Surah al-Fatihah is the greatest chapter of the Qur’an, its like is not found in the rest of the Book or in the previous scriptures. It is a light that was granted to Prophet Muhammad, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, which had not been granted to any other Prophet or Messenger before him; indeed some of the salaf stated that when this chapter was revealed, Shaytan let out a cry of lament. It holds a central position in the daily prayer and hence the daily life of the Muslim.
The underlying theme of al-Fatihah is one of contemplation and serenity; pondering the names and Attributes of Allah, pondering the creation, and acknowledging that He Alone deserves praise and worship, that He Alone should be asked for help, that He Alone should be feared and hoped in, that He Alone should be invoked, that there is indeed a Day of Judgement, and that guidance has come to us and we are required to follow it. It calls us to carefully scrutinise our relationship with our Lord: are we living according to the dictates of ‘none has the right to be worshipped save of Allah’ or not? (al-Baqai, Vol 1, pg 12; al-Fairozabadi, vol 1, pg 12) This opening chapter, despite its brevity, calls man to fulfil the rights of Tawhid, the right that Allah has over us to worship Him Alone without any partners, in thirty places. (Siddiq Hasan Khan, al-Din al-Khalis, vol 1, pg 7)
This chapter summarises succinctly the message of the whole Qur’an.
Owing to the importance of this chapter, this commentary has been collated, summarising numerous classical commentaries of the Qur’an, including those of at-Tabari, as-Sama’ani, al-Baghawi, az-Zamakhshari, ibn Atiyyah, ibn al-Jawzi, ar-Razi, al-Qurtubi, Abu Hayyan, ibn al-Qayyim, ibn Kathir, al-Baydawi, ibn Adil, al-Baqai, as-Suyuti, al-Khazin, al-Alusi, ash-Shawkani, Rida, as-Sadi, ash-Shanqiti, Samim amongst others.
Exegesis of a fathomless ocean such as the Book of Allah can never be complete and it is a study that one undertakes throughout the course of one’s life. This commentary is but a tiny portion of the material available in exegesis on this chapter, much has been omitted, much has been summarised, but it should go some way in giving the reader glimpse at the depth of meaning found therein and at the extent of the efforts of our scholars, may Allah have mercy upon them all, in undertaking the momentous task of explaining the Qur’an.
The Spiritual Cure: An Explanation of Surah Al-Fatihah prepared and translated by Abu Rumaysah Pages 17-21