Let me return to my principal subject and state that Surah Fatihah is so replete with verities, subtleties and insights that if all of them were put to writing, it would be impossible to record them in a single tome. Reflect only over the meaning of the insightful prayer,  taught in this chapter. This prayer possesses a fully-encompassing meaning, which is the key to all spiritual and worldly goals.
We can never know the true essence of anything, nor derive benefit from it, until we discover a straight path to reach it. The affairs of the world are intricate and complex, whether they relate to the responsibilities associated with kingship and administration, whether they relate to combat or battle and warfare, whether they relate to the subtleties of natural science and astronomy, whether they relate to the method of diagnosis and treatment in the field of medicine, or whether they relate to trade or agriculture. Success in any of these fields is difficult, rather well-nigh impossible to come by until one finds a clear avenue of approaching the subject at hand. When confronted by difficulty, any intelligent person compels himself to ponder night and day, for hours on end, so as to devise a means by which to resolve the problem at hand. All professions and inventions, or any other intricate and complex matter, can only be undertaken once the right approach has been adopted. Thus, in order to achieve success in worldly or religious objectives, the most effective prayer is that of seeking the right path. When one approaches anything from the correct avenue, then with the grace of God, such a person undoubtedly can succeed in attaining their goal. God, in His power and wisdom, has set out a proper way of achieving everything. For example, no ailing person can be efficaciously treated until an effective approach for the identification and diagnosis of their ailment is followed, and the heart is lead to believe that the proposed course of action shows promising signs of success. In fact nothing in the world can be achieved until the correct method is undertaken for that purpose. And so one who strives towards an objective must first discover the correct way of achieving it. Thus, just as one first requires a correct path so as to attain success in worldly matters, so too, since time immemorial, in order to become a friend of God, and to receive His love and grace, a correct path has always been required. Therefore, in the very beginning of Surah Al-Baqarah, the chapter that follows Surah Fatihah, God says:  which means, ‘the path to attain blessings is the one which We put forth.’
Thus, the supplication  is a complete prayer that draws the attention of an individual to the fact that in a time of worldly or spiritual difficulty, the first thing man is obliged to seek out is the straight path which leads to the acquisition of one’s objective. That is to say, they ought to search for an unclouded and straight path to achieve their goal without hindrance; so that the heart becomes full of certainty and is freed from doubts. However, in accordance with the instruction of the Gospel, one who supplicates for bread would not set out in search of God, for the goal of such a person is to receive bread. When this goal is achieved, what use have they for God? This is the very reason why the Christians have deviated from the right path and have adopted a most shameless belief of taking a mere mortal for God. We cannot understand what the Messiah son of Mary possessed over others by virtue of which the thought arose that he ought to be deified. Most Prophets who appeared prior to him were greater as far as miracles were concerned, such as Moses, Elisha and the Prophet Elijah. And I swear by God in whose hand is my life that if the Messiah son of Mary had lived in my age, he could never have done the things which I can do, nor could he have shown greater signs than those which are being manifested by me, and he would have found that God has blessed me more than he. Now, when I occupy such a status, just think of the rank occupied by the Holy Messenger(sa) in whose servitude I have come.
In matters such as these there can be no room for jealousy or envy. God does what He wills. One who opposes the will of God is not only thwarted in their endeavours, but after their demise they are sent to hell. Ruined are those who have taken a mere mortal for God. Ruined are those who have not accepted a divinely chosen Prophet.
Blessed are those who have recognised me. Of all the ways that lead to God I am the last, and of all His lights I am the last. Unfortunate is one who rejects me, for besides me there is nothing but darkness.
The second means of guidance given to Muslims is the Sunnah, that is, the practical example of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, which he demonstrated to elucidate the teachings of the Holy Quran. For example, the number of Rak’ats in the five daily prayers are not apparently evident in the Holy Quran. How many Rak’ats are to be observed in the morning and how many at other times? However, this has been clarified by the Sunnah. One ought not to be deceived into thinking that the Sunnah and Hadith are one and the same thing. The Hadith were collected after some one hundred to one hundred and fifty years, but the Sunnah existed along with the Holy Quran since the very beginning. After the Holy Quran the greatest favour that has been bestowed on the Muslims is the Sunnah. The obligations of God and His Messenger were two primarily. Firstly, God revealed the Quran and through the agency of His Word informed His creation of His will. This was the obligation of God’s law. Then, the obligation of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was to practically demonstrate the Word of God and thus clearly expound it to the people. In this way he provided a practical demonstration of this Word and through his Sunnah i.e. his way of practice, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, resolved matters of intricacy and difficulty. It would be wrong to suggest that such issues were resolved by the Hadith, for Islam had already been established on earth before the Hadith had come into existence. Prior to the compilation of Hadith, did the people not observe prayers; or for that matter, pay the Zakat, perform the Hajj, or possess knowledge of that which was lawful or forbidden? Of course, it is true to say that the third means of guidance are the Hadith, for many matters relating to Islamic history, morality, and jurisprudence are elaborated on by the Hadith. Moreover, the greatest benefit of the Hadith is that they serve the Quran and Sunnah. Those who fail to properly honour the Quran proclaim that the Hadith are an authority over the Quran, just as the Jews claimed in relation to their own traditions.
