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AL-FATIHAH

THE OPENING

Verse

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Page 1

THE MEANING OF AL-FATIHAH AND ITS VARIOUS NAMES

This Surah is called Al-Fatihah, that is, the Opener of the Book, the Surah with which prayers are begun. It is also called, Umm Al-Kitab (the Mother of the Book), according to the majority of the scholars. In an authentic Hadith recorded by At-Tirmidhi, who graded it Sahih, Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« الْحَمْدُ للهِ رَبَ الْعَالَمِينَ أُمُّ الْقُرْآنِ وَأُمُّ الْكِتَابِ وَالسَّبْعُ الْمَثَانِي وَالْقُرْآنُ الْعَظِيمُ »

(Al-Hamdu lillahi Rabbil-`Alamin is the Mother of the Qur’an, the Mother of the Book, and the seven repeated Ayat of the Glorious Qur’an.)

It is also called Al-Hamd and As-Salah, because the Prophet said that his Lord said,

« قَسَمْتُ الصَّلاَةَ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَ عَبْدِي نِصْفَيْنِ وَلِعَبْدِي مَا سَأَلَ فَإِذَا قَالَ الْعَبْدُ: الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ‏ قَالَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى حَمِدَنِي عَبْدِي »

(`The prayer (i.e., Al-Fatihah) is divided into two halves between Me and My servants.’ When the servant says, `All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of existence,’ Allah says, ‘My servant has praised Me.’)

Al-Fatihah was called the Salah, because reciting it is a condition for the correctness of Salah – the prayer. Al-Fatihah was also called Ash-Shifa’ (the Cure).

It is also called Ar-Ruqyah (remedy), since in the Sahih, there is the narration of Abu Sa`id telling the story of the Companion who used Al-Fatihah as a remedy for the tribal chief who was poisoned. Later, the Messenger of Allah said to a Companion,

« وَمَا يُدْرِيكَ أَنَّهَا رُقْيَةٌ »

(How did you know that it is a Ruqyah)

Al-Fatihah was revealed in Makkah as Ibn `Abbas, Qatadah and Abu Al-`Aliyah stated. Allah said,

﴿ وَلَقَدۡ ءَاتَيۡنَـٰكَ سَبۡعً۬ا مِّنَ ٱلۡمَثَانِى

(And indeed, We have bestowed upon you the seven Mathani) (seven repeatedly recited verses), (i.e. Surat Al-Fatihah) (15:87). Allah knows best.

HOW MANY AYAT DOES AL-FATIHAH CONTAIN

There is no disagreement over the view that Al-Fatihah contains seven Ayat. According to the majority of the reciters of Al-Kufah, a group of the Companions, the Tabi`in, and a number of scholars from the successive generations, the Bismillah is a separate Ayah in its beginning. We will mention this subject again soon, if Allah wills, and in Him we trust.

THE NUMBER OF WORDS AND LETTERS IN AL-FATIHAH

The scholars say that Al-Fatihah consists of twenty-five words, and that it contains one hundred and thirteen letters.

THE REASON IT IS CALLED UMM AL-KITAB

In the beginning of the Book of Tafsir, in his Sahih, Al-Bukhari said; “It is called Umm Al-Kitab, because the Qur’an starts with it and because the prayer is started by reciting it.” It was also said that it is called Umm Al-Kitab, because it contains the meanings of the entire Qur’an. Ibn Jarir said, “The Arabs call every comprehensive matter that contains several specific areas an Umm. For instance, they call the skin that surrounds the brain, Umm Ar-Ra’s. They also call the flag that gathers the ranks of the army an Umm.” He also said, “Makkah was called Umm Al-Qura, (the Mother of the Villages) because it is the grandest and the leader of all villages. It was also said that the earth was made starting from Makkah.”

Further, Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah narrated about Umm Al-Qur’an that the Prophet said,

« هِيَ أُمُّ الْقُرْآنِ وَهِيَ السَّبْعُ الْمَثَانِي وَهِيَ الْقُرْآنُ الْعَظِيمُ »

(It is Umm Al-Qur’an, the seven repeated (verses) and the Glorious Qur’an.)

Also, Abu Ja`far, Muhammad bin Jarir At-Tabari recorded Abu Hurayrah saying that the Messenger of Allah said about Al-Fatihah,

« هِيَ أُمُّ الْقُرْآنِ وَهِيَ فَاتِحَةُ الْكِتَابِ وَهِيَ السَّبْعُ الْمَثَانِي »

(It is Umm Al-Qur’an, Al-Fatihah of the Book (the Opener of the Qur’an) and the seven repeated (verses).)

VIRTUES OF AL-FATIHAH

Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal recorded in the Musnad that Abu Sa`id bin Al-Mu`alla said, “I was praying when the Prophet called me, so I did not answer him until I finished the prayer. I then went to him and he said, (What prevented you from coming) I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! I was praying.’ He said, (`Didn’t Allah say),

﴿ يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ٱسۡتَجِيبُواْ لِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ إِذَا دَعَاكُمۡ لِمَا يُحۡيِيڪُمۡ‌ۖ

(O you who believe! Answer Allah (by obeying Him) and (His) Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life) He then said,

« لَأُعَلِّمَنَّكَ أَعْظَمَ سُورَةٍ فِي الْقُرْآنِ قَبْلَ أَنْ تَخْرُجَ مِنَ الْمَسْجِدِ »

(I will teach you the greatest Surah in the Qur’an before you leave the Masjid.) He held my hand and when he was about to leave the Masjid, I said, `O Messenger of Allah! You said: I will teach you the greatest Surah in the Qur’an.’ He said, (Yes.)

﴿ ٱلۡحَمۡدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ

(Al-Hamdu lillahi Rabbil-`Alamin)”

« نَعَمْ هِيَ السَّبْعُ الْمَثَانِي وَالْقُرْآنُ الْعَظِيمُ الَّذِي أُوتِيتُهُ »

(It is the seven repeated (verses) and the Glorious Qur’an that I was given.)”

Al-Bukhari, Abu Dawud, An-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah also recorded this Hadith.

Also, Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said, “The Messenger of Allah went out while Ubayy bin Ka`b was praying and said, (O Ubayy!) Ubayy did not answer him. The Prophet said, (O Ubayy!) Ubayy prayed faster then went to the Messenger of Allah saying, `Peace be unto you, O Messenger of Allah!’ He said, (Peace be unto you. O Ubayy, what prevented you from answering me when I called you) He said, `O Messenger of Allah! I was praying.’ He said, (Did you not read among what Allah has sent down to me,)

﴿ ٱسۡتَجِيبُواْ لِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ إِذَا دَعَاكُمۡ لِمَا يُحۡيِيڪُمۡ‌ۖ

(Answer Allah (by obeying Him) and (His) Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life) He said, `Yes, O Messenger of Allah! I will not do it again.’ the Prophet said,

« أَتُحِبُّ أَنْ أُعَلِّمَكَ سُورَةً لَمْ تَنْزِلْ لَا فِي التَّورَاةِ وَلَا فِي الْإِنْجِيلِ وَلَا فِي الزَّبُورِ وَلَا فِي الْفُرْقَانِ مِثْلَهَا؟ »

(Would you like me to teach you a Surah the likes of which nothing has been revealed in the Tawrah, the Injil, the Zabur (Psalms) or the Furqan (the Qur’an)) He said, `Yes, O Messenger of Allah!’ The Messenger of Allah said, (I hope that I will not leave through this door until you have learned it.) He (Ka`b) said, `The Messenger of Allah held my hand while speaking to me. Meanwhile I was slowing down fearing that he might reach the door before he finished his conversation. When we came close to the door, I said: O Messenger of Allah! What is the Surah that you have promised to teach me’ He said, (What do you read in the prayer.) Ubayy said, `So I recited Umm Al-Qur’an to him.’ He said,

« وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ مَا أَنْزَلَ اللهُ فِي التَّورَاةِ وَلَا فِي الْإِنْجِيلِ وَلَا فِي الزَّبُورِ وَلَا فِي الْفُرْقَانِ مِثْلَهَا إِنَّهَا السَّبْعُ الْمَثَانِي »

(By Him in Whose Hand is my soul! Allah has never revealed in the Tawrah, the Injil, the Zabur or the Furqan a Surah like it. It is the seven repeated verses that I was given.)”

Also, At-Tirmidhi recorded this Hadith and in his narration, the Prophet said,

« إِنَّهَا مِنَ السَّبْعِ الْمَثَانِي وَالْقُرْآنِ الْعَظِيمِ الَّذِي أُعْطِيتُهُ »

(It is the seven repeated verses and the Glorious Qur’an that I was given.) At-Tirmidhi then commented that this Hadith is Hasan Sahih.

There is a similar Hadith on this subject narrated from Anas bin Malik Further, `Abdullah, the son of Imam Ahmad, recorded this Hadith from Abu Hurayrah from Ubayy bin Ka`b, and he mentioned a longer but similar wording for the above Hadith. In addition, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa’i recorded this Hadith from Abu Hurayrah from Ubayy bin Ka`b who said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« مَا أَنْزَل اللهُ فِي التَّورَاةِ وَلَا فِي الْإِنْجِيلِ مِثْلَ أُمِّ الْقُرْآنِ وَهِيَ السَّبْعُ الْمَثَانِي وَهِيَ مَقْسُومَةٌ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَ عَبْدِي نِصْفَيْنِ »

(Allah has never revealed in the Tawrah or the Injil anything similar to Umm Al-Qur’an.

It is the seven repeated verses and it is divided into two halves between Allah and His servant.)

This is the wording reported by An-Nasa’i. At-Tirmidhi said that this Hadith is Hasan Gharib.

Also, Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn Jabir said, “I went to the Messenger of Allah after he had poured water (for purification) and said, `Peace be unto you, O Messenger of Allah!’ He did not answer me. So I said again, `Peace be unto you, O Messenger of Allah!’ Again, he did not answer me, so I said again, `Peace be unto you, O Messenger of Allah!’ Still he did not answer me. The Messenger of Allah went while I was following him, until he arrived at his residence. I went to the Masjid and sat there sad and depressed. The Messenger of Allah came out after he performed his purification and said, (Peace and Allah’s mercy be unto you, peace and Allah’s mercy be unto you, peace and Allah’s mercy be unto you.) He then said, (O `Abdullah bin Jabir! Should I inform you of the best Surah in the Qur’an) I said, `Yes, O Messenger of Allah!’ He said, (Read, `All praise be to Allah, the Lord of the existence,’ until you finish it.)” This Hadith has a good chain of narrators.

Some scholars relied on this Hadith as evidence that some Ayat and Surahs have more virtues than others.

Furthermore, in the chapter about the virtues of the Qur’an, Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri said, “Once, we were on a journey when a female servant came and said, `The leader of this area has been poisoned and our people are away. Is there a healer among you’ Then a man whose healing expertise did not interest us stood for her, he read a Ruqyah for him, and he was healed. The chief gave him thirty sheep as a gift and some milk. When he came back to us we said to him, `You know of a (new) Ruqyah, or did you do this before’ He said, `I only used Umm Al-Kitab as Ruqyah.’ We said, `Do not do anything further until we ask the Messenger of Allah .’ When we went back to Al-Madinah we mentioned what had happened to the Prophet . The Prophet said,

« وَمَا كَانَ يُدْرِيهِ أَنَّهَا رُقْيَةٌ اقْسِمُوا وَاضْرِبُوا لِي بِسَهْمٍ »

(Who told him that it is a Ruqyah Divide (the sheep) and reserve a share for me.)”

Also, Muslim recorded in his Sahih, and An-Nasa’i in his Sunan that Ibn `Abbas said, “While Jibril (Gabriel) was with the Messenger of Allah, he heard a noise from above. Jibril lifted his sight to the sky and said, `This is a door in heaven being open, and it has never been opened before now.’ An angel descended from that door and came to the Prophet and said, `Receive the glad tidings of two lights that you have been given, which no other Prophet before you was given: the Opening of the Book and the last (three) Ayat of Surat Al-Baqarah. You will not read a letter of them, but will gain its benefit.”’ This is the wording collected by An-Nasa’i (Al-Kubra 5:12) and Muslim recorded similar wording (1:554).

AL-FATIHAH AND THE PRAYER

Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet said,

« مَنْ صَلَّى صَلاَةً لَمْ يَقْرَأْ فِيهَا بِأُمِّ الْقُرْآنِ فَهْىَ خِدَاجٌ – ثَلاَثًا – غَيْرُ تَمَامٍ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ »

(Whoever performs any prayer in which he did not read Umm Al-Qur’an, then his prayer is incomplete.) He said it thrice.

Abu Hurayrah was asked, “When we stand behind the Imam” He said, “Read it to yourself, for I heard the Messenger of Allah say,

« قَالَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: قَسَمْتُ الصّلَاةَ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَ عَبْدِي نِصْفَيْنِ وَلِعَبْدِي مَا سَأَلَ فَإِذَا قَالَ:
﴿ ٱلۡحَمۡدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ ،قَالَ اللهُ: حَمِدَنِي عَبْدِي وَإِذَا قَالَ:
﴿ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ، قَالَ اللهُ: أَثْنى عَلَيَّ عَبْدِي، فَإذَا قَالَ:
﴿ مَـٰلِكِ يَوۡمِ ٱلدِّينِ ، قَالَ اللهُ: مَجَّدَنِي عَبْدِي وَقَالَ مَرَّةً: فَوَّضَ إِلَيَّ عَبْدِي فَإِذَا قَالَ:
﴿ إِيَّاكَ نَعۡبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسۡتَعِينُ ، قَالَ: هذَا بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَ عَبْدِي وَلِعَبْدِي مَا سَأَلَ، فَإِذَا قَالَ:
﴿ ٱهۡدِنَا ٱلصِّرَٲطَ ٱلۡمُسۡتَقِيمَ – صِرَٲطَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنۡعَمۡتَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ غَيۡرِ ٱلۡمَغۡضُوبِ عَلَيۡهِمۡ وَلَا ٱلضَّآلِّينَ ، قَالَ اللهُ: هذَا لِعَبْدِي وَلِعَبْدِي مَا سَأَلَ »

(Allah, the Exalted, said, `I have divided the prayer (Al-Fatihah) into two halves between Myself and My servant, and My servant shall have what he asks for.’ If he says,

﴿ ٱلۡحَمۡدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ

(All praise and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of existence.)

Allah says, `My servant has praised Me.’ When the servant says,

﴿ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

(The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.)

Allah says, `My servant has glorified Me.’ When he says,

﴿ مَـٰلِكِ يَوۡمِ ٱلدِّينِ

(The Owner of the Day of Recompense.) Allah says, `My servant has glorified Me,’ or `My servant has related all matters to Me.’ When he says,

﴿ إِيَّاكَ نَعۡبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسۡتَعِينُ

(You (alone) we worship, and You (alone) we ask for help.) Allah says, `This is between Me and My servant, and My servant shall acquire what he sought.’ When he says,

﴿ ٱهۡدِنَا ٱلصِّرَٲطَ ٱلۡمُسۡتَقِيمَ صِرَٲطَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنۡعَمۡتَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ غَيۡرِ ٱلۡمَغۡضُوبِ عَلَيۡهِمۡ وَلَا ٱلضَّآلِّينَ

(Guide us to the straight path.The way of those on whom You have granted Your grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your anger, nor of those who went astray), Allah says, `This is for My servant, and My servant shall acquire what he asked for.’).”

These are the words of An-Nasa’i, while both Muslim and An-Nasa’i collected the following wording, “A half of it is for Me and a half for My servant, and My servant shall acquire what he asked for.”

EXPLAINING THIS HADITH

The last Hadith used the word Salah (prayer) in reference to reciting the Qur’an, (Al-Fatihah in this case) just as Allah said in another Ayah,

﴿ وَلَا تَجۡهَرۡ بِصَلَاتِكَ وَلَا تُخَافِتۡ بِہَا وَٱبۡتَغِ بَيۡنَ ذَٲلِكَ سَبِيلاً۬

(And offer your Salah (prayer) neither aloud nor in a low voice, but follow a way between.) meaning, with your recitation of the Qur’an, as the Sahih related from Ibn `Abbas. Also, in the last Hadith, Allah said, “I have divided the prayer between Myself and My servant into two halves, a half for Me and a half for My servant. My servant shall have what he asked for.” Allah next explained the division that involves reciting Al-Fatihah, demonstrating the importance of reciting the Qur’an during the prayer, which is one of the prayer’s greatest pillars. Hence, the word `prayer’ was used here although only a part of it was actually being referred to, that is, reciting the Qur’an. Similarly, the word `recite’ was used where prayer is meant, as demonstrated by Allah’s statement,

﴿ وَقُرۡءَانَ ٱلۡفَجۡرِ‌ۖ إِنَّ قُرۡءَانَ ٱلۡفَجۡرِ كَانَ مَشۡہُودً۬ا

(And recite the Qur’an in the early dawn. Verily, the recitation of the Qur’an in the early dawn is ever witnessed.) in reference to the Fajr prayer. The Two Sahihs recorded that the angels of the night and the day attend this prayer.

RECITING AL-FATIHAH IS REQUIRED IN EVERY RAK`AH OF THE PRAYER

All of these facts testify to the requirement that reciting the Qur’an (Al-Fatihah) in the prayer is required, and there is a consensus between the scholars on this ruling. The Hadith that we mentioned also testifies to this fact, for the Prophet said,

« مَنْ صَلَّى صَلَاةً لَمْ يَقْرَأْ فِيهَا بِأُمِّ الْقُرْآنِ فَهِيَ خِدَاجٌ »

(Whoever performs any prayer in which he did not recite Umm Al-Qur’an, his prayer is incomplete.)

