[Editor’s Note: This article is a reprint that was published on August 30, 1986, and The Final Call will continue to publish articles written by our late and dear Mother Tynnetta Muhammad.]
A daily study of the Holy Qur’an is essential for us as a people and a nation to be guided upon the straight path of Islam. Both the spiritual and practical aspects of our daily lives are revealed to man and woman in this great holy book of Allah.
The only picture that we have of Master Fard Muhammad, the Finder of our Lost and Found Nation of Islam in the West is one of Him holding the Holy Qur’an open in his hands. This is a sign to you and me that Allah’s true guidance is the Holy Qur’an that opens with prayer and then guides the reader into the divine knowledge of God’s divine unity and His relationship with man and all His creatures. It is a guide for us all into the good life grounded in the moral principles of complete righteousness.
The Holy Qur’an opens with prayer as the cornerstone and basis of our religious belief in the oneness of God. Man is easily misled in his daily affairs when he forgets to turn to Allah, alone, as the source of strength. The remembrance of Allah is the greatest force. In the seven oft-repeated verses of the opening prayer entitled, “Al-Fatihah,” we are reminded repeatedly of the importance of turning solely to Him exclusively for divine guidance. We are to associate no partners with Him, for this caused the majority of man- kind to go astray.
We cannot overestimate the significance of this most important decree which is continued in the Muslim’s Declaration of Faith. This Declaration of Faith is contained in the opening words of Al-Fatihah, “Bismillah-Irahman-Irahim,” (In the name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful). This statement is placed over every surah of the Holy Qur’an as the signature of the author of this holy book who introduces Himself in the Person of Almighty God, Allah.
With the exception of surah 9, there are 113 surahs which begin with the words, “Bismillah-Irahman-Irahim.” In the Muslim’s daily prayers, it is obligatory to recite Al-Fatihah at the beginning of every rakah or unit of divine service which numbers from two to three to four rakahs or units depending on the stated prayer and its time interval.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught us to recite these same words: “Bismillah-Irahman-Irahim,” before opening to read the Holy Qur’an verses or chapters. He also stated that if you want to talk to Allah, read the Qur’an. Learning to respect the power of this divine book of Allah is duty incumbent upon us to teach our communities so that we may be rightly guided in all our affairs.
Once we begin to read the Qur’an and put into practice its profound principles of truth, we will see the difference and experience the transformation and the growth of our families and society at large.
The practice of prayer and the principles of Islam will earn us heaven at once while we live in the presence of the Most High God!