But I declare that the Hadith serve the Holy Quran and the Sunnah. And it is obvious that servants only add to the grandeur of their master. The Quran is the Word of God and the Sunnah is the practice of the Messenger of Allah. The Hadith are an additional testimony in support of the Sunnah. It is wrong to suggest that the Hadith are an authority over the Quran, God forbid. If there is a judge that sits over the Quran, it is the Quran itself. The Hadith which are based somewhat on conjecture can never sit as a judge over the Quran; they only serve as supporting testimony. It is the Quran and Sunnah, which have provided all the necessary guidance, whereas the Hadith serve only as a supporting testimony. How can the Hadith be a judge over the Quran? The Quran and Sunnah were imparting guidance in an age when this man-made adjudicator did not even exist. Do not say that the Hadith are an authority over the Quran, rather consider them a reinforcing testimony to the truth of the Quran and Sunnah. Though the Sunnah expounds the purport of the Quran and is the path unto which the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, guided his Companions through his practical example, the term does not refer to those sayings that were recorded in books after approximately one hundred to one hundred and fifty years, for these sayings are referred to as Hadith. The Sunnah is the practical example of those pious Muslims which has been a part of their characters since the very beginning and which thousands of Muslims have been taught to follow. Although a large part of the Hadith is based on conjecture, but so long as they do not contradict the Quran or Sunnah, they are worth accepting. For the Hadith not only support the Quran and Sunnah, but are also valuable material on various issues that relate to Islam. Therefore, to disregard the Hadith would be to sever off one of the limbs of Islam. However, if there is a Hadith which contradicts the Quran and Sunnah, or contradicts a Hadith which accords with the Quran; or if, for example, there is a Hadith which opposes Sahih Bukhari, then such a Hadith ought to be rejected. To accept such Hadith is to deny not only the Quran, but also all those other Hadith that accord with the Quran. I trust that no righteous person could show such audacity so as to accept a Hadith which contradicts the Quran, Sunnah and other Hadith which conform with the Quran.
Nevertheless, one ought to honour the Hadith and derive benefit from them, for they are attributed to the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Do not reject them unless the Quran and Sunnah reject them; rather, follow the Hadith of the Holy Prophet so diligently that there should be nothing you do, or do not do, except that you have a basis for it in the Hadith. But if a Hadith clearly contradicts the accounts given in the Holy Quran, one should reflect so that it may be reconciled — perhaps the apparent incongruity is the fault of your own understanding. However, if the discrepancy cannot be resolved, then any such Hadith ought to be discarded for it cannot be from the Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. On the other hand, if there is a weak Hadith, but it conforms to the Quran, then accept it, because it stands endorsed by the Quran. And if there is a Hadith containing a prophecy, which is considered inauthentic by experts of Hadith, but the prophecy contained in it is fulfilled, either in your lifetime or from before, you ought to accept such a Hadith to be true and consider the scholars and narrators of the Hadith, who considered it to be weak and fabricated, as being mistaken or even liars. Hundreds of Hadith which contain prophecies are considered doubtful, fabricated, or weak by Hadith scholars. If any such Hadith happens to come true, and you refuse to accept it on the grounds that it is weak, or one of its narrators lack in piety, you will only establish your own faithlessness for having rejected a Hadith which was shown to be truthful by God. Reflect for a moment, if a thousand such Hadith existed but scholars of Hadith considered them to be weak, yet a thousand prophecies contained in these Hadith were fulfilled, would you declare all these Hadith to be weak and thus waste a thousand proofs in support of Islam? In this way, you will become enemies of Islam. Allah Almighty says:
Thus, true prophecies can only be attributed to truthful Messengers. In such instances, is it not closer to piety to suggest that a Hadith scholar has mistakenly declared an authentic Hadith as weak, than to say that God has erroneously authenticated a false one?
