Recitation of Sura 1 (Al-Fatiha) of the Qurʾan

view of open qurʾan positioned in front of leather cases for volume

Dr. Sheikh Mohamed Shaakir of the Bayan Institute (Roxbury, Massachusetts) recites the first sura or chapter of the Qurʾan. Referred to as Sura al-Fatiha or The Opening, this chapter contains a prayer for guidance and mercy and an expression of the idea that God alone has the right to be worshipped.

Listen to the recitation of Sura 1 here or visit the Arts of Islamic Cultures gallery to see it in calligraphic form.

English Translation

In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

Praise belongs to God, Lord of the Worlds, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy, Master of the Day of Judgement.

It is You we worship; it is You we ask for help. Guide us to the straight path: the path of those You have blessed, those who incur no anger and who have not gone astray.


Unknown artist, Qurʾan in a leather satchel, about 1830–80. Ink, watercolor, and gold on paper; satchel, leather. Denman Waldo Ross Collection.