Chapter Four: Reciting Bismillah loudly


Regarding recitation of “Bismillah alArehman alRahim” i.e

بسم اللہ الرحمٰن الرحیم

i.e “In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful” with a hearable voice, there are three traditions from Anas bin Malik.

First Tradition:

I offered prayers behind Holy Prophet (s), Abu Bakr, Umar and Othman and I heard all of them reciting “Bismillah alArehman alRahim”.

Second Tradition:

This tradition is also referred to Anas bin Malik saying “I did hear them, but they did not recite it in a hearable voice.

Third Tradition:

I offered prayers behind each one of them, but none of them recited “Bismillah alArehman alRahim”.
Nayl al-Autaar, al-Shaukani, volume 2, page 215

The same book Nayl al-Autar, volume 2, page 217 quotes Anas bin Malik narrating that Muawiyah once came to Medina and led the prayers loudly but did not recite “Bismillah alArehman alRahim”, after the prayers ended, both the Migrants and the Helpers came to him and said “O Muaviya! You made the prayers void, neither did you start with the name of Allah, nor did u recite Takbeer, although we had seen the apostle of Allah doing it.

In Beyhaqqi’s perspective, the Holy Progeny of the Prophet (s) unanimously agreed that
“Bismillah alArehman alRahim” should be recited loudly.

With reference to Mustadrak al-Hakim it is written that a large group of the Companions and followers were of the view that that “Bism Illah ir Rehman ir Raheem” should be recited loudly.

Imam Dhahabi, while commenting about the narrator Ibn e Shahab al-Zehri says that he emphasized that “Bismillah alArehman alRahim” be recited loudly and then the recitation of Surah e Fatiha be started in the same way with “Bismillah alArehman alRahim” preceding the recitation of any Surah.

In this connection we have relied on the following esteemed Sunni works:

  1. Tadhkirath’ul-Hufaaz, volume 1, page 104.
  2. Tafseer Durre Manthur, volume 1, page 11.
  3. Sunan Tirmidhi, volume 1, page 155,
  4. Fath’ul-Bari, volume 2, page 221.
  5. Al-Musnaf, volume 2, page 89, Abdul Razzaq
  6. Al Musannaf by Ibn Abi Shaybah, volume 1, page 448.
  7. Sunan Dar al-Qutni, volume 1, page 309, which has been mentioned in the discussion about Muaviya.
  8. Ma’rifat al-Awam ul-Hadeeth, al-Hakim Neshapuri, page 251.
  9. Kunz ul-A’mal, volume 8, page 119, series, 122181.

Ibn e Abbas [ra] said that it is Arabic style of reading to recite “Bismillah alArehman alRahim” loudly.

Tafseer e Ibn e Kathir (Farid Book Depot, New Delhi) Volume 1, page 21 states:

The scholars who stated that Bismillah is a part of every Surah (except chapter 9) had different opinions; some of them, such as Ash-Shafi`i, said that one should recite Bismillah with Al-Fatihah loudly. This is also the opinion of many among the Companions, the Tabi`in and the Imams of Muslims from the Salaf and the later generations. For instance, this is the opinion of Abu Hurayrah, Ibn `Umar, Ibn `Abbas, Mu`awiyah, `Umar and `Ali, Abu Bakar and Uthman. Imam Al-Khatib has reported with weak chain from Abu Bakar and thman and Behaqi and Ibn Abdul Bar have narrated from Umer and Ali as well. The Taba`in who also used to recite Bmismillah loudly in the prayers in which Qirat is done loudly include Sa`id bin Jubayr, Akrimah, Abu Qulabah, Az-Zuhri, `Ali bin Al-Hasan, his son Muhammad, Saeed bin Musayyib, `Ata’, Tawus, Mujahid, Saalim, Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi, Ubaid, Abu Bakr bin Muhammad bin `Amr bin Hazm, Abu Wa’il, Ibn Sirin, Muhammad bin Al-Munkadir, `Ali bin `Abdullah bin `Abbas, his son Muhammad, Nafi` the freed slave of Ibn `Umar, Zayd bin Aslam, `Umar bin `Abdul-Aziz, Al-Azraq bin Qays, Habib bin Abi Thabit, Abu Ash-Sha`tha’, Makhul and `Abdullah bin Ma`qil bin Muqarrin. Also, Al-Bayhaqi added `Abdullah bin Safwan, and Muhammad bin Al-Hanafiyyah to this list. In addition, Ibn `Abdul-Barr added `Amr bin Dinar.

The proof that these scholars relied on, is that since Bismillah is a part of Al-Fatihah, it should be recited loudly like the rest of Al-Fatihah. Also, Al-Nasa’i recorded in his Sunan, Ibn Hibban and Ibn Khuzaymah in their Sahihs and Al-Hakim in the Mustadrak that Abu Hurayrah once performed the prayer and recited Bismillah loudly. After he finished the prayer, he said, “Among you, I perform the prayer that is the closest to the prayer of the Messenger of Allah.” Daraqutni, Al-Khatib and Al-Bayhaqi graded this Hadith as Sahih.
It has been narrated from Ibn Abbas in Abu Daud and Tirmizi that Prophet[s] used to began his prayers with Bismillah Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim. Imam Tirmizi states that this hadith is not much Sahih. In Mustadrak al Hakim, it has been narrated from Ibn Abbas that Holy Prophet[s] used ot recite Bismillah Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim loudly in prayers. Imam Hakim has stated it Sahih.

… In the Musnad of Imam Ahmad, the Sunan of Abu Dawud, the Sahih of Ibn Hibban and the Mustadrak of Al-Hakim – it is recorded that Umm Salmah said, “The Messenger of Allah used to stop at every verse and his recitation used to be distinguished one. For example while reciting:

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ – الْحَمْدُ للَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ – الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ – مَـلِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ

i.e (In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. All praise and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of all that exists, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. The Owner of the Day of Recompense.)”

Ad-Daraqutni graded the chain of narration for this Hadith Sahih.

Tafseer Ibn Katheer, Vol. 1 Page 21, By Ibn Katheer

Tafseer Ibn Katheer, Vol. 1 Page 21, By Ibn Katheer

Imam Shafi`i and Al-Hakim in his Mustadrak have narrated from Anas that Mu`awiyah led the prayers in Al-Madinah and did not recite Bismillah. The Muhajir companions who were present at that prayer criticized that.
When Mu`awiyah led the following prayer, he recited the Bismillah aloud. The Hadiths mentioned above provide sufficient proof for the opinion that the Bismillah is recited aloud.
Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Volume 1 Parah 1 page 21


Shia Pen Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive regular updates on our new publications.
Shia Pen uses the "Google Groups" system for its newsletters. Subcribe Now →