Abu Saeed Al-Mualla (radi Allahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Should I teach you the greatest Surah in the Quran before I go out of the Masjid?” When the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) intended to go out (of the Masjid), I reminded him and he said, “That 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 is the Dua (prayer), in response to which Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has given the whole Quran.
In it we plead with Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) to show us the straight path to Jannah, “ihdinas sirat al-mustaqeem.” So Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) put floodlights on the
path that leads to Jannah. Through the Quran and Sunnah, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) tells us clearly what that path looks like and what is off the path.
Then we 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 maghzoobi 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 exactly
what their misbehaviour was so we may know precisely what to stay clear of.
There are seven Ayaat in Surah Fatiha. If one prays only the Fard Salat, even then one recites Surah Fatiha seventeen times a day. This is why Surah Fatiha is referred to as “the seven, repeatedly recited, Ayaat.”