First of all, it should be clear that there is no doubt in the authenticity and completeness of the glorious Qur’an. This fact is proven beyond any shadow of doubt. A lot of proofs maintains this fact and you may need to browse some our relevant fatwas for more details.

Allah Almighty states in the beginning of Surat Al Baqarah, ” Alif, Lam, Mim. That is the Book, there is no suspicion about it a guidance to the pious”. The Glorious Qur’an is preserved in the same form it was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) 1400 years ago, and will remain so until the Day of Judgment. This is nothing but the fulfillment of Allah’s promise: “Lo! We, even We, reveal the Reminder, and lo! We verily are its Guardian.” (Al-Hijr: 9).

No creature has the authority to add to or omit anything from the Glorious Qur’an. This rule applies even to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) himself. Allah, Most High, says, “It is a revelation from the Lord of the Worlds. And if he had fabricated against Us some of the sayings, We would certainly have seized him by the right hand, then We would certainly have cut off his aorta, and not one of you could have withheld Us from him. “(Al-Haqqa: 43-47)

As for the Basmalah, there is an agreement among the scholars that the Basmalah is a verse in the Qur’an. There is no difference regarding this. However, their difference on whether the Basmalah should be recited loudly or not in the Prayer does not affect this fact in whatever way.

Likewise, their disagreement over whether it is a separate Ayah before every Surah, or if it is an Ayah of AlFatihah, or a part of an Ayah, included in every Surah where the Basmalah appears in its beginning does not have any relation with the completeness of the Word of Allah. It relates particularly with its recitation in the Prayer.

Al-Daraqutni reported from the Hadith of Abu Hurairah that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “If you recite ‘Al-hamdu Lillahi Rabi Al-Alamin’, you have to recite ‘Bismi Allahi Arrahman Arrahim; this Surah is the mother of the Qur’an, and the mother of the Book, and the mother of the seven Mathani, and ‘Bismi Allahi Arrahmani Arrahim’ is one of its verses”.

To shed more light on this, we would like to cite the following fatwa issued by Sheikh `Atiyyah Saqr, former head of Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee who said:

“Scholars have unanimously agreed that the Basmalah, or the phrase “in the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful”, is a verse in the Qur’an and this is clarified by the case of Surat An-Naml in which a verse reads: “It is from Solomon, and is (as follows): In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.” (An-Naml: 30)

However, Muslim scholars differ as to whether or not it constitutes a verse of every surah (chapter) in the Qur’an. There are three opinions regarding this point:

The first view:
Basmalah stands as one of a verse of surat Al-Fatihah and of every surah of the Qur’an. Therefore, it has to be recited with Al-Fatihah during those prayers of loud or inaudible recitation. The strongest support of this opinion comes from the hadith of Nu`aym Al-Mujammir who said, “I prayed behind Abu Hurayrah and he recited, ‘In the Name of Allah…’ and then he recited Al-Fatihah.” At the end of the hadith, he is quoted as saying, “(I swear) By the One in whose Hand is my soul, I have prayed the same way the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to pray.”

The second view:
It is a verse by itself and was revealed to demarcate different surahs. Hence, it is allowed to recite it with AlFatihah (in fact it is preferred), but it is not to be said aloud. The proof of this view is the hadith reported by Anas (may Allah be pleased with him): “I prayed behind the Messenger of Allah, Abu Bakr, `Umar and `Uthman, and they did not recite it aloud.” This hadith is related by An-Nasa’i, Ibn Hibban and At-Tahawi with a sahih chain of narrators.

The third view:
It is not a verse of AlFatihah or of any other surah in the Qur’an. It is disliked to recite it aloud or quietly during obligatory prayers, not the supererogatory ones. This opinion, however, does not have a strong proof.

We can conclude that sometimes the Prophet would recite Basmalah aloud, and some other times he would say it quietly. So long as the matter is controversial, we should not stick to one view and discard other views. I would say it is better to do all of them, and not doing it at all does not render one’s prayer null and void.”