The seven verses of Surah Al-Fatiha sum up the whole Quran. In a condensed form it contains all the fundamental principles laid down in the Quran. The principle of the Oneness and uniqueness of Allah. He being the Originator and Fosterer of the Universe. The One to whom man is ultimately responsible. The only power that can really guide and help. The principle of life after death and the consequence of man’s actions and behavior. But also the need of self surrender to the will of the Supreme Being. It is, for this reason, that this Surah has been formulated as a prayer to be constantly repeated and reflected upon by the believer.
Surah Al-Fatiha sums up in precise yet comprehensive words man’s relation to Allah. In contemplation and prayer of which the first words should be that of praise which befit Allah alone.
The Quran next mentions Allah’s attribute of Rabb, the Chersiher and Sustainer of the worlds. The one who, step be step, helps one to grow from lower to higher stages till he reaches the stage of finality and completeness. The attributes of Rahman and Rahim which signify grace, mercy, compassion and loving tenderness which flow from Him to Hos creatures protecting, preserving and guiding them to a higher life.
After the praise and acknowledgment of the attributes of Allah, there follows a pledge of total submission and worship and seeking help and aid from Him alone. This pledge is not from man in his individual capacity but from all mankind in general.
The path of virtue
The believer also prays to Allah to show him the right and straight way of life from among the many crooked and steep ways. The path of virtue is difficult. It has always been followed by those people who are in the light of Allah’s grace. It does not only protects them from wrong doings but also from straying onto paths of temptation and carelessness.
Surah Al-Fatiha mentions two categories of people: Those who are in the darkness and those who stray because of negligence. Those described as having the wrath of Allah are those who after having received Allah’s message rejected it. While those who go astray are people who stray out of carelessness and negligence.