Where all or the majority of the above commentators agreed on a particular point, I just mentioned the point and did not mention from whom I took the point.
Where all or the majority of the above commentators agreed on a point, but some mentioned additional information related to it, again I just merely quoted the information without mentioning which book it was taken from.
Where the commentators differed, I tried to avoid mentioning the issue altogether unless absolutely necessary in which case I either mentioned all of the different opinions, or the name of the commentator from whom I took the opinion.
Where I mentioned a commentary that only a minority of the above mentioned, but did not contradict anything that the rest mentioned I ascribed this opinion back to its proponent.
I have quoted from a number of books external to the above six, especially the works of Ibn al-Qayyim, in every such case I have fully referenced the quotes.
Most of the tafsir books do not provide authenticating or disparaging remarks concerning the ahadith they quote. I have endeavoured to provide comments to each hadith quoted mainly drawing from the various works of Al-Albani.
I ask Allah that He count this effort amongst the scales of my good works and forgive me for any errors contained therein.

Its Name
It is named Al-Fatihah, the Opening - because it opens the Book and by it the recitation in prayer commences.

It is also named Umm al-Qur'an, the Mother of the Qur'an, and Umm al-Kitab, the Mother of the Book, according to the opinion of the majority. This was mentioned by Anas, however Al-Hasan and Ibn Sirin disliked this appellation reasoning that this was the most fitting description for the Preserved Tablet. Al-Hasan also said that the unequivocal verses of the Qur'an comprised the Mother of the Book. However, it is established in Sahih At-Tirmidhi from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said:

The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "[The chapter commencing with] 'All praises and thanks are due to Allah the Lord of the Universe' is the Mother of the Qur'an, the Mother of the Book, the Seven Oft Repeated Verses and the Great Qur'an." (i.e. Umm al-Qur'an, Umm al-Kitab, Sab'ul-Mathani and Al-Qur'an al-Adhim)
At-Tirmidhi declared the hadith to be sahih. Al-Bukhari said in the beginning of the Book of Tafsir in his Sahih:

"It is named Umm al-Qur'an because it is the first chapter written in the Qur'anic texts and the recitation in prayer commences with it."
Sahih Al-Bukhari (Eng. Trans. 6/1 chpt. 1)
Ibn Jarir at-Tabari said that it was named so because the meaning of the entire Qur'an is summarised therein. The Arabs named anything that concisely summarises something or comprises the most important part of something Umm, or Mother.

For similar reasons it is also named Al-Qur'an al-Adhim, the Great Qur'an.

It is also named Sab'ul-Mathani, the Seven Oft Repeated Verses, because they are frequently recited and indeed recited in every rak'ah of the prayer.

It is also named Al-Hamd, the Praise because it contains mention of hamd just as Al-Baqarah is named so because it contains mention of the cow. Some scholars also gave the reasoning that Al-Hamd constitutes the heart of Al-Fatihah. [1]

It is also named As-Salah, the Prayer due to his (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) saying while reporting from his Lord:

"I have divided the prayer between Myself and my servant equally. Therefore when the servant says, 'all praises and thanks are due to Allah, the Lord of the universe,' Allah says, 'My servant has praised Me.' ... "
The sources for this hadith shall follow in the section concerning the virtues of Al-Fatihah insha'Allah
It is named the Prayer because its recitation is a condition for the validity of the prayer.

It is also named Ash-Shifa', the Cure, due to what Ad-Darimi reports from Abu Sa'id (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam):

"The Opening of the Book is a cure to every poison."
See footnote 2
It is also named Ar-Ruqya, the Spiritual Cure due to the hadith of Abu Sa'id (may Allah be pleased with him) reported in Sahih Al-Bukhari that after he had recited it to cure a person who had been bitten by a scorpion, the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said to him:

"And what made you to know that it was a ruqya?"
Sahih Al-Bukhari (Eng. Trans. 3/264 no. 476)
Ash-Sha'bi reports from Ibn Abbas that he named it Asas al-Qur'an, the Foundation of the Qur'an, and that he said, "The foundation of Al-Fatihah is, 'with the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.'"

