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Al-Cordoby  
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Topic: Reflecting on the Qur'an
    Posted: 20 November 2009 at 12:39am

There are two main readings of the Qur'an:

- Reading it like reading a book, trying to understand its message as we go from one page to the next

- In-depth reading with reflection and analysis

This thread will try to present some reflections from different verses of the Qur'an from a number of sources, starting with Chapter 1: Al-Fatihah

Reflections on Surat Al-Fatihah (Part One)

Al-Fatihah establishes the foundations of Islam, which are detailed in the rest of the Qur'an. It deals with the basics of belief, worship and conduct. The first three verses deal with the belief in Allah and His attributes. The following two verses deal with the worship of Allah. The last two verses deal with the practical aspect of a Muslim's conduct.

 

These three parts of the surah are interrelated to each other. When a Muslim believes in Allah as the God of mercy, he realizes that he should thankfully worship Him. Then, he follows the commands of Allah and will discipline his life accordingly.

 

Al-Fatihah might also be divided into two equal sections. The first section is a praise of Allah and the second is a supplication to Allah to guide human beings to the right way. It is a supplication that gets an immediate response from Allah. ......

 

http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1242759116236&pagename=Zone-English-Living_Shariah%2FLSELayout

 

May Allah guide us and make us better understand the Qur'an and increase us in useful knowledge
 
Ameen
 
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 21 November 2009 at 12:26am
Verse One

 

(In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.)

 

All surahs of the Qur'an start with this verse except for surah 9, At-Tawbah. However, it is considered as an introductory verse to the surahs except for Al-Fatihah in which it is regarded as an independent verse.

 

The first verse of the Qur'an revealed to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) teaches us that we should start reading the Qur'an with the name of Allah;

 

(Read in the name of your Lord Who created.) (Al-`Alaq 96: 1) 

 

Feeling the companionship of Allah, the reader of the Qur'an is likely to understand some of its secrets. As a matter of fact, Allah teaches Muslims that they should observe His presence in all of their actions.

 

In the Qur’an, Almighty Allah establishes this principle at the hearts of Muslims. He says,

 

(And say not of anything: Lo! I shall do that tomorrow, Unless Allah pleases) (Al-Kahf 18: 23-24).

  

The fact that one will remember Allah before taking any decision will discourage him from doing evil. He will be ashamed to do wrong if he remembers his Lord beforehand. ....

Reflections on Surat Al-Fatihah (Part One)

 

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 22 November 2009 at 12:21am

Allah: The All-Merciful, The Compassionate

 

In the first verse of Surat Al-Fatihah the name ”Allah” is used to refer to the Super power that is worthy of being worshipped. It is the name which implies all other names and attributes of Allah.

 

The word ”Ar-Rahman” which is translated here asthe All and Ever Merciful” is an intensive form of the word "rahma," meaning general mercy. The word rahim”, meaning the compassionate, refers to the mercy of Allah which He bestows on people on the Day of Judgment. The first word ”rahman ” is more inclusive because it refers to Allah's mercy in this life and in the hereafter. It is more general than the adjective ”rahimbecause it covers the good and the bad, whereas the word rahim” refers to Allah's mercy on the Day of Judgment which He bestows only on those who deserve it.

 

Sheikh Tantawi Gohary (a scholar of Tafseer) explains that the word ”rahman” refers to Allah's great blessings such as the creation of earth and the sky and that the word ”rahim” refers to the minute and specific blessings such as creating eyelashes for eyes in a perfect way to permit light to go through them and prevent dust from harming them.

 

The word ”rahman” is used only in connection with Allah, whereas the word "rahim" may be applied also to human beings. The word ”rahim”, for example, is used in the Qur’an to describe the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in his relationship with Muslims,

 

(For the believers (he is) full of pity, merciful.) (At-Tawbah 9: 128)

Reflections on Surat Al-Fatihah (Part One)

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 23 November 2009 at 12:10am

Reflections on Surat Al-Fatihah (Part Two)

Merits of Praise  

 

Verse 2 reads,

 

(All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.) (Al-Fatihah 1:2) 

 

The word hamd (Arabic for praise) is derived from the verb hamada, which implies thanking combined with praising. Abul-Qasim Az-Zamakhshari, a great Muslim scholar in Tafsir (1074-1143 AD), explains that the verb hamada (to praise) connotes both praise, which is verbal expression of gratitude, and thankfulness.

