hidayah Irshaad - to give knowledge information about that which is correct.
  2. Hidayah Taufiq - to implement the knowledge that he has been given.

ٱلصِّرَٲطَ Siraat: The path

Root EnglishArabicMeaning
ص ر طَPathSiraata 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

ٱلۡمُسۡتَقِيمَ Al-Mustaqeem 

Root EnglishArabicMeaning
ق  و  مThe one straightMustaqeemthat 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 Alladheenathose who

أَنۡعَمۡتَ An'amta: You have bestowed favour

Root EnglishArabicMeaning
ن  ع  مۡFavourAn'amtaTo 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.

Root EnglishArabicMeaning
غ  ض  بِAngerMaghdubisuch 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

Root EnglishArabicMeaning
 ض  ل  لMisguidancedhaulleento 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.






  1. The analysis of Quranic words is excellent.I am thoughrly stunned on reading your in depth analysis. Please accept my heart felt gratitude may Allah Almighty Shower his blessing on you. You have not only enlighted but nemourous others. More greece to your elbows. Keep it up.

  2. This entire thread has helped me so much while I was doing the research for Quranic Tafseer in English. I do not think any other website has done a more satisfactory job in the tafseer in English as much as this one. MaShaa’Allah.
    I am extremely grateful and I would like to extend my warmest thanks to the one who wrote and published this.

    Tasia Kazimi
  3. SubhanAllah, I cried so much reading this. What a beautiful, useful post, alhamdulillah. Jazakillahkhayr. Masha’Allah, thank you for all the memories you evoked through it, as well as learning and reminders provoked, and may Allah reward you for any achievements He accepts as a result of it, ameen.

  4. Brilliant. It’s great to see this surah broken down into such detail. It’s nice to learn the meaning behind the surah too and makes it easier to memorise.

    1. Assalamualaikum
      I would like to get whole Quran word by word explanation the way it was explained above.
      Please let me know how I can get?
      Thanks and regards.
      Mohammed Iqbal Hossain

  5. subhanallah, may allah forgive you for any wrong you may have done in your life and grant you his pleasure so you are from the inhabitants of jannat al firdous.

    This site is absolutely amazing. may allah reward you with khair in abundance for every second you have dedicated to it.

    this information needs to pushed out there so as many people as possible can benefit from it. I just came across the site today and i’m amazed with how well you’ve organised everything.

  6. Asalaam o alaykum, i just wanted to compliment you on your efforts. i was searching for quranic root words to go with Surah yunus which i am currently studying as part of tafseer class i attend here in Kuwait. Alhumduillah your site is very clear and self explanitory and helped me alot. your reall reward is with Allah. May He accept it from you and elevate your status and save you from the evils of shaitans plots. Ameen!

    umm Hamza
    1. Bismilla

      As salaam allakum

      Do you live in leicester sister, I help students where english is their second language. If you are interested in joining just let me know and I can send you the details. Otherwise you can check out the website for Alhuda they have courses which are at a much quicker pace in english and urdu and they offer a wide selection of online courses.


  7. AsslamAlaikum

    On which Juz are you now.your material are making grammar easier for me.
    though I am on juz 4.can you put resources for them.


    1. Bismilllah

      Wa Allakum Salaam

      I am glad you are finding the resources of some help. We are currently on Juzz One, Lesson 9. The resources are uploaded each time a lesson is covered. It may be some time before we get to Juzz 4, but please keep checking for new resources which are uploaded most weeks inshallah.

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