bismillah

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Al-Fatiha -- The Opening

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

2. All praise is for Allah, Lord of the Worlds,

3. The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

4. Master of the Day of Judgment

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

6. Guide us to the Straight Way,

7. The way of those upon whom You have bestowed Grace, not of those who earned Your Anger, nor of those who went astray.

Transliteration:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Bismi Allahi arahmani arraheem

All praise is for Allah,
Alhamdu lillahi

Lord of the Worlds,
Rabbil alameen

The Most Gracious,
Arrahman

The Most Merciful,
Arraheem

The Only Owner (and the Only Ruling Judge) of the Day of Judgment.
Maliki yoomi deen

It is You we worship,
Iyyaka na'budu

and it is You we ask for help,
Wa-iyyaka nastaeen

Guide us to the straight way,
Ihdina assirat almustaqeem

The way of those upon whom You have bestowed grace,
Sirata allatheena anamta alayhim

not those upon whom there is wrath,
ghayri almaghdoobi alayhim

nor those astray.
wala dalleen.

The italicized words in the right column correspond to the transliterated Arabic terms on the left.

Bism[illah] In the name [of Allah]
Allah In the name of Allah
Al-Rahman al-Rahim The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Al-Hamd All praise
Rabb Lord [of the Worlds]
Alamin Worlds
Malik Master
Yawm Day
Din Judgement
Na'bud We worship
Nasta'in We ask for help
Ihdina Guide us
Sirat Way
Mustaqim Straight [way]
Ni'ma [An'amta] Grace
Maghdub Wrath
Dallin Those astray

Al-Fatiha begins in the name of Allah and with two attributes of His benevolence. He is the All-Merciful, the Most Merciful (Mercy-Giving), extending His blessings to one and all. He is the Creator who nurtures His creation and sustains it, encompassing the furthest reaches of every being.

All praise is for Allah. He is the Lord of the Worlds, who knows all affairs, hears all pleas, and responds to all needs. He is master of the Day of Judgement-the ruler of perfect justice, before whom all people, all beings, all issues shall come. Those who succeed will reside in perpetual delights, and those who fail will dwell in painful regret. But for those who say sincerely to their Lord, "It is You we worship, and it is You we ask for help," a sacred trust is made between the needful human being and God, the Enricher, whose unfailing help provides strength, fulfills every rightful need, and safeguards one from vulnerabilities.

In essence, al-Fatiha is a personal prayer centering the human spirit on the will of God as expressed in His final Revelation. With its every recitation, the worshipper enters into intimate dialogue with God, as Prophet Muhammed (SAW) related:

Allah, the Almighty and the Majestic, has said, "I have apportioned the Prayer (al-Fatiha) between Myself and My worshipper in two parts-and My worshipper shall have what he has asked for."

So when the worshipper says, "All Praise is for Allah, Lord of the Worlds," Allah says, "My worshipper has praised Me."

When he says, "Master of the Day of Judgment," Allah says, "My worshipper has magnified Me and entrusted Me with his affairs."

When he says, "It is You we worship, and it is You we ask for help," Allah says, "This is between Myself and My worshipper-and My worshipper shall have what he has asked for."

When he says, "Guide us to the straight way, the way of those upon whom You have bestowed grace, not those upon whom there is wrath, nor those astray," Allah says, "This is for My worshipper-and My worshipper shall have what he has asked for." (Sahih Muslim, 1:296)

Al-Fatiha is a beacon drawing one to the way of God, warning humanity to avoid wandering down every dark defile made to appear otherwise. To this the believers voice a resonant Amin: "O God, accept our prayer!"

Al-Fatiha can be recited to invoke God's help for the sick and injured. (Bukhari 9:54)

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The Islamic Bulletin
P.O. Box 410186, San Francisco, CA 94141-0186

January 2000
Shawwal 1420
Note from the Editor
Letters to the Editor
Islamic World News
Marriages Lead
Women to Islam
in Japan
Athens to Build Its
First Mosque
Sayings of the Prophet
Stories of the Sahabah
Women in Islam
Why British Women
are Turning to Islam
Prayer Locations
Al-Fatiha
How I Embraced Islam
Prophet Muhammad in
Hindu Scriptures
The Camel
Gossip
Backbiting
Genealogical Tree
of the Prophet
Cook's Corner