Qur'an opening: In the name of Allah, the Beneficent (al-Rahman), the Merciful (al-Rahim).

Muslim interpretation: The Prophet is reported to have said: "Al-Rahman is the Beneficent God Whose love and mercy are manifested in the creation of the world, and al-Rahim is the Merciful God Whose love and mercy are manifested in the state that comes after" or the consequences of the deeds of man.

Analysis: The love and mercy of the Muslim god is dependent upon human action after creation.


Qur'an 1:1: Praise be to Allah, the Lord (Rabb) of the worlds,

Muslim interpretation: Hence Rabb is the Author of all existence, Who has not only given to the whole creation its means of nourishment but has also beforehand ordained for each a sphere of capacity and within that sphere provided the means by which it continues to attain gradually to its goal of perfection. By the use of the word Rabb the Holy Qur'an thus hints at the law of evolution which is working in the universe.

Analysis: The Muslim god created an imperfect world that is evolving. Evolution is a theory while the second law of thermodynamics demonstrates that the world is degenerating.


Qur'an 1:2-3: The Beneficent, the Merciful, Master (malik) of the day of Requital.

Muslim interpretation: The adoption of the word malik or master is to show that Allah is not guilty of injustice if He forgives his servants, because He is not a mere king or a mere judge, but more properly a Master. As there are ample indications in the Qur'an that the Divine law of requital is working every moment, and there is nothing to support the idea that it will not come into force before a particular day, the law of requital referred to in this verse is therefore a law which is constantly at work, the day of Judgment being the day of complete manifestation of it. Analysis: Only the Muslim god can forgive while humans must fulfil Muslim justice. Judgment upon non-Muslims will occur in their lifetimes with judgment being completed on Judgment day.


Qur'an 1:4: Thee do we serve and Thee do we beseech for help.

Muslim interpretation: The first three verses of this surah speak of the grandeur of God and the last three of the aspiration of man's soul to attain spiritual loftiness, while this, the middle verse, speaks of the relation of the spirit of man to the Divine Spirit. Here the way is pointed out through which man can attain to real greatness.

Analysis: The prayer of a Muslim is to become great through calling on their god.


Qur'an 1:5-6: Guide us on the right path, the path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed favours,

Muslim interpretation: The chief aim of his (Muslim) life thus being not only his own spiritual perfection but to try also, and lay down his very life, for the spiritual perfection of others.

Analysis: Muslims will pray for the endurance to strive and die for Islamic ideals.


Qur'an 1:7: not those upon whom wrath is brought down, nor those who go astray.

Muslim interpretation: The Holy Qur'an speaks of the Jews as incurring Divine displeasure (2:61, 90; 3:111; 5:60) and it speaks of the Christians as having gone astray (5:77), and the Prophet is reported to have said: "Those upon whom wrath is brought down are the Jews and those who went astray are the Christians".

Analysis: Muslims proclaim the damnation of Jews and Christians in prayer.