Many Islamic Scholars and Apologists has answered this and refuted the polemicists claims.While I won’t go into explicit detail, I will just provide the Muslims with the tools to respond to such claims in a simple and concise manner.
So here we go!!
Al-Fatihah means ‘al-fatihah al-kitab (opening of the Book/Qur’an).’ Its status is such an established one in Islam that no Muslim can be negligent about it. It is recited multiple times in every salah (prayer) five times a day.
1. First of all,none of the narrations,which we have stated that Ibn Masud did not consider Surah 1 to be part of the Qur‟an. The narrations only state that he did not have them written down in his codex.
2. Secondly,it is highly unlikely to believe that Ibn Mas‟ud did not believe that Surah 1 was part of the Qur‟an when it is compulsory for every Muslim to recite it as the first Surah in his prayer.
3. Thirdly,even if Ibn Mas‟ud denied Surah 1,his opinion is to be rejected, since Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him) himself said that prayer will be not valid,unless the opening chapter of the Qur‟an has been recited(see Saheeh Muslim, Book 4,no.777), which is Surah 1 and he is obviously a much higher authority than Ibn Mas‟ud. Hence,we already have a direct statement from the Prophet(pbuh) himself affirming that Surah 1 belongs in the Qur‟an.In Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadees 756,5006 narrated by ‘Ubada bin As-Samit & Abu Sa`id Al-Mu’alla, that Prophet said one’s prayer is invalid if he doesn’t recite Surah Fatihah. So from this its evident that Surah Fatihah indeed is a part of Qur’an,doesn’t matter Ibn Masud have it or not in his mushaf written down.Also see: [Sahih Muslim 394 a, 394 b, 394 c, Sahih Muslim 395 a, Sahih Muslim 395 b, Sahih Muslim 395 c]
But Ibn Masud accepted that Al Fatihah is part of the Qur’an:
Quoting Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Ibn Dhurays, Ibn Munzar and Ibn Mardwiyah, al-Suyuti gives us the following narration;
It is narrated from Ibn Mas’ud, regarding the word of Allah, ‘We have given you the seven oft-repeated verses’ He said: “[It is] Fatiha al-Kitab.” (Durr Manthur 5/94, Dar al-Fikr, Beirut)
This plainly confirms that the al-Fatiha was indeed a part of the Qur’an in the view of Ibn Mas’ud just like the rest of Muslims.
Again, on asking why he hasn’t written in his Mushaf he said:
’Abdullah bin Mas’ud was asked as to why he did not write al-Fatiha in his Mushaf. He replied, ‘If I were to write I would write it before every surah.’” Abu Bakr al-Anbari explains this saying every raka’ah (in prayers) starts with al-Fatiha and then another surah is recited. It is as if Ibn Mas’ud said, ‘I have dropped it for the sake of brevity and I have trusted its preservation by Muslims (collectively).’ (al-Qurtubi, al-Jami al-Ahkam al-Qur’an. Dar al-Kutab al-Misriyah, Cairo, 1964 vol.1 p.115)
He did not write al-Fatiha in his Mushaf but gave his reason and the reason was not refusal or doubting its status as a part of the Qur’an. This proves him not writing some verses is no evidence that he doubted their position within Qur’an. Thus we learn, if he did not write a certain thing in his mushaf it does not mean it was not part of the Qur’an to his understanding. This is a vital point, I will ask the readers to bear in mind.
With regards to Surah 113 & 114:
Even if we assume that Ibn Masud did hold to this position at some point in his life, it doesn’t mean that he died upon this position. It appears that Ibn Masud’s reading was transmitted to us through three different chains (by Aasim ibn Hadlah Abi Al Nujood Al Asadi, Hamzah bin Habeeb Al Zayyaat & Ali bin Hamzah Al Kisaa‟ie) and all of these three readings agree with the ,Uthmanic manuscript:
Ibn Hazm (d. 456 A.H) states:
“And as for their saying that Abdullah ibn Masud’s manuscript differs from ours, this is invalid, a lie and slander. Ibn Masud’s manuscript has his reading with no doubt, and his reading is the reading of Aasim, which is famous amongst everyone who follows Islam from East to West. We read it as we mentioned, just as we read another (i.e. reading) and what is correct is that they are all revealed from Allah All Mighty‟. (Ibn Hazm, Al Fasl Fil Milal wal Ahwaa’ wal Nihal, Volume 2, page 212)
Again like before we have direct proof from the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) himself who stated that Surahs 113 & 114 are Surahs from the Qur‟an. Refer to Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 8, No. 1419 & 1457.In Sunan Abi Dawud, Hadees 1423,1424 narrated by both Hazrat Ubayy ibn Ka’b and Hazrat Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin respectively, that Chapter 113 and 114 of Qur’an is indeed the parts of Qur’an. When we have direct proof from Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that these two chapters were indeed the part of Qur’an then why would we as Muslims even care if Ibn Masud didn’t have it or not in his Mushaf. Ibn Masud is not the authority, It’s Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).May be due to shortness of the Surah he just think fit to note it down as he had strongly memorized it and he need no aid as regards to these two surahs.
