What Happens If You Leave the Basmala before the Fatiha in Prayer?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Assalam alaikum,

What is the status of the basmala before the Fatiha in prayer? Does leaving it affect the prayer?

Answer: walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.

It is sunna to recite ​the basmala (bismi’l Llahi’r Rahmani’r Rahim, ‘In the Name of God, Merciful and Compassionate) ​before the Fatiha, good to do so before the beginning of a sura one recites after that.

​Reciting the basmala is neither ​obligatory ​(fard) ​nor necessary​ (wajib)​—and nothing is required if ​it is ​left. [ref: Tahtawi/Shurunbulali, Hashiyat Maraqi al-Falah; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

​The basmala is considered one verse of the Qur’an, revealed to separate between the suras—and to indicate the beginning of the suras, without being the first verse of any sura. [ibid.]

Please see also: Saying Basmala Before & After the Fatiha: The Position of the Hanafi School

And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.

wassalam,

Faraz Rabbani