Q: Why is bismellah not present for Suraah-e-Baraat?
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.
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)