Also, the Two Sahihs recorded that `Ubadah bin As-Samit said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« لَا صَلَاةَ لِمَنْ لَمْ يَقْرَأْ بِفَاتِحَةِ الْكِتَابِ »

(There is no prayer for whoever does not recite the Opening of the Book.)

Also, the Sahihs of Ibn Khuzaymah and Ibn Hibban recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« لَا تُجْزِئُ صَلَاةٌ لَا يُقْرَأُ فِيهَا بِأُمِّ الْقُرآنِ »

(The prayer during which Umm Al-Qur’an is not recited is invalid.)

There are many other Hadiths on this subject. Therefore, reciting the Opening of the Book, during the prayer by the Imam and those praying behind him, is required in every prayer, and in every Rak`ah.

THE TAFSIR OF ISTI`ADHAH (SEEKING REFUGE)

Allah said,

﴿ خُذِ ٱلۡعَفۡوَ وَأۡمُرۡ بِٱلۡعُرۡفِ وَأَعۡرِضۡ عَنِ ٱلۡجَـٰهِلِينَ وَإِمَّا يَنزَغَنَّكَ مِنَ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنِ نَزۡغٌ۬ فَٱسۡتَعِذۡ بِٱللَّهِ‌ۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

(Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and stay away from the foolish (i.e. don’t punish them). And if an evil whisper comes to you from Shaytan (Satan), then seek refuge with Allah. Verily, He is Hearing, Knowing) (7:199-200),

﴿ ٱدۡفَعۡ بِٱلَّتِى هِىَ أَحۡسَنُ ٱلسَّيِّئَةَ‌ۚ نَحۡنُ أَعۡلَمُ بِمَا يَصِفُونَ وَقُل رَّبِّ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنۡ هَمَزَٲتِ ٱلشَّيَـٰطِينِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ رَبِّ أَن يَحۡضُرُونِ

(Repel evil with that which is better. We are Best-Acquainted with things they utter. And say: “My Lord! I seek refuge with You from the whisperings (suggestions) of the Shayatin (devils). And I seek refuge with You, My Lord! lest they should come near me.”) (23:96-98) and,

﴿ وَلَا تَسۡتَوِى ٱلۡحَسَنَةُ وَلَا ٱلسَّيِّئَةُ‌ۚ ٱدۡفَعۡ بِٱلَّتِى هِىَ أَحۡسَنُ فَإِذَا ٱلَّذِى بَيۡنَكَ وَبَيۡنَهُ ۥ عَدَٲوَةٌ۬ كَأَنَّهُ ۥ وَلِىٌّ حَمِيمٌ۬ وَمَا يُلَقَّٮٰهَآ إِلَّا ٱلَّذِينَ صَبَرُواْ وَمَا يُلَقَّٮٰهَآ إِلَّا ذُو حَظٍّ عَظِيمٍ۬ وَإِمَّا يَنزَغَنَّكَ مِنَ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنِ نَزۡغٌ۬ فَٱسۡتَعِذۡ بِٱللَّهِ‌ۖ إِنَّهُ ۥ هُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلۡعَلِيمُ

(Repel (an evil) with one which is better, then verily he with whom there was enmity between you, (will become) as though he was a close friend. But none is granted it except those who are patient ـ and none is granted it except the owner of the great portion (of happiness in the Hereafter, i.e. Paradise and of a high moral character) in this world. And if an evil whisper from Shaytan tries to turn you away (O Muhammad) (from doing good), then seek refuge in Allah. Verily, He is the Hearing, the Knowing.) (41:34-36) These are the only three Ayat that carry this meaning. Allah commanded that we be lenient human enemy, so that his soft nature might make him an ally and a supporter. He also commanded that we seek refuge from the satanic enemy, because the devil does not relent in his enmity if we treat him with kindness and leniency. The devil only seeks the destruction of the Son of Adam due to the vicious enmity and hatred he has always had towards man’s father, Adam. Allah said,

﴿ يَـٰبَنِىٓ ءَادَمَ لَا يَفۡتِنَنَّڪُمُ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنُ كَمَآ أَخۡرَجَ أَبَوَيۡكُم مِّنَ ٱلۡجَنَّةِ

(O Children of Adam! Let not Shaytan deceive you, as he got your parents ﴿Adam and Hawwa’ (Eve) out of Paradise) (7:27),

﴿ إِنَّ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنَ لَكُمۡ عَدُوٌّ۬ فَٱتَّخِذُوهُ عَدُوًّاۚ إِنَّمَا يَدۡعُواْ حِزۡبَهُ ۥ لِيَكُونُواْ مِنۡ أَصۡحَـٰبِ ٱلسَّعِيرِ

(Surely, Shaytan is an enemy to you, so take (treat) him as an enemy. He only invites his Hizb (followers) that they may become the dwellers of the blazing Fire) (35:6) and,

﴿ أَفَتَتَّخِذُونَهُ ۥ وَذُرِّيَّتَهُ ۥۤ أَوۡلِيَآءَ مِن دُونِى وَهُمۡ لَكُمۡ عَدُوُّۢ‌ۚ بِئۡسَ لِلظَّـٰلِمِينَ بَدَلاً۬

(Will you then take him (Iblis) and his offspring as protectors and helpers rather than Me while they are enemies to you What an evil is the exchange for the Zalimun (polytheists, and wrongdoers, etc)) (18:50).

The devil assured Adam that he wanted to advise him, but he was lying. Hence, how would he treat us after he had vowed,

﴿ فَبِعِزَّتِكَ لَأُغۡوِيَنَّهُمۡ أَجۡمَعِينَ إِلَّا عِبَادَكَ مِنۡهُمُ ٱلۡمُخۡلَصِينَ

(“By Your might, then I will surely, mislead them all. Except Your chosen servants among them (i.e. faithful, obedient, true believers of Islamic Monotheism).”) (38:82-83)

Also, Allah said,

﴿ فَإِذَا قَرَأۡتَ ٱلۡقُرۡءَانَ فَٱسۡتَعِذۡ بِٱللَّهِ مِنَ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنِ ٱلرَّجِيمِ
﴿ إِنَّهُ ۥ لَيۡسَ لَهُ ۥ سُلۡطَـٰنٌ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَلَىٰ رَبِّهِمۡ يَتَوَڪَّلُونَ إِنَّمَا سُلۡطَـٰنُهُ ۥ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ يَتَوَلَّوۡنَهُ ۥ وَٱلَّذِينَ هُم بِهِۦ مُشۡرِكُونَ

(So when you﴿ want to recite the Qur’an, seek refuge with Allah from Shaytan, the outcast (the cursed one). Verily, he has no power over those who believe and put their trust only in their Lord (Allah). His power is only over those who obey and follow him (Satan), and those who join partners with Him.) (16:98-100).

SEEKING REFUGE BEFORE RECITING THE QUR’AN

Allah said,

﴿ فَإِذَا قَرَأۡتَ ٱلۡقُرۡءَانَ فَٱسۡتَعِذۡ بِٱللَّهِ مِنَ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنِ ٱلرَّجِيمِ

(So when you﴿ want to recite the Qur’an, seek refuge with Allah from Shaytan, the outcast (the cursed one).) meaning, before you recite the Qur’an. Similarly, Allah said,

﴿ إِذَا قُمۡتُمۡ إِلَى ٱلصَّلَوٰةِ فَٱغۡسِلُواْ وُجُوهَكُمۡ وَأَيۡدِيَكُمۡ

(When you intend to offer As-Salah (the prayer), wash your faces and your hands (forearms)) (5:6) meaning, before you stand in prayer, as evident by the Hadiths that we mentioned. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri said, “When the Messenger of Allah would stand up in prayer at night, he would start his prayer with the Takbir (saying “Allahu Akbar”; Allah is Greater) and would then supplicate,

« سُبْحَانَكَ اللَّهُمَّ وَبِحَمْدِكَ، وَتَبَارَكَ اسْمُكَ، وَتَعَالَى جَدُّكَ، وَلَا إِلَهَ غَيْرُكَ »

(All praise is due to You, O Allah, and also the thanks. Blessed be Your Name, Exalted be Your sovereignty, and there is no deity worthy of worship except You.)

He would then say thrice,

« لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ »

ثَلَاثًا

(There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah,).

He would then say,

« أَعُوذُ بِاللهِ السَّمِيعِ الْعَلِيمِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ مِنْ هَمْزَهِ وَنَفْخِهِ وَنَفْثِهِ »

(I seek refuge with Allah, the Hearing, the Knowing, from the cursed Satan, from his coercion, lures to arrogance and poems.).”

The four collectors of the Sunan recorded this Hadith, which At-Tirmidhi considered the most famous Hadith on this subject.

Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah recorded that Jubayr bin Mut`im said that his father said, “When the Messenger of Allah started the prayer, he said,

« اللهُ أَكْبَرُ كَبِيرًا – ثَلاَثًا – الْحَمْدُ للهِ كَثِيرًا – ثَلاَثًا – سُبْحَانَ اللهِ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلًا – ثَلاَثًا – اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ مِنْ هَمْزِهِ وَنَفْخِهِ وَنَفْثِهِ »

(Allah is the Greater, truly the Greatest (thrice); all praise is due to Allah always (thrice); and all praise is due to Allah day and night (thrice). O Allah! I seek refuge with You from the cursed Satan, from his Hamz, Nafkh and Nafth.).” `Amr said, “The Hamz means asphyxiation, the Nafkh means arrogance, and the Nafth means poetry.” Also, Ibn Majah recorded that `Ali bin Al-Mundhir said that Ibn Fudayl narrated that `Ata’ bin As-Sa’ib said that Abu `Abdur-Rahman As-Sulami said that Ibn Mas`ud said that the Prophet said,

« اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الشَّيطَانِ الرَجِيمِ وَهَمْزِهِ وَنَفْخِهِ وَنَفْثِهِ »

(O Allah! I seek refuge with You from the cursed devil, from his Hamz, Nafkh and Nafth.)

He said, “The Hamz means death, the Nafkh means arrogance, and the Nafth means poetry.”

SEEKING REFUGE WITH ALLAH WHEN ONE IS ANGRY

In his Musnad, Al-Hafiz Abu Ya`la Ahmad bin `Ali bin Al-Muthanna Al-Mawsili reported that Ubayy bin Ka`b said, “Two men disputed with each other in the presence of the Messenger of Allah and the nose of one of them became swollen because of extreme anger. The Messenger of Allah said,

« إِنِّي لَأَعْلَمُ شَيْئًا لَوْ قَالَهُ لَذَهَبَ عَنْهُ مَا يَجِدُ: أَعُوذُ بِاللهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ »

(I know of some words that if he said them, what he feels will go away, ‘I seek refuge with Allah from the cursed Satan.’)”

An-Nasa’i also recorded this Hadith in his book, Al-Yawm wal-Laylah.

Al-Bukhari recorded that Sulayman bin Surad said, “Two men disputed in the presence of the Prophet while we were sitting with him. One of them was cursing the other fellow and his face turned red due to anger. The Prophet said,

« إِنِّي لَأَعْلَمُ كَلِمَةً لَوْ قَالَهَا لَذَهَبَ عَنْهُ مَا يَجِدُ، لَوْ قَالَ: أَعُوذُ بِاللهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ »

(I know of a statement which if he said it, will make what he feels disappear, `I seek refuge with Allah from the cursed Satan.’) They said to the man, `Do you not hear what the Messenger of Allah is saying’ He said, `I am not insane.” Also, Muslim, Abu Dawud and An-Nasa’i recorded this Hadith.

There are many other Hadiths about seeking refuge with Allah. One can find this subject in the books on supplication and the virtues of righteous, good deeds.

IS THE ISTI`ADHAH (SEEKING REFUGE) REQUIRED

The majority of the scholars state that reciting the Isti`adhah (in the prayer and when reciting the Qur’an) is recommended and not required, and therefore, not reciting it does not constitute a sin. However, Ar-Razi recorded that `Ata’ bin Abi Rabah said that the Isti`adhah is required in the prayer and when one reads the Qur’an. In support of `Ata’s statement, Ar-Razi relied upon the apparent meaning of the Ayah,

﴿ فَٱسۡتَعِذۡ

(Then seek refuge.) He said that the Ayah contains a command that requires implementation. Also, the Prophet always said the Isti`adhah. In addition, the Isti`adhah wards off the evil of Satan, which is necessary, the rule is that the means needed to implement a requirement of the religion is itself also required. And when one says, “I seek refuge with Allah from the cursed devil.” Then this will suffice.

VIRTUES OF THE ISTI`ADHAH

The Isti`adhah cleanses the mouth from the foul speech that it has indulged in. It also purifies the mouth and prepares it to recite the speech of Allah. Further, the Isti`adhah entails seeking Allah’s help and acknowledging His ability to do everything. The Isti`adhah also affirms the servant’s meekness, weakness and inability to face the enemy of his inner evil, whom Allah alone, Who created this enemy, is able to repel and defeat. This enemy does not accept kindness, unlike the human enemy. There are three Ayat in the Qur’an that affirm this fact. Also, Allah said,

﴿ إِنَّ عِبَادِى لَيۡسَ لَكَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ سُلۡطَـٰنٌ۬‌ۚ وَكَفَىٰ بِرَبِّكَ وَڪِيلاً۬

(Verily, My servants (i.e. the true believers of Islamic Monotheism) ـ you have no authority over them. And sufficient is your Lord as a Guardian.) (17:65).

We should state here that the believers, whom the human enemies kill, become martyrs, while those who fall victim to the inner enemy – Satan – become bandits. Further, the believers who are defeated by the apparent enemy – disbelievers – gain a reward, while those defeated by the inner enemy earn a sin and become misguided. Since Satan sees man where man cannot see him, it is befitting that the believers seek refuge from Satan with Whom Satan cannot see. The Isti`adhah is a form of drawing closer to Allah and seeking refuge with Him from the evil of every evil creature.

WHAT DOES ISTI`ADHAH MEAN

Isti`adhah means, “I seek refuge with Allah from the cursed Satan so that he is prevented from affecting my religious or worldly affairs, or hindering me from adhering to what I was commanded, or luring me into what I was prohibited from.” Indeed, only Allah is able to prevent the evil of Satan from touching the son of Adam. This is why Allah allowed us to be lenient and kind with the human devil, so that his soft nature might cause him to refrain from the evil he is indulging in. However, Allah required us to seek refuge with Him from the evil of Satan, because he neither accepts bribes nor does kindness affect him, for he is pure evil. Thus, only He Who created Satan is able to stop his evil. This meaning is reiterated in only three Ayat in the Qur’an. Allah said in Surat Al-A`raf,

﴿ خُذِ ٱلۡعَفۡوَ وَأۡمُرۡ بِٱلۡعُرۡفِ وَأَعۡرِضۡ عَنِ ٱلۡجَـٰهِلِينَ

(Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the foolish (i.e. don’t punish them).) (7:199)

This is about dealing with human beings. He then said in the same Surah,

﴿ وَإِمَّا يَنزَغَنَّكَ مِنَ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنِ نَزۡغٌ۬ فَٱسۡتَعِذۡ بِٱللَّهِ‌ۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

(And if an evil whisper comes to you from Shaytan, then seek refuge with Allah. Verily, He is Hearing, Knowing (7: 200).)

Allah also said in Surat Al-Mu’minun,

﴿ ٱدۡفَعۡ بِٱلَّتِى هِىَ أَحۡسَنُ ٱلسَّيِّئَةَ‌ۚ نَحۡنُ أَعۡلَمُ بِمَا يَصِفُونَ وَقُل رَّبِّ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنۡ هَمَزَٲتِ ٱلشَّيَـٰطِينِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ رَبِّ أَن يَحۡضُرُونِ

(Repel evil with that which is better. We are Best-Acquainted with the things they utter. And say: “My Lord! I seek refuge with You from the whisperings (suggestions) of the Shayatin (devils). And I seek refuge with You, My Lord! lest they should come near me.” (23:96-98).)

Further, Allah said in Surat As-Sajdah,

﴿ وَلَا تَسۡتَوِى ٱلۡحَسَنَةُ وَلَا ٱلسَّيِّئَةُ‌ۚ ٱدۡفَعۡ بِٱلَّتِى هِىَ أَحۡسَنُ فَإِذَا ٱلَّذِى بَيۡنَكَ وَبَيۡنَهُ ۥ عَدَٲوَةٌ۬ كَأَنَّهُ ۥ وَلِىٌّ حَمِيمٌ۬ وَمَا يُلَقَّٮٰهَآ إِلَّا ٱلَّذِينَ صَبَرُواْ وَمَا يُلَقَّٮٰهَآ إِلَّا ذُو حَظٍّ عَظِيمٍ۬ وَإِمَّا يَنزَغَنَّكَ مِنَ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنِ نَزۡغٌ۬ فَٱسۡتَعِذۡ بِٱللَّهِ‌ۖ إِنَّهُ ۥ هُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلۡعَلِيمُ

(The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with one which is better, then verily he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend. But none is granted it (the above quality) except those who are patient ـ and none is granted it except the owner of the great portion (of happiness in the Hereafter, i.e. Paradise and of a high moral character) in this world. And if an evil whisper from Shaytan tries to turn you away (from doing good), then seek refuge in Allah. Verily, He is the Hearing, the Knowing) (41:34-36).

