Sura/Chapter:

Verse:    Count: 7
Tafseer/Commentary:
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Translations:
1: Al-Fatiha - الفاتحة

1:1
[ Original ]
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
[ Saheeh International ]
In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
Tafseer Commentary

19 The Arabic words "Rahman and Rahim," translated "Most Gracious" and "Most Merciful" are both intensive forms referring to different aspects of Allah's attribute of Mercy. The Arabic intensive is more suited to express Allah's attributes than the superlative degree in English. The latter implies a comparison with other beings, or with other times or places, while there is no being like unto Allah, and He is independent of Time and Place. Mercy may imply pity, long-suffering, patience, and forgiveness, all of which the sinner needs and Allah Most Merciful bestows in abundant measure. But there is a Mercy that goes before even the need arises, the Grace which is ever watchful, and flows from Allah Most Gracious to all His creatures, protecting them, preserving them, guiding them, and leading them to clearer light and higher life. For this reason the attribute Rahman (Most Gracious) is not applied to any but Allah, but the attribute Rahim (Merciful), is a general term, and may also be applied to Men. To make us contemplate these boundless gifts of Allah, the formula: "In the name of Allah Most Gracious, Most Merciful": is placed before every Surah of the Qur'an (except the ninth), and repeated at the beginning of every act by the Muslim who dedicates his life to Allah, and whose hope is in His Mercy. Opinion is divided whether the Bismillah should be numbered as a separate verse or not It is unanimously agreed that it is a part of the Qur'an. Therefore it is better to give it an independent number in the first Surah. For subsequent Surahs it is treated as an introduction or headline, and therefore not numbered.


1:2
[ Original ]
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds;
[ Saheeh International ]
[All] praise is [due] to Allah, Lord of the worlds -
Tafseer Commentary

20 The Arabic word Rabb, usually translated Lord, has also the meaning of cherishing, sustaining, bringing to maturity. Allah cares for all the worlds He has created (see n. 1787 and n. 4355). There are many worlds - astronomical and physical worlds, worlds of thought, spiritual world, and so on. In every one of them, Allah is all-in-all. We express only one aspect of it when we say: "In Him we live, and move, and have our being." The mystical division between (1) Nasut, the human world knowable by the senses, (2) Malakut, the invisible world of angels, and (3) Lahut, the divine world of Reality, requires a whole volume to explain it.


1:3
[ Original ]
الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Most Gracious, Most Merciful;
[ Saheeh International ]
The Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful,

1:4
[ Original ]
مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Master of the Day of Judgment.
[ Saheeh International ]
Sovereign of the Day of Recompense.

1:5
[ Original ]
إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.
[ Saheeh International ]
It is You we worship and You we ask for help.
Tafseer Commentary

21 On realizing in our souls Allah's love and care, His grace and mercy, and His power and justice (as Ruler of the Day of Judgement), the immediate result is that we bend in the act of worship, and see both our shortcomings and His allsufficient power. The emphatic form means that not only do we reach the position of worshipping Allah and asking for His help, but we worship Him alone and ask for His aid only. For there is none other than He worthy of our devotion and able to help us. Then plural "we" indicates that we associate ourselves with all who seek Allah, thus strengthening ourselves and strengthening them in a fellowship of faith (see n. 586).


1:6
[ Original ]
اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Show us the straight way,
[ Saheeh International ]
Guide us to the straight path -
Tafseer Commentary

22 If we translate by the English word "guide," we shall have to say: "Guide us to and in the straight Way." For we may be wandering aimlessly, and the first step is to find the Way; and the second need is to keep in the Way: Our own wisdom may fail in either case. The straight Way is often the narrow Way, or the steep Way, which many people shun (90:11). By the world's perversity the straight Way is sometimes stigmatized and the crooked Way praised. How are we to judge? We must ask for Allah's guidance. With a little spiritual insight we shall see which are the people who walk in the light of Allah's grace, and which are those that walk in the darkness of Wrath. This also would help our judgement.


1:7
[ Original ]
صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray.
[ Saheeh International ]
The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray.
Tafseer Commentary

23 Note that the words relating to Grace are connected actively with Allah; those relating to Wrath are impersonal. In the one case Allah's Mercy encompasses us beyond our deserts. In the other case our own actions are responsible for the Wrath - the negative of Grace, Peace, or Harmony.

24 Are there two categories? - those who are in the darkness of Wrath and those who stray? The first are those who deliberately break Allah's law; the second those who stray out of carelessness or negligence. Both are responsible for their own acts or omissions. In opposition to both are the people who are in the light of Allah's Grace: for His Grace not only protects them from active wrong (if they will only submit their will to Him) but also from straying into paths of temptation or carelessness. The negative ghayr should be construed as applying not to the way, but as describing men protected from two dangers by Allah's Grace.


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