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Bismillahirrahmanirrahim in Prayer (Salat)

Guidelines Islamic Rule: Hi all readers! In several previous articles I have explained many things about prayer, such as compulsory prayer such as Fajr prayer, Dhur prayer, Asr prayer, Maghrib prayer, Isha prayer, Friday prayer, and sunah prayer prayers such as Qabliyah prayer and Ba’diyah prayer and so on. In this article I will explain one important thing about prayer which is one of the differences of opinion among Islamic legal experts regarding it. One important thing I mean is, “Is reading” Bismillahirrahmanirrahim or بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَانِ الرَّحِيْمِ (by saying the name of Allah who is all-gracious and most merciful) “is an obligation in prayer (salat), when someone reads Surah al-Fatihah?”

There is one other important thing that I want to say, before I explain more about Bismilllahirrahmanirrahim in prayer (salat), that the discussion about it is closely related to the status of surah al-Fatihah in prayer. Therefore, first I will explain it so that we can understand this matter properly. So, keep reading!

Is Reading Surah Al-Fatihah in Prayer (Salat) Is Obligation?

One important question about prayer (salat) that we must know the answer to is, “Is reading Surah al-Fatihah in prayer an obligation?”

Read;

The Pillars of Prayer (Salat) in Islam

Recommended Things Regarding Friday Prayer (Salat)

In fact, Islamic jurists differ on this point;

First; The majority of Islamic legal experts (Malik, Shafi’I, and Ahmad) say that reading Surah al-Fatihah is an obligation so that our prayers are valid. That is, if we don’t read Surah al-Fatihah in prayer, then our prayer is invalid.

Their argument is based on the below hadith;

قَالَ رَسُوْلُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : لَا صَلَاةَ لِمَنْ لَمْ يَقْرَأْ بِفَاتِحَةِ الْكِتَابِ

The Messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said, “There is no valid prayer (salat) for those who do not read the beginning of al-Kitab (surah al-Fatihah).”

قَالَ رَسُوْلُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : مَنْ صَلَّى صَلَاةً لَمْ يَقْرَأْ فِيْهَا بِأُمِّ الْكِتَابِ فَهِيَ خِدَاجٌ , فَهِيَ خِدَاجٌ , فَهِيَ خِدَاجٌ غَيْرُ تَمَامٍ

The Messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said, “Whoever prays but does not read the Ummul Kitab (surah al-Fatihah) in it, the prayer is lacking, then the prayer is lacking, then the prayer is less, imperfect.”

Second; ats-Tsauri and Abu Hanifah said that we can pray without reading Surah al-Fatihah, because what is obligatory in prayer is to read the Quran; at least three short verses or one long verse.

Their argument is based on the below hadith;

قَالَ اللهُ تَعَالَى : … فَاقْرَؤُوْا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ

Allah Taala says, “…because of that, then read the Quran that is easy (for you)…” (Muzammil; 20).

قَالَ رَسُوْلُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : إِذَا أَقَمْتَ إِلَى الصَّلَاةَ فَأَسْبِغْ الْوُضُوْءَ , ثُمَّ اِسْتَقْبِلْ الْقِبْلَةَ فَكَبِّرْ , ثُمَّ اقْرَأْ مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ

The Messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said, “If you are going to pray, then complete your wudu, then turn to Qiblah, then do Takbir, then recite the Quranic verse that is easy (for you) …”

Disagreements About Bismillahirrahmanirrahim in Prayer (Salat)

Now, is Bismillahirrahmanirrahim (بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَانِ الرَّحِيْمِ) part of surah al-Fatihah, so we have to read it in prayer?

To be honest, there are differences of opinion among Islamic jurists on that;

First; Shafiiyah school says that Bismillahirrahmanirrahin is a part of surah al-Fatihah. The meaning is, we have to read it in prayer.

Their argument is based on the below hadith;

عَنْ أَبِيْ هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنَّهُ قَالَ : إِذَا قَرَأْتُمْ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْنَ , فَاقْرَؤُوْا بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَانِ الرَّحِيْمِ , إِنَّهَا أُمُّ الْقُرْآنِ , وَأُمُّ الْكِتَابِ , وَالسَّبْعُ الْمَثَانِيُّ , وَبِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَانِ الرَّحِيْمِ أَحَدُ آيَاتِهَا

From Abu Hurairah radliyallahu anhu, from Prophet (Muhammad) sallallahu alaihi wa sallam, that he said, “If you read الْحْمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْنَ (surah al-Fatihah), then read Bismillahirrahmanirrahim (بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَانِ الرَّحِيْمِ). In fact, it (surah al-Fatihah) is the Ummul Quran, the Ummul Kitab, and as-Sab’u al-Matsaniy. And بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَانِ الرَّحِيْمِ is one of the verses.”

عَنْ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُمَا أَنَّ رَسُوْلَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَفْتَتِحُ الصَّلَاةَ بِبِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَانِ الرَّحِيْمِ

From Ibn Abbas radliyallahu anhuma, that the Messenger of Allah (Prophet Muhammad) sallallahu alaihi wa sallam started prayer by reading Bismillahirrahmanirrahim (بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَانِ الرَّحِيْمِ).

Second; the Malikiyah sect says that Bismillahirrahmanirrahim is not part of the al-Fatihah chapter. That is, we may not read it in prayer.

Their argument is based on the below hadith;

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهَا قَالَتْ : كَانَ رَسُوْلُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَفْتَتِحُ الصَّلَاةَ بِالتَّكْبِيْرِ , وَالْقِرَاءَةَ بِالْحَمْدِ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْنَ

From Aisha radliyallahu anha, she said, “The Messenger of Allah (Prophet Muhammad) sallallahu alaihi wa sallam began praying with Takbir and began reciting (in prayer) with الْحَمْدِ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْنَ.”

Third; The Hanafiyah school says that Bismillahirrahmanirrahim the verse of the Quran was revealed to differentiate between the surahs in the Quran, but that is not part of surah al-Fatihah. That is, we may not read it in prayer.

Their argument is based on the below hadith;

رُوِيَ عَنْ اِبْنِ عَبَّاسٍ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُمَا : أَنَّ رَسُوْلَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ كَانَ لَا يَعْرِفُ فَصْلَ السُّوْرَةِ حَتَّى يَنْزِلَ عَلَيْهِ بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَانِ الرَّحِيْمِ

It’s narrated from Ibn Abbas radliyallahu anhuma, that the Messenger of Allah (Prophet Muhammad) sallallahu alaihi wa sallam did not know the separator of the surah until Bismillahirrahmanirrahim (بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَانِ الرَّحِيْمِ) came to him.

Readers all! That is a brief explanation of Bismillahirrahmanirrahim in prayer (salat). Do you understand? If you have any questions, please ask!

I think that’s all for this article. May be useful. Amen!

See you again in the next article!

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