Treasures in Plain Sight
We praise and thank Allah and send blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
The month of Ramadan is when reality changes. And with the heaven open, hell closed, and devils chained – many are rushing to attain the great gifts and blessings of Allah. Some are searching for ways to take the extra mile and some are wondering how this blessed month can be all filled with worship and good deeds. Then a question arises “which deed can I perform which will be most beloved by Allah”.
It reminds me of the hadith where the Prophet Musa (as) asked Allah for a special supplication to remember Allah by, and when Allah revealed to him to say “لا اله الا الله” (there is no God except Allah) Musa replied saying that this was a known supplication, that he wanted something special. Allah told him that if the seven heavens and earth were on one end of the scale and “لا اله الا الله” were on the other end, “لا اله الا الله” would have been heavier. This hadith indicates the magnitude behind simple supplications which everyone is familiar with.
This gift is a trial by itself, as over-familiar deeds or supplications are easily overlooked and performed without perceiving the meaning behind it. This might be especially true of a particular amazing surah. Everyone knows the magnificence of this surah, and it is recited countless times this month but it feels so habitual that some even recite it quickly in one breath. You guessed it, it’s surah Al-Fatihah. This reality is most unfortunate, as one of the most fascinating aspects of Ramadan is that when Allah mentioned it in the Quran, he only mentioned it tied with the descending of the Quran itself as in the ayah:
“شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ”
“Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Quran” (Quran 2:185)
Even though fasting was made obligatory in the second year after the hijrah, in this ayah Allah introduced the Quran again, which had already been revealed for more than 10 years. It is like an invitation from Allah to reintroduce ourselves to the Quran and rekindle our connection with it in this blessed month and there is no better way to do that than through surah Al-Fatihah.
Surah Al-Fatihah is an ocean in itself, but some highlights can help us re-live its meaning throughout Ramadan and after inshaAllah.
“ رَبِّ” “Allah”
Indicates that Allah is our nourishing master and is personally taking charge of improving our situation, maintaining our wellbeing and sustaining us with his favours. Nothing calms the heart more than submitting to him as there is no better caretaker than Allah.
“الرَّحْمَنِ” “The Entirely Merciful”
Tells us that his love and care is overwhelming, enveloping every aspect of our lives and it also means that is happening at this very moment, knowing that will lighten any situation and any trial as the most loving and most caring is taking care of us exactly in our times of need.
“إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ” “It is You we worship and You we ask for help.”
Expresses the contract between us and Allah and the fact that all our needs are guaranteed to be taken care of by Allah’s help when we become his slave.
“ اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ ” “Guide us to the straight path”
From all the dua’as, this one was chosen for us. It means that the quest for guidance is never-ending and we are in constant need for guidance, and we pray that all of our actions are according to his guidance.
“ صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ” “The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor”
Indicates that guidance only comes from him and that our attitude towards it should be that we leave all emotions and reasons aside and accept his guidance above all else. Then guidance will be blessed and made easy for us, the same ayah also mentions the dangers we face without this guidance, which is the danger of us acting with just our emotions without the knowledge and the danger of us prioritising other reasons despite having knowledge.
As mentioned before, the meanings and magnificence of surah Al-Fatihah are way beyond what we can express in a few lines. It is remarkable enough that Allah answers us after each and every ayah of the Fatihah we recite in our prayers. It is recited countless times in order to resonate some of its meanings into our heart and remind us of the reality so we can reflect it in our lives, but we can only do that when we are aware of its messages and of its significance.
Surah Al-Fatihah was just one example of multiple treasures in plain sight and the map for those treasures is the hadith where the Prophet (pbuh) told us that the most beloved deeds to Allah are the ones he made compulsory, they are very well known but it doesn’t change that fact that they are treasures. The best supplication, the best salutation to the Prophet (pbuh) and the best prayer are all included in this category.
May Allah guide us all to appreciate and reflect upon His blessed book, and may He give us the strength to worship Him in the manner He loves most.
Matin Rosyid is an engineering student and a big fan of tafseer. He studied in over 5 countries, but always favours Glasgow in the end. In his spare time, he enjoys playing table tennis and rock climbing.