Sufyan bin Uyaynah named it Al-Waqiyah, the Protector.

Yahya ibn Abu Kathir named it Al-Kafiyah, the Sufficient, because it suffices from everything other than it but anything else does not suffice it, as occurs in the mursal hadith:

"The Mother of the Book suffices for other than it but nothing else suffices it."
See footnote 3
It is also named Surat as-Salah, the Chapter of the Prayer, and Al-Kanz, the Treasure, as mentioned by Az-Zamakshari in Kashshaf.

Its Revelation
It was revealed in Makkah as stated by Ibn Abbas, Qatadah and Abu'l-Aliyah.

It is also postulated that it was revealed in Madinah as stated by Abu Hurayrah, Mujahid, 'Ata ibn Yasar and Az-Zuhri. It is also said that it was revealed on two separate occasions once in Makkah and once in Madinah. However the first opinion is the most likely due to His saying:

"We have sent to you the Seven Oft Repeated Verses."
Al-Qur'an 15:87
This verse was revealed in Makkah by agreement of the exegetes.

Abu'l-Layth as-Samarqandi relates that half of it was revealed in Makkah and the remaining half in Madinah as quoted from him by Al-Qurtubi but this is an extremely strange position.

It is said that this chapter was the first thing revealed of the Qur'an as mentioned in the hadith reported by Al-Bayhaqi in 'Dala'il an-Nubuwwa'. Al-Baqilani quoted this as one of three opinions. It is also said that the first revelation comprised the verses of Surah Al-Muddaththir but the correct opinion is that the first revelation consisted of the beginning verses of Surah Al-'Alaq.

Its Composition
It consists of seven verses and there is no difference concerning this. 'Amr ibn 'Ubayd said that it consists of eight verses and Husayn al-Ju'afi said that it consists of six verses but both of these opinions are irregular and rejected.

They have differed concerning the statement 'with the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent,the Most Merciful.' The majority of the reciters of Kufa postulate that it comprises an independent verse of Al-Fatihah and this is also the opinion of a group of the Sahabah, Tabi'in and a large group of the later scholars. However the reciters and jurists of Madinah regard it to be part of a verse, and not an independent verse, or not a verse at all.

Those who postulate that it is not a verse of Al-Fatihah state that the seventh verse commences with the words, "not the path of those who have earned [Your] Anger ... "

They said, "Al-Fatihah consists of twenty-five words and one hundred and thirteen letters."

The Virtues of Surah Al-Fatihah
There are a number of ahadith explaining to us the great virtue of this chapter:

1. Muslim reports from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said:

"Allah, the Glorious and Exalted, said, 'I have divided the prayer between Myself and my servant equally and My servant shall be granted what he asked for.' Therefore when the servant says, 'all praises and thanks are due to Allah, the Lord of the universe', Allah says, 'My servant has praised Me.' When he says, 'the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful,' Allah says, 'My servant has extolled Me.' When he says, 'Master of the Day of Judgement,' Allah says, 'My servant has glorified Me.' When he says, 'You Alone we worship and Your aid Alone do we seek,' Allah says, 'this is between Me and My servant and My servant shall have what he requested.' When he says, 'guide us to the Straight Path, the Path of those whom You have favoured, not of those who have incurred [Your] wrath, neither of those who have gone astray,' Allah says, 'this is for My servant and My servant shall have what he asked for.' "
Sahih Muslim (Eng. Trans. 1/215 no. 775)
2. At-Tirmidhi reports from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said:

"[The chapter commencing with], "All praises and thanks are due to Allah the Lord of the Universe" is the Mother of the Qur'an, the Mother of the Book, the Seven Oft Repeated Verses and the Great Qur'an."
i.e. Umm al-Qur'an, Umm al-Kitab, Sab'ul-Mathani and Al-Qur'an al-Adhim. Reported by At-Tirmidhi (no. 3344) and it is sahih as stated by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan at-Tirmidhi (no. 2498)
3. Ahmad reports from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said:

