The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Should I teach you the greatest Surah in the Quran … (it) is ‘Alhamdu lillahi Rabbil Alameen’ which is the seven repeatedly recited Ayaat and the Grand Quran which has been given to me.” [Sahih Bukhari]
Surah Fatiha has been called the greatest Surah of the Quran. Perhaps this is because it is the greatest supplication we could make. “Ihdinas Sirat al-Mustaqeem (show us the straight path to Jannah),” we plead to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala).
In response to this Dua of ours Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) gives us the entire Quran!
Through the Quran, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) put floodlights on the path that leads to Jannah, showing us clearly what that path looks like and what is off that path.
In Surah Fatiha we then specifically plead with Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) not to let us follow in the footsteps of those who earned His anger (the Jews) or those who went astray (the Christians); “Ghairil Maghdoobi ilaihim wa Ladh-Dhaaleen.”
In response, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) starts narrating to us right from Surah Baqarah the stories of the Bani Israil – the Jews and the Christians; to show us what their misbehaviour was so we may know precisely what to stay clear of.
There are seven Ayaat in Surah Fatiha and they are recited repeatedly in prayer which is why Surah Fatiha is referred to as “the seven repeatedly recited Ayaat.” If one prays only the Fard Salat, even then one recites Surah Fatiha seventeen times a day.