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Sura 1 of the Quran
The Opening
Other namesThe Key, The Opener
PositionJuzʼ 1
No. of verses7
No. of words29
No. of letters143
A 14th- or 15th-century manuscript of the chapter
Opening of a Splendour Coran

Al-Fatihah (Arabic: ٱلْفَاتِحَة‎, al-Fātiḥah, "The Opening" or "The Opener")[1] is the first chapter (Surah) of the Quran. It is called Umm al-Kitab the 'Mother of the Book', and also believed by some to be a synthesis of the Quran.[2]

It is an obligatory part of the Salah (Islamic prayer),[3] recited at least 17 times during the five daily prayers. Its seven Ayahs (verses) are a prayer for the guidance, lordship, and mercy of God.[4] Some Muslims interpret it as a reference to an implied ability of the surah to open a person to faith in God.[2]


1. بِسْمِ ٱللَّٰهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
(bismi -llāhi r-Raḥmāni r-Raḥīm)

2. ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّٰهِ رَبِّ ٱلْعَالَمِينَ
(al-ḥamdu lillāhi rabbi l-ʿālamīn)

3. ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
(ar-Raḥmāni r-Raḥīm)

4. مَالِكِ يَوْمِ ٱلدِّينِ
(māliki yawmi d-dīn)

5. إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ
(ʾiyyāka naʿbudu wa ʾiyyāka nastaʿīn)

6. ٱهْدِنَا ٱلصِّرَاطَ ٱلْمُسْتَقِيمَ
(ʾihdinā ṣ-ṣirāṭa l-mustaqīm)

7. صِرَاطَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ ٱلْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا ٱلضَّالِّينَ
(ṣirāṭ al-lazīna ʾanʿamta ʿalayhim, ġayri l-maġḍūbi ʿalayhim wa-lā ḍ ḍāllīn)


(1) In the name of Allah, the most gracious, the most merciful.

(2) Praise be to Allah, the lord of the universe.

(3) The most gracious, the most merciful.

(4) Master of the Day of Judgement.

(5) You alone we worship, and [from] you alone we ask for help.

(6) Guide us [to] the straight path.

(7) The path of those on whom you have bestowed your grace, not of those who earned [your] wrath, nor of those who have gone astray.


The literal meaning of the expression "al-Fātiḥah" is "The Opener," which could:

  • refer to this Surah being "the opener of the Book" (Fātiḥat al-kitāb), as sort of a preface,[4]
  • to its being the first Surah recited in full in every prayer cycle (rakʿah), or
  • to the manner in which it serves as an opening for many functions (such as weddings and funerals) in everyday Islamic life.

It is also called Umm Al-Kitab ("the Mother of the Book") and Umm Al-Quran ("the Mother of the Quran");[5][6] Sab'a al Mathani ("Seven repeated [verses]", an appellation taken from verse 15:87 of the Quran);[6] Al-Hamd ("praise"), because a hadith narrates Muhammad as having said that God says: "The prayer [al-Fātiḥah] is divided into two halves between Me and My servants. When the servant says, 'All praise is due to God', the Lord of existence, God says, 'My servant has praised Me'.";[7] Al-Shifa' ("the Cure"), because a hadith narrates Muhammad as having said: "The Opening of the Book is a cure for every poison.";[8][9], Al-Ruqyah ("remedy" or "spiritual cure").,[6] and al-Asas, "The Foundation", referring to its serving as a foundation for the entire Quran [2]


According to Abdullah ibn Abbas and others, al-Fatihah is a Meccan surah; while according to others it is a Medinan surah. The former view is more widely accepted, although some believe that it was revealed in both Mekka and Medina.[10][11] In the Quran, the first revelations to Muhammad were only the first few verses (ayats) of Surahs Alaq, Muzzammil, Al-Muddathir, etc. Most narrators recorded that al-Fātiḥah was the first complete Surah revealed to Muhammad.[4]

