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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

Yusuf Ali

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful1.
  • The Arabic words “Raḥmān” and “Raḥīm,” translated “Most Gracious” and “Most Merciful” are both intensive forms referring to different aspects of God’s attribute of Mercy. The Arabic intensive is more suited to express God’s attributes than the superlative degree in English. The latter implies a comparison with other beings, or with other times or places, while there is no being like unto God, and He is independent of Time and Place. Mercy may imply pity, long-suffering, patience, and forgiveness, all of which the sinner needs and God Most Merciful bestows in abundant measure. But there is a Mercy that goes before even the need arises, the Grace which is ever watchful, and flows from God Most Gracious to all His creatures, protecting them, preserving them, guiding them, and leading them to clearer light and higher life. For this reason the attribute Raḥmān (Most Gracious) is not applied to any but God, but the attribute Raḥīm (Merciful), is a general term, and may also be applied to Men. To make us contemplate these boundless gifts of God, the formula: “In the name of God Most Gracious, Most Merciful”: is placed before every Sūra of the Qur-ān (except the ninth), and repeated at the beginning of every act by the Muslim who dedicates his life to God, and whose hope is in His Mercy.
    Opinion is divided whether the Bismillāh should be numbered as a separate verse or not. It is unanimously agreed that it is a part of the Qur-ān. Therefore it is better to give it an independent number in the first Sūra. For subsequent Sūras it is treated as an introduction or headline, and therefore not numbered.