The Proofs for Saying the Basmalah Aloud in the Salah

Compiled By Abul Layth

Al-Hamdulillahi Rabbil ‘Ālamīn

The following paper is a compilation of the research of the scholars of the past to the present. Due to the fact that I could not find a thorough defense of this stance in the language of English, I decided to take it upon myself to compile an article with the proofs for the opinion. I have divided this research article into two parts. Stated first are the statements of the foremost Shafi’i jurists. Then presented are the proofs for the legitimacy of the stance. Please note that the Shāfi’iyyah maintain that the Mālikī and Hanafī positions of either not reciting the Basmalah at all, or silently etcetera, do not nullify prayer based upon the principles of those schools. Though they believe those schools are mistaken, they do not believe that their prayer is invalid, or that they are in sin for doing such. After saying that, I write this paper not to challenge the authority of the other schools, but simply to inform those who follow the school of the Shāfi’iyyah about our position and the evidences therein. I encourage the followers from the other established schools to do the same as I am doing in this article. I strongly feel that there is a need for the Muslims to understand that the disagreements in Islamic Law are not unfounded, and always – at least in the four schools, have a basis.

The Statements of the Shāfi’i Jurists

Many scholars of the past from the Shāfi’iyyah wrote concerning this matter, upholding two main points:

1) The Basmalah is part of Surat Al-Fātihah.

2) It is thus recited as the rest of Fātihah is recited. Aloud in the loud prayers (Fajr, Maghrib, ‘Ishā’) and silently in the silent prayers (Thuhr and ‘Asr). Imām An-Nawawī states in his “Minhāj”, “…and the Basmalah is from it [fātihah]…”. In Imām Al-Ghumrāwī’s commentary, “Sirraj Al-Wahhāj”, he states after this statement, “Meaning it is of Al-Fātihah and of every Sūrah (chapter) save Bara’ah (also known as tawbah chapter 9).” [Page 44 of Dar Al-Kutub Al-‘Ilmiyyah publication]Hujjatul-Islām Imām Al-Ghazzālī states in “Al-Wajīz”, “…the Bismillahir-Rahmānir-Rahīm is an āyah (verse) from it [i.e. Fātihah] and it is an āyah at the beginning of every chapter…” [page 58 Dar Al-Kutub Al-‘Ilmiyyah publication] Imām Ahmad ibn Nāqib Al-Masrī states in his “Umdatus-Sālik”, “The one recites Al-Fātihah in every raka’ah (unit of prayer), whether one is Imām, follower or praying alone. The Basmalah is an āyah (verse) from it.” [page 132 of Reliance of the Traveller published by Amana publications].Imām Taqiyy-ud-Dīn Abu Bakr Al-Husaynī Al-Hisni states in his Kifāyah, “Surat Al-Fātihah is seven verses and the Basmalah is one of them…(then he goes on to prove to that is said aloud).” [Kifāyatul-Akhyār]

Imām Al-Khatīb Ash-Shirbinī states in his Mughni Al-Muhtāj (his gloss of the Minhāj of An-Nawawi) the following in explanation of Imam An-Nawawi’s words, “…and the Basmalah is from it…”, “meaning that is a verse from Fātiha…(he then continues to prove that it is said aloud).” [See his Mughni]Imām Al-Bayhaqī in his Khilāfiyāt states, “The family of Rasūlullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa ‘alā Ālihi wa sallam) are unanimous in reciting the Basmalah aloud in the Salāh.” The Shafi’iyyah are unanimous that the Basmalah is part of Surat-Al-Fātihah necessitating that it be recited in Salāh.

The Proofs

First proof: Abu Hurayrah (radhiya allāhu ‘anhu)Al-Khatīb Ash-Shirbinī as well as Taqiyy-ud-Dīn Al-Husayni quotes the following narration in support of his stance, as reported by Ad-Dāraqutnī from Abu Hurayrah:

إذا قرأتم الحمد لله فاقرءوا بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم إنها أم الكتاب والسبع المثاني بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم إحدى آياتها

“When you recite ‘al-hamdulillah’, recite Bismillahir-rahmānir-rahīm, for it is the essence of the Book, the oft-repeated seven verses, and Bismillahir-rahmānir-rahīm is one of its verses.”Al-Hāfith Ibn Hajr Al-Asqalānī states, “The men of this chain are thiqāt (impeccably trustworthy) and more than one of the Imāms declared it Sahīh (rigorously authentic)…”. Taqiyud-Dīn Al-Husaynī says after quoting this hadīth from Ad-Dāraqutnī, “And he stated that all of the narrators are thiqāt (impeccably trustworthy).” Ad-Dāraqutnī also reports the following narration:

