Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
Surat al Fatiha is the most often repeated surah in the Quran. We recite it in every rakah of every prayer. In fact, we recite it so much that it becomes automatic to recite it, and we don’t even realize what we’re reciting. Therefore it is important to study and keep studying this surah so as the message can sink in everytime we recite it in salah, and so that it doesn’t get boring.
Let us look at some of the excellences and benefits of this amazing surah, so that we are reminded of its greatness.
- It is called Umm al Kitab:
The Prophet (saws) said,
The Um (substance) of the Qur’an is the seven oft-repeated verses (Al- Mathaini) and is the Great Qur’an (i.e. Surat-al-Fatiha). [Sahih Al Bukhari]
- It is one of two lights that were given to the Prophet as mentioned in the following hadith:
While Jibril (Gabriel) was with the Messenger of Allah, he heard a noise from above. Jibril lifted his sight to the sky and said, `This is a door in heaven being open, and it has never been opened before now.’ An angel descended from that door and came to the Prophet and said, `Receive the glad tidings of two lights that you have been given, which no other Prophet before you was given: the Opening of the Book and the last (three) Ayat of Surat Al-Baqarah. You will not read a letter of them, but will gain its benefit. [An Nasai]
- It is a conversation with Allah
Allah, the Exalted, said, `I have divided the prayer into two halves between Myself and My servant, and My servant shall have what he asks for.’ If he says,
﴾الْحَمْدُ للَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ﴿
All praise and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of existence.
Allah says, `My servant has praised Me.’ When the servant says,
﴿الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ ﴾
The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Allah says, `My servant has glorified Me.’ When he says,
﴿مَـلِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ ﴾
The Owner of the Day of Recompense.
Allah says, `My servant has glorified Me,’ or `My servant has related all matters to Me.’ When he says,
﴿إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ ﴾
You (alone) we worship, and You (alone) we ask for help.
Allah says, `This is between Me and My servant, and My servant shall acquire what he sought.’ When he says,
﴿اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ – صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّآلِّينَ ﴾
Guide us to the straight path. The way of those on whom You have granted Your grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your anger, nor of those who went astray, Allah says, `This is for My servant, and My servant shall acquire what he asked for.’ [An Nasai, as recorded in Tafsir ibn Kathir]
- It is necessary to recite surat al Fatihah in salah
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, Whoever does not recite Al-Fatiha in his prayer, his prayer is invalid. [Sahih al Bukhari]
Also, One is not credited with having observed the prayer without the recitation (of al-Fatiha). [Sahih Muslim]
- It is a shifa
Narrated Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri:
While we were on one of our journeys, we dismounted at a place where a slave girl came and said, “The chief of this tribe has been stung by a scorpion and our men are not present; is there anybody among you who can treat him (by reciting something)?” Then one of our men went along with her though we did not think that he knew any such treatment. But he treated the chief by reciting something, and the sick man recovered whereupon he gave him thirty sheep and gave us milk to drink (as a reward). When he returned, we asked our friend, “Did you know how to treat with the recitation of something?” He said, “No, but I treated him only with the recitation of the Mother of the Book (i.e., Al-Fatiha).” We said, “Do not say anything (about it) till we reach or ask the Prophet (ﷺ) so when we reached Medina, we mentioned that to the Prophet (ﷺ) (in order to know whether the sheep which we had taken were lawful to take or not). The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “How did he come to know that it (Al-Fatiha) could be used for treatment? Distribute your reward and assign for me one share thereof as well.” [Sahih Al Bukhari]
In order to really taste the sweetness of prayer, we should at least try to learn something about what it is that we are reciting, and find out how it relates to us personally. The best way to do that is to learn Arabic, and here at Understand Quran you will be taught 50% of Quran in just 9 hours.