 

Realizing that Allah is Merciful and Loving, Muslims praise Him and thank Him for His great kindness. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said that the believers' affairs are all good; if they are afflicted with distress, they endure, and if they are pleased, they thank Allah. Consequently, Allah rewards such Muslims in both cases.

 

Praising Allah is a source of great mercy for those who do it with sincerity. When Almighty Allah is praised by Muslims, the noun hamd is always preceded by the definite article al- (Arabic for the), which indicates that all praise is due to Allah, as He is the Real and Original Benefactor. ......

http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1246346459160&pagename=Zone-English-Living_Shariah%2FLSELayout

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 24 November 2009 at 12:22am

Lord but Gracious and Merciful

 

Verse 3 reads

 

(Most Gracious, Most Merciful.) (Al-Fatihah 1:3) 

 

Having described Himself in Verse 2 as the Lord of the Worlds, Allah consequently wants to make people feel serene by describing Himself in Verse 3 as Ar-Rahman (Most Gracious), Ar-Rahim (Most Merciful).

 

According to Sheikh Ash-Sha`rawi, these two attributes of Allah do not express different degrees of mercy. Each of Allah's attributes represents an ultimate quality. The two attributes mentioned in Verse 3 are separate attributes rather than different degrees of the same attribute.

 

These two attributes are used here to help sinners overcome their feelings of guilt. Allah is Merciful even to the sinners and disbelievers. He sustains them and keeps them alive. This verse implants hope in the hearts of sinners.

 

Dr. Abdullah Shihatah of Al-Azhar University explains that the word Ar-Rahman means that Allah is Merciful Himself and that mercy is part of His Being. The attribute Ar-Rahim refers to Allah's bestowal of His mercifulness on His creation.

 

According to Dr. Shihatah, the relationship between the two attributes (Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim) is similar to the relationship between the attributes rich and generous. The word rich means the quality of having much wealth, whereas the word generous extends the attribute of being "rich" to others. ...

http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1246346459160&pagename=Zone-English-Living_Shariah%2FLSELayout

The last 2 paragraphs above are (imo) excellent explanations
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 25 November 2009 at 12:27am

Allah's Mercy & The Day of Judgment

 

In emphasizing the attributes of mercy in the first surah of the Qur'an, Almighty Allah reminds us of His loving nature. In many verses of His Qur'an He indicates that His mercy precedes His anger. He, Exalted, says,

 

(And My mercy embraces all things; therefore I shall ordain it for those who ward off (evil) and pay the poor rate and those who believe in Our revelations.) (Al-A`raf 7:156)

 

 

Attitude towards the Day of Judgment

 

Verse 4 reads

 

(Master of the Day of Judgment.) (Al-Fatihah 1:4) 

 

The Arabic word maalik, which means possessor or master, is pronounced by some readers of the Qur'an as malik, which means king (of the Day of Judgment). Both readings are acceptable. However, the reading that means possessor is said to be more effective than that meaning king.

 

A possessor has direct right to the thing possessed, whereas a king can be regarded as a protector of such a thing. On the other hand, it is said that a king has more power than a possessor. Hence, the two readings are acceptable.

 

It is better to think of Allah as both the only king and the sole possessor of the Day of Judgment. On that day, Allah will ask, (Whose is the Sovereignty this day? The answer will then come from Him at the same verse: (Allah is the only Lord (Ghafir 40: 16)    

 

When sinners realize that there will be punishment on the Day of Judgment, they will correct their conduct in this life. Good Muslims are encouraged to do good deeds when they realize that they will be rewarded for such deeds on the Day of Judgment. .......

 

Reflections on Surat Al-Fatihah (Part Two)

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 26 November 2009 at 10:39pm
Originally posted by Al-Cordoby

Al-Fatihah might also be divided into two equal sections. The first section is a praise of Allah and the second is a supplication to Allah to guide human beings to the right way. It is a supplication that gets an immediate response from Allah. ......

 

 

May Allah guide us and make us better understand the Qur'an and increase us in useful knowledge
 
Ameen
 
 
Aameen...Jazakh Allah Khair for this very wonderful thread
 
On the Supplication to Allah swt for guidance with reference to Al-Fatihah...
 
