Al-Fattah _ The opener _Of The gates of profit and sustenance
In this lecture we will be dealing with the thirteenth of Allah’s Beautiful Divine Names, “Al-Fattah”, an emphatic Epithet of Allah, Glory to Him, which means that Allah, All Mighty, is the One Who opens all of the gates that no one but Him can open. The emphasis that this Name denotes can be both qualitative and quantitative, i.e. He opens all of the gates of profit and sustenance for His slaves no matter how difficult to open, or how numerable, such gates might be.
Someone may suddenly suffer from an incurable disease. All doctors may determine that such disease is incurable, that there is no remedy or hope whatsoever, and that the patient will inevitably die in a few days. No surgical operation is helpful even if carried out in the most advanced countries in the world. All doctors say there is no hope for recovery. No medicament could avail him anything.
A friend of mine had a baby, whose birth was so difficult that it was pulled out of its mother’s womb by a special machine that caused a great injury to the brain. Every now and then, the baby gave certain convulsive movements, as its brain was seriously injured. A doctor said that it would certainly suffer from blindness, mental retardation, or paralysis. The baby was taken to another more experienced doctor who gave the same diagnosis. Two or three more doctors were consulted for the same purpose, but they were of the same opinion. The baby was taken to hospital for more accurate examination. However, all of the diagnoses carried out showed that the baby suffered from a serious incurable damage to the brain. In fact, the damage was untreatable because cells of the brain do not grow, nor do nerve cells.
In this context, it should be noticed that if nerve cells were to grow, man would die of pain. But due to Allah’s Mercy upon humans, particularly those who suffer from such damage to their brain, nerve cells do not grow. Anyway, all doctors confirmed that the baby would grow up to be mentally retarded, paralyzed or blind. And believe me! His father really wished that his baby had died, because the baby’s death was far better than its growth that way. Later, the baby was taken to another doctor who was a true believer and had good faith in Allah, Most Gracious. In the hope that Allah, Most Merciful, would heal the baby, this doctor made a scanning of the brain and gave it some medicament. Six months later, the baby was restored to health and became like other normal healthy babies. The baby is now 12 years old, and he not only moves and plays but excels other students at school as well. Is there a secret in such issue? Yes, there is. The One Who opened the gate for this baby’s recovery is Allah, “Al-Fattah”, the Opener of the gates of recovery. Yes, indeed! After all doctors had despaired of the baby’s recovery, Allah, “Al-Fattah”, opened for it the gate of recovery.
The simple meaning of this Divine Name of Allah is that He opens all gates: if He so wills, He opens to you the gate of provision and sustenance, He opens to you the gate of work, He opens to you the gate of marriage, He opens to you the gate of tranquility and peace of mind, He opens to you the gate of success, He opens to you the gate of righteous work, He opens to you the gate of the Call for Him and His Religion. He also opens the gates that no one else, but Him, can open. To this effect, Allah, Al-Fattah (the Opener), says, “Whatsoever mercy Allah opens to mankind, none can withhold; and whatsoever He withholds, none can loose after Him. And He is the All Mighty, the All-Wise.” [XXXV; 2]
If Allah so wills, He, Glory to Him, opens the door of His Mercy; but if He so wills, He withholds it. If He withholds His Divine Mercy, no one else can grant it after Him. If He withholds His Divine Mercy, no power in the whole world could ever award it. If He opens the gate of His Divine Mercy, no force or power in the whole world could ever withhold it. If all forces and powers in the whole universe unite together to open what Allah closes or to close what Allah opens, they will never be able to do so. Allah, All Mighty, “Al-Fattah” (the Opener of the Gates of profit and sustenance) says, “Whatsoever mercy Allah opens to mankind, none can withhold; and whatsoever He withholds, none can loose after Him. And He is the All Mighty, the All-Wise.” [XXXV; 2]
Therefore, the whole matter is in Allah’s Hand and under His Divine Control. If you believe that the whole matter is only in Allah’s Hand, you must necessarily turn to Him, Alone, and no one else. In fact, this Quranic Verse has a very good impact on true believers. Whatsoever mercy Allah opens to mankind, none can withhold. All of your relationships are confined by your relationship with Allah, All Mighty, Most Gracious. All other things than Allah are mere illusions and can do nothing for you. Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), who is the first and foremost human being, who is the one most beloved by Allah, All Mighty, who is Allah’s Prophet and Messenger, who received Divine Revelation from Allah, and who is the most honorable creature with Allah, was commanded by Allah, “Say (O Muhammad): ‘I possess no power over benefit or harm to myself except as Allah wills,” [VII; 188] If Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), possesses no power over benefit or harm to himself, then, it is more proper that he has no power over benefit or harm to others! Yes, indeed, Allah is “Al-Fattah” (the Opener of the gates of profit and sustenance)!