Theme and subject matter[edit]

Al-Fātiḥah is often believed to be a synthesis of the Quran.[2] It in itself is a prayer at the very beginning of the Quran, which acts as a preface and implies that the book is for a person who is a seeker of truth—a reader who is asking a deity who is the only one worthy of all praise (and is the creator, owner, sustainer of the worlds etc.) to guide him to a straight path.[4] It can be said to "encapsulate all of the metaphysical and eschatological realities of which human beings must remain conscious." [2]

Verses 1:6 - 1:7[edit]

The Quran, chapter 1 (Al-Fatiha), verses 6–7:[12]

Guide us to the straight path - The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray.
— translated by Sahih International

Muslim commentators often believe past generations of Jews and Christians as an example of those evoking God's anger and those who went astray, respectively.[13][14][15][16][17] Critics of Islam, such as Andrew Bostom, view this as an exclusive condemnation of all Jews and Christians from all times.[18][19][20] However, most Islamic scholars have interpreted these verses as referring exclusively not to a specific group of people but instead interpret these in the more general sense as, "evil consequences which man brings upon himself by willfully rejecting God's guidance and acting contrary to His injunctions."[21][22][23][24][25][4]

Related hadiths[edit]

Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj recorded that Abu Hurairah had told that Muhammad had said:

If anyone observes prayer in which he does not recite Umm al-Qur'an,[26] it is deficient [he said this three times] and not complete.[27][28][29]

Another hadith narrates a story of a companion of Muhammad who recited al-Fātiḥah as a remedy for a tribal chief who was poisoned.[6][30][31][32][33] Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj recorded that the angel Gabriel said in relation to Fatiha al-Kitab and the concluding verses of Surah al-Baqara: "You will never recite a letter from them for which you will not be given (a reward)".[34]

Benefits and virtues attributed to Surah Al-Fatiha[edit]

Some Surahs are assigned special significance by adherents of Islam, because of their virtues and benefits (Arabic: فضائل‎ faḍāʾil) described in the Hadiths. Acceptance of the different hadith stories varies between Sunni and Shia Muslims and there is a variety of terms to classify the different levels of confirmed authenticity of a hadith.

Sunni benefits[edit]

One of the greatest Surahs[edit]

Ahmad ibn Hanbal recorded in his Musnad (Hadith collection) that Abu Sa`id bin Al-Mu`alla had said:

"I was praying when the Prophet called me, so I did not answer him until I finished the prayer. I then went to him and he said, 'What prevented you from coming?' I said, 'O Messenger of God! I was praying.' He said, 'Didn't God say, "O you who believe! Answer God (by obeying Him) and (His) Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life."?' He then said, 'I will teach you the greatest Surah in the Qur'an before you leave the Masjid (Mosque).' He held my hand and when he was about to leave the Masjid, I said, 'O Messenger of God! You said: "I will teach you the greatest Surah in the Qur'an."' He said, 'Yes.' "Al-Hamdu lillahi Rabbil-`Alamin," It is the seven repeated (verses) and the Glorious Qur'an that I was given." (Al-Bukhari, Abu Dawud, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah also recorded this Hadith.)[35][36][37][38][39]

Al-Fatiha used for cure[edit]

Al-Bukhari recorded in his collection:

Abu Sa 'id Al-Khudri said: "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 so when we reached Medina, we mentioned that to the Prophet (in order to know whether the sheep which we had taken were lawful to take or not). The Prophet 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." (Al-Bukhari 006.061.529 - Virtues of the Qur'an)[35][36][37][38][39]

(Similar versions found in: Al-Bukhari: 007.071.645 - Medicine; Al-Bukhari: 007.071.633 - Medicine; Al-Bukhari: 007.071.632 - Medicine)

Necessity in Salat[edit]

Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj recorded that Abu Hurayrah had told that the Prophet had said:

