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The basmalah as a verse of Sûrah al-Fâtihah

Published: 27/08/2011 12:13:00 PM GMT
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We say the verse “Bismillâh al-Rahmân al-Rahîm” every time we read Sûrah al-Fâtihah? Is it one of the verses of al-Fâtihah? If it is, why is it written separately in the mushaf?


Answered by

the Fatwa Department Research Committee - chaired by Sheikh `Abd al-Wahhâb al-Turayrî

Scholars disagree as to whether the basmalah is part of Sûrah al-Fâtihah.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said about Sûrah al-Fâtihah: “They are the seven oft-repeated verses and the Glorious Recital that I have been given.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (4114)]

Some scholars derive from this hadîth that ruling that the basmalah is part of Sûrah al-Fâtihah.

However, the hadîth does not say specifically that the basmalah is a verse of Sûrah al-Fâtihah, just that it is one of seven verses that are oft-repeated. Indeed, we repeat this verse every time we recite Sûrah al-Fâtihah, so regardless if the basmalah is a verse of that chapter or a separate verse on its own, they will still add up to seven oft-repeated verses.

The Prophet also said, relating the words of his Lord [Sahîh Muslim (598)]:

I have split The Prayer into two parts, one for me and one for My servant, and My servant will have what he asks for.

When the servant says: Praise be to Allah, the Lord of All the Worlds, I say: ‘My servant has praised Me.’

When he says: The Most Gracious, Most Merciful, I say: ‘My servant has extolled Me.’

When he says Master of the Day of Judgment, I say: ‘My servant has glorified Me’ or ‘My servant has deferred to Me.’

When he says: You alone we worship and from You alone we seek help, I say: ‘This is between Me and My servant, and my servant will have what he asks for.’

When he says: Guide us to the straight way, The way of those on whom you have bestowed Your grace, not the way of those who earn Your anger, nor of those who go astray, I say: ‘This is for My servant, and My servant will have what he asks for.”

If the basmalah were part of Sûrah al-Fâtihah, scholars argue, it would have been mentioned in this hadîth. This is the view of the majority of scholars.

Therefore, scholars on both sides of this issue have hadîth evidence to support their views. None of them are rejecting any of the hadîth. They disagree, because neither hadîth gives a decisive ruling on the matter; and moreover, each hadîth seems to indicate a different point of view.

And Allah knows best.

Source: Islam Today




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