We recite it everyday at least 19-20 times a day. Surah Fatiha, the Opening of the Quran, is essentially a dua. Therefore it’s imperative that we learn and understand each ayah of this Surah. Until I studied, learned and really understood the meaning of this Surah, I would usually just rush through Surah Fatiha at the beginning of each rakat of each prayer, like it was no big deal. It’s a Surah I have been reciting during prayer ever since I hit puberty. It has been part of my everyday routine for many years. But its only after really understanding the meaning of each ayah and each word, that has brought so much focus and attention to what I am saying as I stand before Allah 5 times of the day. I think we take this Surah for granted. I certainly did. (May Allah (swt) forgive me for doing that) Because we repeat Surah Fatiha in our prayers multiple times a day, and know it so well from memory that we forget to give each ayah and each word its due right and respect. By sincerely understanding each ayah, each word of this Surah, are we then able to fully submerge our focus to our Maker, each time we stand up in prayer to face Him. I, for sure cannot do justice to this beautiful Surah, by talking about it here, but I do highly encourage you to study and learn each and every one of these deeply meaningful words of Allah.
That being said…Another important thing to note in regards to this Surah is that it starts out by praising Allah. Alhamdulilah, meaning all praise and all thanks is for Allah. And rightly so. I mean again, I think we also take this word for granted as well. Alhamdulilah. A short word, easy on the lips. We say it all the time, for various things throughout the day. Through this simple dhikr, we are most lovingly and respectfully proclaiming that All praise is for Allah. For everything we have and everything don’t have. For everything that happens or doesn’t happen. We use it to acknowledge His generosity. To confess our gratefulness to Him. Its all because of Him and therefore All praise any praise is for Him, the One and Only. He, Who has created each and everything. He is the Creator, He is the Maker, the Producer, the Designer of everything we do and don’t know of.
Speaking of designers… I was thinking the other day, in this world we have brand name designers right? We have Gucci, Prada, D and G. We have BMW, Tesla, Mercedes, Apple iPhones, etc. These are world famous designers. Designers and creators of beautiful bags, watches, phones and cars, etc. And we pay good money for these products. For them we are willing to fork over thousands and thousands of dollars, just so we can have and own these products made by these famous names. But if you think about it, what is that they have actually created that we are willing to pay all this money for? The cars they design, the bags or watches they make are not really “original” if you think about. The definition of a creator is someone or something that brings something into existence from nonexistence. So can we really call these brand name designers actual true creators of these products? Are they truly the creators of these products? Are these products that we buy from these brand designers, their original designs? Not really. Why? Because in most cases, these designers have a prototype or older model that he/she spruces up, or tweaks a little. Then he/she slaps his/her label on it. And there you go, now the whole world knows he/she is the “creator”, the “designer” of this bag, watch, phone or car. His/her label shows the world that he/she created it. But in reality what probably happened was that this designer saw another bag, decided to make a “new and improved” version of it, and did this by changing the color, the shape a little, added a few specs here and there, and voila you have a “new” bag. And most importantly, we, by spending thousands of dollars on these things we are essentially thanking the designer for “designing” product. And yea I get it, that’s how this all works in this world.
But let’s then take a step back and ask ourselves, how then do we thank Allah for all His designs? He is the Ultimate Creator of this whole world. He created each and everything. He created you and me. He brought us from non-existence to existence. He didn’t have a model to tweak or older product to spruce up when He created us and this world. He designed us, perfectly, from nothing. SubhanAllah. He is in fact the truest Creator, the truest Designer. So how do we thank Him? How do we thank Him for this world and each and everything in it? How do we thank Him for everything He provides us on a daily basis?
It starts with Alhamdulilah. A beautifully hefty and powerful word that we should not take for granted.