A god-wish that our righteous ancestors used quite often to say to someone who was energetic, open-minded, or enthusiastic was, “May Allah open to you as He does to the knowledgeable!” Such god-wish has various connotations: may Allah open to you the gate of sustenance, may Allah open to you the gate of being near and intimate to Him, may Allah open to you the gate of moral exaltation, …etc. This is because Allah is “Al-Fattah”, Who opens the gates of all good things.
In this context, the first and foremost Quranic Verse is, “Whatsoever mercy Allah opens to mankind, none can withhold; and whatsoever He withholds, none can loose after Him. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” [XXXV; 2]
Allah’s Divine Name “Al-Fattah” has another meaning derived from the Quranic Verse, “We should have invented a lie against Allah if we returned to your religion after Allah rescued us from it. And it is not for us to return to it unless Allah, our Lord, should will. Our Lord comprehends all things in His Kingdom. In Allah (Alone) we put our trust. Our Lord! Judge between us and our people in truth, for You are the Best of those who give judgment.” [VII; 89]
Things might get confused, forces might clash, someone might claim that he/she is on the right side of a conflict, someone might heap charges against others or vice versa, someone might speak badly of another, someone might fight against another, someone might say that a certain Sheikh (religious scholar) is the most holy man ever, someone else might say that the same Sheikh is the most evil disbelieving human ever, and so on the so forth. Who is the judge? Who has the just judgment? Who knows reality of people? It is Allah, “Al-Fattah”, i.e. the Just Judge. To this effect, the Quranic Verse goes, “Our Lord! Judge between us and our people.”
Everyone claims that he/she is right, everyone heaps accusations against others, everyone believes that he/she is a true believer while others are not, he/she is honest and trustworthy while others are not, he/she is so near to Allah, All-Mighty, and so intimate to Him while others are not. This happens among adherents of the same religion, but what would the case be among adherents of different religions? Everyone accuses other religions as being forged and not god-sent, or deviant and not rightly guided. The irreligious accuse the religious of folly, foolish talk, falsehood, and weakness, while the religious accuse the irreligious of profligacy and immorality. But who is the judge? Who has the decisive word? Who is the one who determines whether this or that party is right or wrong? It is Allah, “Al-Fattah” (the Just Judge). This is the second meaning of Allah’s Divine Name “Al-Fattah” (the Just Judge), which is derived from the Quranic Verse, “Our Lord! Judge between us and our people in truth, for You are the Best of those who give judgment.”
However, what should your attitude towards this Divine Name of Allah be? If you are on the right side, do not be afraid, because Allah is ‘Al-Fattah” (the Just Judge). People may speak badly about you, and they may heap false accusations against you. If you are right, do not be afraid, do not forget Allah’s Words, “So put your trust in Allah; surely, you are on manifest truth.” [XXVII; 79] and “Say, ‘Allah (sent it down).’ Then leave them to play in their vain discussions.” [VI; 91]
If you believe that Allah is “Al-Fattah”, the Just Judge, the One Who exalts and debases, the One Who unveils all facts and brings all things to light, the One Who removes all misunderstandings and misconceptions, and the One in Whose Divine Hand is the Absolute Good, if you believe that Allah is the Just Judge, you should never worry or be anxious even if people misunderstand you or think badly of you or even heap false accusations against you for trivial reasons, do not be afraid, because he who knows himself is not harmed by what people say about him.