Even if a Hadith is deemed inauthentic, it ought to be followed as long as it does not contradict the Quran and Sunnah, and other Hadith which corroborate the Quran. But, one should take great care when following the Hadith because many of them are fabricated as well and have created discord within Islam. Every sect possesses narrations which are consistent with their own beliefs, so much so that, even an institution as firm and well established as the Islamic prayer, has been given various guises because of conflicting accounts found in the Hadith. Some recite Ameen loudly, while others recite it silently. Some recite Surah Fatihah behind the Imam, while others think that this invalidates the prayer. Some fold their arms over their chests, others fold them over their navel. It is actually from the Hadith that these differences emanate.
Otherwise, the Sunnah only demonstrated one practice, but interpolated accounts caused a variance in practice. In this manner, a false understanding of the Hadith has been the ruin of many, including the Shiites. If they had taken the Quran as their final authority, then even Surah Nur [the chapter of light] alone would have sufficed to bestow light upon them. But the Hadith have become the cause of their ruin. Similarly, in the time of the Messiah, the Pharisee Jews were ruined. For some time they had abandoned the Torah and as is their belief even today, they held that the oral tradition was a judge over the Torah. As such, they possessed many traditions which stated that their Promised Messiah would not come until Elijah physically descended from heaven. Thus, they were gravely misled by these traditions and because of their dependence on them, were unable to accept the interpretation of the Messiah that John the Baptist had come in the spirit and likeness of Elijah, and as a spiritual reflection of his character.
The very reason they stumbled was because of their oral traditions and ultimately they squandered their faith on account of them. It is also a possibility that they misinterpreted the contents of these traditions, or that these narrations were subject to human interpolation. The Muslims are perhaps not aware of the fact that the Jews who rejected the Messiah were the Ahl-e-Hadith of their time. They raised an uproar against him, issued an edict of disbelief against him and declared him to be a disbeliever. They further slandered him by saying that he rejected the books of God because God had prophesied the second coming of Elijah, but this man sought to misrepresent the prophecy and applied to it a far-fetched interpretation without any evidence. The Messiah was not only declared a disbeliever but also a heretic, and it was said that if this man were true then the whole of the Mosaic religion was false. Such were their dark ages, for the people were misled by false traditions. So, when reading the Hadith, one ought to keep in view the fact that a people of the past — on account of their lending greater authority to the traditions over the Torah — were led to a state where they rejected a true Prophet and declared him a heretic and the antichrist.
Sahih Bukhari however, is a most blessed and valuable collection of Hadith for the Muslims. It is the very same compilation which states clearly that Jesus, peace be upon him, has passed away. Likewise, Muslim and other books of Hadith are also a treasury of religious knowledge and insight. It is incumbent to follow all such traditions as long as they do not contradict the Quran, Sunnah or those Hadith which are in accordance with the Quran.
You who are in search of God! Pay heed to me and listen. There is nothing like certainty. It is certainty which delivers one from sin. It is certainty which gives you the strength to do good deeds. It is certainty which imbues you with the true love of God. Can you cease from sin without certainty? Can you cease pursuing your selfish desires without witnessing a truly certain manifestation of God? Can you discover peace without certainty? Can you bring about a sincere change without certainty? Can you achieve true prosperity without certainty? Is there beneath the heaven any atonement or expiation which can deliver you from sin? Will the so-called atonement of Jesus son of Mary grant deliverance from sin? Followers of Christ! Utter not such falsehood which brings about utter ruin on earth. Even the salvation of Christ himself was dependent on certainty. He believed with certainty and was, therefore, granted salvation. Pity the Christians who deceive others by claiming that they have received salvation through the blood of the Messiah, yet they are themselves immersed in sin from head to toe. They know not who their God truly is, and their life is spent in heedlessness. They are lost in the intoxication of alcohol, but are completely unaware of the holy inebriation which comes from heaven. They are deprived of a life of companionship with God and of the fruits borne of a holy life.
Remember, without certainty you cannot emerge from a life of darkness, nor can you find the Holy Spirit. Blessed are those who possess certainty for it is they who will come to see God. Blessed are those who rid themselves of doubt and uncertainty for it is they who shall be delivered of sin. Blessed shall you be when the treasure of certainty is bestowed upon you, for only then will your sin be effaced.
Sin and certainty cannot co-exist. Would you ever thrust your hand into a pit wherein you see an extremely venomous snake? Would you remain standing near a volcano which rains down stone? Or where lightning strikes? Or where a ferocious lion attacks? Or where a deadly plague goes on ravaging human life? If you are as certain of God as you are of the snake, lightning, lion or plague, then it would be impossible for you to disobey God and follow a course that leads to His chastisement, nor would you sever from Him your ties of sincerity and faithfulness.