WHY THE DEVIL IS CALLED SHAYTAN

In the Arabic language, Shaytan is derived from Shatana, which means the far thing. Hence, the Shaytan has a different nature than mankind, and his sinful ways are far away from every type of righteousness. It was also said that Shaytan is derived from Shata, (literally `burned’), because it was created from fire. Some scholars said that both meanings are correct, although they state that the first meaning is more plausible. Further, Siybawayh (the renowned Arab linguistic) said, “The Arabs say, `So-and-so has Tashaytan,’ when he commits the act of the devils. If Shaytan was derived from Shata, they would have said, Tashayyata (rather than Tashaytan).” Hence, Shaytan is derived from the word that means, far away. This is why they call those who are rebellious (or mischievous) from among the Jinns and mankind a `Shaytan’. Allah said,

﴿ وَكَذَٲلِكَ جَعَلۡنَا لِكُلِّ نَبِىٍّ عَدُوًّ۬ا شَيَـٰطِينَ ٱلۡإِنسِ وَٱلۡجِنِّ يُوحِى بَعۡضُهُمۡ إِلَىٰ بَعۡضٍ۬ زُخۡرُفَ ٱلۡقَوۡلِ غُرُورً۬ا‌ۚ

(And so We have appointed for every Prophet enemies ـ Shayatin (devils) among mankind and Jinn, inspiring one another with adorned speech as a delusion (or by way of deception)) (6:112).

In addition, the Musnad by Imam Ahmad records that Abu Dharr said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« يَا أَبَا ذَرَ تَعَوَّذْ بِاللهِ مِنْ شَيَاطِينِ الْإِنْسِ وَالْجِنِّ »

(O Abu Dharr! Seek refuge with Allah from the devils of mankind and the Jinns.) Abu Dharr said, “I asked him, `Are there human devils’ He said, (Yes.)” Furthermore, it is recorded in Sahih Muslim that Abu Dharr said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« يَقْطَعُ الصَّلَاةَ الْمَرْأَةُ وَالْحِمَارُ وَالْكَلْبُ الْأَسْوَدُ »

(The woman, the donkey and the black dog interrupt the prayer (if they pass in front of those who do not pray behind a Sutrah, i.e. a barrier).) Abu Dharr said, “I said, `What is the difference between the black dog and the red or yellow dog? He said,

« الْكَلْبُ الْأَسْوَدُ شَيْطَانٌ »

(The black dog is a devil.).”

Also, Ibn Jarir At-Tabari recorded that `Umar bin Al-Khattab once rode a Berthawn (huge camel) which started to proceed arrogantly. `Umar kept striking the animal, but the animal kept walking in an arrogant manner. `Umar dismounted the animal and said, “By Allah! You have carried me on a Shaytan. I did not come down from it until after I had felt something strange in my heart.” This Hadith has an authentic chain of narrators.

THE MEANING OF AR-RAJIM

Ar-Rajim means, being expelled from all types of righteousness. Allah said,

﴿ وَلَقَدۡ زَيَّنَّا ٱلسَّمَآءَ ٱلدُّنۡيَا بِمَصَـٰبِيحَ وَجَعَلۡنَـٰهَا رُجُومً۬ا لِّلشَّيَـٰطِينِ‌ۖ

(And indeed We have adorned the nearest heaven with lamps, and We have made such lamps Rujuman (as missiles) to drive away the Shayatin (devils)) (67:5).

Allah also said,

﴿ إِنَّا زَيَّنَّا ٱلسَّمَآءَ ٱلدُّنۡيَا بِزِينَةٍ ٱلۡكَوَاكِبِ وَحِفۡظً۬ا مِّن كُلِّ شَيۡطَـٰنٍ۬ مَّارِدٍ۬ لَّا يَسَّمَّعُونَ إِلَى ٱلۡمَلَإِ ٱلۡأَعۡلَىٰ وَيُقۡذَفُونَ مِن كُلِّ جَانِبٍ۬ دُحُورً۬ا‌ۖ وَلَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ۬ وَاصِبٌ إِلَّا مَنۡ خَطِفَ ٱلۡخَطۡفَةَ فَأَتۡبَعَهُ ۥ شِہَابٌ۬ ثَاقِبٌ۬

(Verily, We have adorned the near heaven with the stars (for beauty). And to guard against every rebellious devil. They cannot listen to the higher group (angels) for they are pelted from every side. Outcast, and theirs is a constant (or painful) torment. Except such as snatch away something by stealing, and they are pursued by a flaming fire of piercing brightness) (37:6-10).

Further, Allah said,

﴿ وَلَقَدۡ جَعَلۡنَا فِى ٱلسَّمَآءِ بُرُوجً۬ا وَزَيَّنَّـٰهَا لِلنَّـٰظِرِينَ وَحَفِظۡنَـٰهَا مِن كُلِّ شَيۡطَـٰنٍ۬ رَّجِيمٍ إِلَّا مَنِ ٱسۡتَرَقَ ٱلسَّمۡعَ فَأَتۡبَعَهُ ۥ شِہَابٌ۬ مُّبِينٌ۬

(And indeed, We have put the big stars in the heaven and We beautified it for the beholders. And We have guarded it (near heaven) from every Shaytan Rajim (outcast Shaytan). Except him (devil) who steals the hearing then he is pursued by a clear flaming fire.) (15:16-18).

There are several similar Ayat. It was also said that Rajim means, the person who throws or bombards things, because the devil throws doubts and evil thoughts in people’s hearts. The first meaning is more popular and accurate.

BISMILLAH IS THE FIRST AYAH OF AL-FATIHAH

The Companions started the Book of Allah with Bismillah:

﴿ بِسۡمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

(1. In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.)

The scholars also agree that Bismillah is a part of an Ayah in Surat An-Naml (chapter 27). They disagree over whether it is a separate Ayah before every Surah, or if it is an Ayah, or a part of an Ayah, included in every Surah where the Bismillah appears in its beginning. Ad-Daraqutni also recorded a Hadith from Abu Hurayrah from the Prophet that supports this Hadith by Ibn Khuzaymah. Also, similar statements were attributed to `Ali, Ibn `Abbas and others.

The opinion that Bismillah is an Ayah of every Surah, except Al-Bara’ah (chapter 9), was attributed to (the Companions) Ibn `Abbas, Ibn `Umar, Ibn Az-Zubayr, Abu Hurayrah and `Ali. This opinion was also attributed to the Tabi`in: `Ata’, Tawus, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Makhul and Az-Zuhri. This is also the view of `Abdullah bin Al-Mubarak, Ash-Shafi`i, Ahmad bin Hanbal, (in one report from him) Ishaq bin Rahwayh and Abu `Ubayd Al-Qasim bin Salam. On the other hand, Malik, Abu Hanifah and their followers said that Bismillah is not an Ayah in Al-Fatihah or any other Surah. Dawud said that it is a separate Ayah in the beginning of every Surah, not part of the Surah itself, and this opinion was also attributed to Ahmad bin Hanbal.

BASMALAH ALOUD IN THE PRAYER

As for Basmalah aloud during the prayer, those who did not agree that it is a part of Al-Fatihah, state that the Basmalah should not be aloud. The scholars who stated that Bismillah is a part of every Surah (except chapter 9) had different opinions; some of them, such as Ash-Shafi`i, said that one should recite Bismillah with Al-Fatihah aloud. This is also the opinion of many among the Companions, the Tabi`in and the Imams of Muslims from the Salaf and the later generations. For instance, this is the opinion of Abu Hurayrah, Ibn `Umar, Ibn `Abbas, Mu`awiyah, `Umar and `Ali – according to Ibn `Abdul-Barr and Al-Bayhaqi. Also, the Four Khalifahs – as Al-Khatib reported – were said to have held this view although the report from them is contradicted. The Tabi`in scholars who gave this Tafsir include Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Ikrimah, Abu Qilabah, Az-Zuhri, `Ali bin Al-Hasan, his son Muhammad, Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib, `Ata’, Tawus, Mujahid, Salim, Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi, Abu Bakr bin Muhammad bin `Amr bin Hazm, Abu Wa’il, Ibn Sirin, Muhammad bin Al-Munkadir, `Ali bin `Abdullah bin `Abbas, his son Muhammad, Nafi` the freed slave of Ibn `Umar, Zayd bin Aslam, `Umar bin `Abdul-Aziz, Al-Azraq bin Qays, Habib bin Abi Thabit, Abu Ash-Sha`tha’, Makhul and `Abdullah bin Ma`qil bin Muqarrin. Also, Al-Bayhaqi added `Abdullah bin Safwan, and Muhammad bin Al-Hanafiyyah to this list. In addition, Ibn `Abdul-Barr added `Amr bin Dinar.

The proof that these scholars relied on is that, since Bismillah is a part of Al-Fatihah, it should be recited aloud like the rest of Al-Fatihah. Also, An-Nasa’i recorded in his Sunan, Ibn Hibban and Ibn Khuzaymah in their Sahihs and Al-Hakim in the Mustadrak, that Abu Hurayrah once performed the prayer and recited Bismillah aloud. After he finished the prayer, he said, “Among you, I perform the prayer that is the closest to the prayer of the Messenger of Allah.” Ad-Daraqutni, Al-Khatib and Al-Bayhaqi graded this Hadith Sahih Furthermore, in Sahih Al-Bukhari it is recorded that Anas bin Malik was asked about the recitation of the Prophet . He said, “His recitation was unhurried.” He then demonstrated that and recited, while lengthening the recitation of Bismillah Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim, Also, in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad, the Sunan of Abu Dawud, the Sahih of Ibn Hibban and the Mustadrak of Al-Hakim – it is recorded that Umm Salamah said, “The Messenger of Allah used to distinguish each Ayah during his recitation,

﴿ بِسۡمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ٱلۡحَمۡدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ مَـٰلِكِ يَوۡمِ ٱلدِّينِ

(In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. All praise and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of all that exists, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. The Owner of the Day of Recompense.)”

Ad-Daraqutni graded the chain of narration for this Hadith Sahih Furthermore, Imam Abu `Abdullah Ash-Shafi`i and Al-Hakim in his Mustadrak, recorded that Mu`awiyah led the prayer in Al-Madinah and did not recite the Bismillah. The Muhajirin who were present at that prayer criticized that. When Mu`awiyah led the following prayer, he recited the Bismillah aloud.

The Hadiths mentioned above provide sufficient proof for the opinion that the Bismillah is recited aloud. As for the opposing evidences and the scientific analysis of the narrations mentioned their weaknesses or otherwise it is not our desire to discuss this subject at this time.

Other scholars stated that the Bismillah should not be recited aloud in the prayer, and this is the established practice of the Four Khalifahs, as well as `Abdullah bin Mughaffal and several scholars among the Tabi`in and later generations. It is also the Madhhab (view) of Abu Hanifah, Ath-Thawri and Ahmad bin Hanbal.

Imam Malik stated that the Bismillah is not recited aloud or silently. This group based their view upon what Imam Muslim recorded that `A’ishah said that the Messenger of Allah used to start the prayer by reciting the Takbir (Allahu Akbar; Allah is Greater) and then recite,

﴿ ٱلۡحَمۡدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ

(All praise and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of all that exists.) (Ibn Abi Hatim 1:12).

Also, the Two Sahihs recorded that Anas bin Malik said, “I prayed behind the Prophet, Abu Bakr, `Umar and `Uthman and they used to start their prayer with,

﴿ ٱلۡحَمۡدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ

(All praise and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of all that exists.)

Muslim added, “And they did not mention,

﴿ بِسۡمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

(In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful) whether in the beginning or the end of the recitation.” Similar is recorded in the Sunan books from `Abdullah bin Mughaffal, may Allah be pleased with him.

These are the opinions held by the respected Imams, and their statements are similar in that they agree that the prayer of those who recite Al-Fatihah aloud or in secret is correct. All the favor is from Allah.

THE VIRTUE OF AL-FATIHAH

Imam Ahmad recorded in his Musnad, that a person who was riding behind the Prophet said, “The Prophet’s animal tripped, so I said, `Cursed Shaytan.’ The Prophet said,

« لَا تَقُلْ: تَعِسَ الشَّيْطَانُ، فَإِنَّكَ إِذَا قُلْتَ: تَعِسَ الشَّيْطَانُ، تَعَاظَمَ وَقَالَ: بِقُوَّتِي صَرَعْتُهُ، وَإِذَا قُلْتَ: بِاسْمِ اللهِ تَصَاغَرَ حَتى يَصِيرَ مِثْلَ الذُبَابِ »

(Do not say, ‘Cursed Shaytan,’ for if you say these words, Satan becomes arrogant and says, ‘With my strength I made him fall.’ When you say, ‘Bismillah,’ Satan will become as small as a fly.)

Further, An-Nasa’i recorded in his book Al-Yawm wal-Laylah, and also Ibn Marduwyah in his Tafsir that Usamah bin `Umayr said, “I was riding behind the Prophet…” and he mentioned the rest of the above Hadith. The Prophet said in this narration,

« لَا تَقُلْ هكَذَا فَإِنَّهُ يَتَعَاظَمُ حَتَّى يَكُونَ كَالْبَيْتِ، وَلكِنْ قُلْ: بِسْمِ اللهِ، فَإنَّهُ يَصْغَرُ حَتَّى يَكُونَ كَالذُبَابَةِ »

(Do not say these words, because then Satan becomes larger; as large as a house. Rather, say, ‘Bismillah,’ because Satan then becomes as small as a fly.)

This is the blessing of reciting Bismillah.

BASMALAH IS RECOMMENDED BEFORE PERFORMING ANY DEED

Basmalah (reciting Bismillah) is recommended before starting any action or deed. For instance, Basmalah is recommended before starting a Khutbah (speech).

The Basmalah is also recommended before one enters the place where he wants to relieve himself, there is a Hadith concerning this practice. Further, Basmalah is recommended at the beginning of ablution, for Imam Ahmad and the Sunan compilers recorded that Abu Hurayrah, Sa`id bin Zayd and Abu Sa`id narrated from the Prophet,

« لَا وُضُوءَ لِمَنْ لَمْ يَذْكُرِ اسْمَ اللهِ عَلَيْهِ »

(There is no valid ablution for he who did not mention Allah’s Name in it.)

This Hadith is Hasan (good). Also, the Basmalah is recommended before eating, for Muslim recorded in his Sahih that the Messenger of Allah said to `Umar bin Abi Salamah while he was a child under his care,

« قُلْ بِسْمِ اللهِ وَكُلْ بِيَمِينِكَ وَكُلْ مِمَّا يَلِيكَ »

(Say Bismillah, eat with your right hand and eat from whatever is next to you.)

Some of the scholars stated that Basmalah before eating is obligatory. Basmalah before having sexual intercourse is also recommended. The Two Sahihs recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« لَوْ أَنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ إِذَا أَرَادَ أَنْ يَأْتِيَ أَهْلَهُ قَالَ بِسْمِ اللَّهِ اللَّهُمَّ جَنِّبْنَا الشَّيْطَانَ وَجَنِّبِ الشَّيْطَانَ مَا رَزَقْتَنَا ثُمَّ قُدِّرَ أَنْ يَكُونَ بَيْنَهُمَا وَلَدٌ فِي ذَلِكَ لَمْ يَضُرَّهُ شَيْطَانٌ أَبَدًا ‏”‏ ‏.‏ »

(If anyone of you before having sexual relations with his wife says, ‘In the Name of Allah. O Allah! Protect us from Satan and also protect what you grant us (meaning the coming offspring) from Satan,’ and if it is destined that they should have a child then, Satan will never be able to harm that child.)

THE MEANING OF “ALLAH”

Allah is the Name of the Lord, the Exalted. It is said that Allah is the Greatest Name of Allah, because it is referred to when describing Allah by the various attributes. For instance, Allah said,

﴿ هُوَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِى لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ‌ۖ عَـٰلِمُ ٱلۡغَيۡبِ وَٱلشَّهَـٰدَةِ‌ۖ هُوَ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ هُوَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِى لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ٱلۡمَلِكُ ٱلۡقُدُّوسُ ٱلسَّلَـٰمُ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنُ ٱلۡمُهَيۡمِنُ ٱلۡعَزِيزُ ٱلۡجَبَّارُ ٱلۡمُتَڪَبِّرُ‌ۚ سُبۡحَـٰنَ ٱللَّهِ عَمَّا يُشۡرِڪُونَ هُوَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلۡخَـٰلِقُ ٱلۡبَارِئُ ٱلۡمُصَوِّرُ‌ۖ لَهُ ٱلۡأَسۡمَآءُ ٱلۡحُسۡنَىٰ‌ۚ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ ۥ مَا فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ‌ۖ وَهُوَ ٱلۡعَزِيزُ ٱلۡحَكِيمُ

(He is Allah, beside Whom La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He) the Knower of the unseen and the seen. He is the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. He is Allah, beside Whom La ilaha illa Huwa, the King, the Holy, the One free from all defects, the Giver of security, the Watcher over His creatures, the Almighty, the Compeller, the Supreme. Glory be to Allah! (High is He) above all that they associate as partners with Him. He is Allah, the Creator, the Inventor of all things, the Bestower of forms. To Him belong the Best Names. All that is in the heavens and the earth glorify Him. And He is the Almighty, the Wise) (59:22-24).

Hence, Allah mentioned several of His Names as Attributes for His Name Allah. Similarly, Allah said,

﴿ وَلِلَّهِ ٱلۡأَسۡمَآءُ ٱلۡحُسۡنَىٰ فَٱدۡعُوهُ بِہَا‌ۖ

(And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah, so call on Him by them) (7:180), and,

﴿ قُلِ ٱدۡعُواْ ٱللَّهَ أَوِ ٱدۡعُواْ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنَ‌ۖ أَيًّ۬ا مَّا تَدۡعُواْ فَلَهُ ٱلۡأَسۡمَآءُ ٱلۡحُسۡنَىٰ‌ۚ

(Say (O Muhammad:) “Invoke Allah or invoke the Most Gracious (Allah), by whatever name you invoke Him (it is the same), for to Him belong the Best Names.”) (17:110)

Also, the Two Sahihs recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« إِنَّ للهِ تِسْعَةً وَتِسْعِينَ اسْمًا، مِائَةً إِلَا وَاحِدًا، مَنْ أَحْصَاهَا دَخَلَ الْجَنَّةَ »

(Allah has ninety-nine Names, one hundred minus one, whoever counts (and preserves) them, will enter Paradise.)

