Musings on Chapter 1 of the Quran: The Perfect Introduction?

Chapter 1 (Fatiha) is possibly the most read chapter of the Quran. It is an integral part of Muslim prayers and is repeated tens of times in a day. Yet, we must ask ourselves, what purpose does it serve? Why is it the very first chapter of the Quran?

For some reason, I just did;  and had an epiphany!

I think the answers to those questions lie in Ch2 V2: Quran as a revealed message will only serve as a guide for the Muttaqeen (those who are conscious of God). This is because everyone else wouldn’t embrace the message holistically to allow it to have a meaningful and drastic impact in their life.

So, to me,  Chapter 1 demonstrates the attributes of a person who has metaphorically awoken from sleep, suddenly becoming conscious of God (Muttaqi). These 6 verses could be considered as universal truths of a spiritual awakening, regardless of the faith one subscribes to. They immediately grab the attention of the reader, and go onto demonstrate Islam in a nutshell.

praying-1b

 

Ready?  Let’s  dissect it!

(Note: I am not referring to the bismillah as verse 1.)

 

Verses 1-4 deal with the symptoms of a spiritual awakening. What are they?

 1st symptom: An immense feeling of praise and gratefulness for God, who is:

The Nourisher-Sustainer of the universe.

The Almighty (Rahman), and at the same time, The Merciful (Raheem).

Since both of the above words come from Rahm (literally: womb), these attributes outline the protective and evolusionizing aspect of The Beloved. The Muttaqi has experienced these attributes on a personal level. (V1-2)

2nd symptom: The realization of being dependent on a Higher Being (Maalik), and the fact that he is accountable for his actions. Therefore, it is ONLY Him that he would seek to serve and ONLY His aid that he would seek. (V3-4)

V5-6 is the prayer of the Muttaqi. What does he ask for?

He ONLY implores God for guidance towards the straight path:  A path on which there is positivity (favor and blessings); not a path involving negativity (wrath) and misguided people.

This, again, signifies the utmost importance given to God, while moving away from human authorities (idols). Furthermore, Islam is defined:

It is a straight path (without contradictions)

It is path on which you encounter positivity

It is a path devoid of negativity and misguidance

This short chapter includes much repeated key words in the Quran such as deen, ibadah, rabb and includes major themes of the Quran such as:

  1. Being grateful.
  2. The oneness and other predominant attributes of God.
  3.  Accountability for our actions.
  4. Dependence on a higher power.
  5. Avoiding Shirk (Association).
  6. Monotheism.
  7. Seeking guidance and aid.
  8. What Islam is as a system.

Conclusion

A grandeur introduction, isn’t it? So rich with detail, despite its briefness! Needless to say, I am completely awed!

At the risk of repeating myself, I would say that Chapter 1 is the Quran in a nutshell! If your Quran reading can be considered a spiritual workout, then Fatiha is the nutrient-dense pre-workout snack.

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10 thoughts on “Musings on Chapter 1 of the Quran: The Perfect Introduction?

  1. Seriously? We’re arguing about which Surah came first? What are we, 5? The whole purpose of the Quran is to be read and understood and implemented in life. PERIOD. Where you start or where you end should not be a point for argument. Jeez.

    Excellent dissection and explanation Ro.
    I know these are your opinion, based on the immense research you have done. Many of us appreciate that you took the time to do so.

    Jazakallah.
    Ramadhan Mubarak.

    Like

  2. Pingback: 3 Things You Should Avoid This Ramadan To Make It More Spiritually Meaningful! | Muslim Reformation

  3. Al-Fatiah explains Bismillahirahmanirahim

    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

    Signifying WITHIN the name of Allah is Rahman and Rahim, most tend to forget this

    *All praise is due to Allah,
    +the Lord of the Worlds.
    *The Beneficent, the Merciful.
    +Master of the Day of Judgment.

    *the link here is
    “All praise is due to Allah” and
    “The Beneficent, the Merciful.”

    +The other link is
    “the Lord of the Worlds” and
    “Master of the Day of Judgment.”

    *Prior ayats explains Allah and that we are within test (and will be judged accordingly)

    Then it explains Rahman and Rahim

    ***Rahman
    *Thee do we serve and

    ***Rahim
    +Thee do we beseech for help.

    Now it explains Rahman/Rahim in more detail

    ***Rahman
    Keep us on the right path.
    ***Rahman
    The path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed favors.

    ***Rahim
    Not (the path) of those upon whom Thy wrath is brought down,
    ***Rahim
    nor of those who go astray.

    *the link here is

    “Keep us on the right path” and
    “nor of those who go astray“

    *the other link is
    “The path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed favors.” and
    “Not (the path) of those upon whom Thy wrath is brought down”

    Also another food for thought

    15.87
    And certainly We have given you seven of the oft-repeated (verses) AND the grand Quran.

    There is a separation between the Quran and the Al-Fatiah (the seven oft-repeated (verses)),

    With this in mind that would mean Surah Baqarah, currently 2nd Surah should be the first
    (As Al-Fatiah is an introduction, a disclaimer.)

    There is evidence to support this theory.
    The first is what is mentioned in Baqarah itself when it says “Bisuratin”

    2.23 And if you are in doubt about what We have sent down upon Our Servant, “then produce a Surah the like thereof” and call upon your witnesses other than Allah , if you should be truthful

    This would be the first Surah.
    (So Surah 1.23 instead of 2.23)

    And this would be the 10th Surah
    11.13
    “Or, do they say: He has forged it. Say: Then bring ten forged Surahs like it and call upon whom you can besides Allah, if you are truthful.”

    Produce “a Surah” in the first Surah and bring “ten” Surahs in the 10th Surah

    There is also something else that supports this claim.

    The 10 forged ayats appears in 11.13, the argument is 1+113 Surahs, is it linked?

    This separation could possibly mean the Al-Fatiah is the proper Shahada for Islam.

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  4. In fact, it is the 5.th surah according to the row of descension. Men put it in the first row. Therefore it is men’s play and not ALLAH’s will to be the opening surah.

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    • Peace, Ertugal. It makes perfect sense to me that the Quran’s arrangement is just how Allah wants it to be. You have a fabulous introduction in the form of Fatiha, then you get to Ch2 which is details the theoretical aspect of Islam, while ch3 is more about implementing this system. It follows a very cohesive structure if you notice. Of course, you are entitled to your own opinion as am I.
      Thanks for commenting 🙂

      Like

      • How dare you say, that it is ALLAH’s will, that the Fatiha is put in first row? If it was so, HE woukd send it first. Use your wisdom, not thy heart, otherwise, HE will cast uıncleanness upon your head!!

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      • Hey, peace out man. Relax! Everybody is entitled to their opinion. God gave every human the right to think for himself. So, provide your opinion and let others make their own decisions. Be humble. 🙂

        Like

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