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The Importance Of Surah Al-Fatihah

The Importance Of Surah Al-Fatihah

Surah Al-Fatihah is the most well-known and memorized surah of the Quran. It is usually the very first one that children and converts learn, as it holds such a pivotal importance in the Islamic prayer, or Salah. With our obligatory prayers alone, we recite this surah 17 times a day! Surah Al-Fatihah is also among the shortest suwar (plural of surah) of the Quran, with only seven ayaat (or verses), yet it contains so many important messages and virtues!

Keep reading to learn more about Surah Al-Fatihah!


Meaning Of “Al-Fatihah”

Al-Fatihah (in Arabic: الفاتحة‎) is the Quran’s first surah (chapter). It is a supplication for wisdom and mercy composed of seven ayaat (verses) and one hundred and thirteen letters.

But, why is this surah given the name Al-Fatihah? The literal translation of “Al-Fatihah” is “The Opening” or “The Opener,” which fits the surah perfectly as it “opens” the Quran, i.e. the Quran starts with this surah.

According to Ibn Abbas رضي الله عنه and others, the most commonly accepted theory of the surah’s roots is that it is a Meccan surah, although some believe it is either a Medinah surah or was delivered in both Mecca and Medina.

Most narratives agree that Al-Fatiha was the first full surah revealed to Prophet Muhammad. Because some historians claim that this chapter contains a summary of the whole Quran, it seems to be an accurate table of elements of the Quranic message.

When the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ told a sahabi (companion) that he would teach him the most significant portion of the Quran, he ﷺ read Surah Al-Fatihah.


A Conversation With Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه from the Prophet ﷺ, who said: A prayer performed by someone who has not recited the Essence of the Quran (1) during it is deficient (and he repeated the word three times), incomplete. Someone said to Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه: [Even though] we are behind the imam? (2) He said: Recite it to yourself, for I have heard the Prophet say: Allah رضي الله عنه had said: I have divided prayer between Myself and My servant into two halves, and My servant shall have what he has asked for. When the servant says: Al-hamdu lillahi rabbi l-alamin (3), Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى says: My servant has praised Me. And when he says: Ar-rahmani r-rahim (4), Allah (mighty and sublime be He) says: My servant has extolled Me, and when he says: Maliki yawmi d-din (5), Allah says: My servant has glorified Me – and on one occasion He said: My servant has submitted to My power. And when he says: Iyyaka na budu wa iyyaka nasta in (6), He says: This is between Me and My servant, and My servant shall have what he has asked for. And when he says: Ihdina s-sirata l- mustaqim, siratal ladhina an amta alayhim ghayril-maghdubi alayhim wa la d-dallin (7), He says: This is for My servant, and My servant shall have what he has asked for. (1) Surat al-Fatihah, the first surah (chapter) of the Qur’an. (2) i.e. standing behind the imam (leader) listening to him reciting al-Fatihah. (3) “Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.” (4) “The Merciful, the Compassionate.” (5) “Master of the Day of Judgement”. (6) “It is You we worship and it is You we ask for help”. (7) “Guide us to the straight path, the path of those upon whom You have bestowed favors, not of those against whom You are angry, nor of those who are astray.” It was related by Muslim (also by Malik, at-Tirmidhi, Abu-Dawud, an-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah). (Reference : Hadith 8, 40 Hadith Qudsi)


Tafseer Of Surah Al-Fatihah

The chapter begins by thanking Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى with the phrase ‘Alhamdulillah‘ and announcing that it is Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى who has complete control over all life forms, that He سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى is Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim, or the Most Gracious and Merciful, and that He سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى is and will be the real owner of everyone and everything until the Day of Judgement.

Surah Al Fatihah has been divided into two parts, one for Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى and one for His servant (the one reciting), with the first three verses symbolizing Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى and the latter three verses representing the slaves.

The slaves start the next three verses by stating that they worship and seek only Allah’s سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى help, supplicating that He سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى guide them to the Siraat al-Mustaqeem, the Straight Path.


