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Bint e Aisha

19 - الْفَتَّاحُ

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الْفَتَّاحُ  is translated as The Opener and The Revealer and also The Decider i.e. One who makes decisions or judgments. It also comes for victory  –  فَتَاح


Linguistically it means to open but this word has multiple meanings originating from the essential meaning of “Opening”. A lot of names have a Tashdeed and are in the superlative form. This pattern has the meaning in the intensive form of that word. Therefore One Who is the Most Powerful Opener or The Opener of all things and in all matters. The Opener of Rizq and Rahmah – The Being Who opens the doors to the means leading to Rizq and Rahmah. He opens the hearts and eyes to see and recognize the truth.


Allah ta’ala also closes the doors of His Rahmah and Ne’mah due to sin though He does not close the door altogether or immediately. For Believers it is opening doors to the Ma’rifat of Allah ta’ala. What we go through in life, good or bad, productive experiences or destructive, these should all be a means of doors opening in our heart one after another to recognize our purpose in this world, the realities and the Ma’rifat of Allah ta’ala.


For the sinning believers Allah ta’ala keeps the doors of Maghfirat open. Doors are opened again and again through granting us Ramadhaan, special nights, Hajj, Umrah and feelings of sorrow and remorse.


Ibn Qayyim (رحمه الله) says it is opening the doors to understanding the commands of the Shari’ah and opening our Taqdeer. According to another Scholar it is that Being Who makes decisions and judgments.



In the Qur’an


It is mentioned in different ways and in different contexts in the Qur’an. The word الْفَتَّاحُ (The Opener) is not used as much as “opening”


In Surah Saba, (verse 26) it is mentioned in the context of decision making and judging:


قُلْ يَجْمَعُ بَيْنَنَا رَبُّنَا ثُمَّ يَفْتَحُ بَيْنَنَا بِالْحَقِّ وَهُوَ الْفَتَّاحُ الْعَلِيمُ


Say: "Our Rabb will bring us all together, then He will rightly judge between us. He is the Judge Who knows everything."


Allah ta’ala will open up the reality and the truth of the differences between us because He is الْعَلِيمُ – He knows and His knowledge surpasses everyone’s knowledge.



Verse 2 of Surah Faatir is in context of Allah ta’ala opening doors of Rahmah and when He opens doors to something, no one can stop it.


مَا يَفْتَحِ اللَّهُ لِلنَّاسِ مِنْ رَحْمَةٍ فَلَا مُمْسِكَ لَهَا


"That which Allah openeth unto mankind of mercy none can withhold it."


This verse brings peace and consolation that it is Allah ta’ala Who is controlling the opening of doors. He has the keys to this invisible world of Rizq, be it materialistic Rizq or spiritual, happiness, love etc. No one has the power to close these doors. A lot of the problems that we have with people or with our own negative thinking is because mentally we have given the keys of our hearts to other people. We have given other people the power when actually they do not have any power and we only think they do. It is Allah ta’ala Who has the power. So if someone is making us happy or sad, they are the Asbaab (means) and it is Allah ta’ala Who has the key and He is in control of all affairs.


وَأَنَّهُ هُوَ أَضْحَكَ وَأَبْكَىٰ that it is He Who grants laughter and tears [ Surah Najm: 43]


Therefore we should worry about our relationship with Allah ta’ala.


Sometimes Allah ta’ala uses this word in the context of punishment i.e. when He opens doors to Rizq and happiness in order to loosen hold on people who have turned away from Him. He lets them commit more sin and then suddenly turns the tide against them. Allah ta’ala mentions in Surah An’aam the episode of a community who forgot the advices of the Ambiyaa and turned away from Tawheed and goodness. Allah ta’ala says He opened doors to everything for them until they became happy and then suddenly punished them. It is a sign of danger when people turn away from Allah ta’ala and He is still giving them in abundance.


So this concept of “Opening” is not just for Rahmah. It is also for punishment.


Another word which also means “to open” is شَرَحَ i.e. opening the heart. It has more of a spiritual meaning.


