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ٱلْحَمْدُ للَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلْعَالَمِينَ
-Al-Fâtihah ( الفاتحة )

Kashani Tafsir

Praise be to God; Lord of all Worlds, to the end of the sūra: 'praise' in actions and utterances of the moment (lisān al-ḥāl) is the manifestation (ẓuhūr) of perfections and the actualisation (ḥuṣūl) of the ends (ghāyāt) of things, since these are opening laudations and marvelous eulogies by the one granting them in accordance with what is due to that [object of eulogy]. For all existents, on account of their specificity and specific qualities and orientation towards their end-goals, and by the bringing forth of their perfections [sc. perfected states] from the space of potentiality into actuality, are proclaimers of [His] glory and praisers, as God, exalted be He, says: and there is not a thing but proclaims His praise [Q. 17:44]. Their proclamation of His glory is the declaration that He is above the need for any associate, [exalted above] the attributes of deficiency (naqṣ) and incapacity, [and this] by their very dependence on Him and their being indicators of His Oneness and His power. As for their praise [of Him], this is the manifesting of their derivative perfections and their being the loci of the manifestation of those attributes of majesty and beauty. His Essence is singled out [for praise] on account of His being the principle (mabdaÌ) of all things, and [on account of] His preservation and management of these, which constitute the very signification of [His] lordship of all worlds. In other words [praise be] to every knowable of the knowledge of God [being that] by which He is known, as in the case of the seal and what it seals and the mould and what is moulded in it. The construction [of ʿālam] is in the sound plural [ʿālamīn] because it subsumes the signification of 'knowledge' (ʿilm), or on account of the prevalence [of cognizant beings in these worlds]. In the face of [His] bestowing of good generally and specifically, that is, outward graces such as health and provision, and inner [graces] such as gnosis (maʿrifa) and knowledge (ʿilm); and on account of His being the ultimate end [of all things], which is the [true] signification of [His being] master of [all] things on the Day of Judgement, since in reality the only one who will requite will be the worshipped One, to whom all mastership returns at the time of requital either through the rewarding of everlasting grace in place of ephemeral [grace] upon the disengagement from this [latter] by means of renunciation and the self-disclosures of actions upon the servant's wrenching himself away from his actions and the replacement of his attributes with His attributes upon effacement (maḥw) and his subsistence (baqāÌ) through His Essence, and His gift to him of veridical [divine] existence (wujūd ḥaqqānī), upon his annihilation (fanāÌ). To Him and His what-ness, exalted be He, pre-eternally and sempiternally, as befits Him in His Essence at the beginning stage and at the end stage and in-between the two at the stage of union (maqām al-jamʿ), belongs all praise by the differentiated tongues, absolutely. For He is the One praising and the One praised at [the level of] differentiation and [at the level of] union, the Worshipper and the Worshipped, whether at the starting point and or at the end. When He discloses Himself to His servants in His words through His attributes, they witness Him in His greatness and resplendence and in His perfect power and majesty, and they address Him in word and deed ascribing worship to Him [alone] and seeking assistance from Him [alone], for they find none to be worshipped other than Him and [find that] there is no might or power in anyone except through Him. If they stand present [at this witnessing] their motions and their stillness would all constitute worship of Him and through Him, and they would 'maintain their prayers' [cf. Q. 70:23], supplicating with the tongue of love witnessing as they are His beauty from every aspect and in every aspect.