Learn Surah Al fatiha with the Meanings

It’s incumbent on a Qur’an learning beginner to have a comprehensive understanding of surah Al fatiah because it’s one of the conditions for the correctness of Salah – the prayer. Hence this will enhance the required concentration on Salah.

Period of Revelation

It’s revealed from authentic narrations that it was the first complete Surah which was revealed to Muhammad (Allah’s peace be upon him).  The features of the chapter as well confirms that it’s a Meccan Surah.

Virtues and names of Surah al-fatiah

From the names of this chapter are,:

  • Al-Fatihah means the Opener (from the verb فتح – to open) because (1) it is the first chapter of the Qur’an and (2) it’s the Surah with which prayers are begun.
  • It is also called, Umm Al-Kitab (the Mother of the Book), according to the majority of the scholars.

In an authentic Hadith recorded by At-Tirmidhi, who graded it Sahih, Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

الْحَمْدُ للهِ رَبَ الْعَالَمِينَ أُمُّ الْقُرْآنِ وَأُمُّ الْكِتَابِ وَالسَّبْعُ الْمَثَانِي وَالْقُرْآنُ الْعَظِيمُ

Al-Hamdu lillahi Rabbil-`Alamin is the Mother of the Qur’an, the Mother of the Book, and the seven repeated Ayat of the Glorious Qur’an. 

  • It’s called the Salah, because reciting it is one of pillars of the prayers
  • It is also called Al-Hamd because the Prophet said that his Lord said,

قَسَمْتُ الصَّلَاةَ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَ عَبْدِي نِصْفَيْنِ، فَإِذَا قَالَ الْعَبْدُ:الْحَمْدُ للهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِنَ، قَالَ اللهُ: حَمِدَنِي عَبْدِي

The prayer (i.e., Al-Fatihah) is divided into two halves between Me and My servants. When the servant says, `All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of existence,’ Allah says, ‘My servant has praised Me

  • Al-Fatihah was also called Ash-Shifa’ (the Cure). It is also called Ar-Ruqyah (remedy). Abu Sa`id narrated a story in the Sahih of the Companion who used Al-Fatihah as a remedy for the tribal chief who was poisoned. The Messenger of Allah later endorsed this action.
Surah Al fatiha in Arabic

Virtues of surah Al-fatiah include:

1- Abu Said bin Al-Mualla narrated that the Prophet (s.a.w) said,   I will teach you the greatest Surah in the Qur’an before you leave the Masjid.) He held my hand and when he was about to leave the Masjid, I said, `O Messenger of Allah! You said: I will teach you the greatest Surah in the Qur’an.’ He said, (Yes.)

الْحَمْدُ للَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ
(Al-Hamdu lillahi Rabbil-`Alamin)”

نَعَمْ هِيَ السَّبْعُ الْمَثَانِي وَالْقُرْآنُ الْعَظِيمُ الَّذِي أُوتِيتُهُ

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.

2- Also, Ubayy bin Ka`b reported that the Prophet said,

أَتُحِبُّ أَنْ أُعَلِّمَكَ سُورَةً لَمْ تَنْزِلْ لَا فِي التَّورَاةِ وَلَا فِي الْإِنْجِيلِ وَلَا فِي الزَّبُورِ وَلَا فِي الْفُرْقَانِ مِثْلَهَا؟

Would you like me to teach you a Surah the likes of which nothing has been revealed in the Tawrah, the Injil, the Zabur (Psalms) or the Furqan (the Qur’an)) He said, `Yes, O Messenger of Allah!’ Then he informed him that it’s the seven repeated verses that is read in prayer.

Ahmad, An-Nasa’i and At-Tirmidhi recorded this Hadith.

3- Muslim and An- Nasa’i recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet said, “Whoever performs any prayer in which he did not read Umm Al-Qur’an, then his prayer is incomplete”. He said it thrice.

Abu Hurayrah was asked, “﴾When﴿ we stand behind the Imam” He said, “Read it to yourself, for I heard the Messenger of Allah say,

Allah, the Exalted, said, I have divided the prayer (Al-Fatihah) into two halves between Myself and My servant, and My servant shall have what he asks for.' If he says, بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ, when he says الْحَمْدُ للَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ Allah says,My servant has praised Me.’ When the servant says, الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ Allah says, My servant has glorified Me.' When he says, مَـلِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ Allah says,My servant has glorified Me,’ or My servant has related all matters to Me.' When he says, إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِي 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 Allah says, `This is for My servant, and My servant shall acquire what he asked for ”

Explanation of the chapter

Surah Al fatiah word by word

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ –
In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.

It’s required of a Muslim to commence all his actions and speech with the name of Allah

الحمد للّه رب العالمين:
Allaah glorifies Himself. And this implies a commandment to His servants to praise Him solely for His countless favours upon us and to always preceed our supplications with the acknowledgment of this favours.

رب العالمين
Allaah is the Lord of the Universe because He is the creator, the provider and the administrator of all affairs.

الرحمن الرحيم

The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim are two names derived from Ar-Rahmah (the mercy). Ar-Rahman signifies the mercy of Allaah in its entirety over all His creatures while Ar-Raheem denotes that He is especially merciful to the believers.
Allaah statement in Q33 verse 43 explains this: “وَكَانَ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَحِيماً”
And He is ever Rahim (merciful) to the believers

مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ – 1:4
Sovereign of the Day of Recompense.

Allaah (s.w.t) is the king of the day of judgement. The Muslim recites this verse in every standing position in Salah to serve as a reminder of that day so that he can prepare with good deeds and stay away from sins.

إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ – 1:5
It is You we worship and You we ask for help.

This statement could correctly be written as نَعْبُدُك وَنَسْتَعِينك( we worship You and we seek Your help) , but the object of the action “You”(ك) has been placed before the doer of the act “we” to denote restriction i.e we worship You alone and no one else and we seek only Your help in all affairs. This reliance is the perfect form of obedience.

The entire religion is the implication of these two ideas. The first part is the renunciation of polytheism (shirk) while the second is the negation of having any power and might beside that of Allaah the controller of all affairs.

The change of speech from the third person to the second is to signify that after the believer praises Allaah, he then speaks directly to Him as if He is nearby .

This verse is an evidence that every form of worship whether hidden such as fear, humility, hope or visible like praying, slaughtering and circumambulation of the Kaa’ba (Tawaaf) should be done for Allaah alone.

اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ – 1:6
Guide us to the straight path

Guidance according to the Qur’an is divided into two: Guidance of tutorship and that of success.

The guidance mentioned in this verse comprehends the two and could therefore be defined as a process of being directed and guided to success.

Allaah says
وَإِنَّكَ لَتَهْدِى إِلَى صِرَطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ
And verily, you (O Muhammad ) are indeed guiding (mankind) to the straight path) (42:52), 

The straight path mentioned in the Qur’an refers to Islam which the last Prophet, Muhammad (s.a.w) was sent with.

Therefore, Allah directed the servant to invoke Him constantly, so that He provides him with firmness and continuity of performing the deeds that help one remain on the path of faith.

صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ – 1:7

The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray.
صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ
This statement is a substitute for “the straight path” and it’s described in this verse:

وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَدَاءِ وَالصَّالِحِينَ ۚ وَحَسُنَ أُولَٰئِكَ رَفِيقًا – 4:69

And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger – those will be with the ones upon whom Allah has bestowed favor of the prophets, the steadfast affirmers of truth, the martyrs and the righteous. And excellent are those as companions.

This path is not of those who have evoked Allaah’s anger or of those who are astray. Those who have earned the anger of Allaah are the Yahuud who know the truth, yet deviate from it . While those that are astray are misguided because they lost the true knowledge and they are the Nasaarah.

‘Adi bin Hatim narrated that he asked the Prophet (s.a.w) about the statement of Allaah :غير المغضوب عليهم” and he said “they are the Yahuud” , “ولا الضالين” he replied “the Nasaarah”. Imam Ahmad and At-Tirmidhi both recorded this hadith

The ‘لا’ (not) in ولا الضالين was a repeated negation which asserted that the two paths Allaah described are both misguided.

IF you want to learn the reading rules of surah Al-fatiha and any Quranic chapter easily and fast, get the Qur’an Reading Basic Rules here. It’s my step-by-step guide on the reading of the Qur’an with the Tajweed.

Benefits of the chapter

This chapter comprehends the following:

  1. Praise and tributes to Allaah by mentioning His most beautiful attributes
  2. Remembrance of the day of resurrection
  3. Guidance of the servants of Allaah (including you and I) towards supplicating to Him and beseeching Him for their needs regardless of our power and strength.
  4. Sincerity of all forms of worship(hidden and apparent) to Allaah alone without associating any partners from any of His creations be it man, Prophet
  5. Invocation to Allaah for guidance to the straight path and firmness on the path until attaining His pleasure with the Prophets and the guided