But what worries man these days? In fact, what causes man great anxiety nowadays is that he does not know where to go or whom to please. Just imagine, for example, an employee in a company or factory that has ten partnership owners. Different controversial orders might come from such ten partners; and the employee does not know whom to obey or please. A partner orders him to come, another to go a third to travel, a fourth to come in the afternoon, a fifth to leave early, …etc. Life would be unbearable or even impossible under such different controversial orders coming from several masters, who might, or might not, be in harmony with one another.
The same thing applies to a polytheist, a disbeliever or someone whose faith is weak. He/she does not know whom to obey or to please. His life is totally confused and even disrupted. Shall he obey or please his boss or subordinate? Shall he obey his wife? If he obeys his employers, his wife would be angry with him; and if he pleases his wife, his partners would be displeased with him. If he pleases his neighbors, he displeases Allah, All Mighty. If he does not attend a certain meeting or party, his relatives or friends would be angry with him. His life is unbearable. He is torn up and confused. He does not know whom to please or obey! A true believer, however, knows that “Al-Fattah”, the Just Judge is Allah, All Mighty. In other words, he is happy and comfortable because he strives to please only one Lord, Allah, All Mighty, Most Gracious. Do not forget Allah’s Words, “So call not upon another god with Allah, lest you should be one of those that are chastised.” [XXVI; 213]
One of the most grievous kinds of tortures is to be a polytheist, i.e. to call upon other gods with Allah. However, to call upon other gods with Allah does not mean to say that someone is a god besides Allah, but rather to obey him just as you obey Allah, to deal with him just as you deal with Allah, to put your trust in him just as you do with Allah, to rely on him or hope for him just as you do with Allah, to obey him and disobey Allah for him. Such is the meaning of polytheism. This is the third meaning.
The first meaning is: “Whatsoever mercy Allah opens to mankind”: the closed gates are innumerable. You might be told that all of the gates are closed and that all of the ways are blocked. Wherever you go, doors might be closed in your face, as common people usually say. But who is “Al-Fattah”? It is He, Allah, Who opens all of the closed gates, no matter how numerous or hard to open such gates might be. Yes, indeed! It is Allah, “Al-Fattah”, Who opens all gates. Once you purify yourself, once you have a pure sacred soul, and once you deserve Allah’s Divine Honor, the whole world is made to come to you. This is because the Lord, All Mighty, has commanded the world: “He who serves Me, serve him; and he who serves you, enslave him.” In another Divine Hadith, He, Glory to Him, addresses man, “O My slave! I created for you the heavens and the earth; and creating them did not tire me. Does a loaf of bread tire me to send you every now and then? You owe me an obligation and I undertake to grant you provision. If you fail to fulfill the obligation that you owe Me, I shall not withhold My provision to you. (I swear) by My Divine Might and Majesty! If you are not contented with that Which I allot to you, I shall give power to the present world over you: you run therein as brute animals run in the wild, but you get not from it except that which I have allotted to you, and I do not care, and you will be worthy of dispraise in My Sight!”
If you are in a noble condition that makes you worthy of Allah’s Divine Honor and Mercy, the whole world is forced to come to you.
I shall never forget the following Prophetic Hadith, in which Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), says, “He whose care is for this present world, Allah makes (all) his matters hard for him and makes his poverty right before his eyes; and he gets nothing from this world except that which has been decreed for him. And he whose intention is the Hereafter, Allah makes (all) his matters easy for him and makes his richness in his heart; and the whole world is forced to come to him.”
