48 – Al-Fath (The Opening)
This honorable Surah was revealed after the Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) returned from the area of Al-Hudaybiyyah, during the month of Dhul-Qa`dah, in the sixth year of Hijrah. This is when the idolaters prevented him from reaching Al-Masjid Al-Haram to perform the `Umrah he intended. They stopped the Prophet from reaching Makkah at that time, but then were prone to peace negotiations. A peace treaty was conducted stipulating that the Messenger would return this year and then come back for `Umrah the following year. The Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) agreed.
However, some of the Companions disliked these terms, including sayyidina `Umar bin Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him). After the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) slaughtered his sacrificial animals in the area where he was stopped and headed back to Al-Madinah, Allah, Most High, revealed this Surah about what occurred between him and the idolators. Allah declared the Al-Hudaybiyyah peace treaty a manifest victory, because of the benefits peace would carry and the good results that did originate from it.
Virtue of Surah al-Fath
Imam Ahmad records that sayyidina `Umar bin Al-Khattab said:
“We were with the Messenger of Allah salla-Llahu ‘alaihi wa sallam on a trip, and I asked him about a matter three times, but he did not answer me. So I said to myself, `May your mother lose you, O son of Al-Khattab! You were stubborn in repeating your question three times to the Messenger of Allah salla-Llahu ‘alaihi wa sallam; each time he did not respond to you.’
So I mounted my animal, my camel, and went ahead for fear that a part of the Qur’an might be revealed in my case. Suddenly, I heard a caller calling, `O `Umar!’ So, I went to the Messenger salla-Llahu ‘alaihi wa sallam while fearing that part of the Qur’an was revealed about me. The Prophet said:
“Last night, a Surah was revealed to me that is dearer to me than this life and all that it contains: ‘Verily, We have given you a manifest victory. That Allah may forgive you your sins of the past and the future.‘”
— Al-Bukhari, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa’i collected this Hadith from several chains of narration through Malik, may Allah grant him His mercy
Benefits of Reciting Surah al-Fath
In Al-Munjiyat, Shaikhuna writes the following salient and experiential benefits to be accrued from reciting this surah:
Benefits for Regular Recitation
- Attain the same reward if one had given the “Pledge of Support” to the Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) under the shade of the tree where the “Treaty of Hudaibiyya” was recorded.
- Attain the same reward if one had participated in the “Opening of Makka” [fathu-l makkah] with the Prophet of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace).
Benefits for Particular Days
- If recited during the 3 days preceding the month of Ramadan, it will ward off the strain of fasting for the whole month
- If recited during the 1st night of Ramadan, Allah’s protection and help will manifest for the year ahead
Allāh and His Beloved Messenger (upon him be blessings and peace) know best. And success and guidance is from Allah, eminent is His Glory.