Why is there no bismillah at the beginning of Surah Taubah

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Q: Why is bismellah not present for Suraah-e-Baraat?


A: When Surah Taubah was revealed, neither was Bismillah revealed as was normally done in other surahs, nor did Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) instruct the scribe of wahi to do that. This was how it remained until Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) passed away. This is the actual reason for bismillah not appearing in the beginning of Surah Taubah.

When Hadhrat Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) arranged the Qur’aan Shareef in the form of a book during his khilaafat, Bismillah was not written at the beginning of Surah Taubah, contrary to the rest of the surahs. Therefore, a doubt arose – perhaps, this is not an independent surah and it may be part of some other surah. In terms of its subject matter, Surah Taubah and Surah Anfaal seemed to be closely linked.

Hadhrat Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) also narrated that during the blessed period of Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) both these surahs were called ‘Qareenatayn’ – the two connected ones. Therefore, it was placed after Surah Anfaal. This precaution was taken for the reason that, should it be a part of another Surah, it must stay with it. But, it was also probable that it may be a separate and independent Surah. Therefore, when writing, a particular format was adopted whereby some space was left at the end of Surah Anfaal and before the beginning of Surah Taubah, similar to the spot meant for writing Bismillah at the beginning of other surahs.

In answering a question posed by Ibnu Abbaas (Radhiyallahu anhuma) regarding the omitting of Bismillah at the beginning of Surah Taubah, Hadhrat Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) himself explained, the gist of which is that the reason for not writing Bismillah at the beginning of Surah Taubah was due to the probability that Surah Taubah may not be an independent surah, instead it is a part of Surah Anfaal. Given this probability, writing Bismillah shall be incorrect, as it would mean writing Bismillah in the middle of a surah of the Qur’aan.

And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.


Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)

This answer was collected from, where the questions have been answered by Mufti Zakaria Makada (Hafizahullah), who is currently a senior lecturer in the science of Hadith and Fiqh at Madrasah Ta’leemuddeen, Isipingo Beach, South Africa.

Find more answers indexed from:
Subscribe to IslamQA Weekly Newsletter

Subscribe to IslamQA Weekly Newsletter

You will receive 5 Q&A in your inbox every week

We have sent a confirmation to you. Please check the and confirm your subscription. Thank you!