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A Commentary on the Hamd Surah

part 18



Know that the blessed Surah al-Fatihah (the Opening), as it contains all the stages of existence, also contains all the stages of conducts and, further, it contains, by way of allusion [isharah], all the objectives of the Qur’an. Delving deep into these matters, though it needs a complete expansion and a logic other than this one, yet to refer to each one of them is not profitless, or rather it has many advantages for the people of knowledge and certitude.

So, in the first place we say that it is possible that “In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful”‌ is a hint at the entire circle of existence and at the two bows of dissension and ascension. So, “Name of Allah”‌ is the state of the Oneness of “contraction and expansion”‌. “The Beneficent”‌ is the state of “expansion and appearance,”‌ which is the bow of dissension, and “The Merciful”‌ is the state of “contraction and covertness,”‌ which is the bow of ascension. “All praise is for Allah”‌ is possibly a reference to the world of Might and the Higher Kingdom, whose realities are the absolute praising. “The Lord of the worlds”‌ that concerns “education”‌ and “worlds”‌ which is the state of dedifferentiation, is probably a reference to the worlds of nature, which, by the substance of essence, are moving, passing, and under education. “The Owner of the Day of Judgment”‌ refers to the state of Unity, Omnipotence and the return of the circle of existence. Up to here, the entire circle of existence, descending and ascending, has been covered.

In the second place we say that the isti‘adhah, which is an act of supererogation, can be a reference to forsaking other than Allah, and running away from the Satanic domain. And, as this a preliminary [stage] to the other states, not a part of them” since abandoning is the preliminary to be adorned [with virtues], and in itself it is not of the states of perfection” therefore, the isti‘adhah is not a part of the Surah, but a prelude to enter into it. The tasmiyah [the bismillah] may point to the state of the Unity of Acts and of Essence, and joining both together. “All praise is for Allah”‌ up to “The Lord of the worlds”‌ may be a reference to the Unity of Acts. Perhaps “The Owner of the Day of Judgment”‌ is a hint at complete annihilation and Unity of Essence, and from “You do we worship”‌ the state of sobriety and return starts. In other words, isti‘adhah is a journey from the creatures to Allah, a coming out of the house of the soul. “Tasmiyyah”‌ is a reference to “realizing the love of Allah”‌ [tahaqquq beh haqqaniyyat] after taking off creation and multiplicity. “All praise is for Allah”‌ up to “The Lord of the worlds”‌ is a reference to the journey from Allah, by Allah and in Allah. This journey terminates by “The Owner of the Day of Judgment.”‌ In “You do we worship”‌ the journey from Allah to the creatures begins with the attainment of sobriety and return. This journey ends with “Guide us to the straight path.”‌

In the third place we say we say that this noble verse contains the main divine objectives in the Qur’an, since the principal  objectives  of  the  Qur’an  are:  the  completion  of knowing Allah and acquiring the three Unities, the connection between Allah and the creatures, how to travel to Allah, the return  of  the  divine  means  to  the “Truth  of  the  truths”‌, introducing the divine manifestations, collectively [jam‘an] and distinctly, in single and in compound, directing the creatures, in suluk and in realization, and teaching the servants, in knowledge, practice, Gnosticism and vision. All these facts are contained in these noble verses, much brief and short as it is.

Therefore, this noble Surah is “The Opening of the Book,”‌ “The Mother of the Book”‌ and the general form of the objectives of the Qur’an. And as all the objectives of the Divine Book return to a single objective, i.e. the truth of monotheism, which is the goal of all prophethood and the ultimate aim of all the great prophets (A.S), and the truths and the secrets of monotheism are contained in the noble verse of bismillah, so, this noble verse is the greatest of the divine ayahs and contains all the objectives of the Divine Book, as is confirmed by the noble tradition.

As the “ba”‌ is the appearance of tawhid, and the dot under it is its secret, the whole Book, its overt and covert, is im that “ba”‌. And the perfect man, that is, the blessed person of ‘Ali (A.S) is the very dot of the secret of tawhid.1 There is no ayah in the world greater than that blessed person after the Seal of the Messengers (PBUH), as is stated in the noble hadith.


A Commentary on the Chapter of ‘Praise’ 

Witten by: Imam Khomeini(R.A)

Translator: Bahram Afrasiabi

Other Links:

A Commentary on the Hamd Surah: part 14

A Commentary on the Hamd Surah: part 15

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