Once a person is overwhelmed with love for this present world, he is afflicted with three things: labor that is constantly toilsome, hope that is unattainable, and poverty that never ends. However, a true believer is included in Allah’s Words, “And seek forgiveness of your Lord and turn to Him in repentance that He may grant you good enjoyment, for a term appointed, and bestow His abounding Grace to every owner of grace. But if you turn away, then I fear for you the torment of a Great Day.” [XI; 3]
A true believer’s mundane enjoyment is rightly guided. He is overwhelmed with complete psychological comfort, and he hopes for his Lord’s Garden of Paradise, whose width is as great as the heavens and the earth. But a disbeliever’s worldly enjoyment is full of worry and discomfort. He is constantly afraid of an unknown future, deadly afraid of something unknown, particularly death that lurks in ambush for him. In this context, Allah, Glory to Him, says, “And remember when Abraham said, ‘My Lord! Make this city (Mecca) a place of security, and provide its people with fruits, such of them as believe in Allah and the Last Day.’ He (Allah) answered, ‘As for him who disbelieves, I shall leave him in contentment for a while, then I shall compel him to the torment of the Fire, and worst indeed is that end.” [II; 126] When He heard Abraham’s invocation, Allah, Most Gracious, said, “As for him who disbelieves, I shall leave him in contentment for a while, then I shall compel him to the torment of the Fire, and worst indeed is that end.”
Then, what is the difference between the worldly enjoyment of a true believer and that of a disbeliever? The worldly enjoyment of a true believer is filled with comfort and peace of mind mixed with a laudable feeling that Allah, All Mighty, Most Gracious, keeps for him great enjoyment in the Hereafter, whereas a disbeliever, while being in utmost worldly enjoyment, is filled with worry and discomfort mixed with fear of something unknown coming, namely death, which puts an end to all his worldly pleasures and enjoyments. That is why I always like to invoke the Lord, Allah, Most Merciful, “O Allah! We take refuge with You from an incurable disease, from the enemies malicious joy, and from deprivation after donation!” It is indeed something that breaks the back if you are deprived of something that Allah, Most Gracious, has given you. Because He likes to honor a true believer, Allah, Most Gracious, makes the best part of his life its end. He tires him at the beginning of his life but makes him comfortable and contented at its end. As for those who love this present world, He grants them honor at the beginning of their lives but then they are afflicted with punishment, debasement, disgrace, humiliation, and poverty. That is why Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), used to invoke, “O Allah! Make the best (part) of our life its end and the best (day) of our days the day on which we encounter You while You are well pleased with us.” Similar Quranic invocations go, “Our Lord! Judge between us and our people in truth, for You are the Best of those who give judgment”, “Whatsoever mercy Allah opens to mankind, none can withhold; and whatsoever He withholds, none can loose after Him. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise”, and, “And with Him (Allah) are the keys of the Unseen, none knows them but He. And He knows whatever there is in the land and in the sea: no leaf falls down without His knowledge thereof, and no grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry is but written in a Clear Record.” [VI; 59]
Now, what is your relationship with this Divine Name of Allah? A true believer should understand the above Verse properly, just as Allah desires. If Allah said “And the keys of the Unseen are with Him”, instead of “And with Him are the keys of the Unseen”, would the meaning be different? Yes, of course. It would mean that the keys of the Unseen could be with another one besides Allah, All Mighty. However, the way the Verse is composed shows that the keys of the Unseen are only with Allah, Alone, and not with anyone else. In other words, no one knows the Unseen or how to get to the Unseen except Allah, Alone. That is why it is commonly said, “What is with Allah is not with any of His slaves.” Some time ago, it did not rain for quite a long time. Therefore, people said in despair, “There will be no more rain! There will be permanent drought.” But then suddenly, it began to rain so heavily that rivers and streams flooded with water. That is because “With Him (Allah) are the keys of the Unseen”. If a doctor tells you, “There is no more hope for recovery”, don not believe him, but say,
A doctor has knowledge whereby he helps people
So long as there is a respite in their lives.
But as soon as one’s life trip is over,
The doctor is baffled and his medicines betray him!
It depends on man’s lifetime decreed by the Lord, All Mighty. As soon as man’s lifetime is over, and the doctor says, “There is no more hope for recovery”, this means hat the doctor is right. But if there is still a respite in man’s lifetime, it is wrong for the doctor to say that there is no more hope for recovery.