You who have been called to righteousness and piety, know that you will be drawn to God and be cleansed of the vile blemish of sin only when your hearts become replete with certainty. Perhaps, some among you may say that you already enjoy certainty, but remember that you only deceive yourselves. You do not possess certainty at all because you do not possess its essentials. This is because you are still to estrange yourself from sin. Neither do you progress as you ought to, nor do you fear God in the way you ought to. Reflect for yourselves. How can a person who is certain that a serpent lies in a hole, plunge their hand therein? Similarly, he who is certain that his food is poisoned will not partake thereof. In the same manner, a person would never carelessly and heedlessly enter a jungle, if he observes with certainty that thousands of bloodthirsty lions prowl within. How can your hands and your feet and your ears and your eyes be daring enough to indulge in sin if you truly believe in God and His reward and punishment? Sin cannot overcome certainty. While you perceive a blazing and consuming fire, you would never thrust yourselves into it. The walls of certainty stretch to heaven. They cannot be scaled by Satan. It is only certainty that has ever purified anyone. Certainty strengthens one against suffering, to the extent that even kings are able to relinquish their thrones and endure the hardships of poverty. Certainty eases every type of distress. It is certainty which enables one to behold God.
All ‘atonement’ is false and all ‘redemption’ vain. All purity proceeds from the path of certainty. It is certainty alone that delivers from sin, leads to God, and puts a person ahead of even the angels in sincerity and steadfastness. Any religion that does not provide the means for attaining certainty is false. Any religion that cannot exhibit God through certain means is false. Any religion that has nothing to offer except ancient tales is false. God is as He ever was, His powers are as they always were and He has the ability to show signs as He always had. Why then are you assuaged with mere tales? A religion whose miracles and prophecies are consigned to mere fables is dead. Ruined is the community upon which God has not descended and which has not been purified by the hand of God through certainty.
Just as human beings are attracted to those delights for which their inner self yearns, so too when people experience spiritual pleasures on account of their certainty they are pulled towards God, and His beauty enchants them to such extent that everything else appears utterly meaningless. Man can only find sanctuary from sin when he comes to know with certainty of His might, punishment and reward. The root cause of all insolence is ignorance. Anyone who partakes of insight that is certain in nature cannot remain insolent. If a homeowner comes to know that a terrible flood is surging towards him, or if his property is encircled by a fire and only a small opening remains, then such a person would never remain there. How then can you claim to possess certainty in the punishment and reward of God and yet continue to remain in your terrible state? So open your eyes and look upon the Law of God that governs the entire world. Do not behave like rats who are attracted to the depths of darkness, rather, become soaring pigeons who are drawn to the sky. Do not make a pledge of repentance whilst remaining adamant on sin. Be not like the snake that sheds its skin, yet still remains a snake. Be mindful of death, for it lurks nearby though you are unmindful of it. Endeavour to purify yourselves, for only those who purify themselves can reach the Pure. But how are you to attain this blessing? God has Himself provided the answer to this, where He states in the Quran: . That is, seek the help of God with patience and prayer. What is meant by prayer? It is a supplication that is humbly entreated by extolling His holiness, praise and sanctity, and seeking his forgiveness, and by invoking salutations upon the Holy Prophet. So, when you observe prayer do not recite Arabic phrases alone like those who are unmindful — for the prayer and forgiveness sought by such persons is nothing more than a superficial demonstration, which is devoid of essence; their prayers are not sustained by any foundations. When you offer your prayer, besides the verses of the Quran which are the Word of God, and besides the various prayers taught by the Holy Prophet, which are the words of the Messenger, make all your other entreaties in your native tongue so that the humility and meekness that they are born of may touch your heart.
And what are the five daily prayers? They are a reflection of your various conditions. Your life is marked by five variations in state, which overtake you in times of trial and it is essential that you experience these diverse states.
1. Firstly, when you are warned of an impending tribulation, like the issuance of a warrant in your name by the court. This is the first state which causes a decline in your peace and happiness. This state resembles your hour of decline, for as a result your contentment begins to fade. Symbolic of this is the Zuhr prayer, the timing of which begins when the sun begins to decline from its zenith.
2. The second change which affects you is when the time of the tribulation draws near. This may be likened to when you are apprehended as per the dictates of an arrest warrant and brought, as it were, before a judge. This is when you are overcome by fear and your blood runs cold. The light of hope and solace slowly fades away. This state resembles that part of the day when daylight grows dim and the sun can be looked at directly and it becomes clear that sunset is close at hand. This spiritual state is reflected in the Asr prayer.
