The Virtues of Soorah al-Faatihah

There are a number of ahaadeeth explaining to us the great virtue of this chapter:

1. Muslim reports from Abu Hurayrah (RA) who said that the Messenger of Allaah (SAW) said,

Allaah, the Glorious and Exalted said, “I have divided the prayer between Myself and my servant equally and My servant shall be granted what he asked for.” Therefore when the servant says, ‘all praises and thanks are due to Allaah, the Lord of the universe’, Allaah says, ‘My servant has praised Me.’ When he says, ‘the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful,’Allaah says, ‘My servant has extolled Me.’ When he says, ‘Master of the Day of Judgement,’ Allaah says, ‘My servant has glorified Me.’ When he says, ‘You Alone we worship and Your aid Alone do we seek,’ Allaah says, ‘this is between Me and My servant and My servant shall have what he requested.’ When he says, ‘guide us to the Straight Path, the Path of those whom You have favoured, not of those who have incurred [Your] wrath, neither of those who have gone astray,’ Allaah says, ‘this is for My servant and My servant shall have what he asked for.’ [Saheeh Muslim [Eng. Trans. 1/215 no. 775]]

2. At-Tirmidhee reports from Abu Hurayrah (RA) who said that the Messenger of Allaah (SAW) said,

[The chapter commencing with], “all praises and thanks are due to Allaah the Lord of the Universe” is the Mother of the Qur`aan, the Mother of the Book, the Seven Oft Repeated Verses and the Great Qur`aan. [i.e. Ummul Qur`aan, Ummul Kitaab, Sab`ul Mathaanee and al-Qur`aanul Adheem. Reported by at-Tirmidhee [no. 3344] and it is saheeh as stated by al-Albaanee in ‘Saheeh Sunan at-Tirmidhee’ [no. 2498].]

3. Ahmad reports from Abu Hurayrah (RA) who said,

The Prophet (SAW) named Ubayy bin Ka`b while he was praying in the Mosque saying, “O Ubayy!” Ubayy turned his head towards him but did not reply. The Prophet (SAW) named him again saying, “O Ubayy!” So Ubayy shortened his prayer and turned towards the Prophet and said, “as salaam u alaikum O Messenger of Allaah.” The Prophet (SAW) replied, “wa alaikum as-salaam. What prevented you from replying to me when I named you?” Ubayy said, “O Messenger of Allaah I was praying!” He said, “does Allaah not say,

‘Respond to Allaah and the Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life.’ [Al-Anfaal (8): 24]?

Ubayy replied, “yes O Messenger of Allaah! I will not do this again.” The Messenger of Allaah (SAW) asked, “would you like me to teach you a Soorah the likes of which is not to be found in the Torah, Injeel, Zaboor or the [rest of the] Qur`aan?” He said, “yes O Messenger of Allaah.” The Prophet (SAW) said, “I hope that I will not leave this door until you know it.”

Ubayy said, “then he took hold of my hand and talked to me while I slowed down fearing that we may reach the door before he finished talking. When we did reach it I asked him, ‘what is the Surah you promised me, O Messenger of Allaah?’ He said, ‘what is the Soorah you recite in prayer?’ So I recited the Mother of the Qur`aan upon which he said, ‘by the One in Whose Hand is my soul, Allaah has not revealed the likes of it in the Torah, Injeel, Zaboor or the [rest of the] Qur`aan. It is the Seven Oft-Repeated verses.’[Ahmad [5/114], ibn Khuzaymah [1/252 no. 500] and others. Its isnaad was declared saheeh by Mustafaa al-A`dhamee in his takhreej to ibn Khuzaymah]

4. Ahmad reports from Abu Sa`d ibn al-Mu`allaa (RA) who said,

The Prophet (SAW) named while I was praying in the Mosque but I did not respond until I had completed the prayer. I went to him and he asked, “what prevented you from coming to me [earlier]?” I replied, “I was praying O Messenger of Allaah.” He said, “does Allaah not say,

‘Respond to Allaah and the Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life.’ [Al-Anfaal (8): 24]?

He then said, “I will teach a Surah which is the greatest Surah in the Qur`aan before you leave the Mosque.” Then he grasped hold of my hand and when he intended to leave [the Mosque], I asked him, “did you not say that you would teach me a Surah which is the greatest Surah in the Qur`aan?” He replied, “yes. It is [the Surah commencing with], ‘All praise and thanks are due to Allaah.’ It is the Seven Oft-Repeated verses and the Great Qur`aan that has been given to me.” [Bukhaaree [Eng. Trans. 6/1 no.1], Ahmad [3/450] and the wording is his]

5. Muslim reports from ibn Abbaas (RA) who said,

While the Messenger of Allaah (SAW) was sitting with Jibreel he heard a creaking sound above him. Jibreel looked up and said, “this is [the sound of] a gate that has been opened in heaven today and has never been previously opened.” Then an Angel descended through it and came to the Prophet (SAW) and said, “rejoice in the good news of two lights that have been given to you such as no prophet before you has been given. [They are] Surah al-Faatihah and the concluding [two] verses of Surah al-Baqarah. You will never recite a word from them without being given the blessings they contain.” [Saheeh Muslim [Eng. Trans. 2/586 no. 1759]]

This hadeeth has led some scholars to suggest that Jibreel did not convey the revelation of Surah al-Faatihah and the last two verses of al-Baqarah, rather it was the Angel mentioned in this hadeeth. However the correct opinion is that Jibreel did indeed convey the revelation of these verses as he was enjoined by Allaah to convey the entire Qur`aan to the Prophet (SAW). The Angel that descended as mentioned in this hadeeth descended only to convey the reward of these verses.