Date :Monday, February 25th, 2019 | Time : 16:53 |ID: 86736 | Print

The Interpretation of Surah al-Hamd; Ayahs 4-7 + Audio

SHAFAQNA- Pars Today : First or opening Surah or chapter of the holy Qur’an is called “Faatiha”, which means the Opening. It is also known as “Hamd” or Divine Praise. It has seven Ayahs, but is so important that its recitation is obligatory in all the first two rak’ats of the 5-times-a-day ritual prayer.

In the name of God, the All-compassionate, the All-merciful.

The 4th ayah of Surah al-Hamd reads:

مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ

 (Malek-e Youm-id-Din)

This means:

Master of the Day of Judgement” (1:4)

This is a reference to the absolute sovereignty of God Almighty over all. The world Din here means both religion and judgment. Thus Youm-id-Din means the Day of Reckoning on which every individual will be given whatever he or she has earned through his or her acts in the transient life of the world, whether rewards or punishment.

On this day there will be no other authority except that of God since all creatures, whatever degree of choice or authority they were given in life, will be resurrected powerless to witness the verdict for or against them in the Hereafter. Even our organs or parts of our body will be powerless and outside our control on this day, on which only the command of God will rule.

From this ayah we learn that;

1- Besides having hope in God’s boundless mercy we should be afraid of divine judgment as well.

2- Faith in the Hereafter inspires us to do good deeds even we do not receive any reward in return in the transient life of the world.

3- God is aware of whatever we do and He keeps the most precise and minute record of our deeds and words for the final retribution.

The next ayah reads;

إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ

(Iyyaka na’budu wa iyyaka nasta’een)

This means:

You {alone} do we worship, and to You [alone] do we turn for help” (1:5)

Having praised God in the previous ayahs, now it is time to humbly admit in his hallowed presence our absolute inability and seek His help through proper means of worshipping. In this way we acknowledge that we do not bow in front of the owners of wealth and power since we are the creatures of the One and Only God. Islam is the religion of both the individual and the society. That’s why this ayah uses the plural verb to beseech God. This indicates the fact that society has an important status in Islam and this is the reason why it is highly recommended to pray in congregation.

From this ayah we learn that;

1- Though our life is regulated by the laws and rules of the societies in which we live, it is to the commandments of God Alone that we completely submit, since we believe that the rules of the world are nothing but mere signs of God’s Will and Wisdom. That is why it is to God Alone that we turn for help.

2- Our recitation of this Ayah in every is an acknowledgement of our servitude to God and it prevents us from becoming arrogant and supercilious.

The 6th ayah of this surah reads:

اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ

(Ehdinas-siraat al-mustaqeem)

which means:

“Guide us on the right path” (1:6)

By reciting this we beseech God to keep us steadfast on the right track, since there are many paths in front of us, and except for one none are straight. For instance, desires and interests at times force man to take a certain path, not necessarily correct. In society people traAyah various paths as matters of expediency.

There are also paths that were chosen by our progenitors, predecessors, rulers, sages, etc. Certainly, God has not left the human being groping in the dark amongst these wayward paths. He has sent a series of guides and scriptures in every age and era to clearly show us the right path. That is why in every prayer we entreat God to guide us on the right, straight and unwavering path – the path that neither deviates nor leads to a dead end. The right path is the middle way. It means moderation and shunning any forms of extreme. Some people go to the extremes in beliefs and some in actions and behaviour. Some say everything is predetermined by God and man has no choice; whereas some others believe that man has full authority to do whatever he wishes. Some deny the mission and position of the Prophets of God while others extol prophets like Jesus as God or Godling. This is all deviation from the right path.

In view of these facts, the holy Qura’n calls us to observe moderation and shun extravagance. In part of ayah 31 of Surah A’araf we read: “Eat and drink but do not waste.”

Part of ayah 110 of Surah Isra also reads, “Be neither loud in your prayer, nor murmur it, but follow a middle course between these.”

Likewise Ayah 67 of Surah Furqan reads, “Those who, when spending, are neither wasteful nor tightened, and moderation lies between these [extremes].”

Although Islam recommends man to behave well towards his parents it also deters him from obeying them in case they are calling him towards erroneous and sinful acts. The holy Qur’an challenging those who are advocates of isolation like those who lead a life of a hermit or that of a recluse, designates the daily prayer and the giving of Zakaat to the needy, as two major forms of worship – one of which indicates the relationship of the individual with the Creator and the other denotes his link with fellow humans.

