The rulings contained in Surah Al-Fatihah

Q: A man in Pakistan named Muhammad Amin claims that Surah Al-Fatihah (Opening Chapter of the Qur’an) includes only two rulings. The first ruling ends with Allah’s saying: ...and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything). The second, ends with Allah’s saying: ...nor of those who went astray. The first contains the explanation of Tawhid (belief in the Oneness of Allah) and the second contains the affirmation of imitation. Has this interpretation been confirmed by the Prophet (peace be upon him), his followers, or their successors? What book contains this exegesis? If the second part proves Taqlid (imitation; copying; blind, unquestioning adoption of concepts or ideas), was the Prophet (peace be upon him) - Allah forbid - following Taqlid? Is it permissible to interpret the Qur’an by Qiyas (analogy)? Is a person who interprets the Qur’an according to his own opinion and reasoning, insisting on using his personal opinion in interpretation, a Muslim or not? (Part No. 4; Page No. 188) Please answer me in light of the Qur’an and Sunnah. May Allah reward you.


A: Firstly, Not only does Surah Al-Fatihah contain many rulings but it also sums up all the rulings stated in the Qur’an. Therefore, it is called Umm-ul-Qur’an (the Mother of the Qur’an). The Prophet (peace be upon him) also called it by the name that Allah had given it, the Grand Qur’an, as related by Al-Bukhari on the authority of Abu Sa‘id ibn Al-Mu‘alla (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: I was praying in the Masjid when the Prophet (peace be upon him) called me. I did not go to him until I had finished Salah. When I went to him, he (peace be upon him) asked, 'What prevented you from coming to me?' I said, 'I was praying.' He (peace be upon him) said, 'Did Allah not say: O you who believe! Answer Allâh (by obeying Him) and (His) Messenger ' Then he (peace be upon him) said, 'Shall I tell you the greatest Surah in the Qur’an before I leave the Masjid?' When the Prophet (peace be upon him) was about to leave the Masjid, I reminded him. He (peace be upon him) said: All the praises and thanks be to Allâh, the Lord of the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists). It is Al-Sab‘-ul-Mathany (Seven Oft-recited Verses, Surah Al-Fatihah) and the Grand Qur’an which has been given to me.' It is also related by Al-Bukhari on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: Umm-ul-Qur’an (the Mother of the Qur’an: Surah Al-Fatihah) is Al-Sab‘-ul-Mathany and the Grand Qur’an. The rulings contained in the Qur’an, however numerous, are principally divided into three main divisions, as indicated by the Hadith Qudsy (Revelation from Allah in the Prophet’s words). They are as follows: (Part No. 4; Page No. 189) (1) The absolute Exclusive Right of Allah Alone dictated in the first three Ayahs. They comprise Tawhid-ul-Rububiyyah (Allah being the only Lord) and Tawhid-ul-Asma’ wal-Sifat (Allah being the Only One Who has the perfect Names and Attributes) (2) The absolute exclusive right of worshippers of Allah contained in the Ayahs: Guide us to the Straight Way. The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger (i.e. those who knew the Truth, but did not follow it) nor of those who went astray (i.e. those who did not follow the Truth out of ignorance and error). (3) The third includes the Right of Allah and those of His servants in the Ayah saying: You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything). Both of these forms are called Tawhid-ul-‘Ibadah (Allah's Exclusive Right to be worshipped). The evidence for this is the Hadith reported by Ahmad, Muslim, and the Compilers of Sunan (Abu Dawud, Al-Tirmidhy, Al-Nasa’y and Ibn Majah) on the authority of Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Allah (Glory be to Him) says, 'I have divided the Salah (Prayer) between Myself and My servant into two halves, and My servant shall have what he has asked for.' When a servant says: All the praises and thanks be to Allâh, the Lord of the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists). Allah (Glory be to Him) says, 'My servant has thanked Me.' When he says: The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Allah (Glory be to Him) says, 'My servant has praised Me.' When he says: The Only Owner (and the Only Ruling Judge) of the Day of Recompense (i.e. the Day of Resurrection) Allah says, 'My servant has glorified Me.' When he says: You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything). Allah says, 'This is between Me and My servant, and My servant shall have what he has asked for.' When he says: Guide us to the Straight Way. The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger (i.e. those who knew the Truth, but did not follow it) nor of those who went astray (i.e. those who did not follow the Truth out of ignorance and error). Allah says, '(All) this is for My servant and My servant shall have what he has asked for.' Thus, it becomes evident that the person concerned is right in saying that Surah Al-Fatihah, from its beginning until (Part No. 4; Page No. 190) the Ayah saying: You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything). , is about Tawhid (monotheism). Secondly, his claim that the rest of the Surah proves the legitimacy of Taqlid is not true. Such inference has no evidence to support it. To our knowledge, nothing was reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him), his Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet), or Tabi`un (Followers, the generation after the Companions of the Prophet) to this effect. Citing these Ayahs in support of Taqlid is a kind of manipulation of the intended meaning and constitutes a baseless ascription of false claims to Allah without knowledge. The Ayahs only teach servants how to supplicate the Lord and seek His Guidance to the Straight Path. They guide people to believe in Him by words and deeds, and to avoid the path of those who incurred the Wrath of Allah. Those who, after knowing the truth, have deviated deliberately from the right path, such as the Jews. They should also avoid the way of those who have strayed from truth and their sights were blind to follow it, such as the Christians. Thus, using these Ayahs to prove imitation is an interpretation by mere opinion and setting allegations against Allah without knowledge which is Haram (prohibited). Allah (Exalted be He) says: Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): "(But) the things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are Al-Fawâhish (great evil sins and every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse) whether committed openly or secretly, sins (of all kinds), unrighteous oppression, joining partners (in worship) with Allâh for which He has given no authority, and saying things about Allâh of which you have no knowledge." May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

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