Al-Fatiha (Arabic: ٱلۡفَاتِحَةِ, romanizedal-Fātiḥa, lit.'the Opening') is the first chapter (sura) of the Quran. It consists of seven verses (ayat) which consist of a prayer for guidance and mercy.[1]

Sura 1 of the Quran
The Opening
PositionJuzʼ 1, Hizb 1
No. of verses7
No. of words25
No. of letters113 or 139
Recitation of Al-Fatiha in the Mujawwad style
Headings for Al-Fatiha, and for Chapter 2, Al-Baqara. From the Qur'an of Ibn al-Bawwab. Baghdad, 1000/1001. Chester Beatty Library

Al-Fatiha is recited in Muslim obligatory and voluntary prayers, known as salah. The primary literal meaning of the expression "Al-Fatiha" is "The Opener/The Key".



Surah Al-Fatiha is narrated in the Hadith to have been divided into two halves between God and his servant (the person reciting), the first three verses being God's half and last three being the servant's.[2] There is disagreement as to whether the Bismillah is the first verse of the surah, or even a verse in the first place.[3] The chapter begins by praising God with the phrase Alhamdulillah, and stating that it is God who has full authority over all creations (verse 1/2),[4] that He is Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim or the Most Gracious and Most Merciful (verse 2/3),[5] and that He is and will be the true owner of everything and everyone on the Day of Judgement (verse 3/4).[6]

Surah Al-Fatiha started by praising Allah for him being The 'Rabb' (lord, Arabic has the word 'rabb' which holds roughly the same meaning as the English word "lord") of the worlds,[7]

"If you tried to count Allah's blessings, you would never be able to number them. Indeed, humankind is truly unfair, ˹totally˺ ungrateful" (Quran 14:34).

The final three verses, which comprise the servant's half, begin with the servant stating that they worship and seek only God's help (verse 4/5), asking Him to guide them to the Sirat al-Mustaqim (the Straight Path) of those who God has been bountiful to, and not of those who have earned his anger (verses 5-6/6-7).[8]

Most Muslim commentators have interpreted these verses in a more general sense and not referring exclusively to any specific group of people.[9][10][11][12][13][14][15] However, some Muslim commentators believe Jews and Christians are examples of those evoking God's anger and those who went astray, respectively.[16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23]: 45 [24]

Verses and meaning

بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ۝١

1 In the name of God, the Most Compassionate, Most Merciful.

ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلْعَـٰلَمِينَ ۝٢

[al-ḥamdu li-llāhi rabbi-l-ʿālamīn(a)]
2 Praise be to God, Lord of the worlds—

ٱلرَّحْمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ۝٣

3 the Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

مَـٰلِكِ[i] يَوْمِ ٱلدِّينِ ۝٤

[māliki yawmi-d-dīn(i)]
4 Owner of the Day of Judgement.

إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ ۝٥

[iyyāka naʿbudu wa-iyyāka nastaʿīn(u)]
5 You we worship and You we ask for help.

ٱهْدِنَا ٱلصِّرَٰطَ ٱلْمُسْتَقِيمَ ۝٦

6 Guide us to the straight path—

صِرَٰطَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ ٱلْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا ٱلضَّآلِّينَ ۝٧

[ṣirāṭa-llaḏīna anʿamta ʿalayhim ghayri-l-maḡḍūbi ʿalayhim wa-la-ḍ-ḍāllīn(a)]
7 the path of those You have favored, not those You are angry with or those who are astray.



The most commonly accepted view about the origins of the surah is the view of [Ibn Abbas], among others, that Al-Fatiha is a Meccan surah, although some believe that it is either a Medinan surah or was revealed in both Mecca and Medina.[25] Most narrators recorded that al-Fātiḥah was the first complete Surah revealed to Muhammad.[14]

The name Al-Fatiha ("the Opener") could refer to the surah being the first in the Mus'hafs, the first to be recited in each rakat of salah, or to the manner of its usage in many Islamic traditions as an opening prayer. The word itself comes from the root f-t-ḥ (‏ف ت ح‎), which means "to open, explain, disclose, conquer", etc.[14][26] Al-Fatiha is also known by several other names, such as Al-Hamd (The Praise), As-Salah (The Prayer), Umm al-Kitab (Mother of the Book), Umm al-Quran (Mother of the Quran),[27][1] Sab'a min al-Mathani (Seven Repeated Ones, from Quran 15:87),[28] and Ash-Shifa' (The Cure).[29][30]

Benefits and virtues


Muslims attribute special significance to some surahs for their virtues and benefits (فضائل, faḍā’il) described in the hadith. Acceptance of the different hadith varies between Sunni and Shia Muslims, and there is a variety of terms to classify the different levels of confirmed authenticity of a hadith. However, both Sunnis and Shia believe Al-Fatiha to be one of the greatest surahs in the Quran, and a cure for several diseases and poisons, both spiritual and mental.[30]

See also



  1. ^ Qira’at: All except for ʻAsem, Al-Kesa’i, Yaʻqub and Khalaf in one of his narrations read it as:

    مَلِكِ يَوْمِ ٱلدِّينِ ۝٤
    maliki yawmi-d-dīn(i)
    4 King of the Day of Judgement.


