Is the First Chapter in the Noble Quran (Surat Al-Fatiha) a prayer from Muhammad peace be upon him? or a True Word of GOD (Allah Almighty)?
Let us look at Noble Chapter (Surah) 1 "1. In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
2. Praise be to God, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the world;
3. Most Gracious, Most Merciful;
4. Master of the Day of Judgment.
5. Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.
6. Show us the straight way,
7. The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray."
Allah Almighty was glorifying Himself. He was teaching us how to glorify Him. This Noble Chapter is used in every single prayer Muslims perform. It is very important for us to use it because in our prayers we glorify Allah Almighty. That is why He (Allah Almighty) taught us how to glorify Him in Words and in Action (praying) so we can always do it right!.
A continuation of my answer from sister Nicole Woods, an American young sister who embraced Islam; may Allah Almighty always be pleased with her:
A good addition would be the Hadith (Saying of our Prophet)
Qudsi [A Qudsi Hadith is the most sacred or authentic of all the
Sayings of our Prophet] that says:
On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (PBUH), who said:
A prayer performed by someone who has not recited the Essence of the Quran (1) during it is deficient (and he repeated the word three times), incomplete. Someone said to Abu Hurayrah: [Even though] we are behind the imam? (2) He said: Recite it to yourself, for I have heard the Prophet (may the blessings and peace of Allah be up on him) say: Allah (mighty and sublime be He), had said: I have divided prayer between Myself and My servant into two halves, and My servant shall have what he has asked for. When the servant says: Al-hamdu lillahi rabbi l-alamin (3), Allah (mighty and sublime be He) says: My servant has praised Me. And when he says: Ar-rahmani r-rahim (4), Allah (mighty and sublime be He) says: My servant has extolled Me, and when he says: Maliki yawmi d-din (5), Allah says: My servant has glorified Me - and on one occasion He said: My servant has submitted to My power. And when he says: Iyyaka na budu wa iyyaka nasta in (6), He says: This is between Me and My servant, and My servant shall have what he has asked for. And when he says: Ihdina s-sirata l- mustaqim, siratal ladhina an amta alayhim ghayril-maghdubi alayhim wa la d-dallin (7), He says: This is for My servant, and My servant shall have what he has asked for.
(1) Surat al-Fatihah, the first Surah (chapter) of the Qur'an.
(2) i.e. standing behind the imam (leader) listening to him reciting al-Fatihah.
(3) "Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds."
(4) "The Merciful, the Compassionate".
(5) "Master of the Day of Judgement".
(6) "It is You we worship and it is You we ask for help".
(7) "Guide us to the straight path, the path of those upon whom You have bestowed favors, not of those against whom You are angry, nor of those who are astray".
It was related by Muslim (also by Malik, at-Tirmidhi, Abu-Dawud, an-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah).
A continuation to my answer from brother Shahid S. Waheed; may Allah Almighty always be pleased with him:
Regarding this question about Surah Fateha, the world renowned scholar of Noble Qur'aan
[Syed Abu-Ala' Maududi] says and I quote:
This Surah is named AL-FATIHAH because of its subject-matter. Fatihah is that which opens a subject or a book or any other thing. In other words, Al-Fatihah is a sort of preface.
This Surah is in fact a prayer which Allah has taught to all those who want to make a study of His book. It has been placed at the very beginning of the book to teach this lesson to the reader: if you sincerely want to benefit from the Quran, you should offer this prayer to the Lord of the Universe.
This preface is meant to create a strong desire in the heart of the reader to seek guidance from the Lord of the Universe, Who alone can grant it. Thus AL-FATIHAH indirectly teaches that the best thing for a man is to pray for guidance to the straight path, to study the Quran with the mental attitude of a seeker- after-truth and to recognize the fact that the Lord of the Universe is the source of all knowledge. He should, therefore, begin the study of the Quran with a prayer to him for guidance.
From this theme, it becomes clear that the real relation between AL-FATIHAH and the Quran is not that of an introduction to a book but that of a prayer and its answer. AL-FATIHAH is the prayer from the servant and the Quran is the answer from the Master to his prayer. The servant prays to Allah to show him guidance and the Master places the whole of the Quran before him in answer to his prayer, as if to say, "This is the Guidance you begged from Me."
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