"The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) named Ubayy ibn Ka'b while he was praying in the Mosque saying, 'O Ubayy!' Ubayy turned his head towards him but did not reply. The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) named him again saying, 'O Ubayy!' So Ubayy shortened his prayer and turned towards the Prophet and said, "As-salamu alaykum O Messenger of Allah.' The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) replied, 'Wa alaykum as-salam. What prevented you from replying to me when I named you?' Ubayy said, 'O Messenger of Allah I was praying!' He said, 'Does Allah not say, 'Respond to Allah and the Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life.' [Al-Qur'an 8:24]?'

"Ubayy replied, 'Yes O Messenger of Allah! I will not do this again.' The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) asked, 'Would you like me to teach you a Surah the likes of which is not to be found in the Tawrah, Injil, Zabur or the [rest of the] Qur'an?' He said, 'Yes O Messenger of Allah.' The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, 'I hope that I will not leave this door until you know it.'

"Ubayy said, 'Then he took hold of my hand and talked to me while I slowed down fearing that we may reach the door before he finished talking. When we did reach it I asked him, 'What is the Surah you promised me, O Messenger of Allah?' He said, 'What is the Surah you recite in prayer?' So I recited the Mother of the Qur'an upon which he said, 'By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, Allah has not revealed the likes of it in the Tawrah, Injil, Zabur or the [rest of the] Qur'an. It is the Seven Oft-Repeated verses.' "

Ahmad (5/114), Ibn Khuzaymah (1/252 no. 500) and others. Its isnad was declared sahih by Mustafa al-A'dhami in his takhrij to Ibn Khuzaymah
4. Ahmad reports from Abu Sa'ad ibn Al-Mu'alla (may Allah be pleased with him) who said:

"The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) named me while I was praying in the Mosque but I did not respond until I had completed the prayer. I went to him and he asked, 'What prevented you from coming to me [earlier]?' I replied, 'I was praying O Messenger of Allah.' He said, 'Does Allah not say, 'Respond to Allah and the Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life.' [Al-Qur'an 8:24]?'

"He then said, 'I will teach a Surah which is the greatest Surah in the Qur'an before you leave the Mosque.' Then he grasped hold of my hand and when he intended to leave [the Mosque], I asked him, 'Did you not say that you would teach me a Surah which is the greatest Surah in the Qur'an?' He replied, 'Yes. It is [the Surah commencing with], 'All praise and thanks are due to Allah.' It is the Seven Oft-Repeated verses and the Great Qur'an that has been given to me.' "

Sahih Al-Bukhari (Eng. Trans. 6/1 no.1), Ahmad (3/450) and the wording is his
5. Muslim reports from Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) who said:

"While the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) was sitting with Jibril he heard a creaking sound above him. Jibril looked up and said, 'This is [the sound of] a gate that has been opened in heaven today and has never been previously opened.' Then an Angel descended through it and came to the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) and said, 'Rejoice in the good news of two lights that have been given to you such as no prophet before you has been given. [They are] Surah Al-Fatihah and the concluding [two] verses of Surah Al-Baqarah. You will never recite a word from them without being given the blessings they contain.' "
Sahih Muslim (Eng. Trans. 2/586 no. 1759)
This hadith has led some scholars to suggest that Jibril did not convey the revelation of Surah Al-Fatihah and the last two verses of Al-Baqarah, rather it was the Angel mentioned in this hadith. However the correct opinion is that Jibril did indeed convey the revelation of these verses as he was enjoined by Allah to convey the entire Qur'an to the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam). The Angel that descended as mentioned in this hadith descended only to convey the reward of these verses.