These Names were mentioned in a Hadith recorded by At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah, and there are several differences between these two narrations.

THE MEANING OF AR-RAHMAN AR-RAHIM – THE MOST GRACIOUS, THE MOST MERCIFUL

Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim are two names derived from Ar-Rahmah (the mercy), but Rahman has more meanings that pertain to mercy than Ar-Rahim. There is a statement by Ibn Jarir that indicates that there is a consensus on this meaning. Further, Al-Qurtubi said, “The proof that these names are derived (from Ar-Rahmah), is what At-Tirmidhi recorded – and graded Sahih from `Abdur-Rahman bin `Awf that he heard the Messenger of Allah say,

« قَالَ اللهُ تَعَالى: أَنَا الرَّحْمَنُ خَلَقْتُ الرَّحِمَ وَشَقَقْتُ لَهَا اسْمًا مِنِ اسْمِي، فَمَنْ وَصَلَهَا وَصَلْتُهُ وَمَنْ قَطَعَها قَطَعْتُهُ »

(Allah the Exalted said, ‘I Am Ar-Rahman. I created the Raham (womb, i.e. family relations) and derived a name for it from My Name. Hence, whoever keeps it, I will keep ties to him, and whoever severs it, I will sever ties with him.’) He then said, “This is a text that indicates the derivation.” He then said, “The Arabs denied the name Ar-Rahman, because of their ignorance about Allah and His attributes.”

Al-Qurtubi said, “It was said that both Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim have the same meaning, such as the words Nadman and Nadim, as Abu `Ubayd has stated. Abu `Ali Al-Farisi said, `Ar-Rahman, which is exclusively for Allah, is a name that encompasses every type of mercy that Allah has. Ar-Rahim is what effects the believers, for Allah said,

﴿ وَڪَانَ بِٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ رَحِيمً۬ا

(And He is ever Rahim (merciful) to the believers.)’ (33:43) Also, Ibn `Abbas said – about Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim, `They are two soft names, one of them is softer than the other (meaning it carries more implications of mercy).”’

Ibn Jarir said; As-Surri bin Yahya At-Tamimi narrated to me that `Uthman bin Zufar related that Al-`Azrami said about Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim, “He is Ar-Rahman with all creation and Ar-Rahim with the believers.” Hence Allah’s statements,

﴿ ثُمَّ ٱسۡتَوَىٰ عَلَى ٱلۡعَرۡشِ‌ۚ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنُ

(Then He rose over (Istawa) the Throne (in a manner that suits His majesty), Ar-Rahman) (25:59),) and,

﴿ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنُ عَلَى ٱلۡعَرۡشِ ٱسۡتَوَىٰ

(Ar-Rahman (Allah) rose over (Istawa) the (Mighty) Throne (in a manner that suits His majesty).) (20:5)

Allah thus mentioned the Istawa – rising over the Throne – along with His Name Ar-Rahman, to indicate that His mercy encompasses all of His creation. Allah also said,

﴿ وَڪَانَ بِٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ رَحِيمً۬ا

(And He is ever Rahim (merciful) to the believers), thus encompassing the believers with His Name Ar-Rahim. They said, “This testifies to the fact that Ar-Rahman carries a broader scope of meanings pertaining to the mercy of Allah with His creation in both lives. Meanwhile, Ar-Rahim is exclusively for the believers.” Yet, we should mention that there is a supplication that reads,

« رَحْمنَ الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ وَرَحِيمَهُمَا »

(The Rahman and the Rahim of this life and the Hereafter)

Allah’s Name Ar-Rahman is exclusively His. For instance, Allah said,

﴿ قُلِ ٱدۡعُواْ ٱللَّهَ أَوِ ٱدۡعُواْ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنَ‌ۖ أَيًّ۬ا مَّا تَدۡعُواْ فَلَهُ ٱلۡأَسۡمَآءُ ٱلۡحُسۡنَىٰ‌ۚ

(Say (O Muhammad): “Invoke Allah or invoke Ar-Rahman (Allah), by whatever name you invoke Him (it is the same), for to Him belong the Best Names) (17:110),) and,

﴿ وَسۡـَٔلۡ مَنۡ أَرۡسَلۡنَا مِن قَبۡلِكَ مِن رُّسُلِنَآ أَجَعَلۡنَا مِن دُونِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ءَالِهَةً۬ يُعۡبَدُونَ

(And ask (O Muhammad) those of Our Messengers whom We sent before you: “Did We ever appoint alihah (gods) to be worshipped besides Ar-Rahman (Most Gracious, Allah)”) (43:45).

Further, when Musaylimah the Liar called himself the Rahman of Yamamah, Allah made him known by the name `Liar’ and exposed him. Hence, whenever Musaylimah is mentioned, he is described as `the Liar’. He became an example for lying among the residents of the cities and villages and the residents of the deserts, the Bedouins.

Therefore, Allah first mentioned His Name – Allah – that is exclusively His and described this Name by Ar-Rahman, which no one else is allowed to use, just as Allah said,

﴿ قُلِ ٱدۡعُواْ ٱللَّهَ أَوِ ٱدۡعُواْ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنَ‌ۖ أَيًّ۬ا مَّا تَدۡعُواْ فَلَهُ ٱلۡأَسۡمَآءُ ٱلۡحُسۡنَىٰ‌ۚ

(Say (O Muhammad): “Invoke Allah or invoke Ar-Rahman (Allah), by whatever name you invoke Him (it is the same), for to Him belong the Best Names.”) (17:110)

Only Musaylimah and those who followed his misguided ways described Musaylimah by Ar-Rahman.

As for Allah’s Name Ar-Rahim, Allah has described others by it. For instance, Allah said,

﴿ لَقَدۡ جَآءَڪُمۡ رَسُولٌ۬ مِّنۡ أَنفُسِڪُمۡ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيۡهِ مَا عَنِتُّمۡ حَرِيصٌ عَلَيۡڪُم بِٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ رَءُوفٌ۬ رَّحِيمٌ۬

(Verily, there has come unto you a Messenger (Muhammad) from amongst yourselves (i.e. whom you know well). It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty. He (Muhammad) is anxious over you (to be rightly guided) for the believers (he is) kind (full of pity), and Rahim (merciful)) (9:128).

Allah has also described some of His creation using some of His other Names. For instance, Allah said,

﴿ إِنَّا خَلَقۡنَا ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنَ مِن نُّطۡفَةٍ أَمۡشَاجٍ۬ نَّبۡتَلِيهِ فَجَعَلۡنَـٰهُ سَمِيعَۢا بَصِيرًا

(Verily, We have created man from Nutfah (drops) of mixed semen (sexual discharge of man and woman), in order to try him, so We made him hearer (Sami`) and seer (Basir) (76:2).

In conclusion, there are several of Allah’s Names that are used as names for others besides Allah. Further, some of Allah’s Names are exclusive for Allah alone, such as Allah, Ar-Rahman, Al-Khaliq (the Creator), Ar-Raziq (the Sustainer), and so forth.

Hence, Allah started the Tasmiyah (meaning, `In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious Most Merciful’) with His Name, Allah, and described Himself as Ar-Rahman, (Most Gracious) which is softer and more general than Ar-Rahim. The most honorable Names are mentioned first, just as Allah did here.

A Hadith narrated by Umm Salamah stated that the recitation of the Messenger of Allah was slow and clear, letter by letter,

﴿ بِسۡمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ٱلۡحَمۡدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ مَـٰلِكِ يَوۡمِ ٱلدِّينِ

(In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of all that exists. The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. The Owner of the Day of Recompense) (1:1-4).

And this is how a group of scholars recite it. Others connected the recitation of the Tasmiyah to Al-Hamd.

﴿ ٱلۡحَمۡدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ

(2. Al-Hamd be to Allah, the Lord of all that exists.)

THE MEANING OF AL-HAMD

Abu Ja`far bin Jarir said, “The meaning of

﴿ ٱلۡحَمۡدُ لِلَّهِ

(Al-Hamdu Lillah) (all praise and thanks be to Allah) is: all thanks are due purely to Allah, alone, not any of the objects that are being worshipped instead of Him, nor any of His creation. These thanks are due to Allah’s innumerable favors and bounties, that only He knows the amount of. Allah’s bounties include creating the tools that help the creation worship Him, the physical bodies with which they are able to implement His commands, the sustenance that He provides them in this life, and the comfortable life He has granted them, without anything or anyone compelling Him to do so. Allah also warned His creation and alerted them about the means and methods with which they can earn eternal dwelling in the residence of everlasting happiness. All thanks and praise are due to Allah for these favors from beginning to end.”

Further, Ibn Jarir commented on the Ayah,

﴿ ٱلۡحَمۡدُ لِلَّهِ

(Al-Hamdu Lillah), that it means, “A praise that Allah praised Himself with, indicating to His servants that they too should praise Him, as if Allah had said, `Say: All thanks and praise is due to Allah.’ It was said that the statement,

﴿ ٱلۡحَمۡدُ لِلَّهِ

(All praise and thanks be to Allah), entails praising Allah by mentioning His most beautiful Names and most honorable Attributes. When one proclaims, `All thanks are due to Allah,’ he will be thanking Him for His favors and bounties.”

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PRAISE AND THANKS

Hamd is more general, in that it is a statement of praise for one’s characteristics, or for what he has done. Thanks are given for what was done, not merely for characteristics.

THE STATEMENTS OF THE SALAF ABOUT AL-HAMD

Hafs mentioned that `Umar said to `Ali, “We know La ilaha illallah, Subhan Allah and Allahu Akbar. What about Al-Hamdu Lillah” `Ali said, “A statement that Allah liked for Himself, was pleased with for Himself and He likes that it be repeated.” Also, Ibn `Abbas said, “Al-Hamdu Lillah is the statement of appreciation. When the servant says Al-Hamdu Lillah, Allah says, `My servant has praised Me.” Ibn Abi Hatim recorded this Hadith.

THE VIRTUES OF AL-HAMD

Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal recorded that Al-Aswad bin Sari` said, “I said, `O Messenger of Allah! Should I recite to you words of praise for My Lord, the Exalted, that I have collected’ He said,

« أَمَا إِنَّ رَبَّكَ يُحِبُّ الْحَمْدَ »

(Verily, your Lord likes Al-Hamd.)”

An-Nasa’i also recorded this Hadith. Furthermore, Abu `Isa At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah recorded that Musa bin Ibrahim bin Kathir related that Talhah bin Khirash said that Jabir bin `Abdullah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« أَفْضَلُ الذِّكْرِ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَأَفْضَلُ الدُّعَاءِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ »

(The best Dhikr (remembering Allah) is La ilaha illallah and the best supplication is Al-Hamdu Lillah.)

At-Tirmidhi said that this Hadith is Hasan Gharib. Also, Ibn Majah recorded that Anas bin Malik said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« مَا أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَى عَبْدٍ نِعْمَةً فَقَالَ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ ‏.‏ إِلاَّ كَانَ الَّذِي أَعْطَاهُ أَفْضَلَ مِمَّا أَخَذَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ »

(No servant is blessed by Allah and says,`Al-Hamdu Lillah’, except that what he was given is better than that which he has himself acquired.) Further, in his Sunan, Ibn Majah recorded that Ibn `Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« إِنَّ عَبْدًا مِنْ عِبَادِ اللهِ قَالَ: يَا رَبِّ لَكَ الْحَمْدُ كَمَا يَنْبَغِي لِجَلَالِ وَجْهِكَ وَعَظِيمِ سُلْطَانِكَ. فَعَضَلَتْ بِالْمَلَكَيْنِ فَلَمْ يَدْرِيَا كَيْفَ يَكْتُبَانِهَا فَصَعِدَا إِلَى اللهِ فَقَالَا: يَا رَبَّنَا إِنَّ عَبْدًا قَدْ قَالَ مَقَالَةً لَا نَدْرِي كَيْفَ نَكْتُبُهَا، قَالَ اللهُ، وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا قَالَ عَبْدُهُ: مَاذَا قَالَ عَبْدِي؟ قَالَا: يَا رَبِّ إِنَّهُ قَالَ: لَكَ الْحَمْدُ يَا رَبِّ كَمَا يَنْبَغِي لِجَلَالِ وَجْهِكَ وَعَظِيمِ سُلْطَانِكَ. فَقَالَ اللهُ لَهُمَا: اكْتُبَاهَا كَمَا قَالَ عَبْدِي، حَتَّى يَلْقَانِي فَأَجْزِيهِ بِهَا. »

(A servant of Allah once said, `O Allah! Yours is the Hamd that is suitable for the grace of Your Face and the greatness of Your Supreme Authority.’ The two angels were confused as to how to write these words. They ascended to Allah and said, `O our Lord! A servant has just uttered a statement and we are unsure how to record it for him.’ Allah said while having more knowledge in what His servant has said, ‘What did My servant say’ They said, `He said, `O Allah! Yours is the Hamd that is suitable for the grace of Your Face and the greatness of Your Supreme Authority.’ Allah said to them, `Write it as My servant has said it, until he meets Me and then I shall reward him for it.)

AL BEFORE HAMD ENCOMPASSES ALL TYPES OF THANKS AND APPRECIATION FOR ALLAH

The letters Alif and Lam before the word Hamd serve to encompass all types of thanks and appreciation for Allah, the Exalted. A Hadith stated,

« اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ الْحَمْدُ كُلُّهُ، وَلَكَ الْمُلْكُ كُلُّهُ، وَبِيَدِكَ الْخَيْرُ كُلُّهُ، وَإِلَيْكَ يُرْجَعُ الْأَمْرُ كُلُّهُ »

(O Allah! All of Al-Hamd is due to You, You own all the ownership, all types of good are in Your Hand and all affairs belong to You.)

THE MEANING OF AR-RABB, THE LORD

Ar-Rabb is the owner who has full authority over his property. Ar-Rabb, linguistically means, the master or the one who has the authority to lead. All of these meanings are correct for Allah. When it is alone, the word Rabb is used only for Allah. As for other than Allah, it can be used to say Rabb Ad-Dar, the master of such and such object. Further, it was reported that Ar-Rabb is Allah’s Greatest Name.

THE MEANING OF AL-`ALAMIN

Al-`Alamin is plural for `Alam, which encompasses everything in existence except Allah. The word `Alam is itself a plural word, having no singular form. The `Alamin are different creations that exist in the heavens and the earth, on land and at sea. Every generation of creation is called an `Alam. Al-Farra` and Abu `Ubayd said, “Alam includes all that has a mind, the Jinns, mankind, the angels and the devils, but not the animals.” Also, Zayd bin Aslam and Abu Muhaysin said, `Alam includes all that Allah has created with a soul.” Further, Qatadah said about,

﴿ رَبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ

(The Lord of the `Alamin), “Every type of creation is an `Alam.” Az-Zajjaj also said, “Alam encompasses everything that Allah created, in this life and in the Hereafter.” Al-Qurtubi commented, “This is the correct meaning, that the `Alam encompasses everything that Allah created in both worlds. Similarly, Allah said,

﴿ قَالَ فِرۡعَوۡنُ وَمَا رَبُّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ قَالَ رَبُّ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَمَا بَيۡنَهُمَآ‌ۖ إِن كُنتُم مُّوقِنِينَ

(Fir`awn (Pharaoh) said: “And what is the Lord of the `Alamin” Musa (Moses) said: “The Lord of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them, if you seek to be convinced with certainty”) (26:23-24).

WHY IS THE CREATION CALLED `ALAM

`Alam is derived from `Alamah, that is because it is a sign testifying to the existence of its Creator and to His Oneness.”

﴿ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

(3. Ar-Rahman (the Most Gracious), Ar-Rahim (the Most Merciful)). Allah said next,

﴿ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

(Ar-Rahman (the Most Gracious), Ar-Rahim (the Most Merciful)) We explained these Names in the Basmalah. Al-Qurtubi said, “Allah has described Himself by `Ar-Rahman, Ar-Rahim’ after saying `the Lord of the Alamin’, so His statement here includes a warning, and then an encouragement. Similarly, Allah said,

﴿ نَبِّئۡ عِبَادِىٓ أَنِّىٓ أَنَا ٱلۡغَفُورُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ وَأَنَّ عَذَابِى هُوَ ٱلۡعَذَابُ ٱلۡأَلِيمُ

(Declare (O Muhammad) unto My servants, that truly, I am the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful. And that My torment is indeed the most painful torment.) (15:49-50) Allah said,

﴿ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ سَرِيعُ ٱلۡعِقَابِ وَإِنَّهُ ۥ لَغَفُورٌ۬ رَّحِيمُۢ

(Surely, your Lord is swift in retribution, and certainly He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) (6:165)

Hence, Rabb contains a warning while Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim encourages. Further, Muslim recorded in his Sahih that the Messenger of Allah said,

« لَوْ يَعْلَمُ الْمُؤْمِنُ مَا عِنْدَ اللهِ مِنَ الْعُقُوبَةِ مَا طَمِعَ فِي جَنَّتِهِ أَحَدٌ، وَلَوْ يَعْلَمُ الْكَافِرُ مَا عِنْدَ اللهِ مِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ مَا قَنَطَ مِنْ رَحْمَتِهِ أَحَدٌ »

(If the believer knew what punishment Allah has, none would have hope in acquiring His Paradise, and if the disbeliever knew what mercy Allah has, none will lose hope of earning His earning.)

﴿ مَـٰلِكِ يَوۡمِ ٱلدِّينِ

(4. The Owner of the Day of Recompense.)