حدثنا أبو طالب الحافظ أحمد بن نصر حدثنا أحمد بن محمد بن منصور بن أبي مزاحم ثنا جدي ثنا أبو أويس ح وحدثنا أبو عبد الله محمد بن إسماعيل الفارسي ثنا عثمان بن خرزاذ ثنا منصور بن أبي مزاحم من كتابه ثم محاه بعدنا أبو أويس عن العلاء بن عبد الرحمن بن يعقوب عن أبيه عن أبي هريرة أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم كان إذا قرأ وهو يؤم الناس افتتح الصلاة ببسم الله الرحمن الرحيم قال أبو هريرة هي آية من كتاب الله اقرءوا إن شئتم فاتحة الكتاب فإنها الآية السابعة

Abu Hurayrah said that when the Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa ‘alā Ālihi wa sallam) was leading the people he would open his Salāh with Bismillahir Rahmānir Rahīm. Abu Hurayrah said, “it is an āyah from the book of Allah, recite if you wish the opening of the book (fatiha) for it is from the seven verses.”Ibn Abi Shaybah reports in his Musannaf via Hushaym from Abu Ma’shar from Sa’id ibn Abi Sa’id from Nu’aym Al-‘Alaa’ ibn Abdir-Rahmān from his father from Abu Hurayrah (radhiya allāhu ‘anhu) that he used to recite Bismillahir Rahmānir Rahīm aloud in his prayer.Ibn Abdul-Barr mentions that it is reported from Abu Hurayrah in Marfu’ [i.e. up to the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa ‘alā Ālihi wa sallam)] form. He mentions the chain;“An-Nadhr ibn Salamah from Ismā’īl ibn Abi Uways from his father from Al-‘Alā’ ibn Abdir-Rahmān from his father from Abu Hurayrah (radhiya allāhu ‘anhu) that the Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa ‘alā Ālihi wa sallam) when opening His Salāh would recite the Basmalah aloud.”Imām Al-Ghumārī, after quoting this in his Hidāyah says, “I say: the likes of this has been reported by Ad-Dāraqutnī from the way of Mansūr ibn Abī Mazāhim from Abi Uways from Al-‘Alā’ ibn Abdir-Rahmān from his father from Abu Hurayrah that the Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa ‘alā Ālihi wa sallam), when he was going to recite as the Imam of the people, he would open with Bismillahir Rahmānir Rahīm. Abu Hurayrah said, “It is an āyah from the book of Allah.” [Volume 3 page 33 of Al-Hidāyah]

Second Proof Umm Salamah: Al-Khatīb quotes as his second proof the hadīth of Umm Salamah that states,

أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عد بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم آية، والحمد لله رب العالمين – أي إلى آخرها – ست آيات

“The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa ‘alā Ālihi wa sallam) included Bismillahir-rahmānir-rahīm as an āyah [of the seven of fātihah].”He states regarding this narration, “It is reported by Ibn Khuzaymah with a Sahīh chain.”Imām Ash-Shāfi’ī, according to the report of Imām Al-Buwaytī from him, reported the following, “It was narrated to me by more than one person from Hafs ibn Ghayyāth from Ibn Jurayj from Ibn Abi Mulaykah from Umm Salamah that the Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa ‘alā Ālihi wa sallam) when reciting the essence of the Qur’an [i.e. fātihah] he would start with Bismillahir-rahmānir-rahīm, including it as a verse…[then mentioned the rest of the report].” (Reported by Ibn Hajr in Talkhīs al-Habīr 1/232)Imam Ahmad and Abu Dāwūd report this hadīth through Yahyā ibn Sa’īd Al-Umawī from Ibn Jurayj from Abdullah ibn Abi Mulaykah from Umm Salamah that she was asked about the recitation of the Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa ‘alā Ālihi wa sallam) and she said, “He would [recite it] verse by verse: Bismillahir-rahmānir-rahīm, alhamdulilllahi-rabbil-‘ālamīn, Ar-Rahmānir-rahīm, Māliki Yawmid-Dīn…”(Ahmad in his Musnad of Umm Salamah 6/302, and Abū Dāwūd in his Sunan 4001)Imām At-Tahāwī has similar wording in his report, “The Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa ‘alā Ālihi wa sallam) prayed in her house and recited Bismillahir-rahmānir-rahīm al-hamdulillahi rabbil-‘ālamīn…” (Sharh Ma’ānī al-Āthār 1/199)

