Merits of Surah Al-Fatihah

Fatwa no. 20917:

The questioner raises some questions about the virtues and merits of some Ayahs (Qur’anic verses) and Surahs of the Qur’an. His questions come as follows:

Q 1: is Al-Fatihah the heart of the Qur’an, the greatest of its Surahs and the Al-Sab`-ul-Mathany (Seven Oft-repeated Verses) and the glorious Qur’an?

A: It has been authentically reported in Sahih Al-Bukhari and other books on the authority of Abu Sa`id ibn Al-Mu`alla, (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said: I was performing the Salah (prayer) when the Prophet (peace be upon him) passed by and called me, but I did not go to him until I had finished my Salah. When I went to him, he said, “What prevented you from coming?” I said, “I was performing Salah.” He said, “Did Allah not say:Surah Al-Anfal, 8: 24 Answer Allâh (by obeying Him) and (His) Messenger when he (peace be upon him) calls you to that which will give you life Then he added, “Shall I tell you of the most superior Surah in the Qur’an before I leave the Masjid (mosque)?” When the Prophet (peace be upon him) was about to go out,

( Part No : 3, Page No: 136)

I reminded him. He said, “It is Al-Hamdu-Lillahi Rabbi-l-`Alamin i.e. All praise and thanks are Allâh’s, the Lord of the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists). It is the seven Mathany i.e. frequently repeated verses, and the Grand Qur’an given to me.

As for saying that the Fatihah is the heart of the Qur’an, we do not know any legal evidence from the Sunnah to support this.