أَفَمَن شَرَحَ اللَّهُ صَدْرَهُ لِلْإِسْلَامِ فَهُوَ عَلَىٰ نُورٍ مِّن رَّبِّهِ


Is he whose bosom Allah hath expanded for the Surrender (unto Him), so that he followeth a light from His Lord, (as he who disbelieveth)? [Surah Zumar: 22]



رَبِّ اشْرَحْ لِي صَدْرِي ۔ وَيَسِّرْ لِي أَمْرِي ۔ وَاحْلُلْ عُقْدَةً مِّن لِّسَانِي۔ يَفْقَهُوا قَوْلِي۔


My Lord, put my heart at peace for me and make my task easy for me and remove the knot from my tongue, that they may understand my speech. [20:25,26,27,28]



“Opening/expanding of the heart” is often translated as Tawfeeq, the ability to do good so when Allah ta’ala opens up the heart then it is easy to do good deeds and have good Akhlaaq. That is why there are Du’a which mentions the opening of the heart and the opening of doors i.e. the Du’a for entering the Masjid:


اللَّهُمَّ افْتَحْ لِي أَبْوَابَ رَحْمَتِكَ – Oh Allah, open the doors of Your mercy for me.



اَللّٰهُمَّ افْتَحْ اَقْفَاْلَ قُلُوْبِنَا بِذِكْرِكَ وَاَتْمِمْ عَلَيْنَا بِنِعْمَتِكَ وَاَسْبِغْ عَلَيْنَا مِنْ فَضْلِكَ وَاجْعَلْنَا مِنْ عِبَادِكَ الصَّالِحِيْنَ


O Allah! Open the locks of our hearts by Your Zikr and complete upon us Your bounties, and make us perfect with Your Fadhl (bounties) and make us of Your righteous and pious servants.



Importance of Knowing the Names of Allah ta’ala


It is part of Aqeedah to believe it is only Allah ta’ala Who opens doors. He uses means however Allah ta’ala is the One Who opens doors. People sometimes think a person has stopped them from progressing or stopped something good through black magic or the evil eye. They actually believe it and it is embedded in their minds and hearts but they should reflect on these verses.


That is why it is so important to know the names of Allah ta’ala as it is not just using the names during some difficulty by reciting them a certain number of times. We should know the meanings and it is a means of getting closer to Allah ta’ala. The Qur’an is Allah ta’ala’s Kalaam and the best way is to reflect on its verses and know what Allah ta’ala says about Himself in it. He opens hearts and doors of Rahmah and Ne’mah for different reasons, either to make people happy or to punish. If it is a mercy the person will feel closeness to Allah ta’ala and will do things to please Him and if He opens doors to punish then the person will feel His distance and maybe they have a good life in this world but what about the Aakhirah?


In the Qur’an Allah ta’ala mentions in various ways that do not assume that when a person has a lot, it is a sign of Allah ta’ala’s pleasure. Unfortunately people do assume without knowing what their spiritual life is like. We should make Du’a when we see this that Allah ta’ala opens up their hearts for Hidaayah and Tawfeeq.



Story related in Hadith – Good Deeds become a means of invoking Allah ta’ala


(Taken from here with advices: http://dailyhadith.adaptivesolutionsinc.com/hadith/The-Cave-of-Death.htm)


In a Hadith Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam said, “Three men from among those who were before you, set out together till they reached a cave at night and entered it. A big rock rolled down the mountain and closed the mouth of the cave. They said (to each other), ‘Nothing can save you from this rock but to invoke Allah by giving reference to a righteous deed which you did (for Allah's sake only).’ So, one of them said, ‘O Allah! I had old parents and I never provided my family (wife, children) with milk before them. One day, by chance I was delayed, and I came late (at night) while they had fallen asleep. I milked the sheep for them and took the milk to them, but I found them sleeping. I disliked to provide my family with the milk before them. I waited for them and the bowl of milk was in my hand and I kept on waiting for them to get up till the day dawned. Then they got up and drank the milk. O Allah! If I did that for Your Sake only, please relieve us from our critical situation caused by this rock.’ So, the rock shifted a little but they could not get out.”