"Whoever performs any prayer in which he did not read Umm Al-Qur'an (i.e., Al-Fatiha), then his prayer is incomplete." (Sahih Muslim)[35][36][37][38][39]

(Similar story found in Al-Bukhari: 001.012.723 - Characteristics of Prayer)

1 of the 2 lights[edit]

Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj recorded that Ibn ‘Abbas had said:

“While Jibril (i.e. the angel Gabriel) was sitting with the Holy Prophet, he heard a sound above him and raised his head. He said: ‘This is a door in the heaven which has been opened today and which has never been opened before today.’ An angel descended from it. And he (Jibril) said: ‘This is an angel who has descended to earth, who has never descended before today.’ He (that angel) gave the greetings of peace and said: ‘Give the good news of two lights which you have been given; of which no Prophet before you was given: the Faatiha (Opening chapter) of the Book and the end of Surah al-Baqarah. You will not recite a letter of them without being given it.’” (Sahih Muslim) [35][36][37][38][39]

“When you lie your side on your bed [getting ready to sleep] and you recite [The Opening chapter of The Book] and Sura al-Ikhlas, then you have been secured from everything, except death… ” [Weak. Dhaif at-Targheeb w a tarheeb: 34] [35][36][37][38][39]

“The Fatiha and the Ayaat ul Kursi: No slave will ever recite them in a house; except that no evil eye - from a Jinn or human – will ever affect them in that day… ” [Dhaif al Jam i as-Sagheer : 3952 ; weak according to Scholar Albaanee][5] “The Fatiha is equal to a third of the Qur’an… ” [Weak. Dhaif al Jam i as-Sagheer: 3949][35][36][37][38][39]

Shia benefits[edit]

One of the companions of Muhammad narrates that he once recited this surah in the presence of Muhammad, who said, ‘By Him in whose hand is my soul, a similar revelation to this has not been included in the Taurat (Torah), Injeel (Bible), Zabur (Psalms) or even the Qur’an itself.’[35][36][37][38][39]

Muhammad once asked Jabir ibn Abdallah Ansari, “Should I teach you a surah that has no other comparison to it in the whole Qur’an?” Jabir replied, “Yes, and may my parents be ransom upon you O prophet of Allah.” So Muhammad taught him surah al-Fatihah. Then Muhammad asked, “Jabir, should I tell you something about this surah?” Jabir answered, “Yes, and may my parents be ransom upon you O prophet of Allah.” Muhammad said, “It (surah al-Fatihah) is a cure for every ailment except death.” [35][36][37][38][39]

Imam Abu Abdillah Ja’far as-Sadiq said that whoever cannot be cured by surah al-Fatihah, then there is no cure for that person. In the same narration it is written that if this surah is recited 70 times on any part of the body that is aching, the pain will surely go away. In fact, the power of this surah is so great that it is said that if one were to recite it 70 times over a dead body, you should not become surprised if that body starts moving (i.e. comes back to life). Surah al-Fatihah is a cure for physical and also spiritual ailments.[35][36][37][38][39]

An experienced way of warding off Jinn or Jadu (magic) by Muhammad Zakariyya Muhajir Madani[edit]

This amal (practise) is known as the amal of Ayatul Kursi. After fajr salaah, maghrib salaah and before retiring to bed, read thrice Surah Fatihah including Bismillah, Aayatul Kursi, Surah Falaq (chapter 113) and Surah Naas (chapter 114). Read any Durood thrice in the beginning as well as at the end. If the affected one recites himself it is better, otherwise someone else should recite and blow in such a manner that some part of his lips touch the affected person. Also keep a bottle of water and whatever you read blow in the water at the end and make the affected one drink from that water each morning before doing anything else. When the bottle is halved, fill it up with fresh water. And if some signs of affect are seen within the house, then a portion of that water should be sprinkled in the four corners of the house in such a manner that the water does not fall on the floor. (Taweez used or approved by Sheikhul Hadith Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya Muhajir Madani).[35][36][37][38][39]

