Surah Al-Fatiha (The Opening)
In the name of Allah, All Merciful, Most Merciful
1. Praise be to Allah, Lord of all the worlds, The King of the Day of Judgment
- The All-Merciful, the Most Merciful,
You alone we worship, You alone we ask for help
Guide us on the Straight Path,
The Path of those whom you have blessed,
Not of those with anger on them, nor of the misguided.
There are several traditions on record regarding the revelation of this Surah, some claim it a Makkan and the others, a Madinite. The jurists, however, agree that it was revealed once at Makka and then at Madina as well. Wahdi [in his Asbab-l-Nazul] and Thalibi [in his commentary of the Holy Qur'an] have both narrated Hadrat Ali' saying: ?The chapter Al-Fatiha was revealed from a treasure in Makka that was situated beneath al-'Arsh (the Exalted Throne).?
Abu Na'im writes [in his Dalayl al-Nubuwwat]: ?When the young men of the Tribe Banu Salma accepted Islam, so did the son of `Umro bin Jamuh. Then `Umro?s wife said to her husband: ?Ask your son what he knows about this man i.e. the Holy Prophet, `Umro asked his son to recite his revelations. His son went on to recite: ?Al-Hamdu lillah ... . Laddalin!? At this the father remarked: ?What a beautiful revelation! Are all the revelations like this?? His son replied: ?They are more of them more beautiful than this.?? This dialogue dates back to the time before Hijrah (migration), which traditions indicate that this is a Makkan Surah.
Imam lbn Sha'ibah [in his Mussanaf], Abu Said bin `Arabi [in Mu'ajam] and Tabarani [in Aoust] have all, on the authority of Mujahid, narrated: ?lblis wept bitterly at its revelation in Madina.? In his Commentary Imam Wakih has reported Mujahid saying that Surah Al-Fatiha was revealed in Madina.
The Different Names of Surah Al-Fatiha
1. Fatiha Al-Kitab, it is known by this name as the Holy Qur'an begins with this Surah and so does learning and knowledge. The daily prayers begin with its recitation. Many Ahadith have it that the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) named it as such.
2. Umm Al-Qur'an, the source and the meanings of anything are called Umm, which it is intended to mean by the whole of the Holy Qur'an.
(i) Uluhiyyat, the Dhat (being) and Sifat (qualities) of Allah, the Almighty, as in ?Al-Hamdulillahi Rabh-il'Alamin... ;?
(ii) Ma'ad (Resurrection after death) as meant by ?Maliki Yaum-id-Din... ;?
(iii) Nubuwwat (the institution of Prophethood) as derived from ?Ihdenissrat al-mustaqeem..,? that is it is a supplication for guidance like those who are successful i.e. His Prophets (Peace be upon them all);
(iv) Qada Al-Qadr (free will and predestination) as in ?Iyyakana'budu ... ,? that is the human being is bound to discharge the obligatory duties and is not the originator of his deeds.
Abu Huraira has narrated the Holy Prophet saying: ?The Surah al-Hamd is Umm al-Qur'an, Umm al-Kitab and Saba'min al-Mathani.
3. Surah Al-Hamd, this Surah is named as such as it abounds in the Almighty Allah's praise. According to Sunnan Al-Darami the Holy Prophet has called this Surah Al-Hamd.
 Al-Duarr Al-Manshur in Al-Tibyan Al-Qur'an V1, P143-1440
 SunnanAl-DaramiV2, P321
To be continued in the next issue.