2506: Are the isti’aadhah and basmalah part of the opening du’aa’ of the prayer?


Is the ta'wuth and basmalah (seeking refuge in the name of Allah from the Shaitan and saying bismillah), are they part of the opening du'a? So If someone is praying behind the Imam should he say them quietly? Should he repeat the Bismillah in every raka'ah quietly if he is praying behind the Imam?

Praise be to Allaah.

The isti’aadaha and basmalah are not part of the opening du’aa’ reported from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), although they are part of what should be recited at the beginning of the prayer. ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to open his prayer with takbeer (‘Allaahu akbar’).” (Reported by Muslim, no. 498)

As regards saying the isti’aadhah and basmalah in the second rak’ah, the scholars differ on this matter. The basmalah should be recited in every rak’ah, when reciting al-Faatihah, but it should not be recited aloud, because there is some dispute as to whether it is part of al-Faatihah or not. Those scholars who say that it is not part of al-Faatihah recommend that it should be recited before al-Faatihah in each rak’ah.

So to be on the safe side, the worshipper should recite the basmalah, silently, in every rak’ah.

With regard to the isti’aadhah, there is no difference among the scholars, all of whom say that it is not part of Soorat al-Faatihah, but there is some discussion among them concerning the aayah (interpretation of the meaning): “So when you want to recite the Qur’an, seek refuge with Allaah…” [al-Nahl 16:98]

Those who take the aayah at face value say that the isti’aadhah should be recited in every rak’ah, before reciting al-Faatihah and the basmalah. This is the opinion of the Shaafa’is and is the most correct opinion in their view. (Al-Majmoo’, 3/323). Al-Hasan al-Basri, ‘Ataa’ and Ibraaheem al-Nakha’i also recommended ta’awwudh in every rak’ah.

Ibn Hazm (may Allaah have mercy on him) favoured this opinion, and it was also reported that Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab (may Allaah have mercy on him) mentioned it in Aadaab al-Mashiy ila’l-Salaah. This opinion was also favoured by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) (al-Insaaf 2/74), who said in al-Ikhtiyaaraat: “Ta’awwudh is recommended at the beginning of every recitation.” (p.50). This is also the opinion of al-‘Allaamah al-Albaani.

Some scholars say that it is to be recited at the beginning of the first rak’ah only, and does not have to be repeated in the other rak’ahs. This is the opinion of the Hanbalis (al-Insaaf, 2/73). Al-Shawkaani thought that the correct opinion was to recite it in the first rak’ah only. (Nayl al-Awtaar, 3/39, 139-140).

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to seek refuge with Allaah when he prayed. He used to say “A’oodhu Billaahi min al-shaytaan il-rajeem min hamzihi wa nafkhihi wa nafathih (I seek refuge with Allaah from the accursed Shaytaan, from his evil insinuations).” (reported by Abu Dawood). Sometimes he would expand on this and say, “A’oodhu Billaahi il-Samee’ il-‘Aleem min al-shaytaan il-rajeem min hamzihi wa nafkhihi wa nafathih (I seek refuge with Allaah, the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing, from the accursed Shaytaan, from his evil insinuations).” (Reported by Abu Dawood and al-Tirmidhi). And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
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