Day 1 2016: The Opening

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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In the name of Allah , the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. [All] praise is [due] to Allah , Lord of the worlds – The Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful, Sovereign of the Day of Recompense. It is You we worship and You we ask for help. Guide us to the straight path – The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray. [Surat al-Fatiha, 1:1-7)

On the first day of Ramadan, many of us start to recite the Qur’an. The first chapter, “Al-Fatiha” (The Opening) sets the tone for everything that follows, and it was the opinion of many scholars that Surat Al-Fatiha is a summary of the whole Qur’an.

And this opening chapter is for everyone who starts to recite the Qur’an. It’s the introduction, if you will. Imagine if you could have chosen anything from the Words of the God to be at the start of His holy book, what would you have chosen?

Allah chose Surat al-Fatiha because, in essence, it introduces us to Him. The first verse is “In the Name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.” If you were to recite this wondering, “who is Allah? Who is God?” The short chapter tells us.

It emphasizes His mercy in 2 out of 7 verses. It stresses that we should be grateful. It reminds us of the Hereafter. It focuses on the straight path; one that combines knowledge and action. And it teaches us how to ask Him.

This sets the tone for our whole Ramadan. This is a month of mercy because the One who decreed it is the Most Merciful. We start by expressing gratitude. And this is what we must carry with us throughout. As the Prophet (pbuh) tells us:

“The merciful ones are shown mercy by Allah. Have mercy towards those on earth, and the One in Heaven will have mercy towards you.” (Bukhari)

Start this month with mercy and gratitude.

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