Abu Hurairah (R.A) narrated the Messenger (SAW) of Allah saying as:
“The chapter commencing with “All praises and thanks are due to Allah the Lord of the Worlds” is the Mother of the Quran, the Mother of the Book, the Seven Oft Repeated Verses and the Great Quran.” (Tirmidhi)
In the words of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), Al Fatiha is considered the greatest surah of the Quran. This Surah of the Quran is recited in each and every prayer that a Muslim can perform. This is the first Surah of the Quran and is the chapter, that is memorised by all Muslims from an early age and it is usually the first surah that is taught to children when they are able to read the Quran. Surah Fatiha is one of those Surahs that were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in Mecca. It is the first surah of the Quran and its name can be literally translated to as “the Opening” as it serves a s gateway to the rest of the Quran.
The Numerous Names of Surah Fatiha
This surah of the Quran is often referred to with different names, each relevant to an aspect of its meaning. In the Arabic culture, a thing that is referred to by different names, it has significant importance.
1. Al Fatiha – Since this is the Surah that is at the beginning of the Quran, it is referred to as ‘the Opening’. This is its most common name.
2. Umm Al-Quran – The opening surah of the Quran is also known as the ‘Mother of the Quran’as mentioned in the above hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). According to Ibn Jabbir at-Tabari, surah Fatiha was named so due to it summarizing the entire meaning of the Quran within it. In Arabic tradition, anything that would summarize its entire meaning within itself was referred to as Umm, which is the Arabic word for Mother.
3. Umm Al-Kitab – This is also known as the ‘Mother of the Book’.
4. Sab’ul-Mathani –Surah Fatiha is known as the ‘Seven oft Repeated Verses’ because these are read in every rakkah of every prayer that a Muslim performs. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran:
“And indeed, We have bestowed upon you seven of Al-Mathani (the seven repeatedly recited Verses), (i.e. Surat Al-Fatiha) and the Grand Quran.”
(Quran: Surah Al-Hijr 15-87)
5. Al-Hamd – This is also known as the ‘Praise’ because of its mentioning of the word Hamd.
6. Ash-Shifa – Surah Fatiha is referred to as ‘Cure’ because according to Ad-Darimi on the authority of Abu Sa’id, the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said, “The opening of the book is a cure to every poison.”
7. Ar-Ruqyah – According to a hadith of Abu Sa’id reported by Bukhari, when he had recited it to cure a person who had been stung by a scorpion, the Prophet (SAW) said, “… and what made you know that it was a Ruqyah.” Ar-Ruqyah literally means, the ‘Spiritual Cure’.
8. Asas al-Quran– Surah Fatiha is also referred to as the ‘Foundation of the Quran’.