Dr. Allamah Nasir al-Din Nasir Hunzai is a highly acclaimed writer on Islam. He was born in 1917 in Hyderabad, a small village of Hunza. Beginning in early childhood he was inclined towards the esoteric meanings of faith. He was deeply inspired by the preachings and teachings of Pir Nasir Khusraw. He leads the austere life of a "sufi saint".
Allamah Sahib has interpreted the Qur'anic verses from a new perspective. His emphasis is on the inner meaning and wisdom of the Qur'an. He is the author of more than a hundred books on spirituality. He was the first writer to coin the terms 'spiritual science', 'monoreality' and 'thousand wisdoms'.
Allamah Nasir is also a Sufi poet of many languages. His books have been translated into English, French, Swedish, Persian, Turkish, and Gujarati.
The president of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan conferred upon Prof. Dr. Nasir al-Din Hunzai the award of Sitarah-i-Imtiyaz on 23 March, 2001 in recognition of his outstanding service in the fields of literature and scholarship. He was awarded an honorary PhD degree by Senior University in Canada where Allama Sahib has been associated for a long time as a visiting professor. He has been a pioneer in developing the first Burshaski German dictionary in association with Heidelberg University, Germany.
The following is an excerpt from his in-depth examination of al-Fatiha:
The Symbols and Secrets of Ummu'l-Kitab
"One of the names of the surah of Fatihah is Ummu'l-Kitab, which means the origin of the Book. This means that all the wisdoms of the wise Qur'an and the book of the universe are condensed in it. Or, in other words, the entire Qur'an is the Divine exegesis of the surah of Fatihah. Both these statements are correct, as God says: Wa-innahu fi ummi'l-kitabi ladayna la-aliyyun hakim (And it 'the holy Qur'an' is in the Ummu'l Kitab (surah of Fatihah) and that the Ummu'l Kitab (in luminous existence) is with Us, which is the wise Ali" (43:4). Thus it is an accepted fact for the wise people that, if the Qur'an on the one hand is condensed in the surah of Fatihah, on the other it is with the light of Mawlana Ali. For according to a Prophetic Tradition, the Fatihah is the external Ummu'l Kitab, whereas the light of Mawlana Ali is the internal Ummu'l Kitab.
The Fatihah being the origin of the Book means that it is the gist of the entire Qur'an. That is, what is elaborated in the Qur'an is condensed in it. In other words, the Fatihah is the condensed Book, whereas the Qur'an is the elaborated Book. Thus, the Fatihah is a comprehensive and all-embracing example of Divine guidance and the entire Qur'an is a compendium of the subsidiary examples of this guidance. Further, in a wisdom-filled way, the Fatihah is a list of necessary realities by carefully examining which every fortunate wise person can understand what God wills to teach His servants in His cherished Book. This means that one of the beauties of the Fatihah is that it is a complete list of Qur'anic subjects as shown in the following:
1. Marifat (Divine Recognition)
2. Al-Hamd (praise and extollation of God)
3. Uluhiyyat (Divinity)
4. Rububiyyat (Divine Providence)
5. Alamin (worlds)
6. Physical mercy
7. Spiritual mercy
8. Kingdom of God
10. Religion and Resurrection
11. Ikhlas (sincerity)
12. Ibadat (worship)
13. Isti'anat (seeking help)
14. What should we pray for first?
15. Hidayat (guidance)
16. Sirat-i mustaqim (straight path)
17. Different paths
18. God's greatest favour
19 The people who God has favoured
20. What is Divine ghadab (anger)?
In addition to these, there are other subjects, which are alluded to in the Fatihah. For instance, why does the dot come before alif, i.e. why did the Qur'an begin with the dot of Bismi'llah, whereas al-hamd begins with alif? Why is the first word of the wise Qur'an "bism"? What is the wisdom hidden in the composition of the Qur'anic letters ba' and sin, making "bis"? What do the nineteen letters of the "Bismillah" allude to? What do the seven verses of the Fatihah signify? What is the allusion of the quinqueliteral (five lettered) word al-Hamd = alif, lam, ha, mim, and dal in the beginning of Fatihah? However, as these realities are hidden in the depths of wisdom, there is no immediate necessity for ordinary people to search for or enquire about them, nor can this short book contain more elaboration than what has been said. Therefore, God willing, we will confine ourselves to explaining the above-mentioned subjects to a certain extent only."