Third proof from Anas ibn Mālik: Qatādah reports that Anas ibn Mālik (radhiya allāhu ‘anhu) was asked how the recitation of the Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa ‘alā Ālihi wa sallam) was performed? He said, “It was elongated, reciting Bismillahir-rahmānir-rahīm, elongating bismillah, then elongating ar-rahmān, and then elongating ar-rahīm.” (reported by Imām Al-Bukhārī in his Sahīh number 5046)

Fourth Proof the Action of Abu Hurayrah and his Verdict: As is reported through multiple chains from Layth ibn Sa’ad and Haywat ibn Shurayh from Khālid ibn Yazīd from Sa’id ibn Abi Hilāl from Nu’aym ibn Al-Mujmir:

حَدَّثَنَا اللَّيْثُ بْنُ سَعْدٍ حَدَّثَنِى خَالِدُ بْنُ يَزِيدَ عَنْ سَعِيدِ بْنِ أَبِى هِلاَلٍ عَنْ نُعَيْمٍ الْمُجْمِرِ قَالَ : كُنْتُ وَرَاءَ أَبِى هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِىَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ فَقَرَأَ (بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ) ثُمَّ قَرَأَ بِأُمِّ الْقُرْآنِ حَتَّى بَلَغَ (وَلاَ الضَّالِّينَ) قَالَ : آمِينَ وَقَالَ النَّاسُ آمِينَ ، وَيَقُولُ كُلَّمَا سَجَدَ : اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ ، وَإِذَا قَامَ مِنَ الْجُلُوسِ قَالَ : اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ ، وَيَقُولُ إِذَا سَلَّمَ : وَالَّذِى نَفْسِى بِيَدِهِ إِنِّى لأَشْبَهُكُمْ صَلاَةً بِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ

Nu’aym Al-Mujmir said, “I prayed behind Abu Hurayrah and he recited Bismillahir-rahmānir-rahīm before reciting (the rest of) the essence of the book until he reached ‘walaad-dālīn’, then he said Āmīn and the people said Āmīn. Every time he prostrated he said Allahu Akbar. When he stood from sitting in the second he would say, “Allahu Akbar”. Then he would say Salāmu ‘Alaykum [to end the prayer]. Abu Hurayrah said after this performance, “By the one who hold my soul in his hand, Verily my prayer [truly] resembles the Messenger of Allah’s prayer (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa ‘alā Ālihi wa sallam) better than any amongst you.”

This narration was declared Sahīh by Ibn Khuzaymah, ibn Hibbān, al-Hākim in his Mustadarak and Adh-Dhahabī agreed with him, Ad-Dāraqutnī who said in his Sunan “This is Sahih, and all of its reporters are impeccably trustworthy! [#1155 Dar Al-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah], Al-Bayhaqī who said, “Sahīh (rigorously authentic) chain, and for it are shawahid (witnessing reports).” As well as Abu Bakr Al-Khatīb who said, “It is authentically established, and in no direction does it have aspersions.”Ibn Abdul-Barr said, “This hadīth is preserved (mahfūth) from the hadīth of Layth Ibn Sa’ad from Khālid ibn Yazīd al-Iskandarī from Sa’id ibn Abi Hilāl, and both of them are impeccably trustworthy Egyptians, and as for Layth ibn Sa’ad, he was the Imām of his land.”Ibn Abdul-Barr is making a strong point here. This chain actually goes through Egyptians, beginning with the Imām of his time, Layth ibn Sa’ad, establishing a strong chain.

*Edit on April 17 2011:

I recently came across an editor by the name of Majdi ibn Mansur who did the tahqiq/takhrij of Sunan Ad-Daraqutni for Dar Al-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah wherein the editor claims that Sa’id ibn Abi Hilal is “Weak“. This claim was rejected by Hafith Shu’ayb Al-Arna’ut in his Tahreer At-Taqreeb wherein he thoroughly squelches those who claimed such. See Tahreer entry 2410. It should be noted that Hafith Ibn Hajr declares his “Saduq (honest)” in his Taqreeb. And Allah always knows Best!



