I really don’t know why some people make a big deal about issues that are only relevant to less than 3% of the ummah1. Let’s just stick to The Opening. Seriously. People know more about ta***s**, isti***h*, and ist***n*2 than they know the tafsir of Surah-tul-Fatiha (The Opening Chapter) while some probably don’t even know the meaning of al-Fatiha. Seriously. If we were to do a survey in our own immediate family including all our cousins, aunts, uncles, children, etc. and ask them what is the meaning of al-Fatiha, how many of them would answer it correctly?
Seriously, we need to stick (go back) to the basics, and I mean the literal basic meaning of Surah al-Fatiha. Throw in Surah al-Ikhlas and we’ve covered (almost) everything a Muslim needs to know about their creed. Why make it complicated for everyone? Unless you want to become a student of knowledge and eventually a scholar, then yes, go study aqidah in depth and read the books on it. But if you’re like me who’s main job is a web developer then I don’t need to know whether or not if I can ask a dead person to make dua for me. I just need to pray my fardh and make dua to Allah. That’s it! Nothing else.
Why worry about these issues when only fitna is result of it? Some of us talk about these complicated fiqh/aqidah issues while neglecting the important issues. There are already many books, articles and refutations written on all these issues. No point in adding to it.
Before anyone claims that MR is attacking one side here, I’m not attacking anyone. I’m not concerned with those who practice it or those who are against it. You are welcome to do what you want to do, but I just want you guys to keep it simple for the general Muslim ummah and don’t involve all the creedal differences and fiqh issues related to this.
So the next time someone asks you “what do you think of ta***s**, isti***h*, and ist***n*?” or “do you believe in ta***s**, isti***h*, and ist***n*?” just tell them, “Surah al-Fatiha is all I need”. Don’t forward a fatwa and don’t share your opinion. If you’re studying in your aqidah/fiqh class, then obviously this isn’t related to you, but if your’e not a student of knowledge3 4 then keep it simple.
So in conclusion learn about Surah al-Fatiha and it’s meaning!
2 I purposely put stars in the Arabic transliteration for the terms so those who don’t know will stay that way. You don’t need them to get to jannah, inshaAllah. I know the terms are part of the deen but many Muslims who have no knowledge of them already practice the agreed upon by everyone form of it, so no need to confuse them with more terms of basic ibadaat.
3 I do not consider myself a student of knowledge and it does not mean I am one even if I attended many classes with various teachers and shuyukh.
4 There are many who claim to be students of knowledge, but aren’t really ones. If your full time job is not seeking ilm, then I don’t consider you a student of knowledge. That’s just my opinion. Allah knows best.