For some years now I have attended gatherings where attendees have been asked to recite the Fatiha after the request for a specific dua. For example someone may make a request for xyz dua, and then everyone would be asked to make dua by reciting the Fatiha. I have been looking for the reason why this was the case for some time now, and was interested to find the information presented below in the Hanbali scholar, Allamah Yusuf Ibn Abd al-Hadi’s treatise entitled Seeking Help by Means of the Fatiha for Success in Matters. It is a small work of his on this topic which provides evidences for why the Fatiha should be recited at the time of making dua as a means of acceptance of the dua. He said the following:
Ata said, “If you have a need, then recite the Fatiha until you complete it, and your need will be fulfilled Allah willing.” [Kitab al-Thawab of Shaykh bin Hayyan as in Dur al-Manthur 1/24]
He then cited the following narration of Abu Hurayrah regarding the recital of the Fatiha, the end of which is:
(If the person praying says) ‘Guide us to the straight path, the path of those You have favoured, not those who have earned Your anger nor those who have gone astray’ [Allah Most High says] This is for my servant, and my servant will have whatever he asks for.” [Musnad al-Humaydi 973, a version is also related by Muslim 4/101]
Ibn Abd al-Hadi explained:
Some have cited this hadith as evidence that no one recites the Fatiha to fulfil and ask for their need except that it is fulfilled.
The most learned scholar [Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah] said at the beginning of his book, ‘It is the Umm al-Kitab, the seven oft revealed verses, a complete cure, a beneficial medicine, a complete healing, the key to wealth, success and a protection of strength. It repels worries, sadness, fear and sorrow from the one who knows its rank and gives it its due right…knows the manner of seeking cure and treatment by means of it, and the secret due to which it is thus.
He also said:
When some of the companions understood this they performed ruqya upon someone who had been bitten and he was cured immediately.
Ibn Abd al-Hadi also mentioned:
Our Shaykh Abu al-Faraj Ibn al-Habbal would use it often to fulfil his needs and obtain success in his matters, and utilising it for the fulfillment of important matters…I have myself witnessed the successful fulfilment of great matters, for there are few exceptions from the needs which I encounter from the needs of this world and the next world for which I recite the Fatiha except that they are fulfilled and are successful…It is an immense Surah, so you should (Allah have mercy on you) recite it often for your matters, needs, cures and all important situations that you encounter.