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Lesson FIVE

Bismillah. Alhamdulillah.

May Allah Guide you and I, brothers & sisters in Islam, as we learn Islam together… ameen.

From the last lesson, you have learnt a little bit more about the importance of Salah and how is your Salah getting along? You must be getting better now with your 5 daily prayers, yeah? If not, do not give up still! Keep on practising and du’a for Allah’s Help and Guidance.  I hope that you would also have gotten yourself a mentor, teacher or practising-Muslim-friend who has been assisting you with your understanding of the religion. If not, it’s still not too late.

But of course, sometimes the best & intimate way to learn Islam is to do your own research & study from reliable sources and enrol in classes offered by the many islamic educational institutions.

Al FATIHA
WHY IS SURAH AL FATIHAH SO IMPORTANT FOR EVERY MUSLIM TO LEARN?

Recitation of Surah Al Fatihah is considered a fard (obligatory) act during salat because Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa-sallam said: “Whoever offers a prayer in which he does not recite Umm al-Kitab (i.e., Al-Fatihah), it is defective” – he said so three times” [Narrated by Muslim].

Without a proper recitation of Surah Al Fatihah, a prayer is defective, i.e invalid, so learning Surah Al Fatihah in Arabic is of great importance and should be done as soon as possible.

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WHY CAN I NOT JUST MEMORIZE A TRANSLATION OF SURAH AL FATIHAH IN MY OWN NATIVE TONGUE?

The Arabic language of the Qu’ran is a direct revelation (verbatim, word for word) from Allah of what was taught to the Prophet (pbuh) from the angel Jibreel (Gabriel). If it is translated, some of the original meaning is lost and that is something a Muslim never risks doing during his/her salaah (5 obligatory prayers). Thus, the Qu’ran is best recited in Arabic. Furthermore, Allah has commanded that we perform our Salaah in Arabic. All Muslims around the world, despite their language and culture, read their Salaah in Arabic! Allah has made it beautifully that way, perhaps to bring about unity in all of us (Certainly Allah knows best why HE commands us so).  And hence, the worshipper must learn to recite it properly in Arabic. We are commanded to read and recite the Qur’an as it was revealed – in Arabic. But of course, we can still read the meanings in our own languages. Whoever is unable to pronounce Quranic words properly because of some defect in her tongue or because she is not an Arabic-speaker must learn to correct her pronunciation as much as she can. If she cannot, then she is relieved of this obligation, because Allah does not burden people with more than they are able to bear.

Allah says: “Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope” [Al-Baqarah 2:286]


THE MEANING OF SURAH AL FATIHAH IN ENGLISH

Preferably, one should know the meaning of what they are reciting so that they can understand the words of a certain surah or ayah of the Qu’ran, and so that they can really aim to mean what they are saying, with conviction. Insha’Allah.

Surah Al Fatihah has a meaning approximately as follows in English:

1:1

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

1:2

All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds (of mankind, jinns and all that exists).

1:3

The Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

1:4

The Only Owner (and the Only Ruling Judge) of the Day of Recompense (i.e. the Day of Resurrection or Judgement Day)

1:5

You (Alone) we worship, and you (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything).

1:6

Guide us to the Straight Path (Straight Way) –

1:7

The Way (Path) of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace (favour) , not (the way, the path) of those who earned Your Anger, nor of those who went astray.

آمين

Ameen

(Ameen is said after a supplication (du’a). It means: “O Allah, respond to (or answer) what I/we have said”. Ameen is often mentioned in the daily prayers of most Muslims after the recitation of the opening surah from the Quran, the Al-Fatiha).

