Highlights On the meaning of Al-Fatiha

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  • Highlights On the meaning of Al-Fatiha


    Verse Three:


    الرَّحِيمِ {الفاتحة/3}

    "The All and Ever merciful , the Compassionate.”


    When Allah describes Himself in verse two as the Lord of the Worlds, He,
    soon, wants to make people feel at ease when he describes Himself in the third
    verse as the 'All and Ever-Merciful] 'the Compassionate’ According t0 Ash-Shaarawi,
    these attributes of Allah d0 not express different degrees 0f mercy. Each 0f
    A1lah's attributes represents its ultimate quality. The two attributes are different
    attributes rather than different degrees 0f the same attribute (48). These two
    attributes are used here to help a person overcome his feelings of guilt in
    case he has sinned against Allah. Allah is merciful even to the sinners and
    disbelievers. He sustains them and keeps them alive. This verse implants hope
    in sinners.

    It is narrated that some of the creations of Allah like earth and the
    skies will be dissatisfied with Man's sins. They will ask Allah to send them
    for the destruction of sinners. Allah, mercifully, will calm them down and say that
    Man is His own creation and He will take care of him. He corrects them;
    "If you had created Man, you would have been merciful to him. lf Man
    repents, he will be in My company and if he does not repent, I will be his Healer"
    (Shaarawi 61 ).

    Shihata explains that the attribute 'Ar-rahman` means that Allah is
    merciful in himself and that mercy is part of His being. The attribute
    "Ar-Rahim" refers to the application of this attribute of mercy to
    His creation. The relationship between the two attributes of /Rahman/ and /Rahim/
    according to Shihata is similar to the relationship between the two attiributes
    "rich" and "generous". The word "rich" refers to
    the existence of the quality of having much money. The attiribute
    "generous" extends the attribute of being "rich" to others
    (13). This conception of a loving and merciful God is different from The Greek and
    Roman conception of revengeful and resentful gods. Muhammad Hisham Ed-Dieb says
    that the two attributes Ar-rahman and Ar-rahim refer to Allah's mercy when he sent
    his Prophet Muhammad to human beings (16).

    Sayyid Qutb explains that we, as readers, should not very much concern
    ourselves with the difference between the two attributes /Ar-rahman/ and
    /Ar-rahim/. It is sufficient to know that the two attributes cover all kinds and
    aspects of mercy in both this and the After-life (24). Allah's emphasis on the
    attributes of mercy in this first chapter of the Qur'an reminds us of His
    loving nature. In so many of his sayings, Allah indicates that His mercy precedes
    His anger.

    Ar-Razi explains that when a reader uses one of the attributes of Allah
    in his prayers, he implicitly asks Allah to exercise this attribute on him.
    When, for example, he says 'O. Allah, you are the All and Ever-Merciful] he implicitly
    asks Allah to exercise His mercy on him and so is the case with all other names
    and qualities of Allah (Vol.l: 128).


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