Reciting Sooratul-Faatihah as we all
know, is an essential part of our daily prayers. It was narrated by Ubada bin As-Samit
that Allah's Messenger (salla llaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, " Whoever does not
recite Surat Al-Fatiha in his prayer, his prayer is invalid". This motivates every Muslim to understand the deep
meanings behind the words of this Soorah. Consequently , this helps us in
keeping Khushoo' while standing in front of Allaah in our prayers.
In this Soorah we start by praising Allah the Lord of
mankind, jinns and all that exists, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful, and
the only Owner of the Day of Recompense. Then we declare that we worship Him
alone, and from Him alone we ask for help.
Then we ask Him to guide us to the straight path. In his
valuable book "Al- Madaarij As-Saalikeen " Ibn Al-Qayyim points out
three levels of guidance.
First , Guidance of Bayaan,
"clarification". This does not happen except through Allah's prophets
whom He sends to explain to mankind the essence of His message and to show them
the way to the straight path.
Second, Guidance of Tawfeeq,
"success" (on the straight path). In this level we ask Allah to open
our hearts to his religion and to be steadfast upon it; by this it becomes the
most precious thing in our lives.
Although these two levels of Guidance are separate,
reaching the straight path would not be achieved except by them both. These two
levels include gaining the knowledge of what we did not know about the truth and
becoming anxious to follow it openly and secretly, the ability to fulfil our
duty through our sayings, actions and intentions, and to ask Allah to keep us
firm on this path till we die.
Some people would ask why do we need to ask for guidance
while we are already guided; we know Allah and we believe in Him? We need to
believe without doubt that we all are always in need to ask for guidance because
the things which we do not know are more than the things which we know. The
things which we do not do due to our carelessness or laziness are much more than
the things which we do, the same can be said about the things which we are
incapable of doing. Those of us who do not see any lack concerning their
knowledge or practice need to ask the guidance from Allah to keep them in this
state till they die.
The third level of guidance would be the guidance in the
Day of Judgement to the way which leads to Paradise . Whoever is guided in life
to Allah's path according to what He sent His messengers with, would be guided
to the straight path in the Hereafter.
If we want to know how we are going to pass the straight
path above Hell in the Hereafter we have to examine the way we are passing
Allah's path in this life. We are going to walk there the same way we walk here.
Some people would pass like a glimpse, some would pass like the wind ,some would
walk slowly and some would creep and others would stuck and then would be thrown
in hell fire. So let each one of us examine the way we will pass there from the
way we are passing here. And let us examine carefully the things which are
holding us from passing the straight pass whether they are our desires or
confused ideas. These things are like chains which delay or stop our movement on
the staight path. It is really fearful to say that if these chains are many,
solid and heavy here in life they are going to be the same when we are going to
pass the straight pass above Hell.
When we ask Allah in Sooratul-Faatihah to guide us to
the straight path we ask Him to put us with those whom He has bestowed His Grace
on. Here we need to ask two questions.
First, who are those people ?
Second, if we choose to follow the straight path which
leads to Allah why do we need to be accompanied with those people?
Ibn Al-Qayyim explained that the one who wants to
follow the straight path in this life finds that the majority of people around
him or her do not want to follow the same path. And because the human soul
normaly looks for a companion Allah (swt) pointed out the importance for having
a comapny on this road. Allah (swt) defined this comapny by saing in Surah
An-Nisa verse 69:
"Those on whom Allah has bestowed His
Grace, of the Prophets, the Siddiqun (those followers of the prophets who were
first and foremost to believe in them, like Abu Bakr As-Siddiq), the martyrs,
and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are!"
If sometimes we feel lonely when passing Allah's path we
need to think of those who passed or are passing the same path, to know that
they are our company , and to make our best to follow their steps. At the same
time we should not pay any attention to those who do not want to choose the same
path and should be strong enough so we do not let them detain us.
One of Al-Salaf said: "Stick firmly to
the path of truth and do not feel lonely because of the few number of people who would
join you, and be aware of the path of misguidance and do not be mislead with the large
number of the destroyed)."
And from Allaah is all help sought...