Assalam O Alaikum. What is Imam Khamnei's opinion on reciting surah fatiha on food? Does it have any islamicsignificane or it it culture? Is it ok to do it or is it not?

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Thank you for your letter in which you have asked whether it is necessary to recite Surat al-Fatiha onto a dish of food. Please note the following: 1. We have not come across a fatwa by Ayatollah Khamenei on this subject. If you wish, you may contact his Excellency’s office at this address: “” for his opinion on this matter. 2. No hadith-report has come to us concerning the above subject. However, it might be all right to recite Suratal-fatiha onto a dish of food because it might be divinely rewarded as a number of ulama have stated. For instance: a) the late Ayatollah Shaykh Ja’far Kashif al-Qita has said the following with regard to “permission” to perform some mustahab acts for which no specific religious evidence has been offered: “…as for some specific deeds that have been referenced in the shari’ah, but there are no particular evidence as to why these acts are mustahab, it is all right to consider them as “acts whose reasons are similar to” the general reasons offered for other mustahab deeds, and act upon them with the intention of “being in agreement” with those reasons. In such cases, one should not make it his intention that he is doing something for a reason particular to that act. But he should have in mind that the deed is “preferable”: either it is a “Rujhan Dhati” or “Aradi” type of act. An example is the time when someone recites Surat al-Fatiha - after he has had his food - with the intention that their supplication, du’a, will be answered. It has been narrated that one must first recite seven ayas of the glorious Qur’an , and then supplicate to God, the Almighty. And Surat al-Mathani has seven ayas, and the best of the seven ones. (1) 2. In his book Miftah al-Falah, Shaykh Bahaii says: واما ما اشتهر فی هذا الزمان من قراءه الفاتحه (فاتحه الکتاب) فلم اطلع علیه فی کتب الحدیث “As for the issue that is known these days, that is, reciting Surat-al-Fatiha after eating food, I have not found it in hadith books.” (2) 3. The book Jam’ al-Abbasi contains this statement: “As for the issue that is known these days with regard to reciting Surat-al-Fatiha after eating food, nothing is written in hadith books.” (3) 4. In answer to a question he was asked, the late Ayatollah Behbahani, has replied in this way: Question.” What ruling is there concerning the recitation of Fatiha upon [a dish of] food?” Answer. “There is no harm in it. It is one [example of] Bida’-al-Mustahcin, wa fardon Akmal [One of the best]; it is a praise that one has been assigned to offer. Apparently it is not made specific for [a dish of] meat and rice. It is better if one prays for himself and for the host after having had the food. God willing, it will be answered, because the du’a will be made after the Quran is recited. This may the reason why the recitation of Fataha has been recommended.”(4)


(1) Najafi, Kashif al-Qita, Ja’far ibn Khizr Maliki: Kashf al-Qita an-Mubhamat al-Shari’ah, printed by Daftr-i Tabliqat-I Islamiyyeh, vol. 1, p.270. (2) Ammeli, Baha al-Din, Muhammad-ibn-Husayn, Miftah al-Falah fi ‘Amal al-Yawm wa Laylah; Dar-al-Adhwa, Beirut, Lebanon, P. 175. (3) Ammeli, Baha al-Din, Muhammad-ibvn-Husayn and Sawoji, the book Jam’ al-Abbasi wa Takmili-An, printed by Daftar Intisharat-i-Islamiy, vol. 2, p. 338. (4) Kermanshahi, Aqa Muhammad Ali b. Wahid Behbahani, Maqam’ al-Fadhl, printed by Mua’sseseh Alamah Mjuadid of Wahid Behbahani, vol. 1, p. 359. -------------------------

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