3. The third change that overtakes you is when all hope of deliverance from tribulation seems lost. For example, when a charge-sheet is prepared against you and your opposing witnesses testify against you in order to see you perish. By this time you begin to lose control of your senses and you already consider yourself a prisoner. So this state resembles the time when the sun sets and all hope of daylight sets with it. This spiritual state is reflected in the Maghrib prayer.
4. The fourth change that overwhelms you is, as it were, when the tribulation finally seizes you and its deep darkness engulfs you. For example, when you are sentenced by the judge on the basis of the charge-sheet and the testimony of the witnesses, and you are handed over to a police officer to remain in custody. This state resembles that part of the day when night finally settles and complete darkness prevails. So, this spiritual state is reflected in the Isha prayer.
5. Then, after you have spent a period in time engulfed by the darkness of this affliction, God’s mercy finally surges forth upon you and saves you from darkness. This may be likened to when day dawns after the dark of night, and then this very light of day shines forth with all its radiance. So, this spiritual state is reflected in the Fajr prayer.
Thus, in view of the five states that are prevalent in the variation of your disposition, God has prescribed for you the five daily prayers. By this you can appreciate that the daily prayers are specifically for the benefit of your soul. If you desire to be safeguarded from afflictions then do not abandon the five daily prayers, for they are a reflection of your varying inner and spiritual conditions. Prayer is the cure for all future tribulations. You know not what divine decree the new day will usher in for you. So before the new day dawns, humble yourselves before your Lord, so that the new day brings for you goodness and blessing.
51 Guide us in the right path (Surah Al-Fatihah, 1:6) [Publisher]
52 Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:3 [Publisher]
53 In Surah Al-Fatihah one prays for guidance toward the right path, while in the second chapter the right path is elaborated as an expression of the acceptance of this prayer. (Author)
54 Guide us in the right path (Surah Al-Fatihah, 1:6) [Publisher]
55 The reader will soon be able to verify this with the publication of Nuzul-ul- Masih, ten parts of which have already been printed and will soon be distributed. This book has been written in response to Pir Mehr Ali Shah Golarhvi’s work, Tanbur-e-Chishti’ai. In Nuzul-ul-Masih it has been proved that Pir Sahib plagiarised a treatise of the late Muhammad Hasan and committed so many disgraceful mistakes that once they are exposed his life will turn bitter. As for the unfortunate Muhammad Hassan, he died in accordance with my prophecy recorded in Ijaz-ul-Masih. And now the other unfortunate one, [namely Pir Mehr Ali Shah] has become another victim of the prophecy, [I shall disgrace him who seeks to dishonour you. Publisher]
[Surah Al-Hashr, 59:3, Publisher]
[So take a lesson, O ye who have eyes!] (Author)
56 That is Allah’s grace; He bestows it upon whomsoever He pleases (Surah Al- Ma’idah, 5:55) [Publisher]
57 The Ahl-e-Hadith refer to both the sayings and actions of the Messenger to be Hadith. Whatever their terminology, the fact remains that the Sunnah was promoted by the Holy Prophet himself and is entirely separate from the Hadith which were compiled after his lifetime. (Author)
58 He does not grant anyone ascendency over His domain of the unseen. Except him whom He chooses as His Messenger (Surah Al-Jinn, 72:27-28) [Publisher]
59 Each party exulting over what they have (Surah Al-Mu’minun, 23:54) [Publisher]
60 The Gospel very strongly rejected the views espoused by the traditions and narrations of the Talmud. These narrations were directly attributed to Moses by a series of narrators under the assumption that they were his revelations. Eventually, the Torah was eschewed completely and a study of the traditions alone became prevalent. In certain matters, the Talmud contradicted the Torah, but the Jews would give preference to the Talmud. (The Talmud, editor Joseph Barclay, London, 1878) (Author)
61 When the edict of disbelief was issued against Jesus, peace be upon him, Paul was also from the party that rejected him. Later, however, he promoted himself as an apostle of the Messiah. During the lifetime of the Messiah, this man was a strident opponent. Not one of the Gospels which are attributed to the Messiah prophesise that after him Paul will repent and become an apostle. There is little need to write about Paul’s character before his conversion, for the Christians are well acquainted with it. It is lamentable that for as long as the Messiah remained in his homeland, Paul caused him great grief. Yet after his deliverance from the cross when the Messiah migrated to Kashmir, the same person entered himself amongst his disciples on the pretext of a fabricated dream, and invented the doctrine of Trinity, and declared the flesh of swine as being lawful even though it was strictly forbidden in the Torah, and also made the consumption of wine a common practice. He entered the concept of Trinity into the doctrine of the Gospel so that all these innovations would ingratiate the idol-worshippers of Greece. (Author)
62 Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:46 [Publisher]