In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful Albanian Australian Islamic Society 765 Drummond St. Nth. Carlton 3054 Ph/Fax: 9 347 6505 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.aais.org.au Islamic Information Session Conducted By : Hafiz Imam Rexhep Idrizi 27th February 2009 Lesson 4 - Graceful meanings in Al-Fatihah Al-Fatihah is recited in all the Rak’ahs due to the graceful meanings and spiritual exaltation it embodies. This deserves close consideration. To quote it again “In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful, Praise be to God, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Wolds; Most Gracious, Most Merciful, Master of the Day of Judgment. Thee do we worship, and Thine Aid we seek. Show us the Straight Way, the way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and go not astray”. From these words, we notice the following: Recognition of God’s Beneficence is evident in God’s words “praise be to God, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds’ Most Gracious, Most Merciful”. The proclamation of Praise be to God limits all praise to Him, since all that deserves praise comes from the Most Exalted God, the source of all grace. The Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds determines that all mankind is one community, with God as it’s only Lord. This concept shields people against the oppression of chauvinism and racial differences. God’s being Most Gracious, Most Merciful is among His distinguished qualities, for the relation between the Lord and His worshippers is that of mercy and protection. On another level, some people choose to conceive Deity as standing for mere omnipotence and compulsion. To this effect, God reminds them of His Compassion and Beneficence so that they may devote themselves, with peaceful hearts, to the acquisition of His Contentment. As thus, Islam implants in the spirits of worshippers, during every prayer they perform, the sense that God is Most Gracious, Most Merciful. In God’s Beneficence, there is both a promise and a threat. He reminds people not to delude themselves with His Mercy, since He is the “Master of the Day of Judgment”. God’s promise includes all that pertains to nations and individuals, enveloping all the bliss of this world and the Hereafter. To those believers who comply with His Law, God promised succession on earth and heavenly bliss in the Hereafter. His threat includes suffering and disgrace in this world, and the Hell-Fire in the Hereafter. The Unitarianism and worship of God are adopted from His words “Thee alone do we worship, and Thine Aid we seek”. This means we worship none but Him, and seel, through worship, God’s help in our affairs and limited means, and surrender to Him when we fail to accomplish such affairs. The citation of these two attributes of God, puts an end to polytheism and idolatry that spread all over the globe in the form of adopting certain masters who were believed to enjoy a secret or divine authority. Those who seek help from a hermits grave or a worshipper’s tomb for the settlement of their affairs, the facilitation of a difficult problem, or curing a sick person – such people have gone astray indeed, and forsaken God’s Decrees, thus committing idolatry, When one believes that God is the only Idol and source of help, he is released from the delusion of people, legends, superstitions and fancies. Uprightness and perseverance are derived from God’s words, “Show us the Straight Way” that is, guide us, with Your Consent and help, to the way of Right, leading to true knowledge and good deeds. When a Muslim is plagued by misfortune, or is stricken by a severe crisis, or when all means of relief are blocked in his face – he hurries to prayer, in which he pleads to God, “Show us the Straight Way!” His spirit is calmed down and becomes stronger in the face of calamity. Following the example of good people is derived from God’s words “the way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace”. It is the way followed by God’s best and successful worshippers, including apostles and truthful people. Man needs to follow such good examples because they double his efforts and lead him to righteousness. Avoidance of misguidance is derived from God’s words “those whose (portion) is not wrath, and go not astray”. Misguided people have knowingly deviated from the way of Right and have gone too far in false beliefs, this deserving God’s wrath. Among the other benefits that can be deduced from Al-Fatihah is God’s call on people to meet on universal unity, firm cooperation and guidance that leads to the general welfare. This is derived from the use of the collective form in Thee do we worship, Thine Aid we seek, and Show us The Straight Way though the individual worshipper is only one. Thee do we worship is an appeal to God to unify our hearts on one purpose, His worship alone, marking our social relations a means to gain His satisfaction, not simply the realisation of individual interests or instincts that lead to division. Thine Aid we seek is a commands that we should tun to His Help in out everyday living. It calls on us to help one another, since help is requested only after the person has done all he could to accomplish something but fails to fulfil it, or feats he might not be able to; it is in this case that help is sought. Show us the Straight Way, besides being our entreaty to God to guide us to the Way of Righteousness, also calls on us to guide one another properly.