Allah calls Himself Al-Fattaah— The Opener, The Revealer— on one occasion in the Quran. He is the One who opens all doors of blessing for His slaves. Al-Fattaah judges what shall be opened from opening hearts, clarifying visions and opening doors to sustenance to conquering cities and revealing knowledge!
The Judge of All That is Opened, The Granter of Success
Fattaah comes from the root faa-taa-haa, which points to four main meanings. The first main meaning is to open, unlock, or reveal and make clear. The second main meaning is to make victorious, and the third is to judge or decide. The fourth main meaning is to permit or grant.
This root appears 38 times in the Quran in eight derived forms. Examples of these forms are fatahnaa (“We opened”), al-fathu (“the victory”), and mafaatihu (“[are the] keys”).
Linguistically, fattaah has the structure of intensification; al-faatih is someone who opens. Al-Fattaah is the ultimate judge who decides to open gates that no one else can open, in both literal and symbolical, physical and spiritual ways, and He is the source of victory and success.
Al-Fattaah Himself says: Say, Our Lord will bring us together; then He will judge between us in truth. And He is the Knowing Judge. [Quran, 34:26]
The different gates in life
How does Allah ‘azza wa jall open? It is Al-Fattaah who opens the Gates of Paradise; it is by the help of al-Fattaah cities are “opened” (conquered) to Islam, it is Al-Fattaah who opens doors to solutions to your life’s difficulties, and it is Al-Fattaah only who opens the door to recovery when you are ill. If Al-Fattaah so wills, He opens to you the gate of provision and sustenance, the gate of work, the gate of marriage, and the gate of tranquillity and peace of mind. He opens to you the gate of success and He opens to you the gate of righteous deeds.
How Can You Live by This Name?
1. Trust in the judge.
Life is full of arguments. Some people accuse others and claim to be right. Who is the judge? Who knows the reality of people? It is Al-Fattaah. Make the Quran and the Sunnah the judge of your actions, always. People may speak badly about you and accuse you falsely, but if you are on the right side, do not be afraid, because Allah is Al-Fattaah is the just Judge. Also don’t judge others too quickly— Al-Fattaah can open anyone’s heart.
2. Realize Al-Fattaah can open all doors.
Al-Fattaah says: Whatsoever mercy Allah opens to mankind, none can withhold; and whatsoever He withholds, none can lose after Him. And He is the All Mighty, the All-Wise. [Quran 35:2] This ayah has a beautiful impact if you are a true believer; you realize that everything happening to you is under Al-Fattaah’s divine control. Close doors for His sake— by leaving a bad habit, wrong friends, or a place of sinning– even if it causes you physical hardship— and He will open a door for you to good. Never despair nor give up. Realize thatAl-Fattaah can always give you a way out. Know that all the relationships in your life are confined by your relationship with Allah al-Fattaah.
3. Be sincere.
The best opening of all is the opening of the heart. Al-Fattaah opens hearts which were locked, like the heart of Umar ibn al-Khattaab radiyallahu ‘anhu which was before filled with hatred of the Muslims. Some people say: I read the Quran, but I don’t understand a word of it! But after some time, they begin to understand. They begin to seek answers, memorize, interact, enjoy, and preach the words of Allah. Work hard and strive to be sincere so that Al-Fattaah opens to you the gate of knowledge, the gate of closeness to Him and the gate of contentment in this life.
4. Ask al-Fattaah.
Whenever a gate is closed in your face, remember Al-Fattaah and ask Him to open it for you. This goes under all circumstances, whether serious or insignificant; even if your phone, wallet, or anything else, valuable or not, is lost. If you open a new building, want to get married, or if you desire to do anything, ask Al-Fattaah, for help and success. Start anything permissible in His name, by saying bismillah. Also when you feel low, or you feel you lack understanding of the religion, ask Him to open your heart and the hearts of your loved ones. A supplication of pious people before us used to be: May Allah open to you gates of good.
5. Study Surah Al-Fatiha.
Learn to recite, memorize, and understand Surah Al-Fatiha, the opening surah of the Book of Al-Fattaah. Ibn Abbas radiyallahu ‘anhu said: While the Messenger of Allah was sitting with Jibril he heard a creaking sound above him. Jibril looked up and said, This is [the sound of] a gate that has been opened in heaven today and has never been previously opened. Then an Angel descended through it and came to the Prophet) and said, Rejoice in the good news of two lights that have been given to you such as no prophet before you has been given. [They are] Surah Al-Fatihah and the concluding [two] verses of Surah Al-Baqarah. You will never recite a word from them without being given the blessings they contain. [Muslim] Study the tafseer of this beautiful surah; when you recite it in prayer make sure you pause after each ayah and apply its lessons to your daily life.
6. Benefit others.
Open to others the gates of your own good work and become involved in projects beneficial to others. If you have a certain skill, develop it and help others with it so with the guidance of Al-Fattaah all can work together to open doors to all that is good for the community.
O Allah, Al-Fattaah, we know that You open to us every closed gate according to Your wisdom. Open our hearts, open for us the doors to all that is good in this life, help us to trust on You as our judge, inspire us to ask You only to open any door for us— physical, spiritual, big, or small— and to open for us the door of Your mercy and open for us the gates to Your Paradise, ameen!
And Allah knows best.