INDICATING SOVEREIGNTY ON THE DAY OF JUDGMENT

Allah mentioned His sovereignty of the Day of Resurrection, but this does not negate His sovereignty over all other things. For Allah mentioned that He is the Lord of existence, including this earthly life and the Hereafter. Allah only mentioned the Day of Recompense here because on that Day, no one except Him will be able to claim ownership of anything whatsoever. On that Day, no one will be allowed to speak without His permission. Similarly, Allah said,

﴿ يَوۡمَ يَقُومُ ٱلرُّوحُ وَٱلۡمَلَـٰٓٮِٕكَةُ صَفًّ۬ا‌ۖ لَّا يَتَكَلَّمُونَ إِلَّا مَنۡ أَذِنَ لَهُ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنُ وَقَالَ صَوَابً۬ا

(The Day that Ar-Ruh (Jibril (Gabriel) or another angel) and the angels will stand forth in rows, they will not speak except him whom the Most Gracious (Allah) allows, and he will speak what is right.) (78:38),

﴿ وَخَشَعَتِ ٱلۡأَصۡوَاتُ لِلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ فَلَا تَسۡمَعُ إِلَّا هَمۡسً۬ا

(And all voices will be humbled for the Most Gracious (Allah), and nothing shall you hear but the low voice of their footsteps.)(20:108), and,

﴿ يَوۡمَ يَأۡتِ لَا تَڪَلَّمُ نَفۡسٌ إِلَّا بِإِذۡنِهِۦ‌ۚ فَمِنۡهُمۡ شَقِىٌّ۬ وَسَعِيدٌ۬

(On the Day when it comes, no person shall speak except by His (Allah’s) leave. Some among them will be wretched and (others) blessed) (11:105).

Ad-Dahhak said that Ibn `Abbas commented, “Allah says, `On that Day, no one owns anything that they used to own in the world.”’

THE MEANING OF YAWM AD-DIN

Ibn `Abbas said, “Yawm Ad-Din is the Day of Recompense for the creatures, meaning the Day of Judgment. On that Day, Allah will reckon the creation for their deeds, evil for evil, good for good, except for those whom He pardons.” In addition, several other Companions, Tabi`in and scholars of the Salaf, said similarly, for this meaning is apparent and clear from the Ayah.

ALLAH IS AL-MALIK (KING OR OWNER)

Allah is the True Owner (Malik) (of everything and everyone). Allah said,

﴿ هُوَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِى لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ٱلۡمَلِكُ ٱلۡقُدُّوسُ ٱلسَّلَـٰمُ

(He is Allah, beside Whom La ilaha illa Huwa, the King, the Holy, the One free from all defects) (59:23).

Also, the Two Sahihs recorded Abu Hurayrah saying that the Prophet said,

« أَخْنَعُ اسْمٍ عِنْدَ اللهِ رَجُلٌ تَسَمَّى بِمَلِكِ الْأَمْلَاكِ وَلَا مَالِكَ إِلَّا اللهُ »

(The most despicable name to Allah is a person who calls himself the king of kings, while there are no owners except Allah.)

Also the Two Sahihs recorded that the Messenger of Allah said,

« يَقْبِضُ اللهُ الْأَرْضَ وَيَطْوِي السَّمَاءَ بِيَمِينِهِ ثُمَّ يَقُولُ: أَنَا الْمَلِكُ، أَيْنَ مُلُوكُ الْأَرْضِ؟ أَيْنَ الْجَبَّارُونَ؟ أَيْنَ الْمُتَكَبِّرُونَ؟ »

((On the Day of Judgment) Allah will grasp the earth and fold up the heavens with His Right Hand and proclaim, ‘I Am the King! Where are the kings of the earth Where are the tyrants Where are the arrogant’)

Also, in the Glorious Qur’an;

﴿ لِّمَنِ ٱلۡمُلۡكُ ٱلۡيَوۡمَۖ لِلَّهِ ٱلۡوَٲحِدِ ٱلۡقَهَّارِ

(Whose is the kingdom this Day Allah’s, the One, the Irresistible.)(40:16).

As for calling someone other than Allah a king in this life, then it is done as a figure of speech. For instance, Allah said,

﴿ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ قَدۡ بَعَثَ لَڪُمۡ طَالُوتَ مَلِكً۬ا‌ۚ

(Indeed Allah appointed Talut (Saul) as a king over you.) (2:247),

﴿ وَكَانَ وَرَآءَهُم مَّلِكٌ۬

(As there was a king behind them)(18:79), and,

﴿ إِذۡ جَعَلَ فِيكُمۡ أَنۢبِيَآءَ وَجَعَلَكُم مُّلُوكً۬ا

When He made Prophet’s among you, and made you kings) (5:20),

Also, the Two Sahihs recorded,

« مِثْلُ الْمُلُوكِ عَلَى الْأَسِرَّةِ »

(Just like kings reclining on their thrones)

THE MEANING OF AD-DIN

Ad-Din means the reckoning, the reward or punishment. Similarly, Allah said,

﴿ يَوۡمَٮِٕذٍ۬ يُوَفِّيہِمُ ٱللَّهُ دِينَهُمُ ٱلۡحَقَّ

(On that Day Allah will pay them the (Dinahum) recompense (of their deeds) in full) (24:25), and,

﴿ أَءِنَّا لَمَدِينُونَ

(Shall we indeed (be raised up) to receive reward or punishment (according to our deeds)) (37:53). A Hadith stated,

« الْكَيِّسُ مَنْ دَانَ نَفْسَهُ وَعَمِلَ لِمَا بَعْدَ الْمَوتِ »

(The wise person is he who reckons himself and works for (his life) after death.) meaning, he holds himself accountable. Also, `Umar said, “Hold yourself accountable before you are held accountable, weigh yourselves before you are weighed, and be prepared for the biggest gathering before He Whose knowledge encompasses your deeds,

﴿ يَوۡمَٮِٕذٍ۬ تُعۡرَضُونَ لَا تَخۡفَىٰ مِنكُمۡ خَافِيَةٌ۬

(That Day shall you be brought to Judgment, not a secret of yours will be hidden) (69:18).”

﴿ إِيَّاكَ نَعۡبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسۡتَعِينُ

(5. You we worship, and You we ask for help.) (1:5)

THE LINGUISTIC AND RELIGIOUS MEANING OF `IBADAH

Linguistically, `Ibadah means subdued. For instance, a road is described as Mu`abbadah, meaning, `paved’. In religious terminology, `Ibadah implies the utmost love, humility and fear.

THE MERIT OF STATING THE OBJECT OF THE ACTION BEFORE THE DOER OF THE ACT, AND THE MERIT OF THESE NEGATIONS

“You…”, means, we worship You alone and none else, and rely on You alone and none else. This is the perfect form of obedience and the entire religion is implied by these two ideas. Some of the Salaf said, Al-Fatihah is the secret of the Qur’an, while these words are the secret of Al-Fatihah,

﴿ إِيَّاكَ نَعۡبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسۡتَعِينُ

(5. You we worship, and You we ask for help from.)

The first part is a declaration of innocence from Shirk (polytheism), while the second negates having any power or strength, displaying the recognition that all affairs are controlled by Allah alone. This meaning is reiterated in various instances in the Qur’an. For instance, Allah said,

﴿ فَٱعۡبُدۡهُ وَتَوَڪَّلۡ عَلَيۡهِ‌ۚ وَمَا رَبُّكَ بِغَـٰفِلٍ عَمَّا تَعۡمَلُونَ

(So worship Him (O Muhammad) and put your trust in Him. And your Lord is not unaware of what you (people) do.) (11:123),

﴿ قُلۡ هُوَ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنُ ءَامَنَّا بِهِۦ وَعَلَيۡهِ تَوَكَّلۡنَا‌ۖ

(Say: “He is the Most Gracious (Allah), in Him we believe, and in Him we put our trust.”) (67:29),

﴿ رَّبُّ ٱلۡمَشۡرِقِ وَٱلۡمَغۡرِبِ لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ فَٱتَّخِذۡهُ وَكِيلاً۬

((He alone is) the Lord of the east and the west; La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He).

So take Him alone as Wakil (Disposer of your affairs)), (73:9), and,

﴿ إِيَّاكَ نَعۡبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسۡتَعِينُ

(You we worship, and You we ask for help from).

We should mention that in this Ayah, the type of speech here changes from the third person to direct speech by using the Kaf in the statement Iyyaka (You). This is because after the servant praised and thanked Allah, he stands before Him, addressing Him directly;

﴿ إِيَّاكَ نَعۡبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسۡتَعِينُ

(You we worship, and You we ask for help from).

So take Him alone as Wakil (Disposer of your affairs)), (73:9), and,

﴿ إِيَّاكَ نَعۡبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسۡتَعِينُ

(You we worship, and You we ask for help from).

We should mention that in this Ayah, the type of speech here changes from the third person to direct speech by using the Kaf in the statement Iyyaka (You). This is because after the servant praised and thanked Allah, he stands before Him, addressing Him directly;

﴿ إِيَّاكَ نَعۡبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسۡتَعِينُ

(You we worship, and You we ask for help from).

AL-FATIHAH INDICATES THE NECESSITY OF PRAISING ALLAH. IT IS REQUIRED IN EVERY PRAYER.

The beginning of Surat Al-Fatihah contains Allah’s praise for Himself by His most beautiful Attributes and indicates to His servants that, they too, should praise Him in the same manner. Hence, the prayer is not valid unless one recites Al-Fatihah, if he is able. The Two Sahihs recorded that `Ubadah bin As-Samit said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« لَا صَلَاةَ لِمَنْ لَمْ يَقْرَأْ بِفَاتِحَةِ الْكِتَابِ »

(There is no valid prayer for whoever does not recite Al-Fatihah of the Book.)

Also, it is recorded in Sahih Muslim that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« يَقُولُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى : قَسَمْتُ الصَّلَاةَ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَ عَبْدِي نِصْفَيْنِ، فَنِصْفُهَا لِي وَنِصْفُهَا لِعَبْدِي وَلِعَبْدِي مَا سَأَلَ، إِذَا قَالَ الْعَبْدُ:
« ٱلۡحَمۡدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ ﴿ ، قَالَ اللهُ: حَمِدَنِي عَبْدِي وَإِذَا قَالَ: »
ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ﴿ ، قَالَ اللهُ: أَثْنى عَلَيَّ عَبْدِي، فَإذَا قَالَ:
مَـٰلِكِ يَوۡمِ ٱلدِّينِ ﴿ ، قَالَ اللهُ: مَجَّدَنِي عَبْدِي وَقَالَ مَرَّةً: فَوَّضَ إِلَيَّ عَبْدِي فَإِذَا قَالَ:
إِيَّاكَ نَعۡبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسۡتَعِينُ ﴿ ، قَالَ: هذَا بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَ عَبْدِي وَلِعَبْدِي مَا سَأَلَ، فَإِذَا قَالَ:
﴿ ٱهۡدِنَا ٱلصِّرَٲطَ ٱلۡمُسۡتَقِيمَ
ٱهۡدِنَا ٱلصِّرَٲطَ ٱلۡمُسۡتَقِيمَ – صِرَٲطَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنۡعَمۡتَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ غَيۡرِ ٱلۡمَغۡضُوبِ عَلَيۡهِمۡ وَلَا ٱلضَّآلِّينَ ﴿ ، قَالَ اللهُ: هذَا لِعَبْدِي وَلِعَبْدِي مَا سَأَلَ »

(Allah said, `I divided the prayer into two halves between Myself and My servant, one half is for Me and one half for My servant. My servant shall have what he asks for.’ When the servant says,

﴿ ٱلۡحَمۡدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ

(All praise and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of all that exists.), Allah says, `My servant has praised Me.’ When the servant says,

﴿ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

(The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful), Allah says, `My servant has praised Me.’ When the servant says,

﴿ مَـٰلِكِ يَوۡمِ ٱلدِّينِ

(The Owner of the Day of Recompense), Allah says, `My servant has glorified Me.’ If the servant says,

﴿ إِيَّاكَ نَعۡبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسۡتَعِينُ

(You we worship, and You we ask for help), Allah says, `This is between Me and My servant, and My servant shall have what he asked.’ If the servant says,

﴿ ٱهۡدِنَا ٱلصِّرَٲطَ ٱلۡمُسۡتَقِيمَ صِرَٲطَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنۡعَمۡتَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ غَيۡرِ ٱلۡمَغۡضُوبِ عَلَيۡهِمۡ وَلَا ٱلضَّآلِّينَ

(Guide us to the straight path. The path of those on whom You have bestowed Your grace, not (that) of those who have earned Your anger, nor of those who went astray), Allah says, `This is for My servant, and My servant shall have what he asked.’)

TAWHID AL-ULUHIYYAH

Ad-Dahhak narrated that Ibn `Abbas said,

﴿ إِيَّاكَ نَعۡبُدُ

(You we worship) means, “It is You whom we single out, Whom we fear and Whom we hope in, You alone, our Lord, and none else.

TAWHID AR-RUBUBIYYAH
﴿ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسۡتَعِينُ

(And You we ask for help from), to obey you and in all of our affairs.” Further, Qatadah said that the Ayah,

﴿ إِيَّاكَ نَعۡبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسۡتَعِينُ

(You we worship, and You we ask for help from) “Contains Allah’s command to us to perform sincere worship for Him and to seek His aid concerning all of our affairs.” Allah mentioned,

﴿ إِيَّاكَ نَعۡبُدُ

(You we worship) before,

﴿ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسۡتَعِينُ

(And You we ask for help from), because the objective here is the worship, while Allah’s help is the tool to implement this objective. Certainly, one first takes care of the most important aspects and then what is less important, and Allah knows best.

ALLAH CALLED HIS PROPHET (PEACE BE UPON HIM) AN `ABD

Allah called His Messenger an `Abd (servant) when He mentioned sending down His Book, the Prophet’s involvement in inviting to Him, and when mentioning the Isra’ (overnight journey from Makkah to Jerusalem and then to heaven), and these are the Prophet’s most honorable missions. Allah said,

﴿ ٱلۡحَمۡدُ لِلَّهِ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَنزَلَ عَلَىٰ عَبۡدِهِ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ

(All praise and thanks be to Allah, Who has sent down to His servant (Muhammad the Book (the Qur’an)) (18:1),

﴿ وَأَنَّهُ ۥ لَمَّا قَامَ عَبۡدُ ٱللَّهِ يَدۡعُوهُ

(And when the servant of Allah (Muhammad) stood up invoking Him (his Lord ـ Allah in prayer)), (72:19) and,

﴿ سُبۡحَـٰنَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَسۡرَىٰ بِعَبۡدِهِۦ لَيۡلاً۬

(Glorified (and Exalted) be He (Allah) (above all that they associate with Him) Who took His servant (Muhammad) for a journey by night) (17:1).

ENCOURAGING THE PERFORMANCE OF THE ACTS OF WORSHIP DURING TIMES OF DISTRESS

Allah also recommended that His Prophet resort to acts of worship during times when he felt distressed because of the disbelievers who defied and denied him. Allah said,

﴿ وَلَقَدۡ نَعۡلَمُ أَنَّكَ يَضِيقُ صَدۡرُكَ بِمَا يَقُولُونَ فَسَبِّحۡ بِحَمۡدِ رَبِّكَ وَكُن مِّنَ ٱلسَّـٰجِدِينَ وَٱعۡبُدۡ رَبَّكَ حَتَّىٰ يَأۡتِيَكَ ٱلۡيَقِينُ

(Indeed, We know that your breast is straitened at what they say. So glorify the praises of your Lord and be of those who prostrate themselves (to Him). And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty (i.e. death)) (15:97-99).

WHY PRAISE WAS MENTIONED FIRST

Since the praise of Allah, Who is being sought for help, was mentioned, it was appropriate that one follows the praise by asking for his need. We stated that Allah said,

« فَنِصْفُهَا لِي وَنِصْفُهَا لِعَبْدِي، وَلِعَبْدِي مَا سَأَلَ »

(One half for Myself and one half for My servant, and My servant shall have what he asked.)

This is the best method for seeking help, by first praising the one whom help is sought from and then asking for His aid, and help for one’s self, and for his Muslim brethren by saying.

﴿ ٱهۡدِنَا ٱلصِّرَٲطَ ٱلۡمُسۡتَقِيمَ

(Guide us to the straight path.)

This method is more appropriate and efficient in bringing about a positive answer to the pleas, and this is why Allah recommended this better method.

Asking for help may take the form of conveying the condition of the person who is seeking help. For instance, the Prophet Moses said,

﴿ رَبِّ إِنِّى لِمَآ أَنزَلۡتَ إِلَىَّ مِنۡ خَيۡرٍ۬ فَقِيرٌ۬

(My Lord! Truly, I am in need of whatever good that You bestow on me!) (28:24).

Also, one may first mention the attributes of whoever is being asked, such as what Dhun-Nun said,

﴿ لَّآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّآ أَنتَ سُبۡحَـٰنَكَ إِنِّى ڪُنتُ مِنَ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ

(La ilaha illa Anta (none has the right to be worshipped but You (O Allah)), Glorified (and Exalted) be You (above all that they associate with You)! Truly, I have been of the wrongdoers) (21:87).

Further, one may praise Him without mentioning what he needs. The Meaning of Guidance mentioned in the Surah

The guidance mentioned in the Surah implies being directed and guided to success. Allah said,

﴿ ٱهۡدِنَا ٱلصِّرَٲطَ ٱلۡمُسۡتَقِيمَ

(Guide us to the straight path) meaning guide, direct, lead and grant us the correct guidance. Also,

﴿ وَهَدَيۡنَـٰهُ ٱلنَّجۡدَيۡنِ

(And shown him the two ways (good and evil)) (90:10), means, `We explained to him the paths of good and evil.’ Also, Allah said,

﴿ ٱجۡتَبَٮٰهُ وَهَدَٮٰهُ إِلَىٰ صِرَٲطٍ۬ مُّسۡتَقِيمٍ۬

(He (Allah) chose him (as an intimate friend) and guided him to a straight path) (16:121), and,

﴿ فَٱهۡدُوهُمۡ إِلَىٰ صِرَٲطِ ٱلۡجَحِيمِ

(And lead them on to the way of flaming Fire (Hell)) (37:23). Similarly, Allah said,

﴿ وَإِنَّكَ لَتَہۡدِىٓ إِلَىٰ صِرَٲطٍ۬ مُّسۡتَقِيمٍ۬

(And verily, you (O Muhammad) are indeed guiding (mankind) to the straight path) (42:52), and,

﴿ ٱلۡحَمۡدُ لِلَّهِ ٱلَّذِى هَدَٮٰنَا لِهَـٰذَا

(All praise and thanks be to Allah, Who has guided us to this) (7:43), meaning, guided us and directed us and qualified us for this end – Paradise.

