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Importance Of Surah Al-Fatiha

Surah al-Fatiha is Leading Du’a in the Qur’an

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Bismillahi al-Rahmani al-Rahim
I begin in the name of Allah the All-Merciful The Compassionate (1:1).

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Alhamdulillahi Rabbi al-’Alamin
All the Praise and all the Glory belongs to Allah The Rabb of the Universe (1:2).

الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Al-Rahmani al-Rahim
The All-Merciful, The-Compassionate (1:3).

مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ

Maliki Yawmi al-Din
Master of the Day of Judgement (1:4).

إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ

Iyyaka na’abudu wa iyyaka nasta’in
Only You do we Worship and only Your help do we seek (1:5).

اهدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ

Ihdina as-Sirata al-Mustaqim
Show us the Right Path (1:6),

صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّالِّينَ

Sirata al-ladhina an’amta ‘alayhim, Ghayri al-Maghdhubi ‘alayhim, Wa la al-Dhalleen
The Path of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, Not of those on whom is Your Wrath and Not of those who go astray. (1:7).

It should be noted that Sura al-Fatiha is a leading Du’a in the Qur’an. Its importance is so great that in one hadith al-Qudsi Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, informed Rasul Allah (S) that He has divided this Sura into two halves.1Whereas the first half belongs to Allah Himself, He has apportioned the second half for the one who supplicates reciting this Sura. Thus when the supplicant says:

اهدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ

Ihdina as-Sirata al-Mustaqim
Show us the Right Path

صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ

Sirata al-ladhina an’amta ‘alayhim,
The Path of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace,

غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّالِّينَ

Ghayri al-Maghdhubi ‘alayhim, Wa la al-Dhalleen
Not of those on whom is Your Wrath and Not of those who go astray.

Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, grants this by saying:

Hadha li ‘abdii wa li ‘abdii ma sa’ala
(this belongs to My slave and My slave shall have whatever he/she has asked).

The importance of this Sura is also seen in the fact that the Salat of a Muslim is not complete unless one recites this Sura. Its importance also lies in that the Qur’an calls this Sura al-Sab’am min al-mathani, the seven often repeated verses. This is because when Allah revealed in the Qur’an an Ayat:

وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَاكَ سَبْعًا مِنَ الْمَثَانِي وَالْقُرْآنَ الْعَظِيمَ

“And We have given you the seven oft-repeated verses and the Grand Qur’an.” (15:87).

Someone asked Rasul Allah (S) what were the sab’am min al-mathani. Rasul Allah (S) explained the seven oft-repeated verses was this Sura.

Note that this Sura has no more than seven verses.

It should be noted that this Sura is the most widely read in the whole world. It is interesting to note that there is not a single moment that passes in the day or night one somewhere is not reciting this Sura, whether in prayers or in gatherings. One day I received a letter from a lady who had heard me mention this fact. In the letter she confirmed that in one of the journal she had read there was a question:

Which is the most widely read book in the world?

The computor-based encyclopaedic reply was:

The most widely read words in the world are from the Muslim scriptures, the Qur’an: the first chapter known as al-Fatiha.

  • 1. This hadith al-Qudsi has been narrated by Imam ‘Ali (‘a) and can be found fully quoted in Allama Tabatabai’s Tafsir al-Mizan. See Vol.1, pp. 77-78.