You have to repeat this chapter in each and every rak’ah in each and every prayer (salat). So that makes it approximately seventeen times a day in the obligatory prayers.
But do we really appreciate the power and the beauty of this chapter?
Or do we just skip through it as quick as possibly can and we just don’t think about the words that we’re saying?
The Most Important Chapter in Quran
This chapter is called the mother of the Quran. The scholars have said, in this case, it means the origin of the Quran.
Because it contains certain elements within its words. So, for example, we have the element of message, oneness of Allah, and the hereafter. It really introduces the Quran and contains all the foundations that we find throughout the Quran and to understand it.
When we’re talking about beginnings and opening, we all have a need of moving forward.
It is also known as the seven verses that are often repeated. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) mentioned that without including Al-Fatihah in the salat, the salat is void and incomplete. That’s why we learn it first.
Do we pay attention to what we’re saying?
Why has Allah prescribed this chapter for salat, which encompasses all of Islam?
In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. (Quran 1:1)
Scholars have different opinions whether this is a verse by itself or it’s part of a verse included in every chapter.
However, when we say: “Bismillah Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem”, we’re encouraging ourselves to have sincerity and good intention when we start a good deed.
Ibn Abbas points out that there is a difference between the attributes Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim. We say, “the Most Gracious the Most Merciful”, but it’s actually difficult to translate “Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim” from Arabic into English because the words just don’t match and don’t look deep enough in English to be able to talk about “Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim”.
Ibn Abbas points out that the word Rahim’s soft sound sounds very nice and very soft more than the word Rahman. This suggests more implication of mercy with the word “Rahim” than “Rahman”.
Let me explain in a bit more detail. All the scholars have suggested that Ar Rahman encompasses the whole of creation and Ar Rahim is reserved for the believers.
Allah’s mercy encompasses all of creation, even the angel Gabriel (peace be upon him) when he fears that Pharaoh was about to repent when he was drowning, and started to fill Pharaoh’s mouth with soil, but Allah in His infinite mercy, would accept Pharaoh’s repentance.
And ever is He, to the believers, Merciful. (33:43)