In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Our Prophet (PBH), through the very first revelation of the Quran, was ordered:
“Recite in the name of your Fosterer…” (Chapter 96: Verse 1) and the name of his and our Fosterer is Allah (SWT), as is evident from the very first verse of the first chapter of the Quran:
“Praise is due only for Allah (SWT), the Fosterer of the worlds”. (Chapter 1: Verse 1)
In view of this order of Allah (SWT), we should recite/read before starting the recitation or reading of the Holy Quran which is a part of the Quran, occurring at the beginning of 113 out of 114 chapters of the Quran and also as part of Chapter 27: Verse 30 of the Quran. Through Chapter 16: Verse 98, Allah Taala further orders:
“So when you recite/read the Quran, seek the protection of Allah from the accursed devil”.
This means that we are required to pray; (Aoozu Billahi min Ash shaitaanir Rajeem) meaning: “I seek the protection of Allah from the accursed devil”, even before reciting or reading: (Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem)

Shuru Allah ke naam se jo hum per taras kha ker faida pahunchane wala hai


Praise is due only for Allah {1}, the Fosterer {2} of the worlds {3}

This verse is not only a logical statement of fact but also an order ‘Praise be only for Allah’ because He alone fosters the worlds. To praise someone we should know his work. In the verse under discussion, the work of Allah is fostering His creation i.e. maintaining and managing it. Therefore to praise Him we should not only have knowledge of His creation but also the knowledge of how He maintains and manages it, i.e. the laws governing the existence of the universe. The more we have this knowledge, the more we would be in a position to praise Him appropriately. In view of this and many other verses of the Quran inviting us to reflect on His creation, acquiring knowledge of different components of the universe and the laws governing their existence and functioning, becomes incumbent on us. This shows the importance of education in Islam and indicates that we should acquire education not only for earning our livelihood but also to understand the Quran so that we could implement it in our lives and enjoy the benefits here as well as in the hereafter.
{1} Allah is the proper name applied to the Divine Being Who exists necessarily by Himself, comprising all the attributes of perfection. Allah is an underived word, it neither has a feminine nor a plural, it has never been applied to any being except to the true God, nor did the Arabs give this name to any of their idols. As a proper name it cannot be translated into any other language nor is an equivalent of it met with in any other language. The word god is the translation of the word ‘Ilaha’, which is not a personal name but the name of a status or designation. In view of this, the word Allah has been retained as such, where as the word Ilaha has been translated as god.
{2} According to Raghib. the word Rabb signifies, fostering of a thing in such a manner as to make it attain one condition after another until it reaches its goal of completion. Hence it has been translated as Fosterer at most of the places and as Lord at some places where the word Fosterer does not appear to be appropriate.
{3} The word Aalam is a thing through which knowledge of something else is obtained. The whole universe is known as an Aalam because knowledge of Allah is obtained through it. World appears to be the nearest English equivalent of this word. But there are many worlds/physical, mental, spiritual, past, present, future, human, animal etc. Besides, the world today is not what it was yesterday or what it would be tomorrow. According to scientists, the universe is expanding, therefore it not only changes with time but also in space, occupying different volumes at different times. The kingdom of Allah would therefore best be represented by the plural ‘Aalameen’ which has been translated as worlds. Quantum physicists too propose the existence of many universes.
Tamaam tareef Uss Allah ke liye hai jo tamaam Aalameen ka palne wala hai


the Beneficent, the Merciful,

It is apparent from this verse that while fostering the universe, most of the time, He exhibits two of His Attributes of being the Beneficent and the Merciful.
Jo faida pahunchane wala aur taras khaney wala hai


the Master of the day of judgment.

But at the same time He warns that while He is Protectively Forgiving and Merciful, He is also severe in requiting evil (Chapter 5: Verse 98). These Attributes of His are not only exhibited here but will also be exhibited in the life after death, He being the Master of the day of judgement. On this day we will be called by Him to give an account of all our beliefs and actions. Those who were obedient to Him will be sent to paradise and the sinners will be sent to hell. Our reward or punishment will be based on our record of deeds which may be our memory. This is hinted through Chapter 17: Verses 13-14:

“And We have made every man’s fate (or action) to cling to his neck and We will bring out for him on the day of resurrection, a book (or a record) which he will find wide open. (It will be said to him), ‘Read your book (or record), this day your own self is sufficient against you as one who takes account”.