I remember a doctor who told one of his patients that his life would end in only four hours. The patient’s people bought special mourning clothes and had death announcements published. But then, suddenly, Allah, Most Gracious, cured the patient, who lived for thirty more years. The funny thing is that the patient outlived the doctor, who passed away after only twenty years. This is because “With Him (Allah) are the keys of the Unseen”. I do not want to belie doctors but rather to confirm that doctors speak according to their knowledge. But no one except Allah, All Mighty, Alone, knows both the Unseen and the future. For example, a country in the Far East was in complete security and peace: prosperity, wealth, oil, …etc. No one ever thought that a terrible war would break out to destroy the whole country!
In the year 1974, Lebanon was a real Paradise on the earth: peace, security, prosperity, luxury, extravagance, …etc. All good things in the world existed in that beautiful country. No one ever thought that in a few years of civil war, it would be completely ruined.
“With Him are the keys of the Unseen” There are always Divinely interpretations although people understand only the earthly interpretations: conflicts, civil wars, troubles, problems, …etc. But there is always a religious interpretation. Allah, All-High, says, “And Allah puts forward the example of a township that dwelt secure and well-content: its provision coming to it in abundance from every place, but it denied the Favors of Allah. Therefore, Allah made it taste extreme of hunger and fear because of that which they used to do.” [XVI; 112]
As for myself, I always adopt the Quranic interpretation of events although there is always a certain earthly one: Arabic, foreign, international, political, economic, …etc. Always, the right thing to do is to adopt the Quranic interpretation. Once again I repeat Allah’s words, “And Allah puts forward the example of a township that dwelt secure and well-content: its provision coming to it in abundance from every place, but it denied the Favors of Allah. Therefore, Allah made it taste extreme of hunger and fear because of that which they used to do.”
Lebanon and other countries in the east, west, north, and south: “And with Him are the keys of the Unseen, none knows them but He. And He knows whatever there is in the land and in the sea: no leaf falls down without His knowledge thereof, and no grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry is but written in a Clear Record.” If you understand this Quranic Verse properly, you never believe swindlers, imposters, fortunetellers, diviners, soothsayers, magicians, sorcerers, witches, astrologers, or liars. In our modern age, you hear that even in developed countries, there are astrologers, fortunetellers and diviners who are consulted by remarkable personalities, concerning, for example, their financial, economic, administrative, or political future. If such officials read this Quranic Verse, they would never believe such fortunetellers or astrologers: “And with Him are the keys of the Unseen, none knows them but He. And He knows whatever there is in the land and in the sea: no leaf falls down without His knowledge thereof, and no grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry is but written in a Clear Record.”
Everything is quite clear: Once you consult a diviner or astrologer to ask him about the Unseen, this means that you do not know Allah, All Mighty. To this effect, Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), says, “He who consults a diviner and believes him is a disbeliever in that which was sent down to Muhammad.” You turn away from Allah’s Book, the Holy Quran, with all its truthfulness, clarity, and right guidance, while Allah, Glory to Him, says, “Say (O Muhammad), ‘I do not tell you that with me are the treasures of Allah, nor that I know the Unseen; neither do I tell you that I am an angel. I only follow what is revealed to me.’ Say (O Muhammad), ‘Are the blind and those who can see equal?’ Will you not then take thought?’” [VI; 50], “Say (O Muhammad), ‘I possess no power over benefit or hurt to myself except as Allah wills. If I had the knowledge of the Unseen, I would have secured for myself an abundance of wealth, and no evil would have touched me. I am but a man who brings warnings and glad tidings to people who believe.’” [VII; 188], “Say (O Muhammad), ‘I know not whether (the punishment) which you are promised is near or whether my Lord will appoint for it a distant term. (He is) the (only) One Who knows the Unseen; and He reveals to none His Unseen, except to a Messenger whom He has chosen, and then He makes a band of watching guards (angels) to march before him and behind him.’” [LXXII; 25-27], and, “And with Him are the keys of the Unseen, none knows them but He. And He knows whatever there is in the land and in the sea: no leaf falls down without His knowledge thereof, and no grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry is but written in a Clear Record.” Such is a true believer’s attitude. This Quranic Verse is very important, because quite often, you read an article in which a journalist or thinker writes about what will happen in the next year or years. Such articles should never be read because, “And with Him (Allah) are the keys of the Unseen, none knows them but He.” Unless such predictions are not meant to be definitive but mere expectations based on present phenomena or scientific data, they should be rejected, simply because all keys of the Unseen are with Allah, Alone. Such an idea helps you feel secure and comfortable.