Fifth Proof Abdullah ibn ‘Abbās (radhiya allāhu ‘anhu):

إِسْحَاقُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ الْحَنْظَلِىُّ عَنْ مُعْتَمِرِ بْنِ سُلَيْمَانَ وَقَالَ سَمِعْتُ إِسْمَاعِيلَ بْنَ حَمَّادِ بْنِ أَبِى سُلَيْمَانَ يُحَدِّثُ عَنْ أَبِى خَالِدٍ عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ : أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ كَانَ يَقْرَأُ (بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ) فِى الصَّلاَةِ يَعْنِى كَانَ يَجْهَرُ بِهَا

Abdullah ibn ‘Abbās (radhiya allāhu ‘anhu) reported that the Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa ‘alā Ālihi wa sallam) would recite Bismillahir-Rahmānir-Rahīm aloud in prayer.Three people report this hadīth from Ibn ‘Abbas (radhiya allāhu ‘anhu). The first is Sa’id Ibn Jubayr, as is reported by Imām Al-Bayhaqī in his Sunan and his Khilāfiyāt:

وَحَدَّثَنَا أَبُو إِسْحَاقَ : إِبْرَاهِيمُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ يَحْيَى حَدَّثَنَا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ حُرَيْثٍ حَدَّثَنَا سَعِيدُ بْنُ يَعْقُوبَ الطَّالَقَانِىُّ حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ الْمُبَارَكِ عَنِ ابْنِ جُرَيْجٍ عَنْ أَبِيهِ عَنْ سَعِيدِ بْنِ جُبَيْرٍ عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ فِى السَّبْعِ الْمَثَانِى قَالَ : هِىَ فَاتِحَةُ الْكِتَابِ قَرَأَهَا ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ بِ ( بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ) سَبْعًا. قَالَ ابْنُ جُرَيْجٍ فَقُلْتُ لأَبِى أَخْبَرَكَ سَعِيدُ بْنُ جُبَيْرٍ عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ أَنَّهُ قَالَ (بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ) آيَةٌ مِنْ كِتَابِ اللَّهِ؟ قَالَ : نَعَمْ. ثُمَّ قَالَ : قَرَأَهَا ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ بِ (بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ) فِى الرَّكْعَتَيْنِ جَمِيعًا.

The above chain to Sa’īd ibn Jubayr comes from Abdullah ibn Al-Mubārak from Ibn Jurayj from his father from Sa’id from Ibn ‘Abbas. Ad-Dāraqutnī also has another chain:

وحدثنا الحسين بن إسماعيل ثنا محمد بن إبراهيم بن عبد الحميد الحلواني ثنا أبو الصلت الهروي ثنا عباد بن العوام ثنا شريك عن سالم عن سعيد بن جبير عن بن عباس قال كان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يجهر في الصلاة ببسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

“From Sharīk from Sālim from Sa’id ibn Jubayr from Ibn ‘Abbās that he said the Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa ‘alā Ālihi wa sallam) would say Bismillahir-rahmānir rahīm in salāh aloud.”Imām Al-Bayhaqī reports this narration as thus :

وَأَخْبَرَنَا سَعِيدٌ عَنْ عَاصِمِ بْنِ بَهْدَلَةَ عَنْ سَعِيدِ بْنِ جُبَيْرٍ عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ رَضِىَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا أَنَّهُ كَانَ يَقُولُ تُفْتَتَحُ الْقِرَاءَةُ بِ (بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ)

From Sa’id from ‘Āsim ibn Bahdalah from Sa’id ibn Jubayr from Ibn ‘Abbas (radhiya allāhu ‘anhumā) that he would begin his recitation of the Qur’an with Bismillahir-Rahmānir Rahīm.Ibn Abdul Barr states, “And the Sahīh report is that it is an action of Ibn ‘Abbas (radhiya allāhu ‘anhu) and not raised (marfu’) as a report of the Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa ‘alā Ālihi wa sallam).” (Quoted by Ash-Shawkānī in his Nayl Al-Awtār) The second is ‘Atā ibn Abī Rabāh:

حدثنا أبو بكر عبد الله بن محمد بن أبي سعيد البزاز ثنا جعفر بن عنبسة بن عمرو الكوفي ثنا عمر بن حفص المكي عن بن جريج عن عطاء عن بن عباس أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لم يزل يجهر في السورتين ببسم الله الرحمن الرحيم حتى قبض

