If The Imam Doesn’t Begin With Basmalah

If The Imam Doesn’t Begin With Basmalah

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.

There is a difference of opinion amongst the Muslim Scholars regarding the recitation of Bismillahirrahmanirrahiim ( بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيم ) with a loud voice in shalats or quietly by the voice of the Imam.

Undoubtedly, saying the basmalah out loud before al-Faatihah in the prayer is permissible; it is not a bid‘ah (innovation) or haraam, but most of the time, in his prayer, the Prophet,  Shalallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), did not pronounce it out loud; rather he recited it quietly. 

It was narrated from Anas, Radi allahu anhu (may Allah be pleased with him), that the Prophet, Shalallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), and Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, Radi allahu anhum (may Allah be pleased with them both), began the prayer with the words “Alhamdu Lillahi Rabbil ‘Aalamiin (Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds).”(Narrated by al-Bukhaari (743))

In other hadiths,  Anas reported: I observed prayer along with the Messenger of Allah, Shalallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam (may peace be upon him) and with Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman, Radi allahu anhum (may Allah be pleased with all of them), but I never heard any one of them reciting Bismillahirrahmanirrahiim ( بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيم ) loudly.

“They did not recite out loud the words ‘Bismillahirrahmanirrahiim ( بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيم ) (In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful).’” ( Narrated by Ahmad (12868))

Shaikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

Nevertheless the correct view is that it is not to be recited out loud, although it is prescribed to recite it out loud if that serves a definite interest. Hence it is prescribed for the imam to do that – sometimes – for example, to teach the people who are praying behind him. It is permissible for the worshippers to recite a few words out loud sometimes, and it is also permissible for a man to forego something that is preferable, in order to soften hearts and unite people, lest they be put off from what is in their best interests.

The Shaafi‘ is different from them and have said that it is Sunnah to recite it out loud, even though the proven Sunnah is not to recite the basmalah out loud. But there is nothing wrong with reciting it out loud, especially if their madhhab observes it being recited out loud so as to soften their hearts. 

Since both types of hadiths are sahih (sound) it seems as though the Prophet, Shalallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), used to say Bismillahirrahmanirrahiim ( بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيم ) sometimes with a low voice and sometimes with a loud voice. The companions of the Prophet,  Shalallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), narrated what they observed.

Whether Bismillahirrahmanirrahiim ( بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيم ) to be recited low or loud, both are sunnah.

Wallahu’a’lam bishawabbismillah  If The Imam Doesn't Begin With Basmalah bismillah

 

 

Qathrun Nada Djamil

A wife and a mother of 4 children. Lives at Jeddah-Saudi Arabia.Graduated from faculty of Law-University of Indonesia, Jakarta-Indonesia. Finished diploma of Business English at Business Training Limited -England

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