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Surah Al Fatiha : Verse 5 Explanation

Explanation of “Only you we worship”

Explanation: “You alone we call for help”

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“O ALLAH! You alone we worship and You alone we call for help”

Iyyaka = Only You

Na’bu’du = We obey / worship / serve (Here letter “noon” means “We”)

Wa = and

Iyyaka = Only you

Nasta’yeen = we seek / ask for help (Here letter “noon” means “We”)


As We all know that Quran is the word of Allah. Surah Fatiha is the opening of Quran. In fact, the word fatiha means “The opening”. So in the opening of Quran, Allah is teaching us, how to pray or how to ask help from Allah.

In this verse of surah al-fatiha, Allah is teaching us to praise Allah by saying that, “You alone we worship and You alone we call for help”

The verse shows the trait of those whom Allah like to listen. Or you can say that, Allah is teaching to commit or remind about our submission to Him.

Explanation of “Only you we worship”

In every rakah of our prayer, we recite Al-fatiha. This provides an opportunity to Muslims to consistently do self-analysis in prayers that if they solely worshiping Allah?

Here question arises. One may get confused that Muslims only believe in One God, “Almighty Allah”. According to this there is no need of self analysis, whom else we worship?

For this, you have to understand first the meaning of worship. For worship word “Ibaada” is used in Arabic. Here in this verse Allah said “Na’budu” Here letter “Noon” means “we” and next 3 letters are making the word “abad”.

In arabic dictionary word “abad” means, obedient servant or obedient slave.

By this you can conclude that, worship means being an obedient slave.

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Self analysis: When müezzin (muʾaḏḏin) call for prayer, what would be the response of obedient servant?

Of course the obedient one will leave his/her work immediately in order to offer prayer.

That’s why when a person asked from our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) that: which act or deed is most loved by Allah?

Our Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) replied: To pray ones prayers on time.

The man asked further: What (deed or act most loved by Allah) next?

Our Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) replied: Obedience to ones parents.

The man asked further: What (deed or act most loved by Allah) next?

Our Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) replied: Jihaad (utmost struggle) in the Way of Allah.

(Sahih Muslim + Sahih Bukhari)

In the light of that saying of Prophet (P.B.U.H), you can notice that all 3 points are mentioning the traits of those who are obedient Ones.

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A simple act of yours will be enough to check your level of obedience in front of ALLAH. That is, Do you pray on time?

Let’s come to the next half of Ayah.

Explanation: “You alone we call for help”

Once, a student of my class asked the question.

“Is that mean, I cannot ask my sibling to help me in chores at home?”


I said, Let me explain you the meaning of “Nasta’een”. By that, you can identify easily that what kind of help you can or cannot ask from others. The root of word “Nasta’een” is letter “a’ieen”, “wao”, “noon”. The word “ista’anna” is used similarly like word “nasta’een”. Both means asking help from someone who is having authority over it.

In the light of that definition, if you ask your sister to bring a glass of water, she can do it easily. You can ask for such help from anyone.

But if anyone demands offspring from a person that will be the example of “shirk”. You such kind of help you must ask Allah. As Only ALLAH is having authority over providing offspring.

So you cannot ask any kind of help from anyone who is not having any authority over it.

Similarly, Only ALLAH is having authority over judging and forgiving sins. You cannot call anyone janati or jahanumi. This type of words must not be used for anyone. We do not have any authority to give a final tag to someone like this. Only ALLAH knows and has power to take ultimate decision.

Conclusion: we acknowledge that no one is worthy enough to worship other than Allah. We only obey and follow laws of Allah. We show our commitment of submission in front of Him. We mention and remind that, we avoid any kind of servitude other than Almighty Allah

May Allah Almighty enlist us among His obedient servants! Ameen




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