Narrated ‘Ubada bin As-Samit:
Allah’s Apostle said, “Whoever does not recite Al-Fatiha in his prayer, his prayer is invalid.”
Such is the importance of Surah al-Fatihah. Ever wonder why?
Check this link out to know why:
“O Prophet! It is a fact that We have given thee seven oft-repeated verses and the great Quran.” (15:87)
It has been established by Hadith and Athar that the reference here is to this chapter; for, it not only consists of seven verses but is repeatedly recited in daily worship. It is also called Sab’a al-mathani, (the Oft-repeated Seven). The same sources give it further names — ’Umm-ul-Quran(the Core of the Quran), Al-Kafia (the Sufficient), Al-Kanz (the Treasure House) and Asasul-Quran (the Basis of the Quran), each emphasizing a particular aspect of its importance. [Taken from: http://twocircles.net/2008nov10/importance_surah_al_fatiha.html]
One important peculiarity of this Surah is that it is, so to say, the quintessence of the Holy Quran, and the rest of the Quran is its elaboration. The Surah may thus be delineated for two reasons. Firstly, all that the Holy Quran has to say is, in one way or another, related to either of the two themes, faith (Iman) and virtuous deeds (al-’amal al-salih), and the basic principles of the two have been indicated in this Surah (See Ruh al-Ma ani and Ruh al-Bayan). That is why authentic Traditions (Ahadith) give to this Surah such titles as “Umm al-Quran” (Essence of the Quran), “Umm al-Kitab” (Essence of the Book), “Al-Quran al-Azim” (Glorious Quran).
Secondly, this Surah gives a special instruction to the man who begins the recitation or the study of the Quran – that he should approach this book with a mind cleansed of all his previous thoughts and opinions, seeking nothing but the Truth and the right path, praying to Allah for being guided in the right path. The Surah begins with the praise of Him before whom the request is to be submitted and ends with the request for guidance. The whole of the Quran is the answer to this request. The answer begins with the words: “Alif Lam Mim. This is the Book”, which is an indication that the guidance man had prayed for has been provided in this Book.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.a.w) has said, “I swear by Allah who is master of my life, neither the Torah, nor the Evangile nor the Psalms of David have anything to compare with the Opening Chapter of the Quran, and no other Chapter of the Quran itself can compare with it.” (Reported by the Companion Abu Hurairah (r.a)).
The Holy Prophet (s.a.a.w) has also said that this Surah is a cure for all kinds of illnesses. According to another Tradition (Hadith), the Surah has also been named the “Cure” (Al-Shifa), (See Qurtubi), and al-Bukhari reports from the Companion Anas that the Holy Prophet (s.a.a.w) has called this Surah the greatest among all the Surahs of the Holy Quran. (See Qurtubi).
There’s a LOT to learn from this Surah. Even the longest Tafseer can’t do justice to it. But do go through as much material as you can find on it. You’ll be amazed. :)
Volume 1, Book 11, Number 668:
Narrated Mu’adh bin Jabal:
I used to pray the ‘Isha prayer with the Prophet and then go to lead my people in the prayer.
Volume 1, Book 11, Number 669:
Jabir bin ‘Abdullah said, “Mu’adh bin Jabal used to pray with the Prophet and then go to lead his people in prayer Once he led the ‘Isha’ prayer and recited Surat “Al-Baqarah.” Somebody left the prayer and Mu’adh criticized him. The news reached the Prophet and he said to Mu’adh, ‘You are putting the people to trial,’ and repeated it thrice (or said something similar) and ordered him to recite two medium Suras of al-Mufassal*.” (‘Amr said that he had forgotten the names of those Suras).
* Al-Mufassalaat or the Surahs of al-Mufassal are the surahs starting from Surah no. 50 till the end of the Qur’an, i.e. Surah no. 114.
Prophet (SAW) always kept the congregational prayer short, and ordered others to do so as well. Everyone does not have the time and circumstances to enjoy such long qiyaams everyday. But when you’re praying alone, you may lengthen your prayer as much as you want.
Reciting relevantly shorter Surahs in `Ishaa’ prayer is a Sunnah. The Surahs towards the end of the Qur’an (al-Mufassalaat) are easy to memorize as well. :)
When was the last time you ‘listened’ to Qur’an recitation?
Narrated Said bin Jubair:
Ibn ‘Abbas in the explanation of the Statement of Allah. ‘Move not your tongue concerning (the Quran) to make haste therewith.” (75.16) Said “Allah’s Apostle used to bear the revelation with great trouble and used to move his lips (quickly) with the Inspiration.” Ibn ‘Abbas moved his lips saying, “I am moving my lips in front of you as Allah’s Apostle used to move his.” Said moved his lips saying: “I am moving my lips, as I saw Ibn ‘Abbas moving his.” Ibn ‘Abbas added, “So Allah revealed ‘Move not your tongue concerning (the Qur’an) to make haste therewith. It is for us to collect it and to give you (O Muhammad) the ability to recite it (the Qur’an) (75.16-17) which means that Allah will make him (the Prophet ) remember the portion of the Qur’an which was revealed at that time by heart and recite it. The Statement of Allah: And ‘When we have recited it to you (O Muhammad through Gabriel) then you follow its (Qur’an) recital’ (75.18) means ‘listen to it and be silent.’ Then it is for Us (Allah) to make It clear to you’ (75.19) means ‘Then it is (for Allah) to make you recite it (and its meaning will be clear by itself through your tongue). Afterwards, Allah’s Apostle used to listen to Gabriel whenever he came and after his departure he used to recite it as Gabriel had recited it.”
So? When was the last time you ‘listened’ to Qur’an recitation? When I say ‘listened’, I mean ‘gave full attention to the words being recited and pondered over their meaning’.
You know, a lot of times it happens to us that when we hear Qur’an being recited, we don’t pay attention to it. We’re either busy talking or worse, we try to repeat the words with the Qari (the reciter)! And when it comes to the Surahs (chapters) we know by heart, WHOA!, don’t even get me started!
Allah commands the Prophet (SAW) to be silent while Qur’an is being recited. Quote:
‘Move not your tongue concerning (the Quran) to make haste therewith.’ (75.16)
‘When we have recited it to you (O Muhammad through Gabriel) then you follow its (Qur’an) recital.’ (75.18)
Means ‘listen to it and be silent’.
So, whether you’re just passing by a person who’s reciting out loud, or you’re trying to memorize a few Ayaat (verses) by listening to the recitation again and again, or you’re having Tajweed lessons, DO NOT move your tongue with the words! Let the recitation come to a pause, and then repeat.
It’s not just about dis-respecting the Qur’an, Allah is ordering us to do so. So be conscious.
I’ve learnt my lesson well. Being a Haafizah, I couldn’t resist repeating the words when I heard Qur’an being recited. It just comes naturally. Hehe. But now Alhamdulillah, I’ve learnt to control myself.
Now, try to bring your knowledge into practice. Hit ‘play’. It’s your test! ;)
Do tell me how it went. =)