From our belief as Ahlus-sunnah is that the Qur’aan is the speech of Allaah, and that it is not created. We find through the angel Jibreel that he spoke it to the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) exactly how he heard it from Allaah.
Surah Al-Fatiha is the best chapter in the Qur’aan, as is known from a hadeeth wherein the Prophet Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam said to his companion: “I shall teach you the best chapter in the Qur’aan” and The Prophet Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam began to recite: “Alhamdulillaahi Rabbil Aalameen”.
The companions were all in agreement that Surah Al-Fatiha should be the first Surah in the Qur’aan.
Shaykh Uthaymeen says the first relevation was in the night of Laylatul Qadr. The Prophet Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam was given revelation at the age of 40 years. Ibn Abbaas says this is an age a man perfects his understanding and becomes wiser.
A surah that is classified as Makkeeyah is a surah that was revealed before the Hijra of the Prophet Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam from Makkah to Madina; and a Madaneeyah surah is a surah that was revealed after the Prophet Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam migrated to Madina.
Some scholars say Surah Al-Fatiha was revealed before the hijra, and others say it was revealed after. The most correct opinion, Insha Allaah, is that it is a Makkeeyah Surah.
Surah Al-Fatiha has many names. From them are: Al-Fatiha (The opening), Umm Ul-Kitaab, Umm-Ul Quran, Al-Hamd, Al-Salah, Al-Shifaa, Asaas Al-Qur’aan, Al-Waaqia, al-Kafia.
Surah Al-Fatiha has seven verses. This issue has consensus among the companions. However, there is one issue where there is a difference of opinion among the scholars: to consider whether Bismillah is a part of Surah Al-Fatiha or not.
Every Surah has the Basmala at the beginning except surah Al-Tawba (the ninth surah). Surah An-Naml, verse 30 contains the Basmala. The most correct of opinions is that the Basmala is not an ayah in Surah Al-fatiha. Those who say the Basmala is not a verse from surah Al-Fatiha say that when reciting the prayer out loud, that the Basmala should be recited quietly.
There are many virtues of Surah Al-Fatiha. The Prophet Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam said: “There is no salah for one who does not recite the Fatiha”. This is a virtue of this surah- that it is a pillar of the salah.
Ibn Al-Qayyim said Surah Al-Fatiha provides a cure for the heart and a cure for the body. It comprises of the cure for the heart in the most complete and perfect way. The corruption of the heart comes from two things: the corruption of knowledge and the corrupt intention.
Misguidance is the result of the corruption of knowledge. Hatred is the result of the corruption of his intention in a person’s actions.
Allaah says in Surah Al-Fatiha: “Guide us to the straight path”. This verse provides the cure for the diseases of misguidance.
When we say: “You alone we worship and you alone we ask for guidance” this verse necessitates knowledge of Allaah and implementing actions.
Ibn Al-Qayyim mentioned that Surah al-Fatiha comprises all the meanings of the previous scriptures.