Al-Fatihah – A Different Perspective

According to some grammarians, one of the Most Common mis-translations In the Quran begins with Suratul Faatihah. In the very first Aayah.

Translation, although useful and beneficial, yet it can only give you just a small fraction of a meaning, and many a times, the deeper messages, lessons and insights are lost. In the first Aayah ٱلۡحَمۡدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ , the word ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ is almost always translated as “The worlds”

“Praise belongs to Allah, Master of the worlds”

“The worlds” is actually not the correct translation, according to some grammarians.

Here are a few reasons why;

The word ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ ends with an “eena” ending, which in Arabic is only used for *People (also Angels & Jinn)

So a closer translation would be, “The Master of nations/generations of people”

The word for “Worlds” in Arabic is “عَوَالِم” (‘Awaalim’)

So in Surah Faatihah, it is not talking about the planets, the stars etc. . . . It’s talking about people.

This particular group of grammarians use examples in the Quran itself as further evidence of this, such as in Surah Furqaan. . .

Allah says, talking about the Prophet (s) “لِيَكُونَ *لِلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ* نَذِيرًا” “So that he may be a warner to the *people*”

Another example,

Allah reminding the Bani Isra’eel a few times in the Quran about how he favoured them “*وَأَنِّى فَضَّلۡتُكُمۡ عَلَى *ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ ” “That I have given you preference over (other) *Nations*” (Not preference over the worlds, planets etc.)

So when Allah says ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ, he’s not talking about celestial bodies, he’s actually talking about people. In a Hadith narrated by Abu Hurayrah (r.a), regarding Salah, The Prophet (s) said, “Allah Almighty said: I have divided prayer between myself and my servant into two halves, and my servant shall have what he has asked for. When the servant says ‘all praise is due to Allah the Lord of ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ,’ Allah says: My servant has praised me. . .”

prayer between myself and my servant’ to say that Surah Fatihah is more of a personal Surah and Du’a, rather than talking about the entire creation/worlds.

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