Finally I would like to quote Brother Ijaz Ahmed of Calling Christians argument here.
1. The question must be asked to the Christian, where does the Sahabi (companion) say that he doesn’t believe in the excluded Surahs? The truth is, nowhere is that said. Therefore, the onus (responsibility) is on the Christian to provide evidence for such a claim.
2. Codex is a collection, Canon is an established list, so the canonical codex of the Qur’aan is a Qur’aan consisting of all the Surahs from al-Fatihah to an-Nas, all 114 of them. Many of us have booklets at home that contain the last 10 Surahs, or Surah ar-Rahman with Surah al-Baqarah. Do we consider the excluded Surahs from these booklets to not be Qur’aanic? Of course not! Therefore, not every codex is a canon of the Qur’aan. A codex with 2 Surahs does not mean that Uncle Khan or Aunty Summayah believes the Qur’aan only has 2 Surahs or 10 Surahs.
3. So we must ask the Christian, since every codex is not indicative of a canon, why do you apply this belief to the Qur’aan?
4. We can also turn their own reasoning back onto them. Since Paul wrote 10 of his 13 epistles, then the New Testament according to Paul is only his epistles and not the four Gospels, where does he say he believes in the 4 Gospels? Since the Christian says every collection (codex) is a canon, then Paul’s canon of the New Testament, excludes the Gospels. If the Christian says this is wrong reasoning, shake their hands and congratulate them on using such reasoning in the first place.
5. We can further this by saying, since none of the 4 Gospels refer to Paul’s letters and we have no evidence that any of the Gospel authors knew of Paul’s letters, then the canon of the New Testament for the Gospel authors is their Gospel and their Gospel only. So the New Testament to the anonymous author of the Gospel of John, was just the Gospel of John, to the anonymous author of Matthew, the only canonical New Testament book was his own book.
Closing the Argument
Jews and Christians throughout the centuries have produced bibles that vary in content and organisation. Protestant Reformers like Martin Luther doubted the canonicity of the Apocrypha, but when Luther prepared his translation of the Bible into German, he did not remove the Apocrypha; he simply moved those books to an appendix. This tradition continues in many European bibles.The English were the first group of people to remove the Apocrypha altogether. In 1599, an edition of the Geneva Bible was published without the Apocrypha. In 1615, during the reign of King James the First, George Abbot, the Archbishop of Canterbury, declared the penalty for printing a Bible without the Apocrypha to be a year in prison! But over the next three centuries the growing influence of Puritans and Presbyterians over the populace, the government, and the British and Foreign Bible Society led to a strong tradition of printing bibles containing only 66 books.The situation today reflects this bifurcation. The bibles used by many European Protestants, as well as the Anglican Church, still include the Apocrypha. Most other English-speaking Protestant churches have bibles without the Apocrypha.
We can make things worse for the Christian – yes, worse, much worse. If we go to the earliest codices of the Bible, namely Codices Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, Alexandrinus and Ehpraemi Rescriptus, they all contain extra books, and some even have missing books. Therefore we must ask the Christian, does he take those codices to be canons, and if not, why does he apply such a reasoning to the Qur’an?
Now if Christians are adamant then I ask them that they should apply this critical argument to their own book Bible too, as we find serious issues like the books the Shephard of Hermas and the Epistle of Barnabas, were part of one of the earliest discovered bible manuscripts called Codex Siniaticus, but are now missing from the modern bibles we have today.If we go to the earliest codices of the Bible, namely Codices Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, Alexandrinus and Ehpraemi Rescriptus, they all contain extra books, and some even have missing books. Therefore we must ask the Christian, does they take those codices to be canons, and if not, why does he apply such a reasoning to the Qur’an? The critics of Islam with all their efforts could find only mushaf of Ibn Masud’s case to try question the singularity and consensus of the Muslims on the text of the Holy Qur’an whereas in case of Bible, not just an individual or a group of few but whole churches and denominations differ with each other on what all forms the canon.