Bismillah for Alfatiha

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Question:

Can you please elaborate hadith Bukhari Volume 1, Book 12, No 710 with regards to Bismillah for Alfatiha? (Hanbali)

Answer:

There is a difference of opinion between the four schools as to whether the “basmalah” ie the phrase; بسم الله الرحم الرحيم is a part of surah Fatihah or a part of every surah of the Quran.
1. According to the Malikis the bismillah is not part of surah Fatihah nor any other surah of the Quran except for the bismillah found in verse number 30 of surah Naml (which is not at the beginning of the surah). For them the bismillah is only for تبر ك (blessings).
2. According to the soundest position in the Hanafi school, the bismillah is a verse which was revealed once and assigned as a separator between surahs, and by which to seek blessings (baraka). [Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; Abu Su`ud, Irshad al-`Aql al-Salim].
So it is not a verse of surah Fatihah nor is it a verse at the beginning of any other surah. It is however part of the Quran which was revealed and used as a separator between surahs except for the beginning of surah Taubah.
3. According to one narration of Imam Ahmad the bismillah is a verse at the beginning of surah Fatihah only and not the other surahs. Another view of the Hanbali madhab that is found in their relied upon kitabs like; الروض المربع للبهوتي
is that bismillah is a verse of the Quran revealed as a separator between the surahs and is not a part of Fatihah or the other surahs. (Similar to the Hanafi view).
4. According to the Shafi madhab the bismillah is a verse at the beginning of surah Fatihah and every surah except surah Taubah.
It should be noted that there is no difference of opinion between the scholars that there is no bismillah at the beginning of surah Taubah and also that bismillah is a part of surah Naml ie verse 30.
Should the bismillah be recited silently or loudly in salaat?
1. According to the Maliki madhab the bismillah is not recited in the fardh prayers neither at the beginning of Fatihah nor any other surah whether loudly or silently, however it is permissible to recite it in nafl prayers.
2. According to the Hanafis and Hanbalis the sunnah is that bismillah is to be read silently although it would be permissible to read it loudly.
3. According to the Shafi madhab the bismillah is to be read aloud in the loud prayers and silently in the silent prayers.
So to answer your question the hadith you referred to in Bukhari Volume 1, Book 12, No 710 could be used to support the view of the Hanbali and Hanafi position of not reciting bismillah loudly at the beginning of surah Fatihah.
والله أعل م
Answered by Shaykh Mohammed Shakeeb with consultation from Sheikh Ahmad Samih Abdel Wahab (Madinah)

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