Tafsīr Sūrah al-Fātiḥah: The Misguided and Those who Have Earned Allāh’s Anger

Al-ʿAllāmah Muḥammad al-Amīn al-Shanqītī

A brief explanation regarding who is meant by the “astray” and “those who earn [Allāh’s] anger in Sūrah al-Fātiḥah.
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اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ ‎‏صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ 

‘Guide us to the straight path (of beneficial knowledge coupled with righteous action). The path of those (Prophets and their truthful, righteous followers) upon whom You have bestowed favour, not of those who earn Your anger (by not acting upon what they know) and nor of the astray (who act without knowledge).’
[Al-Fātiḥah, 1:6-7]

Shaykh Muḥammad Amīn al-Shanqīṭī [d.1393 AH] explained:

Concerning Allāh’s saying:

غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ

‘Not of those who earn Your anger (by not acting upon what they know) and nor of the astray (who act without knowledge),’

The scholars of tafsīr have unanimously stated that ‘those who earn Your anger’ are the Jews and ‘the astray’ are the Christians.

This has been related from the Prophet (ﷺ) from the ḥadīth of Idī ibn Ḥātim [may Allāh may be pleased with him]. The Jews and the Christians both are deserving of anger and the label of misguidance. However, the Jews have specifically earned this anger, which is shared with the Christians, due to their knowledge of the truth coupled with their rejection of it. Thus, they intentionally engage in falsehood and so anger is their most fitting descriptor. As for the Christians, they are ignorant and possess no knowledge of the truth so misguidance is their most fitting descriptor.

Elaborating on this, it has been made clear that those who have earned anger are the Jews, as the Most High says concerning them:

فَبَاءُوا بِغَضَبٍ عَلَىٰ غَضَبٍ ۚ ‏

‘So they returned having [earned] wrath upon wrath’
[Al-Baqarah, 2:90]

and His saying regarding them:

قُلْ هَلْ أُنَبِّئُكُم بِشَرٍّ مِّن ذَٰلِكَ مَثُوبَةً عِندَ اللَّهِ ۚ مَن لَّعَنَهُ اللَّهُ وَغَضِبَ عَلَيْهِ

‘Say, “Shall I inform you of [what is] worse than that as penalty from Allāh? [It is that of] those whom Allāh has cursed and with whom He became angry’
[Al-Māʾidah, 5:60]

additionally His saying:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا الْعِجْلَ سَيَنَالُهُمْ غَضَبٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ

‘Indeed, those who took the calf [for worship] will obtain anger from their Lord’
[Al-Aʿrāf, 7:152]

Likewise, it has been made clear that the Christians are misguided in the saying of the Most High:

وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا أَهْوَاءَ قَوْمٍ قَدْ ضَلُّوا مِن قَبْلُ وَأَضَلُّوا كَثِيرًا وَضَلُّوا عَن سَوَاءِ السَّبِيلِ

‘And do not follow the inclinations of a people who had gone astray before and misled many and have strayed from the soundness of the way.”’
[Al-Māʾidah, 5:77]

 
Source: Aḍwāʾ al-Bayān: 53
Translated by: Riyāḍ al-Kanadī

Published: January 11, 2023
Edited: January 11, 2023

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