بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ
إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ ﴾
(5. You we worship, and You we ask for help.)
THE LINGUISTIC AND RELIGIOUS MEANING OF ‘IBAADAH
Linguistically, `Ibadah means subdued. In religious terminology, `Ibadah implies the utmost love, humility and fear.
THE MERIT OF STATING THE OBJECT OF THE ACTION BEFORE THE DOER OF THE ACT, AND THE MERIT OF THESE NEGATIONS
“You…”, means, we worship You alone and none else, and rely on You alone and none else. This is the perfect form of obedience and the entire religion is implied by these two ideas. Some of the Salaf said, Al-Fatihah is the secret of the Qur’an, while these words are the secret of Al-Fatihah.
The first part is a declaration of innocence from Shirk (polytheism), while the second negates having any power or strength, displaying the recognition that all affairs are controlled by Allah alone.
This meaning is reiterated in various instances in the Qur’an.
For instance, Allah SWT said, (So worship Him (O Muhammad ) and put your trust in Him. And your Lord is not unaware of what you (people) do.) (11:123),
(Say: “He is the Most Gracious (Allah), in Him we believe, and in Him we put our trust.”) (67:29),
((He alone is) the Lord of the east and the west; La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He). So take Him alone as Wakil (Disposer of your affairs)), (73:9)
We should mention that in this Ayah, the type of speech here changes from the third person to direct speech by using the Kaf in the statement Iyyaka (You). This is because after the servant praised and thanked Allah SWT, he stands before Him, addressing Him directly.
AL-FATIHAH INDICATES THE NECESSITY OF PRAISING ALLAH SWT. IT IS REQUIRED IN EVERY PRAYER
The beginning of Surat Al-Fatihah contains Allah’s praise for Himself by His most beautiful Attributes and indicates to His servants that, they too, should praise Him in the same manner. Hence, the prayer is not valid unless one recites Al-Fatihah, if he is able.
The Two Sahihs recorded that `Ubadah bin As-Samit said that the Messenger of Allah SAW said, There is no valid prayer for whoever does not recite Al-Fatihah of the Book.)
TAWHID AL ‘ULUHIYAH (You we worship) means, “It is You whom we single out, Whom we fear and Whom we hope in, You alone, our Lord, and none else.
TAWHID AR- RUBIYYAH (And You we ask for help from), to obey you and in all of our affairs.” This Ayah also contains Allah’s command to us to perform sincere worship for Him and to seek His aid concerning all of our affairs.
Allah SWT mentioned, ﴿إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ﴾ (You we worship) before, ﴿وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ﴾ (And You we ask for help from), because the objective here is the worship, while Allah’s help is the tool to implement this objective. Certainly, one first takes care of the most important aspects and then what is less important, and Allah knows best.
ALLAH CALLED HIS PROPHET(PEACE BE UPON HIM) HIS ‘ABD
Allah SWT called His Messenger an `Abd (servant) when He mentioned sending down His Book, the Prophet’s involvement in inviting to Him, and when mentioning the Isra’ (overnight journey from Makkah to Jerusalem and then to heaven), and these are the Prophet’s most honorable missions.
Allah SWT said, (All praise and thanks be to Allah, Who has sent down to His servant (Muhammad ) the Book (the Qur’an)) (18:1),
(And when the servant of Allah (Muhammad ) stood up invoking Him (his Lord ـ Allah in prayer)), (72:19) and,
(Glorified (and Exalted) be He (Allah) (above all that they associate with Him) Who took His servant (Muhammad ) for a journey by night) (17:1
ENCOURAGING THE PERFORMANCE OF THE ACTS OF WORSHIP DURING TIMES OF DISTRESS
Allah SWT also recommended that His Prophet (PBUH) resort to acts of worship during times when he felt distressed because of the disbelievers who defied and denied him.
Allah SWT said, (Indeed, We know that your breast is straitened at what they say. So glorify the praises of your Lord and be of those who prostrate themselves (to Him). And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty (i.e. death)) (15:97-99).