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Can I Intend the Supplication Found in the Fatiha to Be for Me and My Children?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Whom does ‘us’ refer to in the verse ‘guide us in the straight path”?

Can I intend it to be me and my children?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

Thank you for your question.

Representation.

According Imam Nasir al-Din al-Baydawi, the pronoun for ‘Us’ in refers to the reciter of the verse, but it has been left in the plural for various rhetorical purposes. Amongst them is the idea that the imam or the one reciting this verse is acting as a representative for all the believers whilst standing in the presence of the King whose generosity cannot be fathomed – let alone rivaled.

Therefore, at this point one asks for increasing and continued guidance for oneself, and all the other believers; this is much better than a narrower intention.

Asking through love.

Imam al-Baydawi also mentions that another purpose of the word ‘Us’ in this verse is to ask Allah to grant us the great good of guidance in this world, and success in the afterlife through His beloved servants. He states that amongst the believers are those who are truly beloved to Allah, and any prayer made by them or for them is bound to be answered because of His love for them. (al-Baydawi, Anwar al-Tanzil wa Asrar al-Ta’wil).

May Allah the Most Generous make us all of those who He loves and grants perpetual, increasing guidance to. Amin

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time.

Over the following eighteen months he studied a traditional curriculum, studying with scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.

In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years, in Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, and Logic with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.

Does a Mistake in the Recitation of the Fatiha Invalidate My Prayer?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

In the Zuhr prayer I most likely recited ‘an’ in ‘an amta’ with an ‘Ain’ sound. I however did not stop and correct this and completed the Fatiha. Does this invalidate my prayer?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

No, the majority [if not all] unintentional recitation errors are excusable, and thus, your prayers remain unaffected. Practice your tajwid outside of the prayer, and refocus your energy within the prayer to its most central aspects.

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Truly a person leaves his prayer and he doesn’t receive the reward of except a tenth of it, or a ninth, or an eighth, or a seventh, or a sixth, or a fifth, or a quarter, or a third, or a half.” [Abu Dawud]

Namely, depending on the degree of one’s turning to Allah Most High within the prayer, and not according to the perfection of a person’s tajwid. This doesn’t negate its importance, however, but it is equally necessary to recognise priorities.

Please also see: The Sunna Method of Reciting the Qur’an and the Legal Status of Reciting With Tajwid and: Should I Repeat My Qur’an and Du’a Recitations Due to Errors in Pronunciation?
And Allah Most High alone knows best.

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

Can I Skip Difficult Parts of the Fatiha to Avoid to Commit Disbelief?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaikum

I am having difficulties in reading surah al-fatiha. In particular when reading the word ey-yakah which is necessary to be read correctly as not reading it correctly can lead to kufr. Is it permissible to recite only the first couple of verse before this word?

Answer:Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Reciting the entire Fatiha during each cycle (rak`ah) of the prayer is necessary (wajib). You should forget the strange point about “committing kufr,” and focus on doing your best in the prayer, and learning sound recitation outside of it. Allah Most High is Merciful, and this religion is easy; don’t make things difficult for yourself. Ignore misgivings.

Please also see: Should I Repeat My Qur’an and Du’a Recitations Due to Errors in Pronunciation?

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam was born and raised in Ipswich, England, a quiet town close to the east coast of England. His journey for seeking sacred knowledge began when he privately memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown at the age of 16. He also had his first experience in leading the tarawih (nightly-Ramadan) prayers at his local mosque. Year after year he would continue this unique return to reciting the entire Quran in one blessed month both in his homeland, the UK, and also in the blessed lands of Shaam, where he now lives, studies and teaches.

What Should I Do If I Forget to Recite the Fatiha in Prayer?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaikum,

I was on the second cycle of the Fajr prayer then was having doubt on whether I recited the fatiha or not. So I stood up before the salam to repeat this cycle and performed the prostrations of forgetfulness. Is my prayer valid?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

If you forget to recite the Fatiha, all you need to do is to perform the prostrations of forgetfulness (sajda al-sahw). This is because recitation of the Fatiha is not an obligatory action, and thus missing it does not require a repeating of any units (rak`ats) or the prayer itself.

If you get a doubt during the prayer, you should ignore it and act on the basis of your reasonable surety.

Please also see: A Reader on Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings)

And consider taking the following free class at SeekersHub: Absolute Essentials of Islam: Basic Hanafi Jurisprudence (STEP)

And Allah alone gives success.

wassalam,
Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

As a Shafi’i Should I Avoid to Raise My Hands When Praying Behind a Hanafi Imam? (Shafi’i School)

Answered by Shaykh Shuaib Ally

Question: Assalam’aleykum,

1. As a Shafi’i should I avoid to raise my hands when praying behind a Hanafi Imam?

2. Should I recite the Fatiha while praying behind an Imam?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Following the Imam

As a follower, you are supposed to follow the Imam leading the prayer. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The Imam was only put in that position to be followed” [Bukhari, Muslim].

Raising the Hands when the Imam does not do so

In the Shafi’i school, raising the hands when changing positions in prayer is a Sunnah act. The Hanafi school does not likewise consider it recommended.

If you are praying behind someone who does not raise his hands, such as a Hanafi, raising your hands remains recommended. This does not contradict the general obligation to follow the Imam, as raising the hands is not considered an act that grossly contradicts the Imam’s prayer.

Reciting the Fatiha while the Imam is Reciting it

In the Shafi’i school, it is obligatory to recite the Fatiha in every rak’ah (unit of prayer) for any prayer, obligatory or otherwise. This is irrespective of whether one is praying alone or following behind an Imam, or whether the prayer is recited aloud or silently. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “A prayer in which the Fatiha is not recited is not valid” [Ibn Khuzaymah].

