Is the Basmalah a verse?

Question:

Is the Basmalah (the beginning in the name of God) a separate verse of each chapter in the Qur’an?

Answer:

Except for the 9th chapter “At-Tawbah”, all chapters of the Qur’an begin in the name of God (بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم). However, the general public claims that only the Basmalah of the 1st chapter “Al-Fatihah” is a verse, so the remaining verses at the beginning of the 112 chapters are not numbered and recognized as separate verses.

Yunus Ibn Abd Ar-Rahman reported that Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (a.) was questioned about the Word of Allah: “And We have sent you seven of the repeated verses and also the mighty Qur’an.” – 15:87 – He said: “This is the chapter of praise (Al-Fatihah) and it consists of seven verses. The beginning in the name of the gracious and merciful God belongs to it as a verse.” [Mustadrak-ul-Wasa’il by Al-Mirza An-Nuri, Volume 4 Page 164 Hadith 1]

محمد بن مسعود العياشي في تفسيره: عن يونس بن عبد الرحمن، عمن رفعه، قال: سألت أبا عبد الله عليه السلام عن قوله تعالى: ولقد آتيناك سبعا من المثاني والقرآن العظيم قال: هي سورة الحمد، وهي سبع آيات، منها بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Abu Hamzah reported that Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir (a.) said: “They robbed the Book of God of its noblest verse: “In the name of the merciful and compassionate God.” [Mustadrak-ul-Wasa’il of Al-Mirza An-Nuri, Volume 4 Page 165 Hadith 2]

وعن أبي حمزة، عن أبي جعفر عليه السلام قال: سرقوا أكرم آية في كتاب الله، بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Safwan Al-Jamal reported that Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (a.) said: “God did not send down any book from heaven except that it was opened in the name of the gracious and merciful God, so that the text sections of the chapters could be recognized. By the descent in the name of the gracious and merciful God, the next chapter begins.” [Mustadrak-ul-Wasa’il by Al-Mirza An-Nuri, Volume 4 Page 165 Hadith 3]

وعن صفوان الجمال، قال: قال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام: ما انزل الله من السماء كتابا، الا وفاتحته بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم، وإنما كان يعرف انقضاء السورة، بنزول بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم ابتداء للأخرى

Isa Ibn Abdillah reported from Abdullah that his grandfather said: “Imam Ali (a.) was informed that a group was omitting the verse with the name of the gracious and merciful God. So he said: “It is a separate verse from the Book of God, but Satan has made them forget about it.” [Mustadrak-ul-Wasa’il by Al-Mirza An-Nuri, Volume 4 Page 165 – 166 Hadith 6]

وعن عيسى بن عبد الله، عن أبيه، عن جده، عن علي عليه السلام قال بلغه أن أناسا ينزعون بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم، فقال: هي آية من كتاب الله، أنساهم إياها الشيطان

Al-Mirza An-Nuri writes: “The Basmalah is a verse from Al-Fatihah and from every chapter of the Qur’an except Bara’ah (At-Tawbah).” [Mustadrak-ul-Wasa’il, Volume 4 Page 164]

قال شيخ الإسلام الميرزا