THE MEANING OF AS-SIRAT AL-MUSTAQIM, THE STRAIGHT PATH.

As for the meaning of As-Sirat Al-Mustaqim, Imam Abu Ja`far At-Tabari said, “The Ummah agreed that Sirat Al-Mustaqim, is the clear path without branches, according to the language of the Arabs. For instance, Jarir bin `Atiyah Al-Khatafi said in a poem, `The Leader of the faithful is on a path that will remain straight even though the other paths are crooked.” At-Tabari also stated that, “There are many evidences to this fact.” At-Tabari then proceeded, “The Arabs use the term, Sirat in reference to every deed and statement whether righteous or wicked. Hence the Arabs would describe the honest person as being straight and the wicked person as being crooked. The straight path mentioned in the Qur’an refers to Islam.

Imam Ahmad recorded in his Musnad that An-Nawwas bin Sam`an said that the Prophet said,

« ضَرَبَ اللهُ مَثَلًا صِرَاطًا مُسْتَقِيمًا، وَعَلَى جَنْبَتَيِ الصِّرَاطِ سُورَانِ فِيهِمَا أَبْوَابٌ مُفَتَّحَةٌ، وَعَلَى الْأَبْوَابِ سُتُورٌ مُرْخَاةٌ، وَعَلَى بَابِ الصِّرَاطِ دَاعٍ يَقُولُ: يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ ادْخُلُوا الصِّرَاطَ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَعْوَجُّوا، وَدَاعٍ يَدْعُو مِنْ فَوْقِ الصِّرَاطِ، فَإِذَا أَرَادَ الْإِنْسَانُ أَنْ يَفْتَحَ شَيْئًا مِنْ تِلْكَ الْأَبْوَابِ قَالَ: وَيْحَكَ لَا تَفْتَحْهُ فَإِنَّكَ إِنْ فَتَحْتَهُ تَلِجْهُ فَالصِّرَاطُ: الْإِسْلَامُ وَالسُّورَانِ: حُدُودُ اللهِ وَالْأَبْوَابُ الْمُفَتَّحَةُ مَحَارِمُ اللهِ وَذَلِكَ الدَّاعِي عَلَى رَأْسِ الصِّرَاطِ كِتَابُ اللهِ، وَالدَّاعِي مِنْ فَوْقِ الصِّرَاطِ وَاعِظُ اللهِ فِي قَلْبِ كُلِّ مُسْلِمٍ »

(Allah has set an example: a Sirat (straight path) that is surrounded by two walls on both sides, with several open doors within the walls covered with curtains. There is a caller on the gate of the Sirat who heralds, ‘O people! Stay on the path and do not deviate from it.’ Meanwhile, a caller from above the path is also warning any person who wants to open any of these doors, ‘Woe unto you! Do not open it, for if you open it you will pass through.’ The straight path is Islam, the two walls are Allah’s set limits, while the doors resemble what Allah has prohibited. The caller on the gate of the Sirat is the Book of Allah, while the caller above the Sirat is Allah’s admonishment in the heart of every Muslim.)

THE FAITHFUL ASK FOR AND ABIDE BY GUIDANCE

If someone asks, “Why does the believer ask Allah for guidance during every prayer and at other times, while he is already properly guided Has he not already acquired guidance”

The answer to these questions is that if it were not a fact that the believer needs to keep asking for guidance day and night, Allah would not have directed him to invoke Him to acquire the guidance. The servant needs Allah the Exalted every hour of his life to help him remain firm on the path of guidance and to make him even more firm and persistent on it. The servant does not have the power to benefit or harm himself, except by Allah’s permission. Therefore, Allah directed the servant to invoke Him constantly, so that He provides him with His aid and with firmness and success. Indeed, the happy person is he whom Allah guides to ask of Him. This is especially the case if a person urgently needs Allah’s help day or night. Allah said,

﴿ يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ ءَامِنُواْ بِٱللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِۦ وَٱلۡكِتَـٰبِ ٱلَّذِى نَزَّلَ عَلَىٰ رَسُولِهِۦ وَٱلۡڪِتَـٰبِ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَنزَلَ مِن قَبۡلُ‌ۚ

(O you who believe! Believe in Allah, and His Messenger (Muhammad), and the Book (the Qur’an) which He has sent down to His Messenger, and the Scripture which He sent down to those before (him)) (4:16).

Therefore, in this Ayah Allah commanded the believers to believe, and this command is not redundant since what is sought here is firmness and continuity of performing the deeds that help one remain on the path of faith. Also, Allah commanded His believing servants to proclaim,

﴿ رَبَّنَا لَا تُزِغۡ قُلُوبَنَا بَعۡدَ إِذۡ هَدَيۡتَنَا وَهَبۡ لَنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحۡمَةً‌ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلۡوَهَّابُ

(Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us, and grant us mercy from You. Truly, You are the Bestower.) (3:8). Hence,

﴿ ٱهۡدِنَا ٱلصِّرَٲطَ ٱلۡمُسۡتَقِيمَ

(Guide us to the straight way) means, “Make us firm on the path of guidance and do not allow us to deviate from it.”

﴿ صِرَٲطَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنۡعَمۡتَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ غَيۡرِ ٱلۡمَغۡضُوبِ عَلَيۡهِمۡ وَلَا ٱلضَّآلِّينَ

(7. The way of those upon whom You have bestowed Your grace, not (that) of those who earned Your anger, nor of those who went astray).

We mentioned the Hadith in which the servant proclaims,

﴿ ٱهۡدِنَا ٱلصِّرَٲطَ ٱلۡمُسۡتَقِيمَ

(Guide us to the straight way) and Allah says, “This is for My servant, and My servant shall acquire what he asks for.” Allah’s statement.

﴿ صِرَٲطَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنۡعَمۡتَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ

(The way of those upon whom You have bestowed Your grace) defines the path. `Those upon whom Allah has bestowed His grace’ are those mentioned in Surat An-Nisa’ (chapter 4), when Allah said,

﴿ وَمَن يُطِعِ ٱللَّهَ وَٱلرَّسُولَ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ مَعَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنۡعَمَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيۡہِم مِّنَ ٱلنَّبِيِّـۧنَ وَٱلصِّدِّيقِينَ وَٱلشُّہَدَآءِ وَٱلصَّـٰلِحِينَ‌ۚ وَحَسُنَ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ رَفِيقً۬ا ذَٲلِكَ ٱلۡفَضۡلُ مِنَ ٱللَّهِ‌ۚ وَكَفَىٰ بِٱللَّهِ عَلِيمً۬ا

(And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger (Muhammad), then they will be in the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed His grace, the Prophets, the Siddiqin (the truly faithful), the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are! Such is the bounty from Allah, and Allah is sufficient to know) (4:69-70).

Allah’s statement,

﴿ غَيۡرِ ٱلۡمَغۡضُوبِ عَلَيۡهِمۡ وَلَا ٱلضَّآلِّينَ

(Not (the way) of those who earned Your anger, nor of those who went astray) meaning guide us to the straight path, the path of those upon whom you have bestowed Your grace, that is, the people of guidance, sincerity and obedience to Allah and His Messengers. They are the people who adhere to Allah’s commandments and refrain from committing what He has prohibited. But, help us to avoid the path of those whom Allah is angry with, whose intentions are corrupt, who know the truth, yet deviate from it. Also, help us avoid the path of those who were led astray, who lost the true knowledge and, as a result, are wandering in misguidance, unable to find the correct path. Allah asserted that the two paths He described here are both misguided when He repeated the negation `not’. These two paths are the paths of the Christians and Jews, a fact that the believer should beware of so that he avoids them. The path of the believers is knowledge of the truth and abiding by it. In comparison, the Jews abandoned practicing the religion, while the Christians lost the true knowledge. This is why `anger’ descended upon the Jews, while being described as `led astray’ is more appropriate of the Christians. Those who know, but avoid implementing the truth, deserve the anger, unlike those who are ignorant. The Christians want to seek the true knowledge, but are unable to find it because they did not seek it from its proper resources.

This is why they were led astray. We should also mention that both the Christians and the Jews have earned the anger and are led astray, but the anger is one of the attributes more particular of the Jews. Allah said about the Jews,

﴿ مَن لَّعَنَهُ ٱللَّهُ وَغَضِبَ عَلَيۡهِ

(Those (Jews) who incurred the curse of Allah and His wrath) (5:60).

The attribute that the Christians deserve most is that of being led astray, just as Allah said about them,

﴿ قَدۡ ضَلُّواْ مِن قَبۡلُ وَأَضَلُّواْ ڪَثِيرً۬ا وَضَلُّواْ عَن سَوَآءِ ٱلسَّبِيلِ

(Who went astray before and who misled many, and strayed (themselves) from the right path) (5:77).

There are several Hadiths and reports from the Salaf on this subject. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Adi bin Hatim said, “The horsemen of the Messenger of Allah seized my paternal aunt and some other people. When they brought them to the Messenger of Allah, they were made to stand in line before him. My aunt said, `O Messenger of Allah! The supporter is far away, the offspring have stopped coming and I am an old woman, unable to serve. Grant me your favor, may Allah grant you His favor.’ He said, `Who is your supporter’ She said, `Adi bin Hatim.’ He said, `The one who ran away from Allah and His Messenger ‘ She said, `So, the Prophet freed me.’ When the Prophet came back, there was a man next to him, I think that he was `Ali, who said to her, `Ask him for a means of transportation.’ She asked the Prophet, and he ordered that she be given an animal.

” `Adi then said, “Later on, she came to me and said, `He (Muhammad) has done a favor that your father (who was a generous man) would never have done. So and-so person came to him and he granted him his favor, and so-and-so came to him and he granted him his favor.’ So I went to the Prophet and found that some women and children were gathering with him, so close that I knew that he was not a king like Kisra (King of Persia) or Caesar. He said, `O `Adi! What made you run away, so that La ilaha illallah is not proclaimed Is there a deity worthy of worship except Allah What made you run away, so that Allahu Akbar (Allah is the Greater) is not proclaimed Is there anything Greater than Allah’ I proclaimed my Islam and I saw his face radiate with pleasure and he said:

« إِنَّ الْمَغْضُوبَ عَلَيْهِمُ الْيَهُودُ وَإِنَّ الضَّالِينَ النَّصَارَى »

(Those who have earned the anger are the Jews and those who are led astray are the Christians.)”

This Hadith was also collected by At-Tirmidhi who said that it is Hasan Gharib.

Also, when Zayd bin `Amr bin Nufayl went with some of his friends – before Islam – to Ash-Sham seeking the true religion, the Jews said to him, “You will not become a Jew unless you carry a share of the anger of Allah that we have earned.” He said, “I am seeking to escape Allah’s anger.” Also, the Christians said to him, “If you become one of us you will carry a share in Allah’s discontent.” He said, “I cannot bear it.” So he remained in his pure nature and avoided worshipping the idols and the polytheistic practices. He became neither a Jew, nor Christian. As for his companions, they became Christians because they found it more pure than Judaism. Waraqah bin Nawfal was among these people until Allah guided him by the hand of His Prophet, when he was sent as Prophet, and Waraqah believed in the revelation that was sent to the Prophet may Allah be pleased with him.

THE SUMMARY OF AL-FATIHAH

The honorable Surah Al-Fatihah contains seven Ayat including the praise and thanks of Allah, glorifying Him and praising Him by mentioning His most Beautiful Names and most high Attributes. It also mentions the Hereafter, which is the Day of Resurrection, and directs Allah’s servants to ask of Him, invoking Him and declaring that all power and strength comes from Him. It also calls to the sincerity of the worship of Allah alone, singling Him out in His divinity, believing in His perfection, being free from the need of any partners, having no rivals nor equals. Al-Fatihah directs the believers to invoke Allah to guide them to the straight path, which is the true religion, and to help them remain on that path in this life, and to pass over the actual Sirat (bridge over hell that everyone must pass over) on the Day of Judgment. On that Day, the believers will be directed to the gardens of comfort in the company of the Prophets, the truthful ones, the martyrs and the righteous. Al-Fatihah also encourages performing good deeds, so that the believers will be in the company of the good-doers on the Day of Resurrection. The Surah also warns against following the paths of misguidance, so that one does not end up being gathered with those who indulge in sin, on the Day of Resurrection, including those who have earned the anger and those who were led astray.

THE BOUNTIES ARE BECAUSE OF ALLAH, NOT THE DEVIATIONS

Allah said,

﴿ صِرَٲطَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنۡعَمۡتَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ

(The way of those upon whom you have bestowed Your grace), when He mentioned His favor. On mentioning anger, Allah said,

﴿ غَيۡرِ ٱلۡمَغۡضُوبِ عَلَيۡهِمۡ

(Not (that) of those who earned Your anger), without mentioning the subject, although it is He Who has sent down the anger on them, just as Allah stated in another Ayah,

﴿ أَلَمۡ تَرَ إِلَى ٱلَّذِينَ تَوَلَّوۡاْ قَوۡمًا غَضِبَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيۡہِم

(Have you (O Muhammad) not seen those (hypocrites) who take as friends a people upon whom is the wrath of Allah (i.e. Jews)) (58:14).

Also, Allah relates the misguidance of those who indulged in it, although they were justly misguided according to Allah’s appointed destiny. For instance, Allah said,

﴿ مَن يَہۡدِ ٱللَّهُ فَهُوَ ٱلۡمُهۡتَدِ‌ۖ وَمَن يُضۡلِلۡ فَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُ ۥ وَلِيًّ۬ا مُّرۡشِدً۬ا

(He whom Allah guides, he is the rightly-guided; but he whom He sends astray, for him you will find no Wali (guiding friend) to lead him (to the right path)) (18:17)

and,

﴿ مَن يُضۡلِلِ ٱللَّهُ فَلَا هَادِىَ لَهُ ۥ‌ۚ وَيَذَرُهُمۡ فِى طُغۡيَـٰنِہِمۡ يَعۡمَهُونَ

(Whomsoever Allah sends astray, none can guide him; and He lets them wander blindly in their transgression) (7:186).

These and several other Ayat testify to the fact that Allah alone is the One Who guides and misguides, contrary to the belief of the Qadariyyah sect, who claimed that the servants choose and create their own destiny. They rely on some unclear Ayat avoiding what is clear and contradicts their desires. Theirs, is the method of the people who follow their lust, desire and wickedness. An authentic Hadith narrated,

« إِذَا رَأَيْتُمُ الَّذِينَ يَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَابَهَ مِنْهُ فَأُولئِكَ الَّذِينَ سَمَّى اللهُ فَاحْذَرُوهُمْ »

(When you see those who follow what is not so clear in it (the Qur’an), then they are those whom Allah has mentioned (refer to 3:7). Hence, avoid them.)

The Prophet was referring to Allah’s statement,

﴿ فَأَمَّا ٱلَّذِينَ فِى قُلُوبِهِمۡ زَيۡغٌ۬ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَـٰبَهَ مِنۡهُ ٱبۡتِغَآءَ ٱلۡفِتۡنَةِ وَٱبۡتِغَآءَ تَأۡوِيلِهِۦ‌ۗ

(So as for those in whose hearts there is a deviation (from the truth) they follow that which is not entirely clear thereof, seeking Al-Fitnah (polytheism and trials), and seeking for its hidden meanings) (3:7).

Verily, no innovator in the religion could ever rely on any authentic evidence in the Qur’an that testifies to his innovation. The Qur’an came to distinguish between truth and falsehood, and guidance and misguidance. The Qur’an does not contain any discrepancies or contradictions, because it is a revelation from the Most Wise, Worthy of all praise.

SAYING AMIN

It is recommended to say Amin after finishing the recitation of Al-Fatihah. Amin means, “O Allah! Accept our invocation.” The evidence that saying Amin is recommended is contained in what Imams Ahmad, Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi recorded, that Wa’il bin Hujr said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah recite,

﴿ غَيۡرِ ٱلۡمَغۡضُوبِ عَلَيۡهِمۡ وَلَا ٱلضَّآلِّينَ

(Not (that) of those who earned Your anger, nor of those who went astray), and he said `Amin’ extending it with his voice.”

Abu Dawud’s narration added, “Raising his voice with it.” At-Tirmidhi then commented that this Hadith is Hasan and was also narrated from `Ali and Ibn Mas`ud. Also, Abu Hurayrah narrated that whenever the Messenger of Allah would recite,

﴿ غَيۡرِ ٱلۡمَغۡضُوبِ عَلَيۡهِمۡ وَلَا ٱلضَّآلِّينَ

(Not (the way) of those who earned Your anger, nor of those who went astray), He would say Amin until those who were behind him in the first line could hear him.

Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah recorded this Hadith with the addition, “Then the Masjid would shake because of (those behind the Prophet) reciting Amin.” Also, Ad-Daraqutni recorded this Hadith and commented that it is Hasan.

Further, Bilal narrated that he said, “O Messenger of Allah! Do not finish saying Amin before I can join you.” This was recorded by Abu Dawud.

In addition, Abu Nasr Al-Qushayri narrated that Al-Hasan and Ja`far As-Sadiq stressed the `m’ in Amin.