A person can recite the Fatiha at any moment during the standing portion of the unit of prayer. It is recommended to recite it following the Imam’s recitation.

Reciting another Chapter of the Qur’an while Following an Imam

Reciting a chapter or portion of the Qur’an following the recitation of the Fatiha is recommended in the first two rak’ahs of any prayer, obligatory or otherwise. It is not recommended when a person is following an Imam. In this case, it is recommended to listen to the Imam’s recitation. If one cannot hear the Imam’s recitation for whatever reason, it remains recommended for one to also recite.

Please also see: Should I Follow a Fast Imam Even if It Entails Not Reciting the Fatiha? [Shafi’i School]

Source: al-Hawashi al-Madaniyyah, Hashiyat al-Bujayrami

Shuaib Ally

The Prayer for Drinking Coffee – The Power of Purpose and High Intentions

At SeekersHub Toronto’s weekly Circle of Praise, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explained the Smaller Fatiha for Drinking Coffee, of the noble scholar al-Habib Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Mihdar (Allah have mercy upon him).

This prayer and statement of intent have many lessons – listed to the podcast below.

Does Leaving the Recitation of the Basmala Before Reciting the Fatiha Invalidate My Prayer?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Assalam alaikum,

Does living the recitation of the basmala before reciting the fatiha invalidate my prayer?

Answer: Walaikum assalam,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.

Reciting the basmala (bismi’l Llahi’r Rahmani’r Rahim) before reciting the Fatiha is an emphasized sunna action of the prayer. It is highly encouraged to recite, but its omission doesn’t invalidate the prayer. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

Thus, you should avoid leaving it, but if you leave it your prayer remains valid.

Please see also: What is the Minimum Recitation in Prayer–and Specifically in Tarawih Prayer?

You would benefit from the (free!) online courses at SeekersHub – courses.seekershub.org — particularly those on worship such as the Absolute Essentials of Islam.

And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.

wassalam,

Faraz Rabbani

The Merciful & Compassionate: A Selection from Ibn Ajiba’s Commentary on al-Fatiha by Shaykh Abdul Aziz Suraqah

Click here for the original link
Renowned for its unique style, Ibn ‘Ajiba’s commentry of the Qur’an, Al-Bahr al-Madid (The Vast Ocean) combines traditional exegesis with spiritual contemplation, exploring the inner meanings of the sacred text.
In this companion volume to Al-Madina’s inaugural publication, Prophetic Grace, Ibn ‘Ajiba explores the outer and inner meanings of the most important and most commonly read chapter of the Qur’an, Sura al-Fatiha, as well as the shorter chapters of the Qur’an that are read daily by children and adults alike, in homes and in mosques throughout the world.
In these selected commentaries, translated by Abdul Aziz Suraqah, the reader can begin to appreciate the depth and transformative power of what are perhaps the best known chapters of the Qur’an.

[On Surah al-Fatiha]

الرَّحْمـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

مَـالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ

Therefore, His name the Compassionate implies that things are brought into existence and manifested, and His name the Merciful implies that these things are cared for and granted sustenance. For this reason, it is impermissible to use the name the Compassionate for anyone [besides Allah], and no on has taken it as a name, because no one besides Allah can bring things into existence.

This, however, is not the case with the name the Merciful, for it is permissible to use for someone besides Him, the Exalted, because of the sharing in the act of “granting sustenance,” which appears outwardly and figuratively from some of the creation.

Alternatively the name al-Rahman could mean the Compassionate in this life and the Next, and the name al-Rahim could mean the Merciful in the Hereafter. That is because the mercy of the Hereafter is particular to the believers.

Another possible interpretation is that al-Rahman is the Compassionate with immense graces and al-Rahim is the Merciful with subtle graces.

The immense graces include: Islam, faith (Iman), spiritual excellence (ihsan), gnosis (ma’rifa), guidance, the lifting of the veil, and the opening of the door [to the Divine] and entering it with one’s beloved. The subtle graces include: [good] company, well-being, lawful wealth, and other things we shall discuss in greater detail when we speak about those upon whom Allah has bestowed His graces.

To add to this, the one from whom there is the act of bringing into existence and granting sustenance deserves to be the Master over all the servants.
This is why Allah says,

“the Master of the Day of Judgment”.

In other words, it is He who has free disposal over His slaves, doing with them as He wills; there is none who can refuse what He has preordained and there is none who can withhold what He has given.
He is the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, in this abode and the next.

The reason why Allah specifies that He is the Master of the Day of Judgment in particular—it being the Day of Recompense—is because on that Day all of creation shall witness directly that dominion is His. Allah Most High shall disclose Himself when He judges His servants, and the believers shall behold Him directly.

This is unlike how it is in this world, for none but the perfected believers understand Allah’s free disposal here, which is why many ignorant people have falsely claimed it and ascribed it to themselves. But on the Day of Judgment the dominion will be for Allah alone in the eyes of the elect and common folk alike.

The Most High says,

“To whom does the dominion belong today? To Allah, the One, the Dominant.” [Quran 40:16]

Relevant Resources

Check out the latest SeekersCircle taught by Shaykh Yahya Rhodus explaining Surah al Fatiha.

The Divine Opening
Shaykh Yahya Rhodus will take us through some of the deep meanings, lessons, and insights of the Opening Chapter of the Qur’an: Surah al-Fatiha. This short Surah has been considered to be a “summary of the guidance of the Qur’an,” if soundly understood — and we will see why believers are called to recite it in every ritual prayer.