In Surat Al Fatihah, Allaah begins with His Perfect praise of Himself; He mentions His Lordship, His Mercy, His Sovereignty, His Noble attributes that direct the slave to the worship of Him and following this is the request of the servant to His Lord:
“Guide us to the straight path” [1:5]
We ask Allaah to guide us to the straight path, the path of guidance and light. This is a great request of the servant as it [guidance] is the greatest source of happiness which entails happiness in this Dunya and in the Hereafter. Are we left wondering about this path? No! Rather, The Lord, The Most High begins the next Surah with:
“Alif, Laam, Meem,
This is the Book (the Quran), whereof there is no doubt, a guidance to those who are Al-Muttaqun*” [2:1-2]
As though this is the response to what the straight path is; it is this book that you hold in your hands. This is the guidance to the straight path that you request; the straight path that Allaah has favoured for His pious slaves, it is the “The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace , not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians).”
It is in this Book that you will find your way, the way that will separate you from those who earned the Anger of Allaah and those who went astray. It is the way of the Muttaqoon, those who:
“…believe in the Ghaib and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and spend out of what we have provided for them.
And who believe in (the Quran and the Sunnah) which has been sent down (revealed) to you (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم ) and in [the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel), etc.] which were sent down before you and they believe with certainty in the Hereafter. (Resurrection, recompense of their good and bad deeds, Paradise and Hell, etc.).
They are on (true) guidance from their Lord, and they are the successful.” [2:3-5]
It is the path of the successful and it is the guidance that is requested so hold tight to it and stay firm upon it. It is reported that one of the righteous Salaf said:
“If you want to know your position with Allaah, then look at your position with His Book”
This is the reality of the affair. When the servant holds tight to the Book of Guidance that Allaah sent down then His position with Allaah is raised as the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
“Verily, Allah elevates some people with this Qur’an and abases others.”[Saheeh Muslim]
May Allaah raise us via His Book and make it a proof for us and not against us on the Day of Resurrection. والحمد لله و صلى الله وسلم على رسول الله
*[The pious and righteous persons who fear Allah much (abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which He has forbidden) and love Allah much (perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained)].
These are my notes on a recorded lecture by Sheikh Attiyyah Saalim رحمه الله. The lecture is a Tafsir of Surat Al Hujurat. There is a science in tafsir which finds the connections between the end of one Surah and the beginning of the next and the Sheikh gave the example between Al Fatihah and Al Baqarah before proceeding to the connections between Al Fath and Hujuraat. I ask Allaah that He grants me the Tawfeeq to translate some more of the benefits of this lecture in the future as there are many.