From the sixth ayah we learn that:

1- The path towards eternal bliss is the right path, for; the straight Divine path is stable and unchangeable unlike human paths which alter constantly.

2- To choose the best way and to firmly adhere to it, we must seek God’s help because we are susceptible to err and go astray. Therefore we should not think whimsically that since we have not been misled so far, our course of life is guaranteed for ever. There are instances of people leading a life of faith but losing faith when faced with problems and difficulties, or increase in wealth, prosperity and pleasures.

Since distinguishing the right path needs proper guidelines, the 7th ayah of Surah Hamd introduces the practical models who have steadfastly trodden the right path as well as those who manifestly deviated from it and were doomed. This ayah reads:

صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ

 (Siraat al-lazina an-amta alaihim, ghayr il-maghzoube alaihim walaz-zaaleen)

This means:

“The path of those whom You have blessed-not those who have incurred You wrath, nor those who have gone astray” (1:7)

Human beings can be divided into three groups regarding the choice of the way of life. First are those who choose the straight and unwavering Divine path and lead their life in full compliance with what God has commanded. These persons always strive for God’s blessings and grace.

The Second group is made up of people who know the right path but intensively oppose it, since they find it against their illegitimate interests. These persons become gradually drift away from the right path and instead of moving towards God they fall into the abyss of doubt and perfidy, as a result of which they incur God’s wrath. There is a third group that comprises of those who don’t have a specific path and take steps in confusion. The ayah calls them astray.

Thus, in view of these facts, in every ritual prayer that we have to perform five times a day, we beseech God to keep us firm-footed on the right, straight and unwavering path, the path of the Prophets, the Infallible Imams, and the other Righteous servants of God, and not the path of those who incur God’s wrath or those who have gone astray.

One might ask here, “Who have incurred God’s wrath and who are those that have gone astray?”

In answer, the Holy Qur’an introduces many groups of which we mention some, such as the Israelites, whose accounts have been dealt with in detail in the heavenly scripture. They were blessed by God for a while because of their obedience to Divine commandments and belief in monotheism unlike the other nations of those days that had fallen in the abyss of disbelief and polytheism. As a result they were considered superior to other contemporary nations. This is mentioned in ayah 47 of Surah Baqara, where God says: “…and indeed I gave you advantage over all the nations.”

But these same Israelites after some time disobeyed, sinned and incurred God’s wrath as a result of their misdeeds, as is mentioned in part of ayah 61 of the same Surah, which reads: “… and they earned Allah’s wrath.”

They started tampering with the heavenly scriptures to change the meaning and purport of the Divine Ayahs, as is mentioned in the holy Qur’an. The Israelites even ridiculed and killed Prophets. They permitted usury whereas it was strictly forbidden according to the Torah. In fact, they legitimized sins and wrongdoings in society to the extent that Judaizm became a rigidly racist creed of oppressors devoid of any Godly virtues.

If they mocked Prophet Jesus and betrayed him to the pagan Romans, earlier they had refused to obey Prophet Moses who had delivered them from slavery in Pharaonic Egypt. As is preserved in part of Ayah 24 of Surah Ma’edah of the Holy Qur’an, the Israelites refused to obey the call of Prophet Moses to defend faith and fight against disbelievers, by saying: “… Go ahead, you and your Lord, and fight! We will be sitting right here.”

In addition, there were many in the Israelite society who instead of standing up against such manifest errors, kept an ominous silence vis-à-vis these deviations. As a result, the Israelites fell from the zenith of dignity to the nadir of contempt and ignobility.

Now let’s see what we can learn from this ayah:

1 – We need to know model(s) to find the right path. According to ayah 69 of Surah an-Nisa these models are the prophets, the virtuous, the martyrs and the righteous whom God has especially blessed. We ought to stick to the path blazed out by these pious persons.

2 – Whatever God bestows upon humans is bounty but His wrath is incurred through our own misdeeds and vices. So we ought to keep aloof from the path of the deviants, such as the Israelites, and from the path of those who are lost in confusion and don’t know the right way.

 

Read more from Shafaqna:

The Interpretation of Surah al-Hamd; Ayahs 1-3 + Audio

What is the main point of Ayah 88 of Surah Al-Qasas

The main point of Ayah 37 of Surah Qaaf

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