Ja’far ibn ‘Anbasah ibn ‘Amru Al-Kūfī from ‘Umar ibn Hafs Al-Makkī from Ibn Jurayj from ‘Atā’ from Ibn ‘Abbās that the Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa ‘alā Ālihi wa sallam) never stopped reciting the Basmalah aloud in the two surahs until he passed away.”However, this particular narration, according to Ibn Hajr is “munkar”, and thus weak.The third is Abi Khālid (as is in the Sunan of Imām Al-Bayhaqi and quoted above), which is Sahīh. It is also reported in Mursal form from Sa’id ibn Jubayr from the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa ‘alā Ālihi wa sallam) as is found in Is-haq ibn Rāhawayh’s Musnad and Bayhaqi’s Sunan.

Sixth proof from Imam ‘Ali ibn Abi Tālib (radhiya allāhu ‘anhu): Ad-Dāraqutnī narrates the following hadīth from ‘Ali (karam Allahu wajhu):

حدثنا أبو إسحاق إبراهيم بن حماد بن إسحاق حدثني أخي محمد بن حماد بن إسحاق ثنا سليمان بن عبد العزيز بن أبي ثابت ثنا عبد الله بن موسى بن عبد الله بن حسن عن أبيه عن جده عبد الله بن الحسن بن الحسن عن أبيه عن الحسن بن علي عن علي بن أبي طالب رضى الله تعالى عنه قال كان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يقرأ بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم في صلاته

From ‘Ali ibn Abi Tālib (radhiya allāhu ‘anhu) who said, “The Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa ‘alā Ālihi wa sallam) would recite Bismillahir Rahmānir Rahīm in his Salāh.”Ash-Shawkānī quotes Ad-Dāraqutnī as saying, “This chain is ‘alawī (i.e. has the family of ‘Ali in it), and there is no harm in it.” (Nayl Al-Awtār)Imām Al-Bayhaqi reports another narration from ‘Ali (radhiya allāhu ‘anhu) that goes:

أَخْبَرَنَا أَبُو عَبْدِ اللَّهِ الْحَافِظُ حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو بَكْرٍ : مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ أَحْمَدَ الزِّيقِىُّ حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو الْحَسَنِ : عَلِىُّ بْنُ الْحَسَنِ الزِّيقِىُّ حَدَّثَنَا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ حَفْصِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ حَدَّثَنِى أَبِى حَدَّثَنَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ بْنُ طَهْمَانَ عَنْ عُمَرَ بْنِ سَعِيدِ بْنِ مَسْرُوقٍ عَنْ أَبِيهِ عَنِ الشَّعْبِىِّ قَالَ : رَأَيْتُ عَلِىَّ بْنَ أَبِى طَالِبٍ وَصَلَّيْتُ وَرَاءَهُ فَسَمِعْتُهُ يَجْهَرُ بِ (بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ)

Ash-Sha’bī said, “I saw and prayed behind ‘Alī ibn Abi Tālib (radhiya allāhu ‘anhu) and I heard him reciting aloud ‘Bismillahir-Rahmānir-Rahīm’.” Ibn Hajr mentions that Ash-Sha’bi saw ‘Ali ibn Abi Tālib in his book Tahthīb. The men of this chain are thiqāt. Imām Ad-Dāraqutnī reports several narrations from Imām ‘Alī in his Sunan lending support that this was an established act from him (radhiya allāhu ‘anhu).

Seventh proof from Abullah Ibn ‘Umar: Imām Al-Bayhaqī reports via a Sahīh Mawqūf chain from Nāfi’ that Ibn ‘Umar would begin Umm Al-Kitāb (i.e. Fātihah) with Bismillahir-rahmānir rahīm. Al-Bayhaqī stated, “This hadith is Sahīh Mawqūf”, meaning an action of Ibn ‘Umar.

كَانَ يَفْتَتِحُ أُمَّ الْكِتَابِ بِ (بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ) هَذَا هُوَ الصَّحِيحُ مَوْقُوفٌ

Imām Al-Bayhaqī reports this through several chains to Nāfi’ from Ibn ‘Umar lending support to the fact that it is established from Ibn ‘Umar that he recited the Basmalah aloud.