1. SEEKING divine guidance

"Show us the straight path." [1/al-Fatiha/6]

Divine guidance primarily benefits those who cherish it. Just like when you are looking for the answer to a question and you earnestly search for answer, or when you are lost and you search for direction, or when you are hungry and you look for food, the same is true about divine guidance. Until one feels the earnestness in seeking guidance, quite often the guidance is treated as an imposition and our minds tend to resist it. Islam is a Deen (way of life) based on Fitra (innate nature). Thus, our relationship with divine guidance becomes natural when there is the same natural earnestness that we generally have when "we" want, desire, cherish something. The absence of this natural relationship is the primary reason why so many people find following any divine guidance difficult or onerous. As the natural state of mind vis-a-vis the divine guidance grows, our resistance to divine guidance melts away. Then, just like after seeking water you find it, quench your thirst and then exclaim 'aaaaaaahhhhhh', the feeling reverberates regarding divine guidance. Surah al-Fatiha is very special as part of the revelations from God. In a way in this Surah God is revealing our own natural state of mind and echoing our true inner state: "Show us the straight path." Surah al-Fatiha is more than a revelation, it is the reflection of our earnestness in seeking guidance. It is our innermost prayer to which the rest of the Qur'an is the response of God: his guidance. If you have not understood Surah al-Fatiha this way before, then go ahead and try once more pouring your heart into your supplication to God: "Show us the Straight Path."

 
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah
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La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 02 December 2009 at 12:26am

Verse Five of Chapter 1 (Al-Fatihah)
 
(Thee (alone) we worship; Thee (alone) we ask for help.)
 
Instead of the third person case in the first four verses, the remaining three verses use the second person. This indicates the propinquity and nearness that a Muslim feels towards Allah.
 
A Muslim, addresses Allah directly saying: (Thee (alone) we worship). The sentence starts with the object "Thee" rather than the subject “We” because of the superiority of the pronoun “Thee” that refers to Allah. The inversion here is a rhetorical device in Arabic, which implies confinement, meaning that Muslims worship only Allah and none else.
 
The Real Purpose of Creation
 
Islam assigns that man is created mainly to worship Allah seeking reforming his life. The verb worship, na`bud in Arabic, implies not just the performance of certain rites, but this worship should also affect the Muslim’s personality by purifying his character from all aspects of arrogance.
 
Indeed, the feelings of fear, love, hope, submission and humility are all included in the Arabic word na`bud. Making this purpose clear, Allah Almighty says in the Qur’an,
 
(I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me.) (Adh-Dhariyat 51:56)
 
A Muslim's relationship with Allah is not one of enslavement in the common sense of the word. It is, rather, a relationship of love which grants man more freedom than restraint, as it frees him from enslavement to anyone else in life except to Allah.
 
However, this attachment to Allah does not mean living in seclusion. A Muslim is requested to be an active member of his society. When `Umar ibn Al-Khattab saw a man praying most of the day in the mosque, he asked how he earns his living, and was told that the man's brother supports him. `Umar said: “His brother is closer to Allah than him”.
 
It was also narrated that three men came to the Prophet asking about his worship. When they learned the answer, they thought they could do more than that; and the first of them said, “I will pray all night”, the second said: “I will fast perpetually” and the third said: “I will keep aloof from women (will not marry)”. Hearing what they said, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “I am the most pious of you and I pray and sleep during the night. I fast and break my fast, and I marry women. Whoever takes things to extremes does not follow my way.” (Al-Bukhari)
 
When a Muslim perceives some of Allah’s qualities and attributes, he will realize that Allah alone is worthy of worship, and the only One to ask for help.
 
The second part of the verse is important for the following reasons:
 
·         It completes the idea mentioned in the first part of the verse. Deciding to worship Allah alone implies that Muslims have become pious and devout. This may inflate a person's feelings of pride and self-conceit.
 
·         It implies that a Muslim's devoutness and piety is a gift from Allah, and that he can therefore only do his prayers properly when Allah guides him. That's why, a good Muslim should always beseech Allah’s guidance to worship Him because it is for his own benefit. 
 
Be a Slave to Allah or to a Human?
 
