- The most important tafsir course for all Muslims
- Initiate yourself into the world of tafsir through the Mother of the Book: the sura whose essence encapsulates the entire Quran
- Understand the importance of the acoustics, syntax, word-choice and pattern
- Cover one verse per class – the tafsir of Al-Fatiha is in reality the longest of tafsirs, being the most pregnant in meanings
- Understanding and imbibing the meanings of the tafsir of al-Fatiha is crucial to the light of the Quran penetrating and residing in the heart
About the Course
We read Surat Al-Fatiha at least 17 times a day, in every single raka of every single salat. We all think that we understand this sura, and very few think that they should study it any further. But this is the Quran and the Fatiha is the greatest sura in it – called Umm al-Kitab, the Mother of the Book. Only when one starts studying its exegesis in-depth, does one begin to realize how little we know about the profound meanings and ramifications of the Fatiha. Its secret underpins the fabric of our very beings. This course will take you to a level beyond the surface meaning to give you a more profound understanding of this great chapter. And it will show you how sublime, how wonderful, how indispensable the science of tafsir is.
In this course, we start with the isti’adha and the basmalah to analyze a single verse of the Fatiha each class. We look at the apparent meaning, the symbolic meanings, the rhetorical implications of the order of the words, the scholarly interpretations as to why the Fatiha is the greatest sura, and other facets of the opening chapter of the Quran.
In the style of traditional tafsir, the course also analyzes the significance of individual words – the different opinions on the significance of the two divine names, Ar-Rahmanand Ar-Raheem, and their separate ramifications. We thereby delve into the power of word patterns and how words with common roots can convey different meanings based on their form and usage. One word that will be analyzed at length, in terms of its root, pattern, and meanings, is no less than the greatest word in existence, Allah.
Week 1: Introduction
- Merits ofal-Fatiha
- Isti’adhaand Love
- Isti’adhaand Protection
Week 2: Names of Al-Fatiha
- The Opener
- The Healer
- The Sufficer
- Other Names
Week 3: The Basmalah
- Eight Benefits of theBasmalah
- The Supreme Name: Roots and Meanings
- Ar-RahmanandAr-Raheem compared and contrasted
Week 4: Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds
- Starting with Praise
- The Beauty of the WordRabb
- Difference betweenShukrand Hamd
- What are the worlds?
Week 5: The Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate; Master of the Day of Reckoning
- Reiteration of Mercy
- Beauty and Majesty
- Significance of the Reckoning
Week 6: You alone do we worship, from You alone do we seek help
- Shift in Narration
- Word Order
- Repetition of You alone
- Declaration ofTawhid
- The Plural
Week 7: Guide us onto the Straight Path
- Meaning ofIhdina
- Four Kinds of Guidance
- Omission of to
- The Straight Path
Week 8: The Path of those whom You have blessed
- Who are they?
- How to supplicate
Week 9: Not of those who have incurred (Your) wrath, nor of those who have gone astray
- Who are they?
- Why have they been mentioned
- What incurs the Wrath of Allah
- What leads one astray
Week 10: Wrap-up/Review
- Summary of Main points
The course consists of weekly Live Sessions conducted by Ustadh Hatim. Students shall be given handouts covering the major points addressed in class. Each class shall also be followed by a quiz. The quizzes must be passed to successfully gain course credit. Ustadh Hatim shall hold weekly office hours where students may consult with him one-on-one.
Weekly Time Commitment
Besides the live sessions’ weekly hour, it is highly recommended to spend another hour every week to study one's notes and do the online quizzes. The quizzes are opened after each session and they should be done before their closing date. Passing the quizzes is a requirement to obtaining credit for the course.
There is no required text for this course – simply show up to the Live Sessions!
No background required: All are welcome!
Do I need an entire course to study one short sura?
This course will serve as an introduction to tafsir. Its main objective is to initiate the student of sacred knowledge into the world of exegesis where every sound, every word, every sentence has meanings as vast as the ocean, and even vaster. Allah says, “What you have been given of knowledge is but little.” And this little knowledge alone has used up entire lifetimes of numerous scholars who worked laboriously to unfold the profundities of the greatest book humanity has ever known. Although short and seemingly straightforward, Al-Fatiha is in reality the longest sura and the most pregnant in meanings. It is one of a kind!
Why is Al-Fatiha the greatest sura to be revealed?
This course attempts to answer this very question. Although short, this question is like Al-Fatiha itself: easy to put forward, yet very challenging to explain. Imam Ar-Razi, the great scholar of tafsir, mentions 10,000 points that he deduced from Surat al-Fatiha in his tafsir. This course is too limited to cover even one thousand of these. But if anything, it will explain why Al-Fatiha is the greatest sura ever revealed to man.
Al-Fatiha has a tremendous secret. And the secret is only given to those who are ready to dive into its ocean and discover its wonders.
How much of this course addresses the heart?
We believe that all types of sacred knowledge address the heart, and tafsir is no exception. Indeed, tafsir in general allows light of the Quran to penetrate the heart and reside in it. This is even more so when one studies the tafsir of such pivotal, oft-recited sura as Al-Fatiha.