The study and explanation of Sūrah Al-Fātihah and verses 1-143 of Sūrah Al-Baqara make up Volume I of A Ray of the Qur’ān. Sayyed Mahmoud Taleghani follows the traditional ordinal presentation of these two chapters of the Qur’ān. Appropriately, he begins his commentary with the first Sūrah: "The Opening.” He considers this Sūrah to be an invitation to people to recognize their creator and sustainer by knowing Allah’s attribute of mercy and as the giver of guidance to the straight path. Likewise, Taleghani invites people through another name given to this Sūrah, Al Hamd/The Praise, to praise their Lord exclusively.
Taleghani’s approach to the Qur’ān is holistic. This is evident in his reading of the initial five verses of Sūrah Al-Baqara as containing the foundational, pivotal notions that inform the grand ideas and the details of not only the rest of the Sūrah, but indeed the entire Qur’ān. The word taqwā, used in Sūrah Al-Baqara and throughout the Qur’ān, is sometimes translated as piety or fear of God but the full breadth of the term, as Taleghani shows, is better expressed in the phrase "to safeguard oneself with full awareness of divine laws." Those who show taqwā are made aware of the prophetic mission, and are assured of the hereafter if they accept and follow it in their thoughts and deeds. Thus, the reader is introduced in Sūrah Al-Baqara to Taleghani’s vision of the Qur’ān, whereby, a ray from this book is said to touch the minds and hearts of those with taqwa and to launch them on their search for the truth. This is one way Taleghani distinguishes the Holy Qur’ān from other books.