Many of the excellences of this sūrah have been mentioned in the Hadith [narrations of the Holy Prophetsa], some of which I have indicated in the aforementioned names of the sūrah. I shallnow discuss those excellences of thissūrahwhich have been elucidated in greater detail. Imam Nisā’ī narrates on the authority of Ubayy bin Ka‘b that the Holy Prophetsasaid:
مَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ فِي التَّوْرَاةِ وَلَا فِي الْإِنْجِيلِ مِثْلَ أُمِّ الْقُرْآنِ وَهِيَ السَّبْعُ الْمَثَانِي وَهِيَ مَقْسُومَةٌ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَ عَبْدِي وَلِعَبْدِي مَا سَأَلَ
‘Neither in the Torah nor in the Gospel has Allah the Almighty revealed any chapter like that of Ummul-Qur’ān(Sūrahal-Fātiḥah), also referred to as The Seven oft-Repeated Verses. Allah the Almighty has informed me that this chapter has been divided equally between Me and My servant. Through this chapter any prayer of My servants will certainly be granted acceptance.’
This particular quality of this chapter is of great significance because it contains a practical remedy to benefit one, both in this world and in the hereafter. Any prayer offered using this remedy will find acceptance.
It is evident that this does not mean that every prayer offered through Sūrahal-Fātiḥahwill certainly be accepted. Rather, it signifies that one who adopts the means of prayer found in this chapter will indeed find their prayer accepted.
Now the question arises as to what are those means? It is clear from the composition of the chapter that these means are:
- Bismillāh [In the name of Allah]
- al-Ḥamdu Lillāh [All Praise belongs to Allah]
- ar-Raḥmān [the Most Gracious]
- ar-Raḥīm [the Ever Merciful]
- Māliki yawmid-dīn [Master of the Day of Judgement]
- Iyyāka na‘budu [Thee alone do we worship]
- Iyyāka nasta‘īn[Thee alone do we implore for help]
Just as this sūrahconsists of seven verses, there are also seven principles for the acceptance of prayer contained within this chapter.
Nisā’ī, Kitābul-Iftitāḥ, Faḍlu Fātiḥatil-Kitāb.