Surat al-Fatiha is appropriately titled “The Opening” chapter of the Qur’an. It is recited on our tongues at least 17 times a day in our daily prayers. This Surah should be pondered over as to why Allah placed it first and made its recitation an integral component of our prayer.
The amazing part that most people don’t truly reflect upon is that this Surah is in itself a du`a’, a profound du`a’ that contains the most important request in our lives from Allah.
As is the proper etiquette for any du`a’, one should begin by praising Allah and acknowledging His majesty, power, and other sublime attributes. Remember that Allah is indeed the One who controls all the worlds – the planets, moons, stars, galaxies, and everything that they contain. It is only befitting that we ask Allah alone for anything and single Him out for worship. In the end, no matter how much you think you are or are not doing to please Allah, remember that He is always ready to forgive you if you simply raise your hands sincerely and ask for forgiveness. In the end, all that matters when we die is if we died upon the guidance that Allah sent to the mankind. That’s why the emphatic du`a’ that is stated towards the end of the Surah is simply stated, “Guide us to the straight path”. In essence, all the Muslim should care for in his life is that they are following as much of the guidance as they can, knowing it is only Allah who can actually put an individual and keep him steadfast on the path to Jannah.
The Surah ends with the Du`a': “Guide us to the straight path, the path of those to whom Thou hast been Gracious not of those who have incurred Thy displeasure, nor of those who have gone astray.” The rest of the Qur’an is the response to this du`a’.
A Converation with Allah
The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu `alayhi wa sallam) declared that Allah the Exalted had said,
“I have divided the prayer into two halves between Me and My servant, and My servant will receive what he asks.
When the servant says: Praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the universe, Allaah the Most High says: My servant has praised Me.
And when he (the servant) says: The Most Compassionate, the Merciful, Allaah the Most High says: My servant has lauded Me.
And when he (the servant) says: Master of the Day of Judgment. He remarks: My servant has glorified Me, and sometimes He would say: My servant entrusted (his affairs) to Me.
And when he (the worshiper) says: Thee do we worship and of Thee do we ask help, He (Allaah) says: This is between Me and My servant, and My servant will receive what he asks for.
Then, when he (the worshiper) says: Guide us to the straight path, the path of those to whom Thou hast been Gracious not of those who have incurred Thy displeasure, nor of those who have gone astray, He (Allaah) says: This is for My servant, and My servant will receive what he asks for.”
We ask Allah to guide us all to the straight path, forgive our sins, and allow us to amongst those who reside in the highest levels of paradise with the Prophets, Martyrs, and the righteous.