Ruling on saying Basmalah out loud when reciting Surah Al-Fatihah in Salah

A: According to the soundest opinion, the Basmalah is not part of the Fatihah or any other Surah (Qur’anic chapter); rather, it is an independent Ayah (Qur’anic verse) and part of an Ayah in Surah Al-Naml in Allah’s Saying: "Verily it is from Sulaimân (Solomon), and verily, it (reads): In the Name of Allâh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful: It is Mustahab (desirable) to recite it at the beginning of each Surah save for Surah Bara’ah (At-Tawbah). The Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet) is to recite the Basmalah silently before the Fatihah. It is reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him), Abu Bakr and `Umar used to begin Salah with “Al-Hamdu lil-lahi Rabbil-‘Alamin (All praises are for Allah the Lord of the Worlds).” This provides evidence to the fact that they did not recite the Basmalah loudly. However, if it was an Ayah of the Qur’an, they would have recited it loudly.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.