TRANSLITERATION OF HOW TO SAY SURAH AL FATIHAH IN ARABIC

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Bismillahir Rahmanir-Raheem

Al-Hamdu Lil-lahi Rabbil-‘Alameen

Ar-Rahmanir-Raheem Maliki Yawmid-Deen

‘Iyaka Na’budu Wa’ Iyaka Nasta’een

Ihdinas-Siratal-Musta-qeem

Siratal-Ladheena ‘An’amta ‘Alay-him Ghayril-Maghdhoubi ‘Alay-him Wa La-dhaalleen

(Ameen) [this is sunnah to say but is not printed in the Qu’ran]

PRONUNCIATION

Alright, now let’s sharpen our skills on the recitation of Al-Fatiha even further. Go to the following website and take your time in learning this today. This is very important, so put aside at least 30 minutes for this today. And do it again tomorrow and the day after, if necessary.

http://www.mounthira.com/learning/surah/001-al-fatihah/

Aim to memorise the Surah Al-Fatiha, with your best possible pronunciation, by the end of this week, insha’Allah. I want you to read the Al-Fatiha to a fellow Muslim, preferably a practising one, at the end of the week. Ask him/her to check if you’ve pronounced it correctly, insha’Allah.

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OK, before we wrap up today’s lesson, we shall have video clips as usual. Today we’ll have 2 videos…

Reccommended Video for today

For today’s first video, we have a revert sister who shares with us what she knows about Islam. Her Al-Fateha recitation, while not perfect, is something that she has achieved so far. She will continue in learning to pronounce the Surah (Chapter/Unit) as time goes by and Insha’Allah, she will improve. While some of her answers are not too detailed and comprehensive, one should ask one’s mentor or a senior member in one’s Islamic community, if one is eager to know more about the subject matter touched.

For the second video, it is a correct recitation of Surah Al-Fateha. Practice this recitation and memorise it well, yeah? You should be able to improve on your pronounciation the more you practice, insha’Allah. Do not give up!

May Allah help us better ourselves in our understanding of our religion.

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Till our next lesson**, insha’Allah.
Wassalamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh..

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
(And may Allah’s peace and mercy and blessings be onto you)

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((** I may be unable to publish the next lesson on time. In such cases, please forgive my shortcomings. Please look through the rest of this Victorian Muslimah website to learn something in this one hour. Or perhaps, you’d like to review certain previous lessons. Whatever your choice may be, do not forget to try your very best in honouring your commitment to Allah for learning Islam at least an hour a day, insha’Allah.))

May Allah guide you, my dear brothers and sisters, and myself on the straight path to Jannah, Ameen.

Allah knows best.

سُبْحـانَكَ اللّهُـمَّ وَبِحَمدِك، أَشْهَـدُ أَنْ لا إِلهَ إِلاّ أَنْتَ أَسْتَغْفِرُكَ وَأَتوبُ إِلَـيْك

Glory is to You, O Allah, and praise is to You. I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but You. I seek Your forgiveness and repent to You.

This series of online lessons are not to be taken solely on its own. It should be treated as just a supplementary lesson to other basic Islamic classes or courses that one should take, preferably with a knowledgeable teacher, insha’Allah.
If you are ill or seriously unable to ‘attend’ our virtual lesson on any particular day that you were ‘supposed to’, you should try your very hardest to make up for it, as soon as you can. We have to be committed, right from the start, insha’Allah.
Let’s show Allah that we are committed in learning HIS Deen (recommended way of life).

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((*Please note that I am not a scholar or famed teacher. I am just another student of Islamic knowledge myself and there still is abundant knowledge that I need to learn in order to be a better Muslim myself, insha’Allah. I am currently a student at IOU, the Islamic Online University, run by the Fanar Institute, undertaking a Diploma in Islamic Studies. I have a degree in Zoology and post-graduate diploma in Education. Should there be any doubts to my accreditations, please do not hesitate to contact me. I should be able to provide you the proof of my accomplishments, insha’Allah. But this, I share with you not as an ego-boost for myself, may Allah forgive & protect me. I have shared with you my academic accreditations so that you will understand that I am a serious learner, committed student and constantly-learning teacher, insha’Allah. I am not here to gain publicity or applause. I am doing this to please Allah s.w.t. May Allah accept my tiny attempts. I do hope that by teaching others, I gain to benefit in the process too, insha’Allah.))

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Image Credits:
http://muslimlearninggarden.wordpress.com/

Resources:

http://quran.com/1

Quranic Translation (mostly by): ‘Sahih International’ and ‘Muhsin Khan’

http://www.islamic-dictionary.com/

http://girlsguidetobeingmuslim.blogspot.com.au/2009/02/up-next-inshaallah.html

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