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Sura AL FATIHA

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Published on Aug 15, 2009

Sura Al-Fatiha (Arabic: سورة الفاتحة‎, Sūratu al-Fātihah, "The Opening") is the first chapter of the Muslim holy book, the Qur'an. Its seven verses are a prayer for God's guidance and stress the lordship and mercy of God. This chapter has a special role in daily prayers, being recited at the start of each unit of prayer.


When recited during daily prayers, some schools of thought follow Al-Fatihah by the word Amin.

Notes:
The first verse, transliterated as "bismillāhir rahmānir rahīm", may be familiar to non-Arabic speakers and non-Muslims because of its ubiquity in Arabic and Muslim societies. This verse appears at the start of every chapter in the Qur'an with the exception of the ninth chapter. The verse is normally said before reciting a chapter or part of a chapter during daily prayer, and also before public proclamations and indeed before many personal and everyday activities in many Arabic and Muslim societies as a way to invoke God's blessing and proclaim one's motives before an undertaking.

The two words "ar rahmān" and "ar rahīm" are often translated in English as "the beneficent" and "the merciful" or "the generous" and "the merciful." They are often also translated as superlatives, for example, "the most generous" and "the most merciful". Grammatically the two words "rahmaan" and "raheem" are different linguistic forms of the triconsonantal root R-H-M, connoting "mercy".
The form "rahmaan" denotes degree or extent, i.e., "most merciful," while "raheem" denotes time permanence, i.e., "ever merciful".


(Tafsir Ibn Kathir and others...)

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