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The Significance of “Ālfaātiḧah”
	
Written by Omar Ayash 
2010

This article is an explanation of “Ālfaātiḧah,” the first chapter in Qurān. 
“Ālfaātiḧah” consists of seven verses, and each one has a method to lead us to the safe end after death.
Our prayer will not be accepted if we don’t recite “Ālfaātiḧah” in each Rakâāt.
The meaning of Ālfaātiḧah is “the starter,” “the first step,” or “the opener,” so it is the first step we start with when we pray.
“Ālfaātiḧah” also has other names such as “the mother of Qurān” and so on.
If we understand, practice, feel, and work according to “Ālfaātiḧah,” we will find that life is only a station on the way to our terminal. And we should choose at this station which destination we want to reach.
In “Ālfaātiḧah,” we feel and notice how much Āllah loves us, cares about us, helps us, and leads us to the good ending, and all we should do is follow His way.
Bismi Āllahi Ālraḧmani Ālraḧiym * Ālḧamdulilahi Rabbi Ālâālamiyn * Ālraḧmani Ālraḧiym * Maāliki Yawmi Ālddiyn * Īyaāka Naâbudu Wa Īyaāka Nastaîyn * Īhdinaā Ālŝiraāḏa Ālmustaqiym * Ŝiraāḏa Ālaṯhiyna Ānâmta Âlayhim * Gayri Ālmagḓuwbi Âlayhim Wala Ālḓḓaālliyn * 
Bismi Āllahi Ālraḧmani Ālraḧiym
The explanation should be started by understanding the real value of saying Bismi Āllahi Ālraḧmani Ālraḧiym: 
In the name of Āllah, the only mercy sender in this life no matter upon which nation, color, belief, or race, and the only mercy sender in the hereafter upon only those who believe in Him and follow His religion in this life.
When we mention the name of Āllah before we start doing anything, this makes us remember: 
Āllah is watching us in everything we do, so we will never do anything Āllah doesn’t accept.
Āllah is supporting us in all things we do, so we will never fail in any good things we want to do, no matter how we feel it or how it appears.
Āllah will accept and bless the things we are doing as long as we start it by mentioning His name.
We should understand that everything we do in this life should be under the intention that we are doing it totally for Āllah, not for any benefits in this life. Even when we are working, it is kind of worshiping, so are eating and learning. Sleeping is the same as long as we are sure that we do it for keeping the balance of our bodies, time, health, and education to become good members in the society.
Everything we do without mentioning the name of Āllah is missing a very important part.
Saying the words Ālraḧmani Ālraḧiym when we are reading or reciting “Ālfaātiḧah” means we are sure that Āllah is merciful and will send His mercy upon us and that He will arrange the best for us.
We move after this to the best way of asking Āllah anything we want, need, and hope.
When we want to ask Āllah for anything, we should first understand, realize, feel, and believe that we will not be pushed down by Him as long as we are not asking something against His rules and methods. When we need something from a big, high-leveled or rich person, we start to flatter him first though sometimes we are not telling the truth. Then how are we supposed to do when we are asking Āllah, who has everything, controls everything, and is able to do anything? Of course, we should please Him first. And because we are human beings, who will never ever be able to thank Āllah the way He deserves unless He teaches us, in “Ālfaātiḧah,” Āllah shows us the way to ask Him and the steps of it when we want to do that. 
Ālḧamdulilahi Rabbi Ālâālamiyn
We start the first step of asking by thanking Āllah, and we have to know we are thanking the one who is giving without asking for any reward, helping without waiting for any payment. Āllah says in one Hadith, “I created you all. You have to worship Me, and I have to provide you with the needs to live. If you don’t obey or worship Me, I will not stop providing the needs for you to live.”
We are thanking Āllah, who has been giving before being asked for. He gave us life without being asked for, offered us the tools to survive in the womb, arranged the suitable food for us to grow up when we were even unable to say what we need but cry. All these things have been done without any request from us.
          We thank Āllah for His perfect creation― our hearts work in an organized way, we breathe regularly without thinking, and the universe is created in a perfect way to serve us.
          When we want to thank the one who is giving all of these to us, it shouldn’t be done in a normal way. But how shall we know the way to thank Āllah? 
          Āllah has taught us in “Ālfaātiḧah” the way to thank Him; it is by saying Ālḧamdulilahi. This way of thanking is only for Āllah, so we mustn’t use it towards anyone else but Him.
