» 30th December 2010
Surah Fatiha - Merits and Peculiarities
This Surah (Chapter) of the Holy Qur'an possesses a number of merits peculiar to it. Firstly, the Holy Qur'an begins with it; the prescribed prayer begins with it; and even in the order of revelation this is the first Surah which was revealed to the Holy Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) in its complete form. Some verses of the Surahs Iqra' (al-'Alaq), al-Muzzammil and al-Muddaththir had no doubt been revealed earlier, but the first Surah to be revealed in a complete form is no other than this. Certain Companions of the Holy Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) have reported that this was the first Surah to be revealed. Most probably they had meant that no Surah had been revealed in a complete form before this. Perhaps that is why the Surah has been named as 'Fatihatul-Kitab' (The Opening of the Book).
The other important peculiarity of the Surah is that it is, so to say, the quintessence of the Holy Qur'an, and the rest of the Qur'an is its elaboration. The Surah may thus be delineated for two reasons. Firstly, all that the Holy Qur'an has to say is, in one way or another, related to either of the two themes, faith ('Iman) and virtuous deeds (al-'amal al-salih), and the basic principles of the two have been indicated in this Surah (See Ruh al-Ma'ani and Ruh al-Bayan). That is why authentic Traditions (Ahadith) give to this Surah such titles as "Umm al-Qur'an", "Umm al-Kitab", "Al-Qur'an al-Azim" etc.
Secondly, this Surah gives a special instruction to the man who begins the recitation or the study of the Qur'an - 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 for being guided in the right path. The Surah begins with the praise of Him before whom the request is to be submitted, and ends with the request for guidance. The whole of the Qur'an is the answer to this request. The answer begins with the words: "Alif Lam Mim. This is the Book", which is an indication that the guidance man had prayed for has been provided in this Book.
The Holy Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "I swear by Allah who is the master of my life, neither the Torah, nor the Evangile nor the Psalms of Dawud have anything to compare with the Opening Chapter of the Qur'an, and no other Chapter of the Qur'an itself can compare with it."(Reported by the Companion Abu Hurairah radiallahu anh).
The Holy Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) has also said that this Surah is a cure for all kinds of illnesses. According to another Tradition (Hadith), the Surah has also been named the "Cure" (Al-Shifa), (See Qurtubi), and al-Bukhari reports from the Companion Anas (radiallahu anh) that the Holy Prophet (salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) called this Surah the greatest among all the Surahs of the Holy Qur'an. (See Qurtubi)
[Ma'ariful Qur'an, Volume 1]
» posted by Seifeddine-M on 30th December 2010 - 0 comments