The Ruling of Reciting Al-Fatihah in Prayer
The opinion of the majority of the scholars, amongst them Malik, Ash-Shafi'i and Ahmad, is that it is obligatory to recite Al-Fatihah in the prayer and that the prayer is not valid without it. Their opinion is based upon many proofs; from amongst them the sayings of the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam):

"There is no prayer for the one who does not recite the Opening of the Book."
Sahih Al-Bukhari (Eng. Trans. 1/404 no. 723), Sahih Muslim (Eng. Trans. 1/214 no. 771)
"Whosoever performs a prayer in which he does not recite the Mother of the Book then it is deficient, it is deficient, it is deficient, it is incomplete."
Sahih Muslim (Eng. Trans. 1/215 no. 775)
"The prayer is not valid in which the Mother of the Qur'an is not recited."
Sahih Muslim (Eng. Trans. 1/215 no. 772)
However according to Abu Hanifah, those of his companions who agreed with him, Al-Awza'i and Ath-Thawri, it is not obligatory to recite Al-Fatihah, rather any portion of the Qur'an would be sufficient. They based this upon the saying of Allah:

"And recite what is easy [for you] from the Qur'an."
Al-Qur'an 73:20
And the saying of the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) to the man who prayed badly:

"When you stand for pray, say the takbeer and then recite what is easy for you from the Qur'an."
Sahih Al-Bukhari (Eng. Trans. 1/404 no. 724)
On top of this, according to Ash-Shafi'i and a group of the People of Knowledge it is obligatory to recite Al-Fatihah in every rak'ah of the prayer. However, another group were of the opinion that it is sufficient to recite it in the majority of the raka'at and yet another group, from amongst them Al-Hasan and the majority of the scholars of Basrah, were of the opinion that it is sufficient just to recite it in one rak'ah. This latter group took to the literal sense of the hadith:

"There is no prayer for the one who does not recite the Opening of the Book."
In the case where one is a follower in a congregational prayer then the scholars fell into three opinions with regards to the follower's reciting Al-Fatihah:

It is obligatory upon him to recite it in all prayers.
It is upon him not to recite it in all prayers.
He should recite it in those prayers in which the recitation is silent, but not in those prayers in which the recitation is loud.
The point here is not to discuss which is the strongest opinion but to show that Al-Fatihah has specific rulings to it that are not shared by any other chapter of the Qur'an. Allah knows best.

The Ruling of Isti'adhah (Seeking Refuge)
Allah says:

"Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good and turn away from the foolish. And if an evil suggestion comes to you from Shaytan then seek refuge with Allah. Indeed He is All-Hearing, All-Knowing."
Al-Qur'an 7:199-200
"Repel evil by means of what is best. We are best Acquainted with the things that they utter. And say, 'My Lord! I seek refuge with you from the whisperings of the devils and I seek refuge with you my Lord lest they come near me.' "
Al-Qur'an 23:96-98
"Repel [evil] with that which is better then indeed the one, between whom and you there was enmity, [will become] as though he was a devoted friend. But none is granted [this quality] except those who are patient and none is granted it save one who possesses a great portion [of high moral character]. And if an evil suggestion comes to you from Shaytan then seek refuge with Allah. Indeed He is All-Hearing, All-Knowing."
Al-Qur'an 41:34-46
These verses command the servant of Allah to seek refuge with Him from the accursed Shaytan due to the severe enmity he displays towards mankind and displayed towards their father, Adam. Allah says:

"O Children of Adam! Let not Shaytan deceive you, as he removed your parents out of Paradise."
Al-Qur'an 7:27
Ibn Al-Jawzi said:

"Servants of Allah! Contemplate on the removal of your father, Adam from Paradise, the home of security and his descent to the home of disgrace and abasement. The reason for this was none other than the accursed Shaytan. Your Master has prohibited you from obeying him and ordered you to disobey him. Indeed in his obedience lies the Displeasure of Ar-Rahman and disobeying him necessitates residing in Paradise and the descent of Pleasure.

"Allah, Glorified and Exalted, said, 'Shaytan threatens you with poverty and orders you to immorality.' [Al-Baqarah 2:268]

"So whosoever obeys him, he forsakes him and diverts him from the guidance and opens in his heart the doors to misguidance and ignominy."