          Subsequently we praise Āllah for His being the lord of everything, the one who needs nothing from us, the most powerful controlling both inside and outside of the universe― Rabbi Ālâālamiyn. When we say this verse while praying, Āllah will reply us by saying, “My worshipper is thanking me the way I like.”
Ālraḧmani Ālraḧiym
          The third deed we praise Āllah for is His being merciful to us while it is so easy for Him to make this life extremely hard. Āllah is merciful because He is arranging all the needs to live even for those disbelieving in Him and those fighting against Him. This is why He is Ālraḧmani.
          He is Ālraḧmani because He clearly knows each single thing happening in the sky, heaven, earth, universe and everywhere and makes it in a perfect way for living, though some of His creatures insist on disbelieving in Him.
          He is Ālraḧiym because in the hereafter He is going to send His mercy upon believers, though they made mistakes during their lifetime.
          He is Ālraḧiym because He will forgive a lot of things in the hereafter only because He loves to see all of His creatures in the paradise unless they insist on going to hell.
          He is Ālraḧiym because He will not be satisfied when the mankind and the jinns disbelieve in Him but pleased when we all believe in Him and win His paradise. When we say this verse in praying, Āllah will say, “My worshipper is praising Me.”
Maāliki Yawmi Ālddiyn
          The fourth thing we should appreciate from Āllah is His being the only judge in the hereafter, the only master who knows and controls everything. As He is omniscient and omnipresent, no need for Him to consult anyone to know what happened in our lives. And as He is omnipotent, He is able to bring justice to everyone from anyone. When we realize that He is the same one with such great mercy, then we should thank Him because for sure He will bring His mercy to us in the hereafter as long as we didn’t make mistakes and keep repeating them. When we say this verse while praying, Āllah will reply us by saying, “My worshipper is glorifying Me.”
Īyaāka Naâbudu Wa Īyaāka Nastaîyn
          After thanking, we move to the second step of asking Āllah, which is reminding ourselves and telling Āllah that we are worshipping Him and Him only― Īyaāka Naâbudu, and that we are depending on Him and Him only― Wa Īyaāka Nastaîyn.
          Āllah says in one Hadith, “I am the best partner of the highest level. If you share My partnership with another, I will leave My share to the other and never accept any deeds with this kind of sharing.”
          When we are praying or performing any kind of worshipping, we should understand, feel, and confirm that we are doing it only for Āllah rather than waiting for any benefits.
         When we ask Āllah for any kind of favor, either for this life or the hereafter, we should understand, feel, and confirm that the only one who can do this for us is Āllah. We should always remember that we will never obtain anything Āllah doesn’t want us to get; no one can stop things coming to us from Āllah, and no one can give or take without His permission.
          We should work according to the commands of Āllah and obey Him totally. Then He will accept our deeds and arrange the best for us in this life, which will enable us to win the paradise in the hereafter. When we say this verse while praying, Āllah will reply us by saying, “This is between Me and My worshipper, and he will get what he is asking Me for.”
Īhdinaā Ālŝiraāḏa Ālmustaqiym
          After the introduction and preparation for us to know more about Āllah and to remind ourselves again that we are between His hands, we move to the real valuable things we need from Āllah.
          If we earn the real guidance from Āllah, we get everything we need in this life to win the eternal paradise in the hereafter. We have to make sure that all we should ask of Āllah in this life is His guiding us till we reach His paradise― Īhdinaā Ālŝiraāḏa Ālmustaqiym.
          If we know these few things, we will never ask for more than the guidance from Āllah to the straight way to paradise. When we say this verse while praying, Āllah will reply us by saying, “This is for My worshipper and he will get it.”
Ŝiraāḏa Ālaṯhiyna Ānâmta Âlayhim
          Here Āllah is giving us the idea about this straight way we are asking for. It is the way those who earned the real blessing from Āllah have chosen―Ŝiraāḏa Ālaṯhiyna Ānâmta Âlayhim. And we have to remember that the real blessing from Āllah is to gain His satisfaction with our deeds, which will definitely lead us to paradise.
Gayri Ālmagḓuwbi Âlayhim Wala Ālḓḓaālliyn
          The other feature of this straight way is that it is absolutely not the way chosen by those who caused the anger of Āllah, nor by those who refused the guidance of Āllah while having it but going astray.
          Hope this explanation could offer some ideas and feelings about the treasure we Muslims have, the holy Qurān.

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