Iblees lamented on 4 occasions[edit]

Ambari in his ‘Kitaabur-Rad’ through his own chain of narrators has mentioned from Mujahid ibn Jabr that Iblees, the accursed of Allah Ta’ala, lamented on four occasions: first when he was cursed; secondly when he was cast out of Heaven to the Earth; thirdly when Muhammad was given the Prophethood; fourthly when Surah Fatihah was revealed and it was revealed in Madinah.[35][36][37][38][39]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ibn Kathir. "Tafsir Ibn Kathir (English): Surah Al Fatihah". Quran 4 U. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e Joseph E. B. Lumbard, "Introduction to "Sūrat al-Fātiḥah," The Study Quran, ed. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Caner Dagli, Maria Dakake, Joseph E. B. Lumbard, and Muhammad Rustom (San Francisco: Harper One, 2015), p. 3.
  3. ^ "Reciting al-Faatihah during prayer - Islam Question & Answer". Retrieved 2019-12-11.
  4. ^ a b c d e Maududi, Sayyid Abul Ala. Tafhim Al Quran.
  5. ^ Mulla Sadra. Tafsir al-Quran al-Karim. pp. 1:163–164.
  6. ^ a b c d Ibn Kathir. Tafsir Ibn Kathir.
  7. ^ Abu al-Qasim al-Khoei. Al-Bayan Fi Tafsir al-Quran. p. 446.
  8. ^ Muhammad Baqir Majlisi. Bihar al-Anwar. pp. 89:238.
  9. ^ Al-Hurr al-Aamili. Wasā'il al-Shīʿa. pp. 6:232.
  10. ^ Ahmad, Mirza Bahir Ud-Din (1988). The Quran with English Translation and Commentary. Islam International Publications Ltd. p. 1. ISBN 1-85372-045-3.
  11. ^ English Translation and Commentary 5 Volumes
  12. ^ The Qur'an. Center for Muslim–Jewish Engagement, University of Southern California. 2008. Archived from the original on 18 June 2017.
  13. ^ Ibn Kathir. "Tafsir Ibn Kathir (English): Surah Al Fatihah". Quran 4 U. Retrieved 20 December 2019. The path of the believers is knowledge of the truth and abiding by it. In comparison, the Jews abandoned practicing the religion, while the Christians lost the true knowledge. This is why `anger' descended upon the Jews, while being described as `led astray' is more appropriate of the Christians.
  14. ^ Al Kindari, Fahad (6 June 2007). The greatest recitation of Surat al-Fatiha. Sweden Dawah Media Production (on behalf of High Quality & I-Media); LatinAutor - Warner Chappell. Retrieved 20 December 2019. The saying of the Exalted, 'not the Path of those who have earned Your Anger, nor of those that went astray': the majority of the scholars of tafseer said that 'those who have earned Your Anger' are the Jews, and 'those that went astray' are the Christians, and their is the hadeeth of the Messenger of Allaah (SAW) reported from Adee bin Haatim (RA) concerning this. And the Jews and the Christians even though both of them are misguided and both of them have Allaah's Anger on them - the Anger is specified to the Jews, even though the Christians share this with them, because the Jews knew the truth and rejected it and deliberately came with falsehood, so the Anger (of Allaah being upon them) was the description most befitting them. And the Christians were ignorant, not knowing the truth, so misguidance was the description most befitting them. So with this the saying of Allaah, 'so they have drawn on themselves anger upon anger' (2:90) clarifies that the Jews are those that 'have earned your Anger'. And likewise His sayings, 'Say: shall I inform you of something worse than that, regarding the recompense from Allaah: those (Jews) who incurred the Curse of Allaah and His Anger' (5:60)
  15. ^ Leaman, Oliver (2006). Leaman, Oliver (ed.). The Qur'an: an Encyclopedia. Routledge. p. 614. ISBN 0-415-32639-7. The Prophet interpreted those who incurred God's wrath as the Jews and the misguided as the Christians.