It has been rightly said, “What has passed belongs to the past, what is hoped for belongs to the Unseen, but you own only the hour in which you are now.” In other words, you own nothing but your present time, wherein you can turn to the Lord, Most Gracious, with faithful repentance and sincere devotion. Some sixteen years ago, a dear sister who used to attend these lectures, in An-Nabulsi Mosque, had a son-in-law who was far from being religious and even denied the existence of Allah, All Mighty, altogether. She bade her daughter to invite her husband to attend even one, only one, of these lectures; and the daughter kept inviting her husband for more than two years, but it was all in vain. Once, the mother was very pleased when her daughter told her that her husband accompanied her to attend one of the lectures. However, the husband attended only two lectures, but then he had a sudden heart attack and was taken to hospital. While on the stretcher, he addressed his children, “All the things that I have told you about are not true. The truth is that which is in Allah’s Book, the Holy Quran.” Soon later, he passed away. I shall never forget the words that he told to his children just before his death. He had brought up his children to be just like him, atheists who did not believe in the existence of Allah. He attended only two lectures in our mosque and then passed away. While on his deathbed, he addressed his children, one of whom was an engineer, “All the things that I have told you about are not true. The truth is that which is in Allah’s Book, the Holy Quran.” We pray to Allah, Most Gracious, to forgive him. “And with Him are the keys of the Unseen, none knows them but He. And He knows whatever there is in the land and in the sea: no leaf falls down without His knowledge thereof, and no grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry is but written in a Clear Record.”
Yes, indeed! What has passed belongs to the past, what is hoped for belongs to the Unseen, and you own only the present hour in which you are now. Why did scholars say that a Muslim should perform the Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca) as soon as possible? They said so simply because man does not know when he will die. Since the Hajj is a religious obligation enjoined on those who are able to perform it, you should perform the Hajj the moment you are able to do so, simply because your life is not in your hand. To this effect, Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), says, “Make haste to perform the Hajj, as the one of you does not know what happens to him.” In other words, he might suddenly be ill, he might have a problem that prevents him from performing the Hajj, and he might even pass away.
Allah, All Mighty, says, “Say (O Muhammad), ‘Our Lord will assemble us all together (on the Day of Judgment), then, He will judge between us with the truth. And He is the Just Judge, the All-Knowing.” [XXXIV; 26]
In Arabic, the word “Fataha” means, “to open something closed”. Your relationship with Allah’s Beautiful Divine Name “Al-Fattah” (the Opener of the gates of profit and sustenance) is that whenever a gate is closed in your face, you should remember this Divine Name of Allah and ask Him to open it for you. This avails under all circumstances, whether serious or insignificant: even if your key-holder, wallet, or anything else, valuable or not, is lost.
A brother once told me that he was going to the seaport of Lattakia to remove a shipment of expensive goods; and he had a lot of documents that he was supposed to submit to the authorities there. When he got to the bus station, he suddenly found out that he had left such indispensable documents in the taxi. As he did not know the taxi’s plate-number, he turned pale and desperate: goods worth millions could not be removed from the Customs without those documents. He stood helpless for more than an hour invoking the Lord, “O Al-Fattah, Who opens the gates of all things! Help me find my bag!” He kept invoking the Lord most faithfully and sincerely. All of a sudden, he saw the same taxi coming towards him. It stopped and the driver asked him, “Aren’t you the man who was in my car an hour ago? It seems you’ve left your bag in the car. Here it is!” Thanks to the man’s sincere invocation to the Lord, Most Gracious, his bag was returned to him. He just could not remember the plate-number of the car or the car itself. But the driver was in Allah’s Divine Hand; and since Allah wanted the driver to return, in due time, to bring back the man’s bag, He, All Mighty, Most Gracious, cast kindness in the driver’s heart, or perhaps fear of Him, and inspired him to bring back the bag to the man. Most happily and gratefully, the man got back his bag, which brought him back to life.
