The disease of the heart occurs due to two basic matters:
- The corruption of knowledge
- The corruption of intent
These in turn lead to two fatal illnesses: misguidance and anger, misguidance being the end result of corruption of knowledge and anger being the end result of the corruption of intent. These two illnesses are the lords of all the diseases of the heart.
When one asks for guidance to the Straight Path, he is asking for that which will cure the disease of misguidance. This is why this Surah has been made obligatory upon every servant in every prayer.
Actualising the verse, “You Alone we worship and You Alone we ask for help” serves as a cure for the corruption of intent. This is because the intent is linked to the objectives and means of attaining them. Therefore this cure is composed of six matters:
- Worshipping Allah alone
- By performing what He commanded and legislated
- Not by following ones own desires
- Neither by following the mere opinions of people
- By asking Allah for His help to enact this
- And not relying on oneself
Furthermore the heart is beset with two dangerous and destructive diseases and this verse serves as a cure for them. Ibn Tayimmah said, “You Alone we worship” represses ostentation and “You Alone we ask for help” represses arrogance.” (ibn al-Qayyim)
As regards its curing the bodily illnesses, this can be seen in the hadith of Abu Said recorded by Bukhari that after he had recited it to cure a person who has been bitten by a scorpion, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, said to him, “… and what made you know that it was a ruqya?” (ibn al-Qayyim)
The Spiritual Cure: An Explanation of Surah Al-Fatihah prepared and translated by Abu Rumaysah Pages 186-187