Ibn Al-Jawzi, Bustan al-Wa'idhin (pg. 27)
Allah further explains to us the extreme enmity of Shaytan with His Words:

"Indeed Shaytan is an open enemy to you so take him as an enemy. He invites his followers only that they may become the denizens of the blazing Fire."
Al-Qur'an 35:6
"Will you then take him and his offspring as friends and protectors besides Him while they are open enemies to you? Wretched it is as an exchange for the wrong-doers."
Al-Qur'an 18:50
Indeed Shaytan took an oath saying:

"By Your Might! I will surely misguide them all, except Your chosen slaves amongst them."
Al-Qur'an 38:82-83
It is for this reason that we have been encouraged to seek refuge with Allah from the accursed Shaytan. With regards to reciting the Qur'an, Allah says:

"When you wish to read [lit: have read] the Qur'an then seek refuge with Allah from the accursed Shaytan. Indeed he has no power over those who believe and put their trust only in their Lord. His power is only over those who follow him and join partners with Him."
Al-Qur'an 16:99-100
A group of the reciters and scholars, from amongst them Hamza, Ibn Sirin, Ibrahim an-Nakha'i and Dawud adh-Dhahiri, were of the opinion that one seeks refuge after the completion of recitation, taking to the literal sense of this verse. They also stated that the reason for doing so would be to repress self-astonishment at the completion of an action of worship.

A second opinion voiced is that one seeks refuge before and after ones recitation. However the famous, well-known opinion, which is the opinion of the majority is that one seeks refuge before recitation in order to safeguard oneself from the whisperings of Shaytan. This groups understood the meaning of the verse to be, "when you wish to read the Qur'an " in the same sense as the verse:

"When you intend to stand for prayer [lit: have stood for prayer], then wash your faces and forearms "
Al-Qur'an 5:6
Abu Dawud reports from Abu Sa'id al-Khudri that:

"When the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) stood at night [for prayer, he would commence the prayer] by saying the takbir and then saying, 'Subhanakallahumma wa bihamdika, wa tabarrakasmuka, wa ta'ala jadduka, wa la ilaha ghayruk.' (You are glorified O Allah and praised! Your Name is Blessed; Your Majesty is Exalted and none has the right to be worshipped save You.) Then he would say, 'La ilaha illallah' (There is none worthy of worship save You) three times, then he would say, 'Allahu Akbar' three times and then he would say, 'Audhu billahi As-Sami' Al-Alim min Ash-Shaytan ar-Rajim min hamzihi wa nafkhihi wa nafthihi.' (I take refuge with Allah, the All-Seeing, the All-Knowing from the accursed Shaytan: from his madness, arrogance and poetry)."
The hadith is reported by Abu Dawud (Eng. Trans. 1/198 no. 774) and others and it is in Sahih Abu Dawud (no. 701)
Abu Dawud reports from Nafi' ibn Jubayr from his father who said:

"I saw the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) saying when he entered into prayer, 'Allahu Akbar Kabira' (Allah is the Greatest, very great) three times, 'Alhamdulillahi Kathira' (Praise and thanks be to Allah, again and again) three times and 'Subhanallahi Bukratan wa Asila' (Glorified is Allah, morning and evening) three times. Then he said, 'Allahumma inni a'udhubika mina Ash-Shaytan, min hamzihi wa nafkhihi wa nafathi.' (O Allah! I take refuge with You from Shaytan from his madness, arrogance and poetry)."
See footnote 4
The majority of scholars are of the opinion of that isti'adha is recommended and not obligatory. However it is reported from 'Ata ibn Abi Rabah that it is obligatory to say it within the prayer and outside the prayer when one desires to recite the Book of Allah. Ar-Razi stated that the proof for this opinion was that the verse, "seek protection with Allah" is mentioned in the imperative, that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) persisted in uttering it throughout his life and that it serves as a protective barrier from Shaytan therefore if an obligation can only be fulfilled by a particular means then that means also becomes an obligation.
you can also read:VIRTUES OF AL-FATIHAH
or: ABOUT AL-FATEHAH