Saying Amin is recommended for those who are not praying (when reciting Al-Fatihah) and is strongly recommended for those who are praying, whether alone or behind the Imam. The Two Sahihs recorded that the Messenger of Allah said,

« إِذَا أَمَّنَ الْإِمَامُ فَأَمِّنُوا، فَإِنَّهُ مَنْ وَافَقَ تَأْمِينُهُ تَأْمِينَ الْمَلَائِكَةِ غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ »

(When the Imam says, ‘ Amin’, then say, ‘Amin’, because whoever says, Amin’ with the angels, his previous sins will be forgiven.)

Muslim recorded that the Messenger of Allah said,

« إِذَا قَالَ أَحَدُكُمْ فِي الصَّلَاةِ: آمِينَ، وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ فِي السَّمَاءِ: آمِينَ، فَوَافَقَتْ إِحْدَاهُمَا الْأُخْرَى غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ »

(When any of you says in the prayer, ‘Amin ` and the angels in heaven say, `Amin’, in unison, his previous sins will be forgiven.)

It was said that the Hadith talks about both the angels and the Muslims saying Amin at the same time. The Hadith also refers to when the Amins said by the angels and the Muslims are equally sincere (thus bringing about forgiveness).

Further, it is recorded in Sahih Muslim that Abu Musa related to the Prophet that he said,

« إِذَا قَالَ يَعنِي الْإِمَامَ : وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ، فَقُولُوا: آمِينَ، يُجِبْكُمُ اللهُ »

(When the Imam says, `Walad-dallin’, say, `Amin’ and Allah will answer your invocation.)

In addition, At-Tirmidhi said that `Amin’ means, “Do not disappoint our hope”, while the majority of scholars said that it means. “Answer our invocation.”

Also, in his Musnad, Imam Ahmad recorded that `A’ishah said that when the Jews were mentioned to him, the Messenger of Allah said,

« إِنَّهُم لَنْ يَحْسُدُونَا عَلَى شَيْءٍ كَمَا يَحْسُدُونَا عَلَى الْجُمُعَةِ الَّتِي هَدَانَا اللهُ لَهَا وَضَلُّوا عَنْهَا، وَعَلَى الْقِبْلَةِ الَّتِي هَدَانَا اللهُ لَهَا وَضَلُّوا عَنْهَا وَعَلَى قَوْلِنَا خَلْفَ الْإِمَامِ: آمِينَ »

(They will not envy us for anything more than they envy us for Friday which we have been guided to, while they were led astray from it, and for the Qiblah which we were guided to, while they were led astray from it, and for our saying `Amin’ behind the Imam.)

Also, Ibn Majah recorded this Hadith with the wording,

« مَا حَسَدَتْكُمُ الْيَهُودُ عَلَى شَيْءٍ مَا حَسَدَتْكُمْ عَلَى السَّلَامِ وَالتَّأْمِينِ »

(The Jews have never envied you more than for your saying the Salam (Islamic greeting) and for saying Amin.)