  16. ^ "Surah Al-Fatihah, Chapter 1". Retrieved 11 December 2019. Some of the commentators believe that / dallin / 'those gone astray' refers to the misguided of the Christians; and / maqdubi 'alayhim / 'those inflicted with His Wrath' refers to the misguided of the Jews.
  17. ^ Ayoub, Mahmoud M. (January 1984). The Qur'an and Its Interpreters: v.1: Vol 1. State University of New York Press. p. 49. ISBN 978-0873957274. Most commentators have included the Jews among those who have "incurred" divine wrath and the Christians among those who have "gone astray".(Tabari, I, pp. 185-195; Zamakhshari, I, p. 71)
  18. ^ Bostom, Andrew (29 May 2019). "Ramadan Koran lesson: Curse Jews and Christians 17-times daily: Part 1". Israel National News. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
  19. ^ Bostom, Andrew (29 May 2019). "Ramadan Koran lesson: Curse Jews and Christians 17-times daily: Part 2". Israel National News. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
  20. ^ Shrenzel, Israel (4 September 2019). "Verses and Reality: What the Koran Really Says about Jews". Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  21. ^ Asad, Muhammad. The Message of the Quran, Commentary on Surah Fatiha (PDF). pp. 23–24. According to almost all the commentators, God's "condemnation" (ghadab, lit., "wrath") is synonymous with the evil consequences which man brings upon himself by willfully rejecting God's guidance and acting contrary to His injunctions. ... As regards the two categories of people following a wrong course, some of the greatest Islamic thinkers (e.g., Al-Ghazali or, in recent times, Muhammad 'Abduh) held the view that the people described as having incurred "God's condemnation" - that is, having deprived themselves of His grace - are those who have become fully cognizant of God's message and, having understood it, have rejected it; while by "those who go astray" are meant people whom the truth has either not reached at all, or to whom it has come in so garbled and corrupted a form as to make it difficult for them to recognize it as the truth (see 'Abduh in Manar I, 68 ff.).
  22. ^ Shafi, Muhammad. Ma'ariful Qur'an. pp. 78–79.
  23. ^ Ali, Abdullah Yusuf (2006). The Meaning of The Noble Qur’an, Commentary on al-Fatiha (PDF). p. 7. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-03-12. ...those who are in the darkness of Wrath and those who stray? The first are those who deliberately break God's law; the second those who stray out of carelessness or negligence. Both are responsible for their own acts or omissions. In opposition to both are the people who are in the light of God's Grace: for His Grace not only protects them from active wrong ... but also from straying into paths of temptation or carelessness. The negative gair should be construed as applying not to the way, but as describing men protected from two dangers by God's Grace.
  24. ^ Tafsir al-Kabir, al-Razi, التفسير الكبير‎, Tafsir Surah al-Fatiha.
  25. ^ Al-Kashshaaf, Al-Zamakhshari, الكشاف‎, Commentary on surah al-Fatiha.
  26. ^ The Reason it is Called Umm Al-Kitab
  27. ^ The Meaning of Al-Fatihah and its Various Names
  28. ^ Sahih Muslim, 4:773
  29. ^ Sahih al-Bukhari, 1:12:723
  30. ^ Sahih al-Bukhari, 6:61:529
  31. ^ Sahih al-Bukhari, 7:71:645
  32. ^ Sahih al-Bukhari, 7:71:633
  33. ^ Sahih al-Bukhari, 7:71:632
  34. ^ Sahih Muslim, 4:1760
  35. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Virtues of Sura Al-Fatiha".
  36. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Authentic and Weak Virtues". 2012-08-08.
  37. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Hadith".
  38. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Merits of Surahs".
  39. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Rewards of Suras".

External links[edit]