Reciting Basmalah quietly in the Jahri Salah

Q 1: What is the evidence on the permissibility of pronouncing the Basmalah (saying, “Bismillah Al-Rahman, Al-Rahim [In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful]”) secretly in the Jahri Salah (Prayer recited out loud). Moreover, the Bismillah is written at the beginning of every Surah in the Qur’an, including Surah Al-Fatihah which consists of seven Ayahs, only six of them are read out loud, whereas “Bismillah Al-Rahman, Al-Rahim” is uttered quietly?


A: The scholars who hold the view of uttering “Bismillah Al-Rahman, Al-Rahim” secretly in Jahri Salah, based their opinion on the consideration that it is not an Ayah in each Surah; rather, it is an independent Ayah in the Qur’an that was placed there to separate the Surahs. However, it is part of an Ayah in Surah Al-Naml. They said that it should be pronounced quietly in Jahri Salah to distinguish it from the Ayahs of the Surah being recited. Reciting it in Salah whilst pronouncing it quietly in Jahri Salah is a way of combining the evidence which apparently indicate not to recite it in Salah and the Hadiths that denote pronouncing it before reciting the Surah in Salah such as the Hadith narrated on the authority of `Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to commence Salah with Takbir (saying Allahu-Akbar - Allah is the Greatest) and the recitation of “Al-Hamdu lillahi Rabbi Al-‘Alamin” [Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Universe - i.e. Surat Al-Fatihah]. And the Hadith narrated on the authority of Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: (Part No. 4; Page No. 341)  I offered Salah behind the Prophet (peace be upon him), Abu Bakr, `Umar, and `Uthman and they used to commence their Salah with “Al-Hamdu lillahi Rabbi Al-‘Alamin” [Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Universe - i.e. Surat Al-Fatihah]. According to the narration of Muslim: And they did not recite Bismillah ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim ‘In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Ever-Merciful’ (loudly) These Hadiths were taken as evidence on abandoning reciting it aloud, but not abandoning reciting it completely so as to combine these Hadiths with the others which indicate reciting Basmalah in every Salah. Considering Surah Al-Fatihah to consist of only six Ayahs is wrong, according to the Ijma‘ (consensus) of scholars. Those who consider Basmalah as an Ayah from every Surah, regard it as an Ayah of Al-Fatihah and the Ayahs after it as six Ayahs. While those who do not consider it to be an Ayah from Al-Fatihah, deem The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace to be an Ayah and the remaining sentence to the end of Al-Fatihah as an Ayah. As such it will be seven Ayahs without the Basmalah.

Tags: