Surah Al-Fatihah is a great surah of the Holy Qur’an. We recite it daily in seventeen rak’ahs during the five obligatory prayers. Because it must be recited in every rak’ah of every prayer. Recitation of Surah Al-Fatiha is compulsory in all prayers whether the recitation is done silently or aloud.
Surah Al-Fatihah is one of the Makkan surahs [i.e., revealed during the Makkan period, before the Hijrah], according to the majority of scholars. Prayer was enjoined in Makkah, and prayer is not valid without Surah Al-Fatihah.
Surah Al-Fatihah is called Al-Sab’a Al-Mathani
Surah Al-Fatihah is called Al-Sab’a Al-Mathani (i.e., seven repeatedly recited Verses), and the Grand Qur’an has been given to the Prophet (PBUH). Surah Al-Fatiha has two lights given to the Prophet. Such lights were not given to any Prophet before the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
Ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) reported:
While Jibril (Gabriel) was sitting with the Messenger of Allah (PBUH), he heard a sound above him. He lifted his head and said: “This is a gate which has been opened in heaven today. It was never opened before.” Then an angel descended through it, he said: “This is an angel who has come down to earth. He never came down before.” He sent greetings and said: “Rejoice with two lights given to you. Such lights were not given to any Prophet before you. These (lights) are: Fatihah-til-Kitab (Surah Al-Fatihah), and the concluding Ayat of Surah Al-Baqarah. You will never recite a word from them without being given the blessings it contains.” [Muslim].
And it is the Seven Mathani: because its verses are seven, and the Mathani: they are repeated in every prayer, so they are with you in every prayer you recite, and this is one of the characteristics of Surah Al-Fatihah or because the worshiper praises Allah Almighty.
Names of Surah Al-Fatihah
It is the Great Qur’an: the Prophet (PBUH)called it that, even though it is only one Surah of the Qur’an. It includes what is included in the entire Qur’an. The entire Holy Qur’an consists of monotheism, commands, prohibitions, stories, and news found in Surath Al-Fatihah in general, and in the Holy Qur’an in detail.
There is no Salah (prayer) for Muslims who do not recite Ummul-Qur’an (Surah Al-Fatihah).
‘Ubada b. as-Samit reported Allah’s Messenger as saying, “He who does not recite Fatihat al-Kitab is not credited with having observed prayer.” The first surah. (Bukhari and Muslim.) A version by Muslim has “He who does not recite Umm al-Qur’an (the first sura and something more.”
Al-Fatiha is also known by several other names, such as Al-Hamd (The Praise), Umm al-Kitab (Mother of the Book), and umm al-Quran (Mother of the Quran), Sab’a al-Mathani (Seven Repeated Ones), and Ash-Shifa’ (The Cure).
And from thanking Allah for this blessing
You must give its right of correct recitation, understanding, reflection, and doing what it requires of righteousness and uprightness on the straight path of Allah Almighty. And the goal is not merely recitation of its words and letters, but the recitation includes three types of recitation; The recitation of memorization, the recitation of understanding, the intelligibility of meanings, and the recitation of reflection, including the necessity of the straight path of Allah Almighty that the servant attains happiness by persevering in this world and the hereafter.
We are in dire need of reflection on Al-Fatihah; which is the mother of the Qur’an and includes what is included in the Qur’an; It is befitting for a believing servant to give this great surah its due in terms of reflections and understanding of its meanings so that Muslim may benefit from it.