Thought of the day…
How awesome is Al Fatihah? Remember it’s a Du’a. A Du’a that we’re *obligated* to recite at least 17 times a day. Let’s just think about it. What are we saying when we recite Al Fatihah?
(Oxford translation, my favourite, found here –http://asadullahali.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/the_quran.pdf)
“In the name of God, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy! Praise belongs to God, Lord of the Worlds, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy, Master of the Day of Judgement. It is You we worship; it is You we ask for help. Guide us to the straight path: the path of those You have blessed, those who incur no anger and
who have not gone astray.”
Please note – I am by no means a Tafseer expert…but just my thoughts here.
So we praise Allah and glorify Him with His most beautiful names. Then we ask Him to ‘guide us to the straight path’. What is the straight path? Quran and Sunnah, right? That’s the straight path. If we’re on those, we’re on the Deen, and we’re on the straight path. So that encompasses *everything*. Because Quran and Sunnah give us *everything* we need. So we’re asking Allah to guide us to do *everything* the Quran and Sunnah outline for us to do – from smiling, to doing good deeds, earning halal money, staying away from sin, enjoining good and forbidding evil, etc. etc., right down to personal hygiene.
We’re asking Allah to help us do this 17 times a day. 17! At least! And this isn’t an option. We *have to* recite Al Fatihah in *every* Rakah. Why not just recite another Surah? Why a Du’a? Why such a powerful, all-encompassing Du’a?
SubhanAllah, look at Allah’s Mercy. He *commands* us to ask Him to help us get every single aspect of our lives right. He *commands* us to ask Him to keep us on the straight path. So no matter how low our Iman is, we still *have to* ask Him for this, not just every day, but 17 times every day. No matter what else we’re doing. Even if we’re committing sins, back-biting, being ungrateful, etc. etc. Despite all of that, He still *commands* us to ask Him for the best of gifts in the most beautiful way.
Think about it. Can you imagine a mother *commanding* her child to ask her for the most beautiful gift in the world every day? Even if he’s misbehaving or being ungrateful. Can you imagine her demanding that he has to ask her 17 times a day? No, of course not. And that’s a *mother* and her *child*.
So, subhanAllah, can we even begin to comprehend the meaning of this? How many times do we stand and recite these beautiful words to Allah and actually *think* about what we’re asking for? And more importantly, *why* we’ve been told to ask it?
There are so many examples like this of Allah’s Mercy. SubhanAllah. He is so unbelievably awesome that He gives us excuses and reasons to ask for His Pardon at every single turn, every single second of every single day.
Ya Allah, help us to be focussed in our Salah. Help us to comprehend your Mercy and Love. Ya Allah, guide us to the straight path. Ameen.