This sūrah is a
prayer to seek guidance from the Almighty for the straight path – a prayer which
was the wish of every upright person in the time of the Prophet Muhammad (sws).
After the Jews and the Christians had distorted the face of religion through
their innovations and deviations, it was in fact the desire of every heart to
receive fresh guidance. The Almighty articulated this desire through the tongue
of His Prophet (sws) in these eternal and matchless words.
In other words,
the prayer for fresh guidance after the Torah and the Injīl is the topic of this
sūrah. Consequently, its relationship with the Madīnan Sūrahs of the first group
is that of brevity and detail; however, with regard to its topic, it is a very
appropriate preface to the Qur’ān as well.
Viewed thus, it
becomes evident that this is the first sūrah that was revealed to the Prophet (sws)
بِاِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَانِ الرَّحِيمِ
لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ الرَّحْمَانِ الرَّحِيمِ مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ (١-٣)
نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ صِرَاطَ
الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful.
only for Allah, the Lord of the
world; the Most Gracious, the Ever
Merciful; Master of the Day of
alone we worship and only Your help we seek.
Set us firm on the straight path.
The path of those you have blessed,
not of those who have earned your wrath,
nor of those who have gone astray