By Sheikh MuhammadIbn Saalih Al-Uthaimeen rahimahullaah
Translated by Abdulilah Lahmami
1. Soorah al-Faatihah (the Opening Chapter) was named as such due to the order of the chapters and because it was the first complete chapter to have been revealed.
2. The scholars have said that this Soorah (chapter) consists of the general meaning of the Quran regarding;Tawheed (worshipping Allaah alone), rulings and regulations, recompense, showing the different paths the children of Adam take etc. This is why it is called the ‘Mother of the Quran’ (Umm ul-Quran). The foundation of anything is called ‘Its mother’. It is also called, ‘The seven oft-repeated Verses’ (As-Sabal Mathaanee).
3. This Soorah has characteristics that distinguish it from others. From those characteristics is that it is a pillar of the prayer, which, in turn, is the greatest pillar in Islam after the testification of faith. There is no prayer for the one who does not recite the opening chapter of the Book. It is also a ‘Ruqya’ (incantation – used as a cure when read over someone). When read over the sick they are cured by the permission of Allaah because the Prophet said to the one who read it over a person who had been bitten by a scorpion and was cured, “How did you come to know that it is a ‘Ruqya’ (incantation)?” 
4. Some people today have invented innovations regarding this Soorah such that they end their supplications with it and begin their sermons with it. They also read it at special occasions and this is wrong. For example, you will find that when he supplicates he says to those around him ‘Al-Faatihah,’ meaning read Al-Faatihah. Some people use it for their (special) occasions and this is also wrong. The reason being, is that the aspects of worship are built upon limiting oneself to the text (of this legislation) and upon following (the Messenger).
 For an overview of the importance of reciting this Soorah in the prayer, see appendix 1
 For an overview of the three categories of Tawheed see appendix 2
 Saheeh al Bukhaaree , Saheeh Muslim [38, 395].
 This name is taken from Soorah Hijr: 87. Sheikh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaimeen said, “it is called oft-repeated as it is repeated daily in our prayers.”
 Pillar (rukn): an essential component of something.
 Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, “The scholars say it (Soorah al-Faatihah) contains 25 words and 113 letters. ” Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Rajhi in his explanation of this Soorah says, “one must completely recite the words and letters and if one letter is dropped from these letters then the prayer is not accepted…it also contains 11 shadas (emphasis on a letter to make it double)… also if one changes the meaning in their recitation such that they say iyyaaki nabudu then the prayer is nullified until they repeat it because here the meaning has changed to addressing Allaah with a feminine pronoun. Or one says Ahdina and not ihdina then their prayer is nullified because the meaning has changed from guide us to gift us…” see tape 1 explanation of ibn Katheer sharh of Soorah al-Faatihah by Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Rajhi.
 Agreed upon, Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (2276) with the additional wording, “You have done the right thing.”
 Since the religion has been completed, based upon following the Quran and the Sunnah with the understanding of the companions. What is already complete cannot be added to.