Names of Surah-Al-Fatiha
This Surah has many names, each one indicating a different aspect of its
meaning. In the eyes of Arabs if a thing had many different names, this was an
indication of its importance.
According to Noble Qur’an and Hadith it has many names, Imam Qurtubi has mentioned its twelve names:
1. As-Salah الصلاة : As is mentioned in Hadith Qudsi: “I have divided Salat (prayer) equally between Myself and My slave.” In this Hadith the meaning of Salat is Surah Al-Fatihah.
2. Al-Hamd الحمد: Because there is mention of “Hamd” (Praise).
3. Al-Asas الأساس (The Base or Foundation): According to Imam Sha’bi (rahimahullah), Ibn Abbas (radiyallahu anh) says that Surah Al-Fatihah is the base of the Qur’an.
4. As-Sab’3-al-Mathaniالسبع المثاني : Because it comprises seven verses which is recited in Rak’at (unit) of Salat.
5. Al-Qur’an Al-Azimالقرءان العظيم : Because it contains all the branches of knowledge mentioned in the Qur’an.
6. Fatihat-ul-Kitab فاتحة الكتابOr ‘the opening chapter of the Book’: Because the recitation of the Qur’an, the writing of this Holy Book and the beginning of Salat are with this Surah only.
7. Umm-ul-Kitab أم الكتاب ‘the mother of the Book’: Imam Bukhari write in the beginning of His book “Kitab-ut-Tafsir” that this Surah is described as “Umm-ul-Kitab” because the writing of the Holy Book, and the beginning of Salat is with the Surah only. Just as a mother who is inseparable from her child, Al-Fatihah is inseparable from the Quran. Also, like a mother, Al-Fatihah nurtures our perception of the entire Quran.
8. Umm-ul-Qur’anأم القرءان : According to Imam Tirmidhi, Abu Hurairah (radiyallahu anh) narrated the Messenger of Allah said: “Surah Al-Hamdulillah” is Umm-ul-Qur’an, Umm-ul-Kitab and Sab’a Al-Mathani.
9. Ash-Shifa’ الشافية (the cure): According to Imam Darami, Abu Sa’id Al Khudri (narrates) that the Prophet said: في فاتحة الكتاب شفاء من كل داء “” Allah has kept the quality of cure for every disease in Surah Al-Fatihah.”
10. Ar-Ruqyahالرقية (Remedy): Allah’s messenger asked the Companion who used Al-Fatihah as a remedy (blew over a snake bite patient after reciting Surah Al-Fatihah): “How did you know it is a Ruqyah?” He replied that it was put into his heart.
11. Al-Wafiyah الوافية : According to Sufyan Ibn Uyaynah, there cannot be any division of this Surah in Salat. It means it cannot be recited first half in one Rak’at and another half in the second Rak’at as is done with other Surahs. That is why its name is “Al-Wafiyah”.
12. Al-Kafiyah الكافية : Yahya bin Ibn Kathir says that this Surah is enough in lieu of other Surahs, but other Surahs are not enough in lie of this Surah; that is why it is named “Al-Kafiyah”.
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