The first verse that was revealed to Muhammad was ‘READ’. Almost all Islamic scholars are in agreement with this. The next revelation was the Basmalah and the Fatiha, seven verses that comprise the first chapter.
This being the case, what needs to be discerned is what exactly is meant by the command ‘READ’!
If the chapter al-Fatiha is understood well it can unlock the Quran for us.
For: “The secret of the Quran is in the Fatiha, the secret of the Fatiha is in the Basmalah, and the secret of the Basmalah is in the letter B!”
So, to enter the meaning of the Fatiha we must first discern the meaning of the Basmalah, but before we can do that we must first understand the secret of the letter B.
Why do we say the Basmalah before we recite the Fatiha? Because the Rasul of Allah (saw) says:
“Bismillahirrahmanirraheem is the key to all books.”
Just as you can’t unlock a door without its key, without understanding the letter B it’s not possible to understand the meanings in the ‘Book’! Only when we approach the topic with the consciousness of the letter B can we truly turn to the core of the matter and reach our target.
If we take heed of what the eminent saints and enlightened ones of the past have said, the reason why the Fatiha must be begun with the Basmalah is a warning about which state one must approach the topic.
“With the name of Allah, who is Rahman and Rahim, my being which subsists with the existence denoted by the name Allah, it is He who manifests this activity from me with His Grace…
The only absolute producer of my actions is Allah. I’m doing this action with the meanings denoted by the name Allah. It is His absolute essence (dhat), knowledge, power and wisdom that is behind my action…”
The Quran warns us with the first verses of the Fatiha:
“Be sound in your judgment and do not think of Him as a simple heavenly god, praising and exalting Him to win His favor. You’re impotent from duly appraising Him. Only Allah can evaluate and do hamd to Allah. What befits you is to realize your inadequacy in this area and know your place!”
I seek refuge in the protective forces of the Names of Allah comprising my Essence from impulses generated by the accursed and rejected (rajim) Satan, which, as a result of preconditioning, causes our sense of illusion to perceive the existent as non-existent and the non-existent as existent, thereby making man believe he is an independent being and body outside the Names of Allah, directing man to the idea of an external deity-God in the heavens.
1. By the one who is denoted by the name Allah (who created my being with His Names in accord with the meaning of the letter ‘B’), the Rahman, the Rahim.
2. Hamd (the evaluation of the corporeal worlds created with His Names, as He wills) belongs to Allah, the Rabb (the absolute source of the infinite meanings of the Names) of the worlds (the universe created within the brain of every individual)
3. The Rahman (the quality with which He forms the dimension of Names; the Quantum Potential), the Rahim (the quality with which He continually creates the engendered existence with the meanings of the Names)
4. The Maleek (the Sovereign One, who manifests His Names as he wishes and governs them in the world of acts as He pleases. The One who has providence over all things) or the Maalik (the Absolute Owner) of the eternal period governed by the decrees of religion (sunnatullah).
5. You alone we serve, and from You alone we seek the continual manifestation of your Names (By manifesting the meanings of Your Beautiful Names we, as the whole of creation, are in a state of natural servitude to You, and we seek guidance to attain and maintain this awareness at all times)
6. Enable the realization that leads to our innermost essential reality (sirat al-mustaqeem)
7. The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor (those who believe in the Names of Allah as comprising their essential self and experience the awareness of their force) not of those who have evoked Your wrath (who have failed to the see the reality of their selves and the corporeal worlds and who have become conditioned with their ego-identities) nor of those who are astray (from the Reality and the understanding of the One denoted by the name Allah, the al-Wahid-ul Ahad-as-Samad, and who thus associate partners with Allah [shirq; duality]).