From the manners that Islam has taught us is to begin our actions by mentioning the Name of Allah. The purpose behind this is far-reaching and manifold:
- It brings to mind Allah before one does the action.
- It prevents one from doing evil actions.
- It aids one in attaining Allah’s support and succour in that action.
- It reminds one of the purpose, the source of fulfilment, the source of blessings for that action and its destination. (an-Nasafi, vol 1, p13)
Ibn al-Qayyim explained this final point further,
“Allah, Exalted is He says, “There is not a single thing except that its depositories and treasures are with Us.” (al-Hijr 15:21) This verse comprises a [great] treasure from the treasures [of the Qur’an], this being that nothing is sought except from the One who possesses its depositories and treasures, the One in whose hands lie the keys to these treasures. Seeking [things] from anyone else is seeking something from one who does not possess them or possess any authority over them.
The saying of Allah, Exalted is He, “…and that to your Lord is the final goal” (an-Najm 53:42) comprises an immense treasure, this being that every desired objective that is not desired for His sake and is not connected [in any form or fashion] to Him is temporary and soon to disappear for its final goal is not with Him. The final goal lies only with the One to whom all matters find their conclusion, terminating at His creation, will, wisdom and knowledge. Therefore He is the source of every desired matter.
Everything that is loved – if it is not loved for His sake then this love is nothing but distress and punishment. Every action that is not performed for His sake then it is wasted and severed. Every heart that does not reach Him is wretched and veiled from achieving its success and happiness.
Therefore Allah has gathered everything that could be desired from Him in His saying, “There is not a single thing except that its depositories and treasures are with Us.” (al-Hijr 15:21) and he has gathered everything that is done for His sake in His saying, “… and that to your Lord is the final goal.” (an-Najm 53:42) Therefore there is nothing beyond Allah that deserves to be sought and nothing finds its conclusion with other than Him.”
The ba (with) is known as the ba of istianah or seeking help and support, meaning that the servant is seeking the aid of Allah in the action he is about to perform, thereby expressing his servitude to Him. (Abu Hasan, vol 1, p126)
The Spiritual Cure: An Explanation of Surah Al-Fatihah prepared and translated by Abu Rumaysah Pages 56-59