Reciting bismillah for starting salaah.

Q. 1) When we start farz, wajib, nafil or any obligatory prayers after reciting sanah, should we recite or not (awazubillah) and bismillah before starting Surah Fatiha? After reciting Surah Fatiha we recite bismillah or not, before starting the new surah?

2) If we are the Imam and start a farz pray like Fajr, Maghrib or Isha, after takbir tahrima do we start from sanah or tawauz, or bismillah or direct Surah Fatiha? If we are the Imam, after reciting Surah Fatiha, do we start another surah joining by tawauz and bismillah or direct to another surah?

3) If we are the Imam of Zuhar or Asr pray, do we start like sanah, tawauz, bismillah or direct to another surah?

A. Whichever salaah we begin, be it sunnah, nafl, farz or wajib it is sunnah to recite ta’wudh (a’ouzu Billah) and tasmiyyah (Bismillah) in the first rakaat before Surah Fatiha. As for the other rakaats of salaah it is sunnah to recite Bismillah only before Surah Fatiha.

Concerning the reciting of Bismillah between Surah Fatiha and another surah, some of the Hanafi scholars are of the opinion that it is not sunnah, whereas some are of the opinion that it is mustahab. They all agree that if one says it, it is not disliked, therefore one may recite it.

Being the Imam of the salaah makes no difference to a person performing salaah individually with regards to that which has mentioned above.

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Majid Khan
Darul Iftaa