One of the most important and yet illusory elements of human life is time. It begins for us when we are born and when time as we know it ends, this is signified by our death. So our concept of time is completely tied up, for us, with birth and death. But for Allah, who is neither born nor dies, time cannot be as we know it. For Allah, time has no boundaries. Many thinkers have thought of this as a circle.
The Qur’an is usually interpreted and studied based directly on the meanings of the ayat, just as one interprets any other book. Style, appearance, frequency of occurrence of specific phrases and words, the appearance of individual letters at the beginning of some Suras (“Quranic Initials”), and even the more symbolic meaning of certain narratives, such as the lives of prophets, and “graphic” elements such as the physical appearance of letters or size of Suras, are rarely studied with an eye to discover their importance or meaning in the Qur’an.
After looking at Al-Fatiha, the first Sura of the Qur’an, it’s time to go back to the overall structure, to see if we can find meaning and purpose in it.