Eighth proof from Abdullah ibn Zubayr:

وَأَخْبَرَنَا أَبُو الْحَسَنِ : عَلِىُّ بْنُ أَحْمَدَ الْمُقْرِئُ بِبَغْدَادَ أَخْبَرَنَا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ سَلْمَانَ قَالَ قُرِئَ عَلَى عَبْدِ الْمَلِكِ بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ وَأَنَا أَسْمَعُ حَدَّثَنَا بِشْرُ بْنُ عُمَرَ حَدَّثَنَا شُعْبَةُ عَنِ الأَزْرَقِ بْنِ قَيْسٍ قَالَ : صَلَّيْتُ خَلْفَ ابْنِ الزُّبَيْرِ فَقَرَأَ فَجَهَرَ بِ (بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ)


From Al-Azraq ibn Qays who said, “I prayed behind ibnuz-Zubayr and he recited aloud ‘Bismillahir rahmānir Rahīm.”

Ninth Proof from Mu’āwiyah

Imām Ash-Shāfi’ī (radhiya allāhu ‘anhu) reports the following incident from Anas ibn Mālik (radhiya allāhu ‘anhu), ‘Mu’awiyah made Salāh amongst the people of Medinah in an aloud prayer without saying the Basmala audibly nor did he say Allahu Akbar in lowering or raising. When he finished the Muhājirīn and the Ansār said ‘Where is the Bismillahir Rahmānir Rahīm? Where is the Takbīr at every lowering and raising?’ After that incident, when he prayed with them he would say the takbīr and would recite the Basmalah.”(Imām Ash-Shāfi’ī reports this himself in his Al-Umm 1/108. Al-Hākim also reports it in his Mustadrak and says, ‘It is Sahīh upon the conditions of Imām Muslim. Imām Adh-Dhahabī agreed with his conclusion.)

Tenth Proof from Samurah (radhiya allāhu ‘anhu)

Imām Ad-Dāraqutnī reports an incident that occurred amongst the companions of the Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa ‘alā Ālihi wa sallam). Samurah (radhiya allāhu ‘anhu) said, “The Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa ‘alā Ālihi wa sallam) had two places in the Salāh where he was silent. He was silent when reciting Bismillahir Rahmānir Rahīm and he was silent when he was done with his recitation. ‘Imrān ibn Husayn rejected this statement from him and wrote to Ubayy ibn Ka’ab (radhiya allāhu ‘anhu). Ubayy ibn Ka’ab responded that Samurah was telling the truth.(Dāraqutni 1/309) Imām Ash-Shawkānī in his Nayl Al-Awtar says, “This chain is Jayyid (good), except that the hadith is also reported by At-Tirmidhi and Abu Dāwūd and other than them with the words, ‘He was silent when he opening the prayer and he was silent when he was done reciting the chapters of the Qur’an.’ (This narration is reported by Ahmad, Abu Dāwud 779, and Tirmithi 251 who said, ‘Hasan’.)The idea of using this hadīth as proof is that he actually recited the Basmalah. As for the ‘silence’ this could be understood that it was silence right before reciting the Basmalah. Wallahu ‘Alim.


What has passed are ten (or more) major proofs that support the Shafi’ī stance that the Basmalah is to be recited aloud in Salāh. Al-Khatīb states in his Tārikh Al-Baghdād those companions and tābi’īn who held this stance saying (the following is abridged as mentioned by Shawkānī in his Nayl),“Abu Bakr As-Siddīq, ‘Uthmān, Ubayy ibn Abi Ka’ab, Abi Qatādah, Abī Sa’id Al-Khudrī, Anas, Abdullah ibn Abi Awfā, Shaddād ibn Aws, Abdullah Ibn Ja’far, Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali, and Mu’awiyah.” As for the tābi’īn they are, “Ubaydullah Al-Umari, Al-Hasan ibn Zayd, Zayd ibn Ali ibn Husayn, Muhammad ibn ‘Amr ibn Ali, Layth ibn Sa’ad, Is-hāq ibn Rāhawayh…” Al-Bayhaqī adds, “Abdullah ibn Safwān, Muhammad ibn Al Hanifiyyah, and Sulaymān ibn At-Taymiyy.” Al-Khatīb narrates in his Ma’rifatus Sunan wal-Āthār, “’Ikrimah refused to make Salāh behind someone who did not recite the Basmalah aloud in Salāh.” May Allah bless our beloved Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa ‘alā Ālihi wa sallam), his family, his companions, and those that follow Him in righteousness. Amīn!