Can we stop our intentions, thoughts, plans, deeds whether good or bad, even our dreams from being recorded on our memory? We can most of the time recollect events from our memory which appears to be a sort of a permanent record of our life. Items recorded on floppies, cassettes etc. can be viewed on screens even years after their having been recorded. On the day of judgement, our memory too could possibly be displayed on some screen exhibiting all the details of our lives, private and public, Allah is All Powerful to do this and if He does this we would be utterly helpless to deny our own memory. So should we not be careful of our own memory and obey all the orders of Allah (SWT) and His messenger (SAWS) and avoid all sins?

Wo Malik hai uss din ka, jiss din qanoon ki buniyad per faisle honge


You alone do we serve {4} and (from) You alone do we seek help

‘Ab’d means a slave, therefore our relationship with Allah is that of slaves with their master but with the difference that we are to obey all His orders willingly and we are not to be governed by any unpleasant feeling of compulsion as indicated in the following verses of the Quran:
‘…and whoever does good willingly, then Allah is certainly One Who acknowledges, the Knower’ (Chapter 2: Verse 158)
‘There is no compulsion in religion.’ (Chapter 2: Verse 256)

The slave who willingly serves his master seeks only his help, we too as slaves of Allah (SWT) should seek only His help, because in fact, no other person can help us or anyone else.
“Say: Do you serve besides Allah (SWT) something which has no power, to harm or benefit you, while Allah (SWT) is Hearing, Knowing?” (Chapter 5: Verse 76)

Seeking help from others, amounts to shrik i.e. polytheism (Chapter 36: Verses 74–75) about which it is clearly laid down in the Quran:
‘Allah certainly does not forgive associating of partners with Him and He protectively forgives (any sin) other than that, to whom He wills; and one who associates partners with Allah (SWT) has indeed erred, going far astray (Chapter 4: Verse 116)

The terms Nabudu and Nastaiin indicate Aorist tense i.e. both present and future. When we recite this verse we are not only mentioning our present state but also making a commitment that in future too we will serve (worship) only Him and seek only His help because He is our only Fosterer, our Benefactor, One Who is Merciful to us and Who is our Master. If the ‘waw’, connecting Nabudu and Nastaiin is taken as explanatory then seeking Allah’s help will also be regarded as serving or worshipping Allah.

{4} A derivative (of the word Abd, means slavery or service and sometimes worship. It cannot always be translated as worship, because worship is only a part of the total service which consists of obeying all the orders of Allah and His messenger Muhammed (peace be on him) in the form of doing righteous works (amal-i-saleh) and guarding against evil (taqwa). Sometimes one is not sure as to which of the two senses it has been used in, therefore both the translations have been used, keeping one in brackets: service (worship).
Hum Teri hi ghulaami karte hain aur karte rahenge, aur Tujhi se mangtey hain aur mangte rahenge


not (the path of those), upon whom is Your anger, nor of those who are astray.

“We also have to seek His help for saving us from following the path of those who earn His anger and those who go astray from the straight path leading to paradise i.e. the path of hell. Here too if ‘waw’ connecting Magzubi and Azzaaliin is taken as explanatory then those who earn Allah’s (SWT) anger are those who are astray from the right path.
This Sura appears to be an abstract or summary of the rest of the Quran, probably in this sense it is stated:
‘And We have given you seven of the frequently repeated (verses or subjects of chapter No.1) and the great Quran’ ch.15 vs.87.
Vs.No.1 to 3 appear to summarise the details given in the rest of the Quran about Allah (SWT), His Attributes, His creation and the day of judgement,
Vs.No 4. appears to be the title of the details given regarding serving Allah (SWT) i.e. obeying all His orders and the manner in which His help is to be sought. Finally
Vs.Nos.5 to 7 appear to be an abstract of the histories of messengers of Allah (SWT) sent to various human communities and information of the result of their messages, that those whom Allah (SWT) favoured followed His message and those who rejected the message earned His anger and went far astray from the straight path leading to paradise. This indicates that the Quran summarily contains the following topics.
1. Allah and His Attributes
2. His creation (the universe)
3. Legislation for human conduct.
4. Histories of messengers of Allah (SWT) and the communities to whom they were sent and
5. Details of the day of judgment, paradise and hell. Recitation of this Sura in every Salat is essential.”
Unn logon ka rasta nahin jiss per aap ka ghazab huwa (aap ki narazgi hui) aur na unn logon ka jo gumraah huway