Why Surah Tawbah Has No Basmalah At The Beginning


What is the Ruling on the Basmalah at the beginning of
Soorat at-Tawbah. why is there no bismillah in the begining of surah tawbah? Do
we have to say bismillah when reading surah at tawbah from the middle?


Praise be to Allah.

1. Firstly: Part of the etiquette of reciting Qur’aan is for
the reciter to always say Bismillah ir-Rahmaan ir-Raheem (In the name of Allah,
the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful) at the beginning of every soorah, except
Soorat at-Tawbah.

Imam an-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: He should
always recite Bismillah ir-Rahmaan ir-Raheem at the beginning of every soorah
except Soorat Baraa’ah (at-Tawbah), because the majority of scholars said that
it is a verse wherever it is written in the Mushaf, and it was written at the
beginning of all the soorahs except Soorat at-Tawbah. If he recites it at the
beginning of every soorah (other than at-Tawbah), then there is certainty that
he had recited the entire Qur’aan or soorah, and if he fails to recite the
Basmalah, he has omitted part of the Qur’aan according to the majority.

End quote from at-Tibyaan fi Adaab Hamalat al-Qur’aan, 100.

But if he recites from partway through a soorah, he does not
have to recite the Basmalah and it is sufficient for him to seek refuge with
Allah (by saying A‘oodhu Billaahi min ash-Shaytaan ir-rijeem (I seek refuge
with Allah from the accursed Shaytaan), but if he does say the Basmalah there
is nothing wrong with that.

2. Secondly: The reason why the Basmalah does not appear at
the beginning of Soorat at-Tawbah is that the Sahaabah (may Allah be pleased
with them) did not write it at the beginning of this soorah in the Mushaf,
following the example of the caliph ‘Uthmaan (may Allah be pleased with him).
At-Tirmidhi narrated in as-Sunan that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with
him) said: “I said to ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan: ‘What made you put al-Anfaal which
is one of the Mathaani, next to Baraa’ah [al-Tawbah], which is one of the
Mi’een? Why did you not put the line Bismillaah ir-Rahmaan ir-Raheem in between
them when you put it at the beginning of the rest of al-Sab’ al-Tiwaal [the
long seven soorahs]?” ‘Uthmaan said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to receive revelation of soorahs with
many aayahs. When they were revealed, he would call his scribes and tell them,
‘Put these aayahs in the soorah where such-and-such is mentioned.’ Al-Anfaal
was one of the first soorahs to be revealed in Madeenah, and Baraa’ah
(al-Tawbah) was one of the last parts of the Qur’aan to be revealed. Its
stories were similar to the stories mentioned in al-Anfaal, so it was thought
that it was part of it. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him) was taken [i.e., died] without explaining whether it was indeed
part of it, so they were put next to one another, and the line Bismillaahi
ir’Rahmaan ir’Raheem was not written between them, and it [al-Tawbah] was put
among the Sab’ al-Tiwaal [seven long soorahs].”

End quote from Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah, 4/225

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: …
The correct opinion is that there is no Basmalah between it (Soorat at-Tawbah)
and al-Anfaal, because the Basmalah is a verse of the Book of Allah, may He be
glorified and exalted, and if the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon
him) did not say to put the Basmalah between the two soorahs, they did not put
it between them. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is the
one who decided and said: Put the Basmalah, and he did not tell them to put the
Basmalah between Soorat al-Anfaal and Soorat at-Tawbah, so they did not write
it. But it remains to be said: if he did not give instructions to this effect,
why is there a separation between it and Soorat al-Anfaal? Why did they not
make it one soorah? We say: Yes, they did not make it one soorah because they
were uncertain as to whether it was the same soorah as al-Anfaal or they were
two separate soorahs, so they said: Let us make a separation between the two
soorahs and not write the Basmalah. This is the correct opinion concerning the
absence of the Basmalah between Soorat al-Anfaal and Soorat at-Tawbah.

End quote from Liqa’ al-Baab al-Maftooh, no. 18

And Allah knows best.

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ﺳُﺒﺤَﺎﻧَﻚَ ﺍﻟﻠَّﻬُﻢَّ ﻭَﺑِﺤَﻤْﺪِﻙَ ﺃﺷْﻬَﺪُ ﺃﻥ ﻟَﺎ ﺇِﻟَﻪَ ﺇِﻻَّ ﺃﻧْﺖَ ﺃﺳْﺘَﻐْﻔِﺮُﻙَ ﻭﺃَﺗُﻮﺏُ ﺇِﻟَﻴْﻚ


This text is one of the many fatwa (answers to questions based on authentic Islamic provisions) that are made available by Malam Khamis Yusuf. You can follow him on Facebook, Telegram, and WhatsApp.

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