  1. ^ a b Tafsir Ibn Kathir 1:1
  2. ^ Ibn al-Hajjaj, Abul Hussain Muslim (2007). Sahih Muslim - 7 Volumes. Vol. 1. Darussalam. pp. 501–503. ISBN 978-9960991900.
  3. ^ Mubarakpuri, Safiur Rahman (2000). Tafsir Ibn Kathir (10 Volumes; Abridged). Darussalam. p. 25. ISBN 9781591440208. [The scholars] disagree over whether [Bismillah] is a separate Ayah before every Surah, or if it is an Ayah, or a part of an Ayah, included in every Surah where the Bismillah appears in its beginning. [...] The opinion that Bismillah is an Ayah of every Surah, except [At-Tawbah], was attributed to (the Companions) Ibn 'Abbas, Ibn 'Umar, Ibn Az-Zubayr, Abu Hurayrah and 'Ali. This opinion was also attributed to the Tabi'in 'Ata', Tawus, Sa'id bin Jubayr, Makhul and Az-Zuhri. This is also the view of 'Abdullah bin Al-Mubarak, Ash-Shaf i'i, Ahmad bin Hanbal, (in one report from him) Ishaq bin Rahwayh, and Abu 'Ubayd Al-Qasim bin Salam. On the other hand, Malik, Abu Hanifah and their followers said that Bismillah is not an Ayah in Al-Fatihah or any other Surah. Dawud said that it is a separate Ayah in the beginning of every Surah, not part of the Surah itself, and this opinion was also attributed to Ahmad bin Hanbal.
  4. ^ Mubarakpuri, Safiur Rahman (2000). Tafsir Ibn Kathir (10 Volumes; Abridged). Darussalam. pp. 33–37. ISBN 9781591440208.
  5. ^ Mubarakpuri, Safiur Rahman (2000). Tafsir Ibn Kathir (10 Volumes; Abridged). Darussalam. pp. 30–33, 37. ISBN 9781591440208.
  6. ^ Mubarakpuri, Safiur Rahman (2000). Tafsir Ibn Kathir (10 Volumes; Abridged). Darussalam. pp. 39–42. ISBN 9781591440208.
  7. ^ Tafsir Ibn Kathir 1:2
  8. ^ Mubarakpuri, Safiur Rahman (2000). Tafsir Ibn Kathir (10 Volumes; Abridged). Darussalam. pp. 42–55. ISBN 9781591440208.
  9. ^ Asad, Muhammad. The Message of the Quran, Commentary on Surah Fatiha (PDF). pp. 23–24. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2019-11-26. Retrieved 2019-12-13. According to almost all the commentators, God's "condemnation" (ghadab, lit., "wrath") is synonymous with the evil consequences which man brings upon himself by wilfully rejecting God's guidance and acting contrary to His injunctions. ... As regards the two categories of people following a wrong course, some of the greatest Islamic thinkers (e.g. Al-Ghazali or, in recent times, Muhammad 'Abduh) held the view that the people described as having incurred "God's condemnation" - that is, having deprived themselves of His grace - are those who have become fully cognizant of God's message and, having understood it, have rejected it; while by "those who go astray" are meant people whom the truth has either not reached at all, or to whom it has come in so garbled and corrupted a form as to make it difficult for them to recognize it as the truth (see 'Abduh in Manar I, 68 ff.).
  10. ^ Ali, Abdullah Yusuf (2006). The Meaning of The Noble Qur'an, Commentary on al-Fatiha (PDF). p. 7. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-03-12. ...those who are in the darkness of Wrath and those who stray? The first are those who deliberately break God's law; the second those who stray out of carelessness or negligence. Both are responsible for their own acts or omissions. In opposition to both are the people who are in the light of God's Grace: for His Grace not only protects them from active wrong ... but also from straying into paths of temptation or carelessness. The negative gair should be construed as applying not to the way, but as describing men protected from two dangers by God's Grace.
  11. ^ Shafi, Muhammad. Ma'ariful Qur'an. pp. 78–79. Archived from the original on 2020-07-18. Retrieved 2019-12-13.
  12. ^ Tafsir al-Kabir, al-Razi, التفسير الكبير, Tafsir Surah al-Fatiha.
  13. ^ Al-Kashshaaf, Al-Zamakhshari, الكشاف, Commentary on surah al-Fatiha.
  14. ^ a b c Maududi, Sayyid Abul Ala. Tafhim Al Quran. Archived from the original on 2013-07-28. Retrieved 2013-06-17.
  15. ^ "Corpus Coranicum: Commentary on the Quran. Chronologisch-literaturwissenschaftlicher Kommentar zum Koran, hg. von der Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften durch Angelika Neuwirth unter Mitarbeit von Ali Aghaei und Tolou Khademalsharieh, unter Heranziehung von Übersetzungen von Nicolai Sinai". 15 November 2021. Das anaphorische ʾiyyāka (V. 6) betont die Exklusivität des Angerufenen, der anders als im Fall der paganen mušrikūn, die Gott zwar in extremen Situationen um Hilfe rufen, ihm aber nicht dienen, vgl. Q 17:67, Adressat sowohl von Hilferufen als auch von Gottesdienst ist. An diese im Zentrum stehende Affirmation der Alleinverehrung Gottes schließt die Bitte um Rechtleitung an (V. 7). Der hier erhoffte ‚gerade Weg' soll demjenigen der bereits von Gott mit Huld bedachten Vorläufern folgen. Sie werden nicht explizit gemacht und dürften zur Zeit der Entstehung der fātiḥa auch unbestimmt intendiert sein. Erst später – mit der Herausbildung von Kollektivbildern - ließen sich die Zielgruppen ex silentio erschließen