Therefore, the Arabic word “fataha” means, “to open something closed”, and hence, Allah’s Divine Name “Al-Fattah” means that He, All Mighty, Most Gracious, opens all the gates of mercy, profit and sustenance to His slaves. The gate of the solution of every difficulty can be easily opened by the Lord, Allah, Most Merciful. In this context, Allah, Glory and Praise belong to Him, says, “So We opened the gates of the heaven with water pouring forth.” [LIV; 1] This means that the gates of the heaven were closed and then Allah opened them. The weather forecast may or may not come true, i.e. the gates of the heaven are opened with rain only when Allah, the Opener of all gates, opens them: “So We opened the gates of the heaven with water pouring forth.” In other words, the heaven is closed and its gates are in Allah’s Hands. In wars, conquest comes when Allah, All Mighty, opens the gates for it. The countries conquered by Muslims were strongly closed and fortified with armies and forces, but when Allah, All Mighty, opened the gates of victory to Muslims, such countries became Muslim countries. The Romans had occupied them before Allah opened them to Muslims.
Another meaning of Allah’s Divine Name “Al-Fattah” is that He is the Just Judge, Who judges among His human slaves, i.e. every time a dispute arises among them, He opens the gates for its solution and settlement.
Also, another meaning of Allah’s Beautiful Divine Name “Al-Fattah” is that He, Most Gracious, opens the gates of His Mercy to true believers and casts His Divine Light into their hearts and knowledge into their minds. This is what scholars usually call “Al-Kashf” (Unveiling), i.e. Allah unveils their insight whereby they see the truth as it really is and falsehood as it really is. Other scholars call it “Ira’ah” (Showing). In this context, Allah, Most Gracious, says, “Thus did We show Abraham the kingdom of the heavens and the earth that he be one of those who have Faith with certainty.” [VI; 75]
Sometimes, you feel that you see nothing, but then, suddenly, you find yourself able to see, I mean in your mind’s eye. Sometimes, a salesperson sees that if he lies to customers concerning his goods, he will sell more, and earn more. Such a salesperson has no good sight unless he sees that honesty is the only way to safety and unless he sees that honesty is the best policy. Some people tell lies, cheat and play tricks on other fellow humans. They wrongly think that this is clever of them. They are, indeed, blind and can not see the truth. What does Allah’s Name “Al-Fattah” mean in this context? It simply means that Allah, Most Gracious, opens your sight to the truth. In other words, He, Glory to Him, unveils the truth to your mind and helps you see good things as they really are and evil things as they really are.
Therefore, some scholars say, “ ‘Al-Fattah’, is He, Allah, Who opens the hearts of true believers by His Divine Knowledge, Who opens the gates of His Forgiveness to the disobedient and wrong-doers. If one is disobedient, Allah not only opens the door for him/her to repent but also accepts his/her repentance; and if one is a true believer, Allah opens for him/her the door of His Knowledge.”
You should compare your present condition with that some five years ago. You should ask yourself whether your emotions now are the same as they were five years ago, or whether you have now a new vision, a deeper insight, a more mature understanding, and more firmly established values? If you have changed to the better, this means that Allah, Most Gracious, has opened to you the gate of development and knowledge. He, Glory to Him, has unveiled to you some strategic facts about the universe and your own self. He has opened to you the gate to obeying Him and being dutiful to Him.
In fact, believers differ in view of their wakefulness or heedlessness. Some of them are most of the time heedless, i.e. they believe in Allah, but are heedless and careless. Other better ones are constantly conscious of Allah and are always in a state of full wakefulness, praying to Allah, beseeching Him, invoking Him, seeking His Divine Guidance, and committing themselves to His Religion. On His Part, Allah, Most Gracious, confers His Blessings upon such devoted believers and casts His Divine Light into their hearts and Knowledge into their minds. This is another meaning of Allah’s Beautiful Divine Name, “Al-Fattah”. And this is real opening.
