This Sura has a total of 7 verses.
Period of Revelation
It is one of the very earliest Revelations to the Holy Prophet. As a matter of fact
we learn from authentic Traditions that it was the first complete Sura which was revealed to Muhammed (PBUH). Before this
only a few miscellaneous verses were revealed which form parts of Sura Alaq
This Sura is in fact a prayer which Allah has taught to all those who want to make a study of his book. It has been placed at the very beginning of the book to teach this lesson to the reader: if you sincerely want to benefit from the Quran
you should offer this prayer to the Lord of the Universe. This preface is meant to create a strong desire in the heart of the reader to seek guidance from the Lord of the Universe
who alone can grant it. Thus Al- Fatihah indirectly teaches that the best thing for a man is to pray for guidance to the straight path
to study the Quran with the mental attitude of a seeker- after-truth and to recognize the fact that the Lord of the Universe is the source of all knowledge. He should
begin the study of the Quran with a prayer to him for guidance. From this theme
it becomes clear that the real relation between Al-Fatihah and the Quran is not that of an introduction to a book but that of a prayer and its answer. Al-Fatihah is the prayer from the servant and the Quran is the answer from the Master to his prayer. The servant prays to Allah to show him guidance and the Master places the whole of the Quran before him in answer to his prayer
as if to say
This is the Guidance you begged from Me.