  16. ^ Leaman, Oliver (2006). Leaman, Oliver (ed.). The Qur'an: an Encyclopedia. Routledge. p. 614. ISBN 0-415-32639-7. Archived from the original on 2021-03-28. Retrieved 2020-11-05. The Prophet interpreted those who incurred God's wrath as the Jews and the misguided as the Christians.
  17. ^ Ayoub, Mahmoud M. (January 1984). The Qur'an and Its Interpreters: v.1: Vol 1. State University of New York Press. p. 49. ISBN 978-0873957274. Archived from the original on 2021-03-28. Retrieved 2020-11-05. Most commentators have included the Jews among those who have "incurred" divine wrath and the Christians among those who have "gone astray".(Tabari, I, pp. 185-195; Zamakhshari, I, p. 71)
  18. ^ Tafsir Ibn Kathir 1:7
  19. ^ Al-Amin Ash-Shanqit, Muhammad (10 October 2012). "Tafsir of Chapter 001: Surah al-Fatihah (The Opening)". Sunnah Online. Archived from the original on 31 May 2019. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  20. ^ Al Kindari, Fahad (6 June 2007). The greatest recitation of Surat al-Fatiha. Sweden Dawah Media Production (on behalf of High Quality & I-Media); LatinAutor - Warner Chappell. Archived from the original on 2021-11-17. Retrieved 20 December 2019. The saying of the Exalted, 'not the Path of those who have earned Your Anger, nor of those that went astray': the majority of the scholars of tafseer said that 'those who have earned Your Anger' are the Jews, and 'those that went astray' are the Christians, and there is the hadeeth of the Messenger of God (SAW) reported from Adee bin Haatim (RA) concerning this. And the Jews and the Christians even though both of them are misguided and both of them have God's Anger on them - the Anger is specified to the Jews, even though the Christians share this with them because the Jews knew the truth and rejected it and deliberately came with falsehood, so the Anger (of God being upon them) was the description most befitting them. And the Christians were ignorant, not knowing the truth, so misguidance was the description most befitting them. So with this the saying of God,they have drawn on themselves anger upon anger' (2:90) clarifies that the Jews are those that 'have earned your Anger'. And likewise His sayings, 'Say: shall I inform you of something worse than that, regarding the recompense from God: those (Jews) who incurred the Curse of God and His Anger' (5:60)
  21. ^ "Surah Al-Fatihah, Chapter 1". 23 January 2014. Archived from the original on 8 December 2019. Retrieved 11 December 2019. Some of the commentators believe that / dallin / 'those gone astray' refers to the misguided of the Christians; and / maqdubi 'alayhim / 'those inflicted with His Wrath' refers to the misguided of the Jews.
  22. ^ al-Jalalayn. "The Tasfirs". Archived from the original on 4 September 2019. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  23. ^ Abdul-Rahman, Muhammad Saed (2009). The meaning and explanation of the glorious Qur'an, 2nd Edition, Volume 1. MSA Publication Limited. ISBN 978-1-86179-643-1.
  24. ^ Hilali-Khan (2020). "Interpretation of the meanings of the Noble Quran - Surah 1". King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Quran.
  25. ^ Ahmad, Mirza Bahir Ud-Din (1988). The Quran with English Translation and Commentary. Islam International Publications Ltd. p. 1. ISBN 1-85372-045-3.
  26. ^ Joseph E. B. Lumbard "Commentary on Sūrat al-Fātiḥah", The Study of the Quran. ed. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Caner Dagli, Maria Dakake, Joseph Lumbard, Muhammad Rustom (San Francisco: Harper One, 2015), p. 3.
  27. ^ Sunan an-Nasa'i 914
  28. ^ Abu al-Qasim al-Khoei. Al-Bayan Fi Tafsir al-Quran. p. 446.
  29. ^ Joseph E. B. Lumbard, "Introduction to Sūrat al-Fātiḥah", The Study Quran. ed. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Caner Dagli, Maria Dakake, Joseph Lumbard, Muhammad Rustom (San Francisco: Harper One, 2015), p. 3.
  30. ^ a b Mubarakpuri, Safiur Rahman (2000). Tafsir Ibn Kathir (10 Volumes; Abridged). Darussalam. pp. 7–8. ISBN 9781591440208.


  • David James (1988). Qur'ans of the Mamluks. London: Alexandria Press. ISBN 9780500973677.