Religious scholars quite often use the word “Al-Fatih” in the above meaning. They usually say, “May Allah open to you (i.e. gates of Good).” They also say, “So and so has received an Opening [(of Good) from the Lord]. In the same context, Allah addresses His Messenger, Muhammad, (PBUH), “When there comes (to you) the Help of Allah and the Opening (i.e. of victory and conquest over disbelievers), …” [CX; 1]
The strange, yet funny, thing in this context is that a lot of common people, when they start a new business or a shop, they, in the hope of success and profit, have certain Quranic Verses posted on their walls, such as, “Verily, We have given you a manifest Opening (of the gate of success and profit),” [XLVIII; 1] although the things that they deal in might be indecent or irreligious, and although they themselves, or their employees, might be deeply involved in sins and misdeeds.
Is such kind of business an Opening by Allah?! Is it an Opening to sell indecent things to indecent women, for example, and to have impolite talk to them?! Is it a manifest Opening of the gates of Good to them?! Such ignorant businesspeople purchase Allah’s Quranic Verses for a low price!
Such ignorant salespeople do not know that Allah, All Mighty, revealed the above Quranic Verse to His Messenger, Muhammad, (PBUH), when He opened to him the gate of victory over disbelievers of Mecca and made people come in groups to Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), to announce their conversion to the religion of Islam. Such is real Opening!
Therefore, Al-Fattah is Allah, Who opens the hearts of true believers to His Divine Knowledge, and opens the Gates of His Forgiveness to the disobedient. Also, Al-Fattah is Allah, Who helps you in distress and grants you His Divine Favors and Blessings. In case of hardship, He, Praise belongs to Him, helps you; and in case of ease, He, Glory to Him, grants you more and more. Hence, He is All-Fattah, the Opener of the gates of profit and sustenance.
Some religious scholars say that Al-Fattah is Allah, Who opens the gates of Good to His human slaves and makes difficult things easy for them. Such Opening might sometimes be in religious affairs. In other words, someone might tell you, “I have a book to read, but I understand nothing of it. It is too difficult to understand.” But after some time, Allah, Most Gracious, opens the gates of understanding to his mind, and he reads and understands, reads and goes deeper, reads and enjoys, reads and contemplates, reads and commits to memory, and reads and speaks out. Allah, Most Gracious, causes wisdom to run on his tongue, after he helps him follow the way of learning and acquisition of knowledge. First, he says, “I can not understand this book. It is as though I were digging in a rock!” “What is this book?” “I read the Holy Quran, but I do not understand a thing of it!” and “I read a Prophetic Hadith, but I do not understand it.” But after some time, he begins to understand, he begins to go deep and ask questions, he begins to seek answers, he begins to commit to memory, he begins to enjoy, and he begins to preach.
Therefore, Allah is Al-Fattah: He opens to you the gates of knowledge, He opens to you the gates of wisdom and makes it run on your tongue. If you are truthful and sincere to Allah, He makes wisdom run on your tongue. The first kind of Opening is that Allah opens to you religious knowledge. Then, He opens to you gates of worldly affairs: you are poor, but He enriches you; you are weak, but He empowers you; you are oppressed or defeated, but He grants you victory over your enemies; you are depressed, but He removes depression from you and replaces it with happiness and delight. Therefore, if man turns away from Allah, he can never attain happiness. To this effect, Allah, All Mighty, says, “But whosoever turns away from My Reminder: verily, for him is a life of hardship, and We shall raise him up, on the Day of Resurrection, blind.” [XX; 124]
Yes, it is depression! Ask those who cleave to the life of this present world, ask those who have millions or thousands of millions of pounds, ask those who have super powers, ask the richest people in the world, ask them all, dear reader! They will probably say, “We are the most miserable of all.” Once again, I repeat Allah’s Words, “But whosoever turns away from My Reminder: verily, for him is a life of hardship, and We shall raise him up, on the Day of Resurrection, blind.”
What does Allah’s Name “Al-Fattah” also mean? It means that Allah, Most Gracious, opens to you the gate to be intimate to Him; He opens to you the gate to turn to Him with love and devotion