“The second man said, ‘O Allah! I had a cousin who was the dearest of all people to me and I wanted to have sexual relations with her but she refused. Later she had a hard time in a famine year and she came to me and I gave her one-hundred-and-twenty Dinars on the condition that she would not resist my desire, and she agreed. When I was about to fulfill my desire she said, ‘It is illegal for you to outrage my chastity except by legitimate marriage.’ So I thought it a sin to have sexual intercourse with her and left her though she was the dearest of all people to me, and I also left the gold I had given her. O Allah! If I did that for Your Sake only, please relieve us from the present calamity.’ So, the rock shifted a little more but they still could not get out from there.”

“Then the third man said, ‘O Allah! I employed a few laborers and I paid them their wages with the exception of one man who did not take his wages and went away. I invested his wages and I got much property thereby. (Then after some time) he came and said to me, ‘O Allah's slave! Pay me my wages.’ I said to him, ‘All the camels, cows, sheep and slaves you see are yours.’ He said, ‘O Allah's slave! Don't mock me.’ I said, ‘I am not mocking you.’ So, he took all of the herd and drove them away and left nothing. O Allah! If I did that for Your Sake only, please relieve us from the present suffering.’ So, that rock shifted completely and they got out walking.” [Bukhari]



This hadith tells us about pious deeds and their effects. Three men got trapped in a cave whose opening got blocked so completely that if the rock hadn’t moved from its mouth the cave would have become their grave. At such times man forsakes all means and agencies and looks only to the Creator of the means and agencies.

From the example of the first man we see that there is no limit to kind treatment of parents as long as one does not commit sins in order to please them. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) tremendously rewards those peope who are kind and considerate to their parents.

From the example of the second man we learn the value of Taqwa. Taqwa is that a man refrain from sin only because he fears Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), although he has the means and ability to sin, is surrounded by a sinful atmosphere, and is not afraid of being caught or punished in this world. This man was able to put a check on his desire, although he longed for that woman, only because of being reminded of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). This is how Believers are: “When Allah is mentioned their hearts are filled with fear.” [Quran 8:2] As a result of this man’s Taqwa, Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) removed the rock from the mouth of the cave a little more. Allah says: “And whosoever fears Allah, He appoints a way out for him.” [Quran 65:2]

From the example of the third man we learn that those people are very dear to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) who recognize the rights of their fellow men and give them their rights faithfully. As an employer, the man not only kept the wages of his employee safely but also invested them profitably although it was not binding on him to do so. He gave to his employee many times over the principal amount, an example of excellent dealings with a fellow-man. Can the greedy world present an example of such a character today?


Therefore even small good deeds done only for the pleasure of Allah ta’ala becomes a means of invoking Allah ta’ala in difficult situations. The interesting part of the Hadith is that none of the men said, “O Allah, I prayed so much or gave so much in charity for You.” It was simple deeds connected to the rights of human beings. 


We should use this name in our Du’a when we are in situations where we are not progressing and we should remember that Allah ta’ala’s door is always open.



Another episode


This is regarding a pious man of the 6th century who was known for making Du’a which was accepted. Someone asked him to intercede for himself with another person for some need of his so the saint said to him, “O my brother, why don’t you stand with me and we will pray two Rakat Salaah and we will make Du’a. Why don’t we ask Allah ta’ala? Why should we leave an open door for a door that is closed?” He meant that why not ask Allah ta’ala instead of a man who may not want to help and may even shut the door. So first ask Allah ta’ala to open the door and He will create the means for the need to be fulfilled.


Episode related to a Tabi’ee – Ata abi Rabah


He met a Scholar who was on his way to see some governor or leader and he said to him, “Do not present your need to someone who keeps the door closed and who has doormen. Rather present your need to that Being Whose door is always open and Who says to you, ‘Ask Me, I promise to return your Du’a’”


Therefore present your needs to Allah ta’ala and ask Him to open doors to Asbaab through which your need will be fulfilled and your problem solved. Sometimes we see how we make Du’a and we wonder how it will work out and suddenly the phone rings or you get a message and the problem is solved. So  الْفَتَّاحis a very beautiful and comprehensive word with many layers of meanings.



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