I don’t even know the number of times that I have stated this sura in Arabic during prayer. Given that Arabic is not my first language, I never actually knew what I was saying.

Surat Al-Fatihah – The Opener

1:1 – In the name of Allah , the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.

  • This is a good start – a Merciful God is really the only type of God that should exist.

1:2 – [All] praise is [due] to Allah , Lord of the worlds –

1:3 – The Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful,

1:4 – Sovereign of the Day of Recompense.

  • This is the first mention of the Day of Judgement. I have an inherent problem with the concept of such a day. I don’t understand why an omnipresent God would require such a day to be able to send individuals to heaven or hell. Why not send them there directly when they die?

1:5 – It is You we worship and You we ask for help.

1: 6 – Guide us to the straight path –

1:7 – The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray.

  • This verse is incompatible with the first verse. Even if certain individuals may have angered God, why should they not be guided to the straight path if God is Merciful?

So, first sura done. That was pretty painless but already two significant conceptual questions that arose after just reading seven verses.

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An Ex-Muslims Reading: SURAT AL-BAQARAH (THE COW) - 2:1 to 2:98

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