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Tafsir of [1:5-7]

The first half of al faatihah (up to half-way through ayah 4), is du’aa ul ibaadah and the second half is du’aa ul mas’alah.

Du’aa ul ibaadah is praising Allah and stating His greatness.

The best du’aa is Alhamdulillah according to the hadith:

"The best Dhikr (remembering Allah) is La ilaha illallah and the best supplication is Al-Hamdu Lillah."

(At Tirmidhi, An Nasaai and Ibn Maajah from Jaabir)

The best du’aa on the day of ‘arafah is laa ilaaha illallah wahdahu la shareeka lahu lahul mulk wa lahul hamd yuhyee wa yumeet wa huwa ‘alaa kulli shayyin qadeer.
This form of du’aa is more virtuous and rewarding even though one is not asking for anything.
The attributes stated in the first half of al faatihah are from the greatest attributes of Allah.

Du’aa ul mas'alah is asking for the needs of the slave to be fulfilled.

Tafsir of [1:5]

"Guide us to the Straight Way"

As Siraat al Mustaqeem (the straight way)

What is As Siraat al Mustaqeem?

Definition mentioned by ibn Kathir based on the following hadith:

“Allah has set an example: a Sirat (straight path) that is surrounded by two walls on both sides, with several open doors within the walls covered with curtains. There is a caller on the gate of the Sirat who heralds, 'O people! Stay on the path and do not deviate from it.' Meanwhile, a caller from above the path is also warning any person who wants to open any of these doors, 'Woe unto you! Do not open it, for if you open it you will pass through.' The straight path is Islam, the two walls are Allah's set limits, while the doors resemble what Allah has prohibited. The caller on the gate of the Sirat is the Book of Allah, while the caller above the Sirat is Allah's admonishment in the heart of every Muslim.”

(Ahmad from An Nawwaas ibn Sam'aan)

Ihdinaa (guide us):

Why does the believer need to ask for guidance in every rak’ah of every salaah, five times a day?

“O you who believe! Believe in Allah, and His Messenger (Muhammad), and the Book (the Qur'an) which He has sent down to His Messenger, and the Scripture which He sent down to those before (him)” [4:16]

The fact that believers are told to believe means that they must be insistent and constantly revive their belief.
This can be compared to asking for guidance when we are already muslim. It is to keep us persistent upon and revive us on the straight path when the shaytaan is calling us to open the doors of the prohibited.

Therefore, the du’aa we are making is actually for three things:

"Make us firm on the path of guidance and do not allow us to deviate from it.''

“Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us, and grant us mercy from You. Truly, You are the Bestower.” [3:8]

There are two types of guidance, mujmal and mufassal. That which is general and standard and that which is distinguished. We are asking for the distinguished guidance, the higher level of guidance.

The asl (root) of the human being is the inclination towards sin and the inclination towards doubts. It is ignorance and sin that takes one away from the straight path.

It was only the 7th year after hijrah, 3 years before the prophet passed away that Allah revealed that he had been guided to the straight path [48:2]. So if that was the prophet, what of us?

This is a need of the slave that is from the necessities,

Asking for provision and help is not something that needs to be asked for but is granted anyway for the one who fears Allah.

“...And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him...” [65:2-3]

Thus this du’aa is an obligation and automatically includes the provision and help of Allah.

Tafsir of [1:6]

"The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace,"

An'amta 'alayhim (you bestowed your grace upon them)

Who are those who Allah bestowed His grace upon?

 “And whooever obeys Allah and the Messenger, then they will be in the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed His Grace, of the Prophets, the Siddiqun (those followers of the Prophets who were first and foremost to believe in them, like Abu Bakr As-Siddiq), the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are!” [4:69]

Tafsir of [1:7]

"Not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger, nor of those who went astray."

Maghdhubi 'alayhim (anger is upon them)

Say: "Shall I inform you of something worse than that, regarding the recompense from Allah: those (Jews) who incurred the Curse of Allah and His Wrath, those of whom (some) He transformed into monkeys and swines, those who worshipped Taghut (false deities); such are worse in rank, and far more astray from the Right Path." [5:60]

Many hadith clarify who these are

“...Those who have earned the anger are the Jews and those who are led astray are the Christians.”

(At Tirmidhi and Ahmad from 'Adi ibn Haatim)

Report of Zayd ibn ‘Amr ibn Naufal that before Islam, he went to ash sham seeking a true religion where he met the jews who said "You will not become a Jew unless you carry a share of the anger of Allah that we have earned.'

Adh Dhaalleen (the misguided)

Say: "O people of the Scripture! Exceed not the limits in your religion (by believing in something) other than the truth, and do not follow the vain desires of people who went astray in times gone by, and who misled many, and strayed  from the Right Path." [5:77]

Exceeding the limits in this ayah meant taking ‘Isa as the son of God.

Hadith given above shows these were the Christians who went astray.

The Christians are better than the Jews as the Jews knew the truth and rejected it whilst the Christians did not bother to find the truth, they just acted on what they thought.

Aameen (not actually part of the surah)

Who should say aameen? Who should say it loud?

“When the Imaam says ‘ghayril maghdhubi...’, then say aameen as whoever’s statement coincides with the statement of the angels, all his previous sins would be forgiven”

(Bukhari from Abu Hurayrah)

Thus aameen should be said by the one behind (difference over whether it should be said loud)

“When the Imaam says aameen,  then say aameen, as whoever’s aameen coincides with the aameen of the angels, all his previous sins would be forgiven”

(Bukhari from Abu Hurayrah, Ibn Shihaab said at the end of this report that the messenger of Allah used to say aameen).

“When the messenger of Allah recited the verse "Nor of those who go astray", he would say aameen and raised his voice”

(At Tirmidhi from Waail ibn Hajar)

Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah nrecorded this Hadith and ad Daraqutni said it is hasan with the addition:

"Then the Masjid would shake because of (those behind the Prophet ) reciting Amin.'' Also, Ad-Daraqutni recorded this Hadith and commented that it is Hasan.

Based on these, stronger opinion is that both the Imaam and those behind should say aameen loud. Note that this is from the sunnan of the prayer and can be dropped for good reasons (e.g. risk of fitnah).

Based on these and others with Ibn ul ‘Arabi said there are 4 parts to this:

Aameen of the Imaam
Aameen of those behind him
Aameen of the angels
The coincidence of the aameen

If all of these coincide, the sayers of aameen have their sins forgiven.

What does aameen mean?


Name of Allah
Allahumma astajib (O Allah, answer) – most correct and accepted.
Be it like this

This is a word which this nation has been privileged with:

Ibn Abbaas said (although this is also attributed to the prophet in a hadith recorded by Ibn Maajah from ‘Aaishah) “the ahlul kitaab are not envious of you in anything maore than they are envious of your saying of aameen (and salaam).”