Friday, 4 May 2018

Reading Basmala in Salat

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

والصلاة والسلام على رسوله الكريم

والعاقبة للمتقين

In a previous entry I cited the proofs for the Basmala being the first Ayah of Sura al-Fatiha, and also as an Ayah that initiates the remaining chapters of the Qur’an with the exception of the 9th Sura. But according to the Maliki school, the Basmala is not an Ayah of the Qur’an, nor is it to be read, either aloud or silently, during the obligatory Salat. The Malikis begin the Salat by straight away reciting Alhamdu Lillaahi Rabbil-’Aalameen. They do not recite any opening supplication either, such as the Isti’adha, in opposition to the firmly established Sunna, considering it makruh to do so (Mukhtasar al-Akhdari p.21)

The Hanafis and Hanbalis, in accordance with the Sunna, read the Basmala, though silently, while the Shafi’is recite it loudly:
عَنْ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ ، قَالَ : كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ  يَفْتَتِحُ صَلَاتَهُ بْبِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
Ibn AbbasRA narrated: The Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) would open his Salat with Bismillaahir-Rahmaanir-Raheem. (Jami al-Tirmidhi #245)
A Hadith attributed to Abdullah b. MughaffalRA via his son to the effect that reciting the Basmala during the Salat is an innovation is in fact weak, due to the fact that Abdullah’s son is majhul al-hal, and no one authenticated him apart from al-Tirmidhi.
Interestingly, sayyidina Umar b. al-KhattabRA used to recite:
سُبْحَانَكَ اللَّهُمَّ وَبِحَمْدِكَ تَبَارَكَ اسْمُكَ وَتَعَالَى جَدُّكَ وَلاَ إِلَهَ غَيْرُكَ
loudly at the beginning of the Salat (Sahih Muslim)  
The reading of Isti’adha before the recitation of al-Fatiha is enjoined in the Qur’an itself (Sura 16:98). From the Sunna, we know that the Prophet (peace be upon him) would read the following formula of Isti’adha in the Salat:
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ مِنْ هَمْزِهِ وَنَفْخِهِ وَنَفْثِهِ

(Sunan Ibn Maja)
To summarize, the position of the Maliki madhhab of not reciting any opening supplication, Isti’adha or even Basmala in the Salat is in stark contrast to the established Sunna of the Prophet (upon him be peace) and his companions (Allah be pleased with them).

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