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Sura 1
Aya 1

Chapter 1

The Openingal-Fātiḥah ( الفاتحة )

7 verses • revealed at Meccan

»The surah that is The Opening to the Quran and the straight way of God. Another common name of the surah is The [Lord’s] Praise (al-Ḥamd). It is seen to be a precise table of contents of the Quranic message and is important in Islamic worship, being an obligatory part of the daily prayer, repeated several times during the day.«

The surah is also known as The Exordium, The Opening Chapter, The Opening of the Book, The Prologue

بِسمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحمٰنِ الرَّحيمِ

Uzunoglu et al.

This is known as the Opening Chapter, since it inaugurates the Book. It has several other names, including Ummu’l-Kitāb (the Mother of the Book), since it is the sum of everything that is detailed in the rest of the Book; al-Asās (The Foundation), al-Kāfiyah (the Sufficient), and also as-Sabʿ al-Mathānī (The Seven Oft-repeated Verses).
The Prophet (may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) taught that: “The ṣalāh (ritual prayer) of anyone who does not recite Sūratu’l Fātiḥah is not valid,” and for this reason it is recited in each cycle (rakʿah) of every ritual prayer. The Fātiḥah is often recited for the sick, to help cure them, in the funeral prayer for the dead, and offered for both the living and dead on other occasions. In fact, Sūratu’l Fātiḥah is the most important Muslim supplication and prayer, used in every occasion of life.
The guiding principles of the Qur’ān, revealed to help mankind along the Straight Path, are summed up in this sūrah (chapter).
In the name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Compassionate.1, I
  • The Basmalah comprises the words: “In the name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Compassionate.” According to the Ḥanafī school of jurisprudence, this formula is to be recited silently in ritual prayers, because it does not form part of the Fātiḥah or any other sūrah, with the exception of a verse occurring within Sūratu’n-Naml. According to the Shāfiʿī school, however, the Basmalah is part of every sūrah, and so should be recited aloud.
    According to a ḥadīth (Prophetic tradition: meticulously authenticated records of what the Prophet Muhammad said and did; relating to every sphere of life.), the Prophet (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Everything which does not begin with the Basmalah falls short (of the blessing of Allah).” Muslims believe in beginning everything with it, seeking Divine blessings. According to Sūratu’n Naḥl, verse 98, it is also necessary to recite the Istiʾādhah, a formula by which one places oneself in Allah’s protection, before starting to recite the Qur’ān.
  • The term sūrah (chapter) when it comes before a word starting with “al-” is pronounced sūrat. In this case the “h” becomes a “t” which is pronounced connected with the following “al-” to become “tu’l-.