Can you shed some light on the status of Tasmiyah `bimillahirahmanniraheem`?

Question
Can you shed some light on the status of Tasmiyah `bimillahirahmanniraheem`

I follow the Hanafi madhab and wanted to know whether the tasmiyah which comes before each surah is part of the surah and an ayah of quran or is it just there to separate between each surah. also in the different qiraat and riwayah, is it part of the surah or not etc.

Answer
The basmalah ( saying ) is considered as the first aayah of al-Faatihah by many of the Qurra' and fuqahaa', but not all.  The basmalah at the beginning of the other surahs, on the whole is not considered as part of a surah according the qurra', but many of the fuqahaa' consider it as part of each surah.  It required to say the basmalah when beginning our reading at the beginning of a surah outside of surah At-Tawbah, which does not have a basmalah at the beginning by agreement of all of the qira'aat.  As far as fiqh rulings, Abu Haneefah, may Allah be Merciful to him, considered it as an aayah revealed at the beginning of each surah to separate the surah from the next one, except surah At-Tawbah. Imam Malik does not consider it as part of the Faatihah or any other surah.  Imam Ash-Shaafi'ee and Imam Al-Hambali consider it an aayah of Al-Faatihah and every surah (except At-Tawbah).

 There are some of the different qira'aat which do not say the basmalah when joining two consecutive surahs together, others which have it as one of three different allowed ways of joining two surahs together, and others still who require it when joining two surahs together, and Hafs (also Shu'bah) 'an 'Aasim follows the last group requiring a basmalah between two surahs when joining them together, except of course, surah At-Tawbah.

And Allah knows best.