An-Nahjul-Asma fii Sharh Asma’ullahil-Husna, by Shaikh Muhammad Humoud Al-Najdi.
The Name of Allah, Al-Fattaah, has been mentioned in the Noble Qur’an once in Surat Saba’ (34:26):
قُلْ يَجْمَعُ بَيْنَنَا رَبُّنَا ثُمَّ يَفْتَحُ بَيْنَنَا بِالْحَقِّ وَهُوَ الْفَتَّاحُ الْعَلِيمُ
“Say: ‘Our Lord will assemble us all together (on the Day of Resurrection), then He will judge between us with truth. And He is the (Most Trustworthy) All-Knowing Judge.’”
This Name is mentioned is the plural form also once in Allah’s statement in Surat al-Ara’af (7:89):
ربَّنَا افْتَحْ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَ قَوْمِنَا بِالْحَقِّ وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الْفَاتِحِينَ
“Our Lord! Judge between us and our people in truth, for You are the Best of those who give judgment.”
The meaning of this Beautiful Name:
1- Al-Fattaah is the Judge Who is most Just and never wrongs any in His judgment. He judges between His slaves through His laws of the Shari’ah, His laws of Decree and His laws of recompense.
2- He opens the gates of mercy and provision and opens for His slaves whatsoever of closed matters.
3- He grants His believing slaves the Fat-h, i.e. the victory and the support against their enemies, and helps the oppressed one against his oppressor.
The impact of believing in this Name:
1- Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) is the Judge Who judges between His slaves in this world and Hereafter with justice and truth.
He judges between them in this world with truth by sending Messengers and revealing Books.
Al-Qurtubi (Rahimahullaah) said, in his book Al-kitab al-Asna, regarding this Name, that it comprises all the Attributes that are required for judging. In addition, it indicates the just recompense for the actions of the limbs and hearts.
This Name is particularly related to His judging between the slaves with justice. Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) judges His slaves in this world with what He has revealed in His Book (the Qur’an) and what was inspired to Prophet Muhammad (salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and shown in the Sunnah.
Every ruler judges or rules either by what Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) has ordered, or by other than Allah’s law. If the ruler judges by Allah’s law then his reward is surely incumbent upon Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala).
The True Judge is Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala). Whoever does not judge according to Allah’s law is not a Haakim (a judge or a ruler), but he is an oppressor, because Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) said in Surat al-Ma’idah (5:45):
وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أنزَلَ اللّهُ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ
“And whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, such are the Dhalimun (wrong doers, etc.).”
2- The Messengers sought the help from Allah, Al-Fattaah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala), to judge between them and their stubborn and opposing people for what had happened between them of argument and dispute.
Prophet Nuh (Noah) (‘Alayhissallaam) said:
قَالَ رَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِي كَذَّبُونِ، فَافْتَحْ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَهُمْ فَتْحاً وَنَجِّنِي وَمَن مَّعِي مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
“He said: ‘My Lord! Verily, my people have belied me. Therefore, judge You between me and them, and save me and those of the believers who are with me.”’ (Ash-Shu’ara’ 26:117-118)
Prophet Shu’aib (‘Alayhissallaam) said:
رَبَّنَا افْتَحْ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَ قَوْمِنَا بِالْحَقِّ وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الْفَاتِحِينَ
“Our Lord! Judge You between us and our people in truth, for You are the Best of those who give judgment.” (Al-A’raaf 7:89)
Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) said in Surat Ibrahim (14:15):
وَاسْتَفْتَحُواْ وَخَابَ كُلُّ جَبَّارٍ عَنِيدٍ
“But they (the Messengers) sought victory and help [from their Lord (Allah)], and every obstinate, arrogant dictator (who refuses to believe in the Oneness of Allah) was brought to a complete loss and destruction.”
It is noticed that the Messengers asked Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) for al-Fat-h (i.e. they sought the help and victory) after their people showed stubbornness and refused all the clear evidences and proofs, while threatening to stone and kill their Messengers.
Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) responded to His Messengers and to their invocations and judged between them and their people in truth. Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) rescued the Messengers and their followers and destroyed the obstinate and the arrogant people who refused to believe in Allah’s Signs and Verses, and this is one kind of judgment among them in this worldly life.
3- On the Day of Judgment, Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) also is Al-Fattaah Who judges between His slaves concerning that wherein they differed in this life. Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) said in Surat Saba’ (34:26):
قُلْ يَجْمَعُ بَيْنَنَا رَبُّنَا ثُمَّ يَفْتَحُ بَيْنَنَا بِالْحَقِّ وَهُوَ الْفَتَّاحُ الْعَلِيمُ
“Say: ‘Our Lord will assemble us all together (on the Day of Resurrection), then He will judge between us with truth. And He is the All-Knowing Judge.”’
On that Day, Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) will judge between His slaves in order to distinguish clearly who is wrong from who is guided. And He (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) does not need witnesses to judge between His creation, because there is nothing hidden from Him nor He is absent from all that is happening in this world.
Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) said in Surat al-A’raaf (7:7):
فَلَنَقُصَّنَّ عَلَيْهِم بِعِلْمٍ وَمَا كُنَّا غَآئِبِينَ
“Then surely, We shall narrate unto them (their whole story) with knowledge, and indeed We were not absent.”
And Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) said in Surat Yunus (10:61):
َومَا تَكُونُ فِي شَأْنٍ وَمَا تَتْلُو مِنْهُ مِن قُرْآنٍ وَلاَ تَعْمَلُونَ مِنْ عَمَلٍ إِلاَّ كُنَّا عَلَيْكُمْ شُهُوداً إِذْ تُفِيضُونَ فِيهِ وَمَا يَعْزُبُ عَن رَّبِّكَ مِن مِّثْقَالِ ذَرَّةٍ فِي الأَرْضِ وَلاَ فِي السَّمَاء وَلاَ أَصْغَرَ مِن ذَلِكَ وَلا أَكْبَرَ إِلاَّ فِي كِتَاب مُبينٍ
“Whatever you may be doing and whatever portion you may be reciting from the Qur’an, – and whatever deed you (mankind) may be doing (good or evil), We are witness thereof, when you are doing it. And nothing is hidden from your Lord (so much as) the weight of an atom (or small ant) on the earth or in the heaven. Nor what is less than that or greater than that but is (written) in a Clear Record.”
The Name of Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) Al-Fattaah is joined with the Name of Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) Al-‘Aleem to indicate that He, the Exalted, will judge between the whole of creation with complete knowledge. Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) named the Day of Judgment, the Day of Al-Fat-h (the Day of Decision) in Surat as-Sajdah (32:29):
قُلْ يَوْمَ الْفَتْحِ لَا يَنفَعُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا إِيمَانُهُمْ وَلَا هُمْ يُنظَرُونَ
“Say: ‘On the Day of Decision, no profit will it be to those who disbelieve if they (then) believe! Nor will they be granted a respite.’”
4- The knowledge of the keys of the Ghaib (the unseen) is with Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala).
Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) said in Surat al-An’aam (6:59):
وَعِندَهُ مَفَاتِحُ الْغَيْبِ لاَ يَعْلَمُهَا إِلاَّ هُوَ
“And with Him are the keys of the “Ghaib” (all that is hidden), none knows them but He.”
Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) mentioned (enumerated) them in Surat Luqman (31:34):
إِنَّ اللَّهَ عِندَهُ عِلْمُ السَّاعَةِ وَيُنَزِّلُ الْغَيْثَ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِي الْأَرْحَامِ وَمَا تَدْرِي نَفْسٌ مَّاذَا تَكْسِبُ غَداً وَمَا تَدْرِي نَفْسٌ بِأَيِّ أَرْضٍ تَمُوتُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ
“Verily, Allah! With Him (Alone) is the knowledge of the Hour, He sends down the rain, and knows that which is in the wombs. No person knows what he will earn tomorrow, and no person knows in what land he will die. Verily, Allah is All-Knower, All-Aware (of things).”
Al-Qurtubi (Rahimahullaah) said (in Jamie’ al-Ahkam) that with Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) is the knowledge of the unseen and in His Hand are the ways or the means that leads to it, no one owns it except Him. Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) makes it (the unseen) known to whomever He wills and keeps it hidden from whomever He wills. However, this knowledge is not bestowed except upon His Messengers, as He (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) said in Surat Aal-Imran (3:179):
َومَا كَانَ اللّهُ لِيُطْلِعَكُمْ عَلَى الْغَيْبِ وَلَكِنَّ اللّهَ يَجْتَبِي مِن رُّسُلِهِ مَن يَشَاءُ
“Nor will Allah disclose to you the secrets of the Ghaib, but Allah chooses of His Messengers whom He pleases.”
And in Surat al-Jinn (72:26-27):
عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ فَلَا يُظْهِرُ عَلَى غَيْبِهِ أَحَداً، إِلَّا مَنِ ارْتَضَى مِن رَّسُولٍ
“(He Alone is) the All-Knower of the Ghaib (unseen), and He reveals to none His Ghaib (unseen).”
Al-Qurtubi (Rahimahullaah) also said in ‘Al-Kitab al-Asna’ that Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) opens whatsoever is closed of means for His slaves. He enriches the poor, relieves and removes the distresses of the distressed ones, makes easy a request, etc. All of this is called a Fat-h (i.e. an opening); because the poor is the one whose door of provision is closed, and He (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) opens it for him by richness. Also for example in the case of two persons who are seeking a decision or a judgment, the judge will open the gate of the decision for them. The judge or ruler is called a Fattaah because he solves the disputes.
5- Help and the victory are another kind of Fat-h which are also from Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala). He supports whomever He wills and disgraces (forsakes) whomever He wills.
Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) attributed victory and conquests to Himself, in order to draw the attention of His slaves to the importance of seeking victory and help from Him only and no one else, and to seek His pleasure through acts of obedience.
Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) said in Surat al-Fat-h (48:1):
إِنَّا فَتَحْنَا لَكَ فَتْحاً مُّبِيناً
“Verily! We have given you (O Muhammad (salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)) a manifest victory.”
And He (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) said in Surat al-Ma’idah (5:52):
فَعَسَى اللّهُ أَن يَأْتِيَ بِالْفَتْحِ أَوْ أَمْرٍ مِّنْ عِندِهِ
“Perhaps Allah may bring a victory or a decision according to His will.”
6- In Allah’s Hand are the keys of the treasures of the heavens and earth. Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) said in Surat ash-Shura (42:12):
لَهُ مَقَالِيدُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَيَقْدِرُ إِنَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ
“To Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth, He enlarges provision for whom He wills, and restricts (it for whom He wills). Verily! He is the All-Knower of everything.”
Whatever Allah grants to people of good, no one can withhold it, and whatever He closes it, no one can open it for them, as Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) said in Surat Fatir (35:2):
مَا يَفْتَحِ اللَّهُ لِلنَّاسِ مِن رَّحْمَةٍ فَلَا مُمْسِكَ لَهَا وَمَا يُمْسِكْ فَلَا مُرْسِلَ لَهُ مِن بَعْدِهِ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
“Whatever of Mercy (i.e. of good), Allah may grant to mankind, none can withhold it, and whatever He may withhold, none can grant it thereafter. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.”
If Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) opens the rain for the people, who then can withhold it from them, even if the rain causes them to drown or die (like what happened to the people of Noah (‘Alayhissallaam), when the water reached to the top of the mountains and they couldn’t repel it from themselves).
And if the rain and the plants are withheld from people for years, they wouldn’t be able to open what Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) has kept close.
وَإِن يَمْسَسْكَ اللّهُ بِضُرٍّ فَلاَ كَاشِفَ لَهُ إِلاَّ هُوَ وَإِن يُرِدْكَ بِخَيْرٍ فَلاَ رَآدَّ لِفَضْلِهِ
“And if Allah touches you with hurt, there is no one who can remove it but He; and if He intends any good for you, there is no one who can repel His favor which He causes it to reach whomsoever of His slaves He will.” [Yunus 10: 107]
7- Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) may open and grant the people many kinds of blessings and favors as a means of Istidraj [i.e. Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) gradually leads the people to punishment (or to destruction) from directions they perceive not]. Allah will test them with favors in spite of their disobedience, which increase them in arrogance and sin.
If the people abandon what Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) ordered them with and commit what Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) forbade them from, then Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) will open the gates of blessings and good in order to lead them to destruction, as He (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) said in Surat al-An’aam (6:44):
فَلَمَّا نَسُواْ مَا ذُكِّرُواْ بِهِ فَتَحْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ أَبْوَابَ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ حَتَّى إِذَا فَرِحُواْ بِمَا أُوتُواْ أَخَذْنَاهُم بَغْتَةً فَإِذَا هُم مُّبْلِسُونَ
“So, when they forgot (the warning) with which they had been reminded, We opened to them the gates of every (pleasant) thing. Until in the midst of their enjoyment in that which they were given, all of a sudden, We took them to punishment, and lo! They were plunged into destruction with deep regrets and sorrows.”
8- Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) is the One Who grants knowledge, wisdom and comprehension (understanding) of the religion to whomever He wills from among His slaves and that is according to their piety, sincerity, and truthfulness.
Therefore, one can notice the deep and broad knowledge of the Salaf (the righteous predecessors) compared to those who came after them.
Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) said in Surat al-Baqarah (2:282):
وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ اللّهُ
“And fear Allah; and Allah teaches you.”
Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) said in Surat az-Zumar (39:22):
أَفَمَن شَرَحَ اللَّهُ صَدْرَهُ لِلْإِسْلَامِ فَهُوَ عَلَى نُورٍ مِّن رَّبِّهِ فَوَيْلٌ لِّلْقَاسِيَةِ قُلُوبُهُم مِّن ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ أُوْلَئِكَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُبِينٍ
“Is he whose breast Allah has opened to Islam, so that he is in light from His Lord (as he who is non-Muslim)? So, woe to those whose hearts are hardened against remembrance of Allah! They are in plain error.”
Al-Qurtubi (Rahimahullaah) said: “This opening (of the hearts) has no limit; every believer has taken his share of it. The Prophets have taken the greatest portion of it, then the ones who follow them from the Awliyaa’, the allies of Allah [those who believe in the Oneness of Allah and fear Allah much (abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which He has forbidden), and love Allah much (perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained)], and then the believers. Only the disbelievers are deprived of this blessing.
9- Allah’s Messenger (salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said to his companions: “If anyone of you enters the mosque, let him send the blessings and mercy of Allah upon the Prophet (salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and then say:
اللَّهُمَّ افْتَحْ لِي أَبْوابَ رَحْمَتِكَ
“Allaahummaf-tah lee Abwaaba Rahmatic.”
“O Allah! Open for me the gates of Your Mercy.”
And when he comes out from the mosque let him say:
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ مِن فَضْلِكَ
“Allaahumma Innii As-Aluka min Fadlika”
“O Allah! I ask You of Your Grace.” [Ahmed, An-Nisaai’]
Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) is Al-Fattaah, Who will judge between His slaves through His laws of the Shar’iah, His laws of Decree and His laws of Recompense. He is the One Who opens the eyes of those who are truthful and sincere by His Kindness. He is the One Who opens their hearts so that they can know Him, love Him and repent to Him. He opens the gates of mercy and sustenance for His slaves and provides them the means of attaining both the good in this life and the Hereafter. He is the One Who opens the hearts of His faithful believers to knowledge, wisdom, and guidance.
- Al-Witr (the One, the Single)
- Al-Wadood (The Most Loving)
- Al-Barr (The Most Subtle, Kind, Courteous, and Generous)
- Al-Hayiyy (The Modest)