Al-Faatiha – The Opening

 Chapter One of the Holy Qur’an

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

الْحَمْدُ للّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

الرَّحْمـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ

إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ

اهدِنَــــا الصِّرَاطَ المُستَقِيمَ

صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنعَمتَ عَلَيهِمْ غَيرِ المَغضُوبِ عَلَيهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّالِّينَ

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds,
 The Beneficent, the Merciful.
 Master of the Day of Judgment,
Thee (alone) we worship; Thee (alone) we ask for help.
 Show us the straight path,
The path of those whom Thou hast favoured; Not the (path) of those who earn Thine anger nor of those who go astray.

I’ve been thinking today, the Faatiha is such a big part of my life. I recite it in every rakaat of prayer, 5 times a day. I recite it whenever I begin reading Qur’an, regardless of which part I’m up to. I recite it whenever I remember those who have passed, as a gift to them. I recite it whenever I drive past the graveyard. Pretty much all gatherings/events are “opened” with its recitation. It’s also the best way I have of giving thanks and praising my Creator.

Interestingly enough, the chapter is also known as the Sab’ul Mathani – the 7 oft-recited verses!

The part I love most is where I ask for guidance, and I love that I do that so many times a day, in prayer and out, because I truly believe that if those who are seeking ask sincerely for guidance, they will be guided.

I must admit, I’m not always sincere about it. It’s easy to repeat words that you’ve memorised without reflecting on their meaning. But when I take the time to pay attention to what I’m saying, reciting Al-Faatiha really makes my soul soar.

I’m not a native Arabic speaker. When I read the Qur’an, I understand the general gist of what I’m saying but not the specifics. So one thing I love to do is to play a recitation in Arabic while I read the English translation. It really helps to bring home the message contained in the verses.



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