Virtues of Al-Fatihah
Tafsir Ibn Kathir
Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal recorded in the Musnad that Abu Sa`id bin Al-Mu`alla said, "I was
praying when the Prophet called me, so I did not answer him until I finished the prayer. I then went to him and he said, (What
prevented you from coming) I said, 'O Messenger of Allah ! I was praying.' He said, (`Didn't Allah say),
دَعَاكُمْ لِمَا يُحْيِيكُمْ]
(O you who believe! Answer Allah (by obeying Him) and (His) Messenger when he () calls
you to that which gives you life) He then said,
أَعْظَمَ سُورَةٍ فِي
الْقُرْآنِ قَبْلَ أَنْ
تَخْرُجَ مِنَ الْمَسْجِدِ»
(I will teach you the greatest Surah in the Qur'an before you leave the Masjid.) He held
my hand and when he was about to leave the Masjid, I said, `O Messenger of Allah! You said: I will teach you the greatest
Surah in the Qur'an.' He said, (Yes.)
للَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ
(Al-Hamdu lillahi Rabbil-`Alamin)''
هِيَ السَّبْعُ الْمَثَانِي
(It is the seven repeated (verses) and the Glorious Qur'an that I was given.)''
Al-Bukhari, Abu Dawud, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah also recorded this Hadith.
Also, Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said, "The Messenger of Allah went out while
Ubayy bin Ka`b was praying and said, (O Ubayy!) Ubayy did not answer him. The Prophet said, (O Ubayy!) Ubayy prayed faster
then went to the Messenger of Allah saying, `Peace be unto you, O Messenger of Allah!' He said, (Peace be unto you. O Ubayy,
what prevented you from answering me when I called you) He said, `O Messenger of Allah! I was praying.' He said, (Did you
not read among what Allah has sent down to me,)
إِذَا دَعَاكُمْ لِمَا
(Answer Allah (by obeying Him) and (His) Messenger when he () calls you to that which
gives you life) He said, `Yes, O Messenger of Allah! I will not do it again.' the Prophet said,
أَنْ أُعَلِّمَكَ سُورَةً
لَمْ تَنْزِلْ لَا فِي
التَّورَاةِ وَلَا فِي
الْإِنْجِيلِ وَلَا فِي
الزَّبُورِ وَلَا فِي
(Would you like me to teach you a Surah the likes of which nothing has been revealed in
the Tawrah, the Injil, the Zabur (Psalms) or the Furqan (the Qur'an)) He said, `Yes, O Messenger of Allah!' The Messenger
of Allah said, (I hope that I will not leave through this door until you have learned it.) He (Ka`b) said, `The Messenger
of Allah held my hand while speaking to me. Meanwhile I was slowing down fearing that he might reach the door before he finished
his conversation. When we came close to the door, I said: O Messenger of Allah ! What is the Surah that you have promised
to teach me' He said, (What do you read in the prayer.) Ubayy said, `So I recited Umm Al-Qur'an to him.' He said,
نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ مَا
أَنْزَلَ اللهُ فِي التَّورَاةِ
وَلَا فِي الْإِنْجِيلِ
وَلَا فِي الزَّبُورِ
وَلَا فِي الْفُرْقَانِ
مِثْلَهَا إِنَّهَا السَّبْعُ
(By Him in Whose Hand is my soul! Allah has never revealed in the Tawrah, the Injil, the
Zabur or the Furqan a Surah like it. It is the seven repeated verses that I was given.)''
Also, At-Tirmidhi recorded this Hadith and in his narration, the Prophet said,
مِنَ السَّبْعِ الْمَثَانِي
(It is the seven repeated verses and the Glorious Qur'an that I was given.) At-Tirmidhi
then commented that this Hadith is Hasan Sahih.
There is a similar Hadith on this subject narrated from Anas bin Malik Further, `Abdullah,
the son of Imam Ahmad, recorded this Hadith from Abu Hurayrah from Ubayy bin Ka`b, and he mentioned a longer but similar wording
for the above Hadith. In addition, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa'i recorded this Hadith from Abu Hurayrah from Ubayy bin Ka`b who
said that the Messenger of Allah said,
اللهُ فِي التَّورَاةِ
وَلَا فِي الْإِنْجِيلِ
مِثْلَ أُمِّ الْقُرْآنِ
وَهِيَ السَّبْعُ الْمَثَانِي
وَهِيَ مَقْسُومَةٌ بَيْنِي
وَبَيْنَ عَبْدِي نِصْفَيْنِ»
(Allah has never revealed in the Tawrah or the Injil anything similar to Umm Al-Qur'an.
It is the seven repeated verses and it is divided into two halves between Allah and His
This is the wording reported by An-Nasa'i. At-Tirmidhi said that this Hadith is Hasan
Also, Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn Jabir said, "I went to the Messenger of Allah after
he had poured water (for purification) and said, `Peace be unto you, O Messenger of Allah!' He did not answer me. So I said
again, `Peace be unto you, O Messenger of Allah!' Again, he did not answer me, so I said again, `Peace be unto you, O Messenger
of Allah!' Still he did not answer me. The Messenger of Allah went while I was following him, until he arrived at his residence.
I went to the Masjid and sat there sad and depressed. The Messenger of Allah came out after he performed his purification
and said, (Peace and Allah's mercy be unto you, peace and Allah's mercy be unto you, peace and Allah's mercy be unto you.)
He then said, (O `Abdullah bin Jabir! Should I inform you of the best Surah in the Qur'an) I said, `Yes, O Messenger of Allah!'
He said, (Read, `All praise be to Allah, the Lord of the existence,' until you finish it.)'' This Hadith has a good chain
Some scholars relied on this Hadith as evidence that some Ayat and Surahs have more virtues
Furthermore, in the chapter about the virtues of the Qur'an, Al-Bukhari recorded that
Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri said, "Once, we were on a journey when a female servant came and said, `The leader of this area has been
poisoned and our people are away. Is there a healer among you' Then a man whose healing expertise did not interest us stood
for her, he read a Ruqyah for him, and he was healed. The chief gave him thirty sheep as a gift and some milk. When he came
back to us we said to him, `You know of a (new) Ruqyah, or did you do this before' He said, `I only used Umm Al-Kitab as Ruqyah.'
We said, `Do not do anything further until we ask the Messenger of Allah.' When we went back to Al-Madinah we mentioned what
had happened to the Prophet . The Prophet said,
كَانَ يُدْرِيهِ أَنَّهَا
رُقْيَةٌ اقْسِمُوا وَاضْرِبُوا
(Who told him that it is a Ruqyah Divide (the sheep) and reserve a share for me.)''
Also, Muslim recorded in his Sahih, and An-Nasa'i in his Sunan that Ibn `Abbas said, "While
Jibril (Gabriel) was with the Messenger of Allah , he heard a noise from above. Jibril lifted his sight to the sky and said,
`This is a door in heaven being open, and it has never been opened before now.' An angel descended from that door and came
to the Prophet and said, `Receive the glad tidings of two lights that you have been given, which no other Prophet before you
was given: the Opening of the Book and the last (three) Ayat of Surat Al-Baqarah. You will not read a letter of them, but
will gain its benefit.''' This is the wording collected by An-Nasa'i (Al-Kubra 5:12) and Muslim recorded similar wording (1:554).