This attachment to Allah is completely different from  a relationship with a boss or a landlord. Being a slave to a human being, the master enjoys his slave’s services, but enslavement to Allah grants the slave his Master’s blessings. It is a relationship in which the Master willingly blesses His slave with all his needs. Allah says in the Qur'an,
 
(I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calls on Me) (Al-Baqarah 2:186)
 
Showing that enslavement to Him is considered an honor to man. Allah Almighty describes His Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) as His “slave” in the context of Al-Israa’ and Al-Mi`raj. Allah says,
 
(Glory to (Allah) Who did take His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the farthest Mosque) (Al-Israa’ 17:1)

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 03 December 2009 at 12:16am

Verse Six - Chapter 1
 
(Show us the straight way)
 
After a Muslim's attestation to Allah’s oneness, mercy and power, he is requested to ask Allah for guidance as he is then prepared and qualified for guidance, and he asks for the straight path to the proper worship of Allah.
 
This verse is an explanation of the help requested in the previous verse. The word ihdena, Arabic for (guide us), means: keep us committed and dedicated to your religion. This probably explains why Muslims recite this verse many times a day in their prayers. They eagerly need to be committed and devoted to the religion of Allah.
 
Some scholars say that "the straight way" is Allah’s Book as it was indicated in the following surah where Allah Almighty says,
 
(This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah) (Al-Baqarah 2:2)
 
According to Muslims, the “right way” is the way of Prophet Muhammad and his Companions that was detailed in the Qur'an. `Aisha, the dearest wife of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) described him as an incarnation of the morals of the Qur'an.

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Verse Seven, Chapter 1
 
(The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray)
 
According to Islam, the people upon whom Allah has bestowed His favors are the righteous and the truthful that may be referred to as the prophets of past nations or Prophet Muhammad and his Companions.
 
On the other hand, those who have incurred Allah's wrath are the disobedient and those who have gone astray are the nonbelievers. Referring to those who have gone astray Allah the Exalted says,
 
(Let them bear, on the Day of Judgment, their own burdens in full, and also (something) of the burdens of those without knowledge, whom they misled.) (An-Nahl 16:25)
 
Those who have gone astray are those who knew the truth and did not follow it. Such people are mistaken in their judgments. They are blinded to the truth and they are lost in the darkness of their blindness.
 
A good Muslim begs Allah to keep him committed to the way of Islam away from that of the disbelievers and hypocrites. But those who chose to be disbelievers will not be guided as Allah says in the Qur’an,
 
(Allah will not guide those who reject Faith) (An-Nahl 16:107)
 
Allah's blessings and graces to mankind, both physical, like health, and non-physical, like knowledge, are countless. Likewise, Allah will also exercise His blessings and graces on people on the Day of Judgment. This positive concept of the Divine Being encourages individuals to get closer to Allah, their loving protector.
 
Hearing the supplication which ends this short surah, Muslims are recommended to say “Ameen” – begging Allah to respond to their supplication. It was narrated that the Prophet said:
 
"When you hear the last verse of Al-Fatihah, you should say Ameen, for when the angels hear the verse, they say Ameen”  (Al-Bukhari).
 
The surah ends with supplication to Allah to guide all human beings to righteousness and truthfulness. Indeed, it is a short surah that sums up the whole Qur'an and describes all the basics of the religion of Islam.

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 06 December 2009 at 12:29am
 

Al-Fatihah (Chapter 1): The Essence of the Qur’an

Surat Al-Fatihah is both a prayer and a full introduction to the message of the Qur'an.

As a prayer it contains the praise and glorification of Allah and the human request for Allah's guidance, direction, and blessings .........

 As an introduction to the Qur'an, Al-Fatihah contains all the basic principles that are given in detail in the Qur'an. It tells us that we are surrounded by Allah's grace and favors. He is the Source of all love and mercy. We should be thankful to Him. Our life is not permanent. We will die one day and He will judge us. He alone is the Master of that Day and We must worship Him and Him alone. We must seek His help and He has all the power to give us whatever we need. It reminds us that Allah is the only One Who can really guide.

It calls for righteous actions in this life. It speaks about life after death and the consequences of human action and behavior. It tells us that the true guidance comes through Allah's prophets and messengers. They were the people who were truly guided, and they received Allah's grace and mercy. Those who turned away from that path were those who went astray and they incurred the wrath of Allah and His punishment. ...........

http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1158658466777&pagename=Zone-English-Living_Shariah%2FLSELayout

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 06 December 2009 at 2:20pm
Imam Suhaib Webb's reflections on the relationship with Qur'an and Surah Fatihah
 
 
 
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 08 December 2009 at 12:37am
Thank you for that link sister
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