Verse

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اشهد ان لا اله الا الله محمد رسول الله السيرة النبوية بالفرنسية L’importance de l’étude et de la connaissance de la biographie du Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) L’étude de la biographie du Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) a une grande importance dans la marche de la vie humaine. Si les grandes personnalités et les dirigeants écrivent leurs Mémoires et leurs autobiographies afin que les gens trouvent dans ces parcours des bons exemples à suivre et des profits, s’il en est ainsi, la biographie du Prophète Muhammad (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) est la plus digne d’être étudiée. L’importance de l’étude de la biographie du Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) se trouve dans les points suivants : * La vérification et l’authentification de la biographie du Messager (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) ; parce que sa biographie est considérée comme une illustration du parcours qu’il a suivi ; or Allah nous a ordonné de suivre sa conduite ; il faut donc absolument vérifier l’authenticité de tout ce qu’on attribue à la biographie du Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) car c’est un fondement parmi les fondements de la religion. Pour cette raison, le Coran foisonne d’évocations des biographies des Prophètes précédents. Allah a évoqué la sagesse qu’il y a en cela dans plusieurs versets du Qur’an. Nous pouvons en citer cette parole d’Allah –l’Exalté- : ( Et tout ce que Nous te racontons des récits des Messagers, c’est pour en raffermir ton coeur. Et de ceux-ci t’est venue la vérité ainsi qu’une exhortation et un appel aux croyants. ) (sourate Hud, verset 120). Après qu’Allah ait évoqué dix-neuf Messagers dans la sourate Al An’am dans des versets successifs, il a ordonné au Messager (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) de suivre leur direction : ( Voilà ceux qu’Allah a guidés : suis donc leur direction. ) (sourate Al An’am, verset 90) 1/15 * La connaissance des détails de la biographie du Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) afin qu’il soit possible de suivre son modèle dans toutes les affaires de la vie car sa biographie fut la mise en pratique des préceptes de l’Islam et de sa législation, afin que nul ne pense que ces préceptes sont impraticables. Allah dit : ( En effet, vous avez dans le Messager d’Allah un excellent modèle [à suivre], pour quiconque espère en Allah et au Jour dernier et invoque Allah fréquemment ) (sourate Al Ahzab, verset 21). Et lorsqu’on interrogea Aïcha –qu’Allah soit satisfait d’elle- au sujet de la moralité du Messager (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui), elle répondit : « Sa moralité fut le Qur’an » * La présentation de la biographie prophétique authentifiée relatée par le biais de chaînes de rapporteurs continues jusqu’à ses sources originales convergentes ; et expliquant tout ce qui est lié à la vie du Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) avec tous leurs détails ; que ce soit dans ses affaires privées ou publiques ; pour surveiller et enregistrer le cheminement de sa vie, sans qu’il n’y ait une divergence dans ces sources sur un quelconque point important sauf dans certains détails sans grande importance acceptant facilement l’interprétation, cela prouve qu’il ne s’agit pas d’une chose naturelle, mais qu’elle est plutôt extraordinaire; ce qui confirme une fois de plus les soins qu’Allah lui a accordés afin de montrer l’authenticité de sa prophétie. * La connaissance de la grandeur et de la puissance de l’Islam ; et cela lorsque nous réalisons que cette religion a ancré ses normes et ses règles, a bouleversé les balances des forces politiques, sociales et culturelles dans plusieurs parties du globe terrestre. Ensuite, elle a offert un spécimen culturel fort dont l’apport est resté continuel jusqu'à nos jours. Cette grandeur nous apparaît clairement si nous savons que ce grand édifice a été bâti dans une courte période qui est la durée de la vie du Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) après avoir reçu le message. Une période qui ne va pas au-delà de vingt trois ans. 2/15 Les principales particularités de la biographie prophétique : Premièrement : L’authenticité basée sur les narrations par le biais de chaînes de rapporteurs continues sont constituées de personnes honnêtes et dignes de confiance qui ont partagé avec le Messager (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) des moments de sa vie, puis les disciples des Compagnons (Tâbioun) qui ont vécu avec ces derniers, ont entendu d’eux et ont rapporté d’eux. Les Compagnons ont vécu avec le Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) et ont participé au façonnage de sa biographie ; ensuite, beaucoup parmi eux ont vu leur vie se poursuivre pendant de longues périodes après le décès du Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) ; ils vécurent avec leurs disciples pendant une longue période. Dès lors que nous savons que parmi les Compagnons il y en a qui ont vécu jusqu'à l’an cent de l’hégire et même un peu au-delà, comme Abû Toufail Âmir ibn Wâtsilah qui est décédé en l’an 101 H, Mahmoud ibn Rabî’ en l’an 99 H, Abdullah ibn Bisr Al Mâzaty en l’an 96 H, Anas ibn Mâlik en l’an 93 H, -qu’Allah soit satisfait d’eux ; que nous savons également que la compilation de la Sunna commença officiellement sous le règne de Oumar ibn Abdul Aziz –qu’Allah lui accorde la miséricorde- et que ce dernier est décédé en l’an 101 H ; si donc nous savons tout cela, il devient certain pour nous que la continuité de l’apprentissage de la Sunna et de la biographie prophétique ne s’est jamais rompue ; et qu’il n’y a pas eu une période de passage à vide entre la compilation de la Sunna et l’apprentissage du Messager (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui), puis des Compagnons, puis des disciples des Compagnons. Deuxièmement : La compilation de la biographie prophétique a eu lieu de bonne heure : La compilation de la Sunna commença en même temps que celle de la biographie prophétique, très tôt du vivant du Messager (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) et cela par le biais de la rédaction des hadiths ayant trait aux événements qui eurent lieu à son époque comme par exemple le début de sa mission prophétique, le début de la révélation, ce qu’il a enduré à la Mecque avant son émigration vers Médine et avant cela, l’émigration de certains de ses Compagnons vers l’Abyssinie, ses épouses, ses expéditions militaires et ses voyages, et bien d’autres choses qui ont un rapport avec sa personne et son comportement durant toute sa vie. Toutes ces choses sont enregistrées dans la Sunna et ses livres. 3/15 Quant à la compilation complète de la biographie prophétique, elle commença à l’époque de Mouawiya ibn Abî Soufyan –Qu’Allah soit satisfait de lui- lorsque Abdullah ibn Abbas –Qu’Allah soit satisfait de lui- -décédé en l’an 68 H- enseignait à ses élèves la généalogie du Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) et ses expéditions militaires tandis que ses élèves écrivaient cela. Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Al Âce –Qu’Allah soit satisfait de lui- –décédé en l’an 63 H- fit la même chose, de même que Al Barrâ ibn Âzib –Qu’Allah soit satisfait de lui- - décédé en l’an 74 H- il enseignait à ses élèves les expéditions militaires du Messager d’Allah (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui). A l’époque des Tâbioun –ceux qui ont vécu avec les Compagnons et ont appris auprès de ces derniers-, on commença à écrire des livres sur la biographie prophétique le livre de Ourwa ibn Az-Zoubeir ibn Al Awâm –décédé en l’an 93 H- fut écrit, c’est le fils de l’illustre Compagnon Az-Zoubeir ibn Al Awâm –Qu’Allah soit satisfait de lui-. Il écrivit le livre Les expéditions militaires du Messager d’Allah (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui). Les principaux livres écrits par les disciples des Compagnons sont : le livre de Abâne ibn Uthman ibn Affâne –décédé en l’an 105 H- c’est le fils du calife du Messager d’Allah (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui). Il acheva son livre sur la biographie prophétique et les expéditions militaires avant l’an 83 H ; ensuite le livre de Wahb ibn Mounabih – décédé en l’an 110 H-, une partie de son livre Les expéditions militaires (Al Magazy) se trouve dans la ville de Heidelberg en Allemagne; eux tous ont vécu avec les Compagnons et ont appris auprès d’eux. Les deux livres les plus complets sur la biographie du Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) sont : As-Siyar wal Magazy de Muhammad ibn Ishaq –décédé en l’an 151 H- et As-Siratoun Nabawiya de Ibn Hicham –décédé en l’an 213 H- et tous ces deux auteurs ont vécu avec les Compagnons et ont appris auprès d’eux. 4/15 Troisièmement : L’intégralité et la clarté : Les détails de la biographie du Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) sont établis de manière intégrale et claire dans toutes ses étapes depuis le mariage entre son père Abdullah et sa mère Amina bint Wahb jusqu'à sa naissance, puis le début de sa mission avec tout ce qu’il a traversé avant cela, de la propagation de son message jusqu'à son décès. Ainsi, toute personne qui veut connaître les détails de la vie du Messager (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) peut y parvenir aisément et à partir de nombreux livres de référence dont l’appartenance à leurs auteurs est vérifiée et les détails historiques authentifiés de manière scientifique. Le Messager (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) -comme l’a dit l’un des critiques occidentaux- « est le seul qui est né sous la lumière » les livres de la Sunna et de la biographie prophétique contiennent, ainsi que le Qur’an noble, tous les détails de la vie publique et privée du Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui). De nos jours, nous connaissons avec précision la description de son aspect, de son caractère et de ses moeurs. Nous connaissons par exemple : la couleur de sa peau, la forme de son nez et de ses fosses nasales, la forme de sa bouche et de ses dents, la couleur de ses cheveux, sa taille, sa démarche et sa manière de s’asseoir, sa manière de parler et de rire, sa nourriture préférée, sa manière de manger, de boire, voire ses rapports conjugaux, son comportement envers ses épouses ; et mieux que cela, les vestiges et les restes de sa maison et sa tombe dans laquelle il fut enterré sont présents jusqu'à l’heure actuelle. Il est possible de s’assurer de tous les caractères qu’on lui attribue par le biais des outils scientifiques modernes. La biographie du Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) a bénéficié d’une préservation et d’une sauvegarde telles qu’on n’en a jamais vues pour une personne auparavant et telles qu’on n’en aura jamais avec quiconque après lui. Ces trois particularités nous donnent une certitude absolue quant à cette biographie et qu’elle est la biographie du dernier des Prophètes, Muhammad ibn Abdullah (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui), et nous donnent la certitude fondée sur une base scientifique et méthodique qu’il est le Messager envoyé par Allah à l’humanité toute entière. 5/15 Les références de la biographie prophétique L’authenticité est considérée comme la qualité principale dans tout l’héritage islamique. C’est une spécificité qu’Allah –l’Exalté- a attribuée exclusivement au message final et cela procède de sa sagesse parfaite ; en effet, la dernière religion doit être préservée et sauvegardée afin d’être héritée successivement par toutes les générations humaines jusqu’au Jour de la Résurrection. Pour cela, Allah –l’Exalté- dit : ( En vérité c’est Nous qui avons fait descendre le Coran (Dzikr), et c’est Nous qui en sommes gardien ) (sourate Al Hijr, verset 9) et fait partie de la préservation du Dzikr –c'est-à-dire la législation islamique tirée du Qur’an et de la Sunna-, la préservation de la biographie de celui qui l’a apportée. Pour cela, Allah a voulu que la biographie de Son Messager (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) soit préservée dans plusieurs références authentifiées. Les principales références de la biographie prophétique sont au nombre de trois : * Le Qur’an noble : une bonne partie de la biographie du Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) est mentionnée dans le Qur’an. Allah –l’Exalté- a évoqué la situation du Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) depuis son enfance dans ce verset : ( Ne t’a-t-Il pas trouvé orphelin ? Alors Il t’a accueilli ! Ne t’a-t-Il pas trouvé égaré ? Alors Il t’a guidé ) (sourate Ad-Douha, versets 6-7). Et Il a évoqué sa situation après qu’il eut commencé à recevoir la révélation, lorsqu’il eut peur et se rendit auprès de son épouse Khadîdja lui disant : enveloppez-moi, revêtez-moi. Allah fit descendre : ( O ! , toi, l’enveloppé [dans tes vêtements] ! Lève-toi [pour prier], toute la nuit, excepté une petite partie ; Sa moitié, ou un peu moins ; ou un peu plus. Et récite le Coran, lentement et clairement. Nous allons te révéler des paroles lourdes (très importantes) ) (sourate Al Mouzammil, versets 1-5) ; ( Ô , toi (Muhammad) ! Le revêtu d’un manteau ! Lève-toi et avertis. Et de ton Seigneur, célèbre la grandeur ) (sourate Al Moudatsir, versets 1-3). 6/15 Et Il a mentionné le récit de son mariage avec Zainab bint Jahch après qu’elle fut répudiée par son (premier) mari Zayd ibn Hâritsa –Qu’Allah soit satisfait de lui- : ( Il n’appartient pas à un croyant ou à une croyante, une fois qu’Allah et Son Messager ont décidé d’une chose d’avoir encore le choix dans leur façon d’agir. Et quiconque désobéit à Allah et à Son Messager, s’est égaré certes, d’un égarement évident. Quand tu disais à celui qu’Allah avait comblé de bienfaits, tout comme toi-même l’avais comblé : “Garde pour toi ton épouse et crains Allah”, et tu cachais en ton âme ce qu’Allah allait rendre public. Tu craignais les gens, et c’est Allah qui est plus digne de ta crainte. Puis quand Zayd eût cessé toute relation avec elle, Nous te la fîmes épouser, afin qu’il n’y ait aucun empêchement pour les croyants d’épouser les femmes de leurs fils adoptifs, quand ceux-ci cessent toute relation avec elles. Le commandement d’Allah doit être exécuté ) (sourate Al Ahzab, versets 36-37) Cette sourate –la sourate Al Ahzab- comporte plusieurs détails de la biographie du Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) avec ses épouses et ses Compagnons, de même qu’elle comporte beaucoup de détails sur la bataille des coalisés. Parmi les éléments de la biographie du Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) que renferme le Qur’an, il y a les versets qui descendaient à la suite de questions des Compagnons ou d’autres personnes sur un sujet quelconque, comme ce qui se passa lorsque les juifs interrogèrent le Messager d’Allah (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) au sujet de l’âme ; alors, Allah fit descendre ce verset : ( Et ils t’interrogent au sujet de l’âme, -Dis : “ l’âme relève de l’Ordre de mon Seigneur”. Et on ne vous a donné que peu de connaissance ) (sourate Al Isrâ, verset 85) Et parmi les sujets particuliers de la biographie du Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) contenus dans le Qur’an, il y a l’incident de la calomnie (al-ifk) mensongère contre son épouse Aïcha –qu’Allah soit satisfait d’elle ; le Qur’an a développé cet événement dans plus de dix versets dans la sourate An-Nour à partir du verset 11 jusqu’au verset 26. * La Sunna prophétique : nous avons déjà expliqué dans ce qui précède que la Sunna prophétique comporte l’essentiel des détails de la biographie du Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) ; que ce soit ce qu’il a lui même rapporté sur sa personne ou ce qu’ont rapporté de lui ses Compagnons –qu’Allah soit satisfait d’eux tous. Nous avons évoqué l’authenticité de cette référence ainsi que la méthode scientifique méticuleuse que les savants ont mise sur pied pour étudier la Sunna et ses références. 7/15 * Les livres écrits sur la biographie du Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) : nous avons suivi l’enchaînement de la compilation de ces livres et avons indiqué qu’il a commencé depuis l’ère des Compagnons –qu’Allah soit satisfait d’eux- et plus précisément sous le règne de Mouawiya ibn Abî Soufyan –Qu’Allah soit satisfait de lui-, l’écriture effective des livres commença et se poursuivit jusqu'à l’époque des disciples des Compagnons et ceux qui vinrent après eux. Il est possible de se référer au sous-titre relatif aux particularités de la biographie prophétique pour découvrir ces détails. La généalogie du Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) Les premières origines de la généalogie noble : Allah a choisi Muhammad (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) afin qu’il soit le Prophète ultime dont la bonne nouvelle de la venue a été annoncée par les Prophètes précédents –que la paix soit sur eux. Le Messager avait une lignée noble au sein de son peuple car il était de la tribu arabe la plus noble, c'est-à-dire la tribu qurayshite et dans la famille la plus illustre de cette tribu : la famille de Hâchim. Le Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) dit à ce propos : « Allah a choisi Kinana parmi les Fils d’Adam et a choisi Quraich parmi la descendance de Kinana et dans la lignée de Quraich, Il a choisi les Fils de Hâchim et m’a élu parmi les Fils de Hâchim, je suis donc le meilleur issu des meilleurs. » Ce choix était important car les regards convergeaient sur la maison du Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) incarnée par Hâchim l’arrièregrand- père du Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui). Pour cela, la biographie prophétique a immortalisé cette maison et ses événements historiques depuis que le leadership fut transféré à Hâchim qui se chargeait de distribuer l’eau et la nourriture aux pèlerins ; il devint le point de mire et la fierté des Quraich. Après le décès de Hâchim, les gens suivirent de leurs regards et de leur allégeance le transfert du leadership à son frère Al Muttalib qui était un grand homme obéi et ayant un rang éminent au sein de son peuple. Son frère Hâchim avait une femme à Médine chez les Bani An- Najjar. Cette dernière eut avec Hâchim un enfant qui naquit après sa mort et le nomma Abdul Muttalib. Lorsque l’enfant eut grandi, son oncle paternel Al Muttalib se rendit à Yatsrib et le ramena à la Mecque où il reçut son éducation. Ensuite, Al Muttalib mourut à Radman au Yémen et son neveu Abdul Muttalib devint le chef après lui. 8/15 Il assura à son peuple ce qu’assuraient ses pères, c'est-à-dire distribuer de l’eau et de la nourriture aux pèlerins et gérer les affaires des gens. Il eut une gloire dans son peuple telle qu’aucun de ses pères n’en avait eu. Ce qui lui arriva de plus important est qu’il vit en songe un ordonnateur qui lui ordonnait de creuser le puits du Zamzam. Ce songe se reproduisit durant trois nuits ; alors, il sut que l’ordre était véridique et fit ce qui lui était ordonné puisqu’il creusa le puits du Zamzam dont l’eau continue à couler jusqu'à nos jours. Ensuite, Abdul Muttalib eut dix garçons parmi lesquels Abdullah, son enfant le plus aimé. Il y eut un évènement important entre Abdullah et son père qui attira sur lui l’attention des Quraychites. En effet, Abdul Muttalib avait fait un voeu à Allah suivant lequel il promettait d’immoler l’un de ses fils en offrande si Allah lui donnait dix garçons. Lorsqu’ils atteignirent dix, il fit un tirage au sort pour désigner celui qui devait être immolé ; ce fut Abdullah ; il reprit le tirage et ce fut toujours Abdullah. Alors, il l’amena auprès de la Kaaba pour l’immoler et accomplir ainsi son voeu. Les Quraychites l’empêchèrent de faire cela à cause de leur amour pour Abdullah. Ensuite, Abdul Muttalib eut recours à une voyante pour qu’elle lui trouve une issue pour son voeu. Elle lui dit de faire un nouveau tirage au sort et que si c’est toujours Abdullah qui est désigné, qu’il le remplace par dix chameaux, puis recommence la même chose à chaque fois que le choix est porté sur Abdullah ; et le tirage ne désigna les chameaux que lorsqu’ils atteignirent cent. Abdul Muttalib les immola tous en guise de rançon pour son fils et les Quraychites en furent réjouis. Cet évènement était un destin voulu par Allah –l’Exalté- car Abdullah dont il est question ici est le père du Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) ; ce dernier a d’ailleurs évoqué cela en disant : « Je suis le fils de deux immolés » faisant ainsi allusion au récit de son ancêtre Ibrahim Al Khalil (sur lui la Paix) lorsqu’Allah lui ordonna dans un songe d’immoler son fils et à ce récit de son grand-père Abdul Muttalib avec son père Abdullah. Avec cet extrait de la biographie prophétique, il apparaît clairement que la notabilité de la famille du Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) avait fait que tous les événements qui s’y déroulaient étaient suivis avec un grand intérêt ; pour cette raison, ses détails les plus importants sont parfaitement connus. 9/15 Même le mariage d’Abdullah avec Amina bint Wahb ibn Abdou Manaf ibn Zouhra ibn Kilâb, et la mort de Abdullah après ce mariage duquel Abdullah a eu son fils unique avec Amina et qui naquit peu de temps après son décès ; ce nouveau-né était Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Abdul Muttalib, le Messager d’Allah (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui). La généalogie du Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) : Les arabes sont célèbres pour leur intérêt pour les généalogies et la connaissance de ces dernières avec beaucoup de précision. Pour cela, l’histoire a conservé plusieurs héritages généalogiques dans un grand nombre de livres qui mentionnent les généalogies des tribus et de leurs phratries. Et parmi les généalogies conservées par ces livres de références, il y a celle du Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui). En effet, toutes les références s’accordent sur la généalogie du Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) sans aucune divergence orale ou écrite. Sa généalogie est : Muhammad fils de Abdullah, fils de Abdul Muttalib, fils de Hâchim, fils de Abdou Manaf, fils de Qousay, fils de Kilâb, fils de Mourra, fils de Kaab, fils de Louay, fils de Gâlib, fils de Fahr, -et c’est lui qu’on surnomme Quraich et de lui vient le nom de la tribu- fils de Mâlik, fils de An-Nadr, fils de Kinana, fils de Khouzaima, fils de Moudrika, fils de Ilyas, fils de Moudar, fils de Nazar, fils de Maad, fils de Adnan. L’enfance et la jeunesse Des documents historiques relatés par le biais de chaînes de rapporteurs continues jusqu'aux sources authentiques depuis l’époque du Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) et ses Compagnons – qu’Allah soit satisfait d’eux-, ont enregistré les moindres détails de la jeunesse du Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) et les événements qu’il a connus durant son enfance et sa jeunesse. Ces références indiquent qu’après sa naissance, son allaitement fut assuré par Halima As-Sa’diya car les arabes avaient pour habitude de confier leurs enfants aux femmes du désert afin qu’elles les allaitent dans le désert et qu’ils s’imprègnent de l’éloquence et grandissent dans la nature innée saine et la force corporelle. 10/15 Les références rapportent les signes précurseurs apparus à Halima et son époux depuis qu’ils eurent le nouvel enfant –Muhammad (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui). En effet, leur situation se métamorphosa de la misère à l’aisance ;leurs brebis chétives étaient devenues laitières et Halima elle-même avait désormais des seins débordants de lait, parce qu’elle était la nourrice du Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) ; il y eut bien d’autres choses rapportées par Halima et indiquées dans les références. L’enfant resta avec Halima jusqu'à l’âge de cinq ans et elle ne le remis que parce qu’elle eut peur pour lui à cause d’un évènement qui lui arriva. C’est l’évènement de l’ouverture de la poitrine. En effet, deux Anges vinrent trouver le Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) pendant qu’il était parmi les jeunes en train de jouer. Ils le prirent et ouvrirent sa poitrine, sortirent son coeur et le lavèrent dans une cuvette puis le remirent en place. La plaie se cicatrisa comme si rien ne s’était passé. Lorsque les jeunes en compagnie du Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) racontèrent cet évènement à Halima et son mari, ils furent atterrés de peur pour lui et décidèrent de le ramener à sa famille à la Mecque. Cependant, le fils n’avait pas encore pleinement atteint l’âge de six ans que sa mère Amina mourut. Son grand-père Abdul Muttalib se chargea de son éducation et lorsque l’enfant atteignit l’âge de huit ans et deux mois et dix jours, son grand-père Abdul Muttalib mourut et il fut placé sous la tutelle de son oncle paternel Abû Tâlib. Il resta sous sa protection jusqu'à l’âge de quarante ans. Au début de sa jeunesse, le Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) avait travaillé dans la garde des moutons des Quraychites contre des dirhams qu’ils lui donnaient conformément à la tradition des Prophètes avant lui. Le mariage et l’âge adulte Le Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) était spécial dans son adolescence de même qu’il était spécial dans son enfance et sa jeunesse. D’éminentes qualités morales étaient apparues en lui si bien que les Quraychites l’avaient surnommé Al-Amîn (le digne de confiance) et lui confiaient leurs dépôts. Puisque telle était sa situation auprès de son peuple, ces qualités attirèrent vers lui la grande dame de Quraich, la riche commerçante Khadîdja bint Khuweilid. 11/15 Elle lui donna mandat de faire du commerce en son nom et il fut un excellent commerçant honnête et lui fit réaliser de grands bénéfices. Lorsqu’elle vit son dynamisme, sa sincérité, son honnêteté et ses bonnes qualités, elle lui suggéra de l’épouser. Elle avait quarante ans et le Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) avait vingt cinq ans. Il accepta sa demande et le mariage eut lieu. Il lui fut fidèle. Le fait le plus important qui se déroula entre lui et les Quraychites est que ces derniers ayant voulu reconstruire la Kaaba après la destruction subie par l’une de ses parties le firent jusqu'à atteindre l’emplacement de la Pierre Noire, et c’est une pierre qu’ils révéraient. Les Quraychites divergèrent sur celui qui devait avoir l’honneur de poser cette pierre à son emplacement. Leur divergence fut si profonde qu’ils étaient sur le point d’engager une lutte fratricide ; toutefois, ils furent satisfaits de l’avis de celui qui leur suggéra de se soumettre au jugement du premier passant. Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Abdul Muttalib (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) fut le premier passant qui arriva auprès d’eux ; lorsqu’ils le virent, ils s’écrièrent tous de joie : nous acceptons le digne de confiance comme juge. Ils lui expliquèrent la situation alors, il leur demanda un habit sur lequel il plaça la Pierre Noire et demanda à chaque groupe de désigner une personne parmi eux. Chaque clan choisit une personne, puis il leur demanda de venir la soulever ensemble et lorsqu’ils l’élevèrent jusqu'à sa position sur la Kaaba, le Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) la prit et la mis à sa place. Et avec cet évènement, sa renommée s’accrut auprès des Quraychites et d’autres. La révélation et la prophétie Parmi les choses dignes d’être mentionnées avant d’évoquer la révélation et la prophétie, il y a un évènement important dans la vie de Muhammad (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) : lorsqu’il atteignit l’âge de dix ans –ou un peu plus-, son oncle paternel Abû Tâlib l’amena avec lui au cours de son voyage commercial en Grande Syrie (Ach-Cham) jusqu'à ce qu’ils arrivèrent à Bousra qui est une ville sur la route de la Grande Syrie ; à cet endroit, ils rencontrèrent un moine qu’on appelait Bahira et son nom est Jirjice ; le convoi descendit auprès de lui ; il les honora et leur offrit une bonne hospitalité ; ensuite, il vit l’enfant Muhammad ibn Abdullah en leur compagnie et le reconnut grâce à sa description mentionnée dans leur livre. Il dit en tenant la main de l’enfant : celui-ci est le maître de l’Univers, celui-ci sera envoyé par Allah comme miséricorde pour l’Univers. 12/15 Ensuite, il demanda son père. Abû Tâlib dit : Je suis son père ; Bahira répondit : Son père ne doit pas être vivant. Abû Tâlib lui raconta son histoire et Bahira lui dit : Celui-ci est le Prophète dont Jésus a fait la bonne annonce et nous trouvons sa description dans nos livres ; puis il dit : sois prudent avec lui envers les juifs. Le Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) a grandit à la Mecque jusqu'à l’âge de quarante ans se distinguant par des qualités qui ont ébloui ceux qui étaient autour de lui. Il était très intelligent, très affable, d’une bonne moralité, sincère, avait des moeurs et une forme parfaites, était d’une générosité impeccable, ambitieux, d’une réflexion et d’une méditation profondes, aimant la retraite et évitant la futilité et la paresse, bannissant les idoles, au coeur serein, d’une âme éminente et lorsque le début de sa prophétie s’approchait, on lui fit aimer la retraite spirituelle. Il se retirait pendant plusieurs nuits et demeurait dans la grotte Hirâ pour se dévouer à l’adoration, réfléchissant et méditant. Ensuite, les signes successifs de la prophétie se mirent à lui apparaître ; les plus importants étaient les songes véridiques. Ainsi, il ne voyait rien en songe sans que cela ne se réalise avec une clarté semblable à celle de l’aurore. Cette situation dura six mois puis le Qur’an noble lui fut révélé pendant qu’il s’était retiré dans la grotte Hirâ pour l’adoration ; c’était au cours du vingt septième jour du mois de ramadan –selon l’avis le plus vraisemblable. Le Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) a dit dans un hadith rapporté par son épouse Aïcha : « La révélation débuta chez le Messager d’Allah (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) par des visions véridiques pendant son sommeil. Chacune de ces visions se réalisait avec une clarté semblable à celle de l’aurore. Ensuite, il se prit à aimer la retraite. Il se retira alors dans la caverne de Hirâ où il se livra au tahannouts, c'est-à-dire à la pratique de l’adoration durant un certain nombre de nuits consécutives, sans qu’il revînt chez lui ; aussi se munissait-il à cet effet des provisions de bouche. 13/15 Ensuite, il revenait vers Khadîdja –son épouse- et prenait les provisions nécessaires pour une nouvelle retraite. Cela dura jusqu'à ce que la Vérité lui fût enfin apportée pendant qu’il se trouvait dans cette caverne de Hirâ. L’Ange vint alors le trouver et lui dit : Lis ! Le Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) dit : « je répondis : Je ne suis point de ceux qui lisent. L’Ange me saisit aussitôt et me pressa au point de me faire perdre toute force ; puis, il me lâcha et dit : « Lis » « Je ne suis point de ceux qui lisent » répliquai-je encore. Il me saisit une deuxième fois, me pressa au point de m’enlever toute force, puis me lâcha et dit : ( Lis, au nom de ton Seigneur qui a créé, qui a créé l’homme d’une adhérence. Lis ! Ton Seigneur est le Très Noble, qui a enseigné par la plume [le calame], a enseigné à l’homme ce qu’il ne savait pas ) (sourate Al Alaq, versets 1-5) En possession de ces versets le coeur tout palpitant, le Messager d’Allah rentra chez Khadîdja bint Khowaïlid et s’écria : « Enveloppezmoi ! Enveloppez-moi ! On l’enveloppa jusqu'au moment où son effroi fut dissipé. Alors, s’adressant à Khadîdja, il la mit au courant de ce qui s’était passé, puis il ajouta : « Ah ! J’ai cru que j’en mourrais ! » Non pas, j’en jure par Allah ! répondit Khadîdja ; certes jamais, Allah ne t’infligera d’affronts ; car tu es uni avec tes proches, tu soutiens les faibles, tu donnes à ceux qui n’ont rien, tu héberges les hôtes et tu secours les victimes de malheurs. Puis, Khadîdja l’amena chez Waraqa ibn Nawfal ibn Abdul Ouzza. Cet homme, qui était un cousin paternel de Khadîdja avait embrassé le christianisme aux temps antéislamiques. Il savait tracer les caractères hébraïques et avait copié en hébreu toute la partie de l’Evangile qu’Allah avait voulu qu’il transcrivit. Il était âgé et était devenu aveugle. Ô mon cousin, lui dit Khadîdja, écoute ce que va te dire le fils de ton frère. Ô fils de mon frère, répondit Waraqa, de quoi s’agit-il ? Le Messager d’Allah (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) raconta alors ce qu’il avait vu. Cet Ange, dit Waraqa est le Confident (Nâmous) qu’Allah a envoyé autrefois à Moïse. Plût à Allah que je fusse jeune en ce moment ! Ah ! Que je voudrais être encore vivant à l’époque où tes concitoyens te banniront ! Ils me chasseront donc, s’écria le Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) ? Oui, reprit Waraqa. Jamais un homme n’a apporté ce que tu apportes sans être persécuté ! Si je vis encore ce jour là, je t’aiderai de toutes mes forces. » Après cela, Waraqa ne tarda pas à mourir, et la Révélation fut interrompue. » 14/15 Après cet évènement, le Messager d’Allah (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) continua à recevoir la révélation du Qur’an noble à la Mecque treize ans durant, puis à Médine après l’hégire pendant dix ans jusqu'à ce que la Révélation du Qur’an fut complète. C’est le livre qui contient le miracle du Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) en ce qui concerne sa langue, son contenu et ses sens, grâce aux informations et aux signes de l’espace et des âmes qu’il renferme, ainsi que les réalités scientifiques miraculeuses, outre le fait qu’il soit un livre renfermant les législations de l’Islam et ses préceptes. Le Prophète (Paix et bénédiction d’Allah sur lui) a passé les premières années de sa mission, c'est-à-dire treize ans à la Mecque où ses habitants l’ont persécuté et l’ont banni pour qu’il émigre vers Médine la Lumineuse où il créa l’état islamique et où les législations islamiques se complétèrent et son cadre s’élargit hors de la péninsule arabique jusqu'à ce qu’Allah décréta sa mort en l’an dix de l’hégire. 15/15
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