Surah Al-Fatihah in Arabic:

بسمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ

إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ

اهدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ

صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّالِّينَ



  1. Bismillahi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīm(i)
  2. Alḥamdulillahi rabbi l-ʿālamīn(a)
  3. Ar-raḥmāni r-raḥīm(i)
  4. Māliki yawmi d-dīn(i)
  5. Iyyāka naʿbudu wa iyyāka nastaʿīn(u)
  6. Ihdinā ṣ-ṣirāṭa l-mustaqīm(a)
  7. Ṣirāṭa l-laḏhīna anʿamta ʿalayhim ġayri l-maġḍūbi ʿalayhim wa lā ḍ-ḍāllīn(a)


Translation in English:

  1. In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
  2. [All] praise is [due] to Allah, Lord of the worlds
  3. The Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful,
  4. Master of the Day of Judgement.
  5. It is You we worship and You who we ask for help.
  6. Guide us to the straight path
  7. The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray.


Learn about the importance and benefits of Surah Al-Fatihah below!

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The Importance and Benefits of Surah Al-Fatihah

According to Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه, Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said:

Al-Hamdu lillahi Rabbil-Alamin is the Mother of the Quran, the Mother of the Book, and the seven repeated Ayat of the Glorious Quran.” (At-Tirmidhi)

It has numerous benefits that should not be overlooked. Here are just a few:

1. It is a cure for diseases

When a sahabi (companion of the Prophet) recited Al-Fatihah in response to a scorpion bite, the Prophet ﷺ answered by saying: “How did you know it was a ruqyah (cure)?” (Sahih Al Bukhari)

According to certain further narrations, reading this Surah 70 times on any part of the body in pain will cause the pain to vanish.

2. It prevents misguidance

This surah contains a supplication for protection against deception and Allah’s سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى vengeance. As a result, the heart is shielded against contaminated information and malicious intent. The text also includes the hidden cure for both of these illnesses: “You (O Allah) we worship and from You do we seek help”.

3. It completes our salah

In both obligatory and voluntary salah, al-Fatihah is recited. Following the initial takbeer (i.e. saying “Allahu Akbar”) in prayer, the first action you do in salah is to recite Surah al-Fatihah, followed by another surah. But only Al-Fatiha is said in all units of a 3- or 4-rakaat prayers, even though in the 3rd an 4th, not other surah is being recited.

According to Ubadah bin As-Samit رضي الله عنه, the Prophet of Allah ﷺ said: “There is no prayer for whoever does not recite the Opening of the Book.”

4. It is equivalent to ⅔ of the entire Quran

According to Majma Ul Bayan’s interpretation, the Holy Prophet ﷺ declared that whoever recites Surah Al-Fatihah would earn the reward for reciting two-thirds of the whole Quran, as well as the reward equivalent to providing charity to all faithful men and women all over the globe.


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Related Questions

What Is The Meaning Of “Alhamdulillah“?

Alhamdulillah is an Arabic word that is frequently translated as “All praise is to Allah (or God).” This phrase is known as Tahmid or Hamdalah, both of which indicate “praise.” Al-Hamid, which means “The Praiseworthy,” is one of Allah’s سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى names and attributes.

In his tafsir, Ibn Kathir (may Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى have mercy on him) says: Abu Ja`far bin Jarir said, “The meaning of (Al-Hamdu Lillah), “All praise and thanks be to Allah” is: All thanks are due purely to Allah, alone, not any of the objects that are being worshipped instead of Him, nor any of His creation. These thanks are due to Allah’s innumerable favors and bounties, that only He knows the amount of. Allah’s bounties include creating the tools that help the creation worship Him, the physical bodies with which they are able to implement His commands, the sustenance that He provides them in this life, and the comfortable life He has granted them, without anything or anyone compelling Him to do so. Allah also warned His creation and alerted them about the means and methods with which they can earn eternal dwelling in the residence of everlasting happiness. All thanks and praise are due to Allah for these favors from beginning to end.”


Which surah Is Known as Asaas Al Quran?

Surah Al-Fatihah is known as Asaas Al Quran. The reason for this is that it is regarded as a summation of the whole Quran. The Holy Quran begins with it, and no salah (prayer) is recognized before Al-Fatihah is read after another surah from the Holy Quran.


What Are the Other Names of Surah Fatiha?

Other names for Surah Al-Fatihah include Umm Al-Kitab (the Mother of the Book), Al-Hamd (the Praise), Umm Al-Quran (the Mother of the Quran), and Saba al Mathani (seven repeated [verses], an appellation derived from Surah al-Hijr.

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