The Opening: Verses and Translations.

Friday, May 07, 2010


1.{ بِسمِ ٱلله الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيـمِ }
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful:





2.{ ٱلْحَمْدُ للَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلْعَالَمِينَ }
Praise be to God, is a predicate of a nominal clause, the content of which is intended to extol God [by stating that]: He possesses the praise of all creatures, or that He [alone] deserves their praise. God is a proper noun for the One truly worthy of worship; Lord of all Worlds, that is, [He is] the One Who owns all of creation: humans, jinn, angels, animals and others as well, each of which may be referred to as a ‘world’; one says ‘the world of men’, or ‘world of the jinn’ etc. This plural form with the yā’ and the nūn [sc. ‘ālamīn] is used to denote, predominantly, cognizant beings (ūlū ‘ilm). The expression [‘ālamīn] relates to [the term] ‘sign’ (‘alāma), since it is an indication of the One that created it.





3,{ ٱلرَّحْمـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ }
The Compassionate, the Merciful: that is to say, the One who possesses ‘mercy’, which means to want what is good for those who deserve it.





4.{ مَـٰلِكِ يَوْمِ ٱلدِّينِ }
Master of the Day of Judgement: that is, [the day of] requite, the Day of Resurrection. The reason for the specific mention [of the Day of Judgement] is that the mastery of none shall appear on that Day except that of God, may He be exalted, as is indicated by [God’s words] ‘Whose is the Kingdom today?’ ‘God’s’ [Q. 40:16] (if one reads it mālik [as opposed to malik], then this signifies that He has possession of the entire affair on the Day of Resurrection, or else that He is ever described by this [expression], in the same way as [He is described as] ‘Forgiver of sin’ (ghāfir al-dhanb). Thus, one can validly take it as an adjective of a definite noun).





5.{ إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ }
You [alone] we worship, and You [alone] we ask for help: that is to say, we reserve worship for You [alone] by way of acknowledging Your Oneness (tawhīd) and so on, and we ask for [Your] assistance in worship and in other things.





6.{ ٱهْدِنَا ٱلصِّرَاطَ ٱلْمُسْتَقِيمَ }
Guide us to the straight path: that is, ‘show us the way to it’. This is substituted by:





7.{ صِرَاطَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ ٱلْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِم وَلاَ ٱلضَّآلِّينَ }
the path of those whom You have favoured, with guidance (from alladhīna together with its relative clause is substituted by [ghayri l-maghdūbi ‘alayhim]) not [the path] of those against whom there is wrath, namely, the Jews, and nor of those who are astray, namely, the Christians. The subtle meaning implied by this substitution is that the guided ones are neither the Jews nor the Christians. But God knows best what is right, and to Him is the Return and the [final] Resort. May God bless our lord Muhammad (s), his Family and Companions and grant them everlasting peace. Sufficient is God for us; an excellent Guardian is He. There is no power and no strength save in God, the High, the Tremendous.

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