|Position||Juz' 1, Hizb 1|
|No. of verses||6 or 7|
|No. of words||25 or 29|
|No. of letters||113 or 139|
Al-Fatiha, alternatively transliterated Al-F?ti?a or Al-F?ti?ah (Arabic: ?, IPA: [?al fa:ti?ah]; lit. "The Opening" or "The Opener") is the first surah (chapter) of the Quran. It consists of 6 or 7 ?y?t (verses) which are a prayer for guidance and mercy. Al-Fatiha is recited in Muslim obligatory and voluntary prayers, known as salah.
Quranic chapter titles are not considered by Muslims to be part of the divine revelation of the Quran. The primary literal meaning of the expression "Al-Fatiha" is "The Opener," which could refer to this Surah being the first in the Quran, the first chapter recited in full in every rakat of salah, or to the manner in which it serves as an opening for many functions in everyday Islamic life. Some Muslims interpret it as a reference to an implied ability of the Surah to open a person to faith in God.
Al-Fatiha is narrated in the Hadith to have been divided into two halves between Allah and His servant (the person reciting), the first three verses being His half and last three being the servant's. There is disagreement as to whether the Basmala is the first verse of the surah, or even a verse in the first place. The chapter begins by praising Allah with the phrase Alhamdulillah, and stating that it is Allah who has full authority over all creations (verse 1/2), that He is Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim or the Most Gracious and Most Merciful (verse 2/3), and that He is and will be the true owner of everything and everyone on the Day of Judgement (verse 3/4).
The last three verses, which comprise the servant's half, begin with the servant stating that they worship and seek only Allah'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 (verse 5-6/6-7).
Some Muslim commentators believe Jews and Christians are examples of those evoking God's anger and those who went astray, respectively. Others view this as an exclusive condemnation of all Jews and Christians from all times. The Noble Quran (Hilali-Khan), which is said to be the most widely disseminated Quran in most Islamic bookstores and Sunni mosques throughout the English-speaking world, defines the two groups as Jews and Christians respectively.
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. Most narrators recorded that al-F?ti?ah was the first complete Surah revealed to Muhammad.
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-? which means to open, explain, disclose, conquer, etc. 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), Sab'a min al-Mathani (Seven Repeated Ones, from Quran 15:87), and Ash-Shifa' (The Cure).
Muslims attribute special significance to some surahs for their virtues and benefits (fada'il, Arabic: ) 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.
[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. 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.
The Prophet interpreted those who incurred God's wrath as the Jews and the misguided as the Christians.
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)
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 Allaah (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 Allaah'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 Allah 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 Allaah, 'so 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 Allaah: those (Jews) who incurred the Curse of Allaah and His Anger' (5:60)
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.
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.).
...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.
Das anaphorische ?iyy?ka (V. 6) betont die Exklusivität des Angerufenen, der anders als im Fall der paganen mu?rik?n, 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 f?ti?a auch unbestimmt intendiert sein. Erst später - mit der Herausbildung von Kollektivbildern - ließen sich die Zielgruppen ex silentio erschließen