The Sura Fatiha and the Word Hamd
We will now revisit the word Hamd. As was mentioned before, Hamd is repeated 290 times. Hamd or gratitude has four different levels of meaning, in addition to the cumulative appreciation of all creation. Since every creature serves its own purpose and has its own way of expressing itself, every creature has a unique manner by which it expresses its gratitude, and this is the reason why there are five levels or stages of gratitude or Hamd.
The first level of Hamd means gratitude, and this level is usually the initial state of Seriat. In this level, individuals express gratitude for the good fortune and health they receive from Allah c.c. Most human beings live and die in this stage or mertebe. Inadvertently, they express their gratitude expecting something advantageous in return, and when their expectations are not met, the majority cease expressing their gratitude altogether.
In the second level, Hamd means praise, and this is also the definition of Hamd as it is found in a dictionary. During this stage individuals praise Allah c.c. due to the love they feel for Him without expecting anything in return. In this stage everyone’s praise for Allah c.c. is unique due to that fact that everyone is in a different state or level (mertebe) in becoming Insani Kamil; this level is known as Tarikat
In the third level the following is stated: “La uhsi senaen aleyke ente kema esneyte ala nefsik” that means “Oh dear Allah we cannot possibly praise you nearly as much as you deserve, and this is why we can only try to praise you as much as you want us to.” In regard to this level, Muhammad Mustafa (sav) said that it opened an extra door for humanity.
In the fourth level, Hamd connotes its true meaning; “Subhanellahi ve bihamdihi” means “We can only praise you as much as you allow us to praise You.”
At this point, we must explain these formations in depth because we can only continue to improve in the journey to Insani Kamil by nourishing our mind and intelligence.
“Elhamdulillahi rabbil alemiyn” (Fatiha, 1-2): “Praise be to Allah the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds.”
The praise from human beings during the first and second levels is also found in the fourth level, and they become Hakk’s own praise for Hakk. In other words, genuine praise for Allah can only be performed by Allah; this is the truth. This praise is only understood by Insani Kamil (the one who reaches the level or mertebe of Hakikat, which means Truth.)
Regardless of the intensity with which we attempt to praise Allah c.c. in Seriat, it is genuine when we fully and adequately understand and know the Creator.
Since it is not possible to understand the Creator in Seriat, genuine praise cannot be performed; nevertheless, Allah c.c. accepts the praise and gratitude which flows from us.
Earlier we emphasized that Allah is the only one who can perform genuine praise for Allah c.c. In Hakikat, Allah u teala c.c. begins to praise Insani Kamil for having completely surrendered to Allah c.c.
“Ve kerramna beni ademe” (Isra / 17-70) means “We honored the sons of Adam (as) (humanity).”
“Innellahe ve melaiketehu yusalline alennebiy” (Ahzab / 33- 56) means “Allah c.c and Allah’s angels transmit their salutes (Selams) to the prophets.”
Vema erselnake illa rahmetenlil alemiyn” (Enbiye/ 21- 107) means “We sent you, Muhammad, to show mercy to the Universe.”
In the praises mentioned above, Allah c.c. praises Insani Kamil. This level (Hakikat) requires an immense amount of wisdom and understanding. When we embark on the journey to become aware of the self, we first realize our nothingness, and then we realize our true being. After this level or mertebe, Rabb (Allah c.c.) begins to respond to Insani Kamil’s praise. Allah c.c. grants Insani Kamil the following status: “I created all the universes for you, and I created you for myself, my dear creature.” It would be amazing if humanity could actually know their true destination! InshaAllah, Allah u teala c.c. grants this to everyone who wishes to reach the Hakikat level or mertebe. The ultimate level of Insani Kamil is very hard to reach, but even more difficult is trying to maintain and live through.
In the fifth level, however, the praise is even more profound. “Asa en yeb’aseke Rabbuke makamen mahmuda” (Isra / 17-79) means “We wish that Rabb (Allah) also grants you The MAKAMI MAHMUD, or in other words, “HAKIKAT-I MUHAMMEDI”, is the ultimate level/position, which is praised by all creations from all the different levels, positions that exist. (This is the place of Hz. Muhammad Mustafa (sav) that is the highest place in heaven.).
The sixth level or mertebe is the state in which all of creation praises Allah c.c., albeit differently and in their own words depending on their specific level of knowledge. “Elhamdulillahi Rabbil alemiyn” (Fatiha 1-2) means “Praise be to Allah the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds.” This phrase requires immense awareness.
In the seventh level, the praise is Elhamdulillah in the phrase “Efdalu zikir la ilahe illallah, efdaluddu’a elhamdulillah.” Half of the phrase is from the Uluhiyet ¾[greatness or mightiness] level or mertebe (this mertebe belongs to Allah c.c.), and the other half is from the Abdiyet level or mertebe (this mertebe also belongs to Allah c.c.). We repeat this phrase every time we repeat the sura Fatiha. Taking into consideration the source of this phrase, we must repeat it very carefully and dedicate to it all the credit it deserves.
The eighth level or mertebe of praise involves taking refuge under the mantle of praise or the Hamd in the Heavens.
Thus far, we have attempted to explain the meaning of the words repeated during daily Salat. May Allah c.c. InshAllah grant us ample intelligence to understand. We will now turn our attention to the gestures and physical movements performed during Salat. To understand this part, we also need ample intelligence. The intention and effort originates in us, but the assistance and permission to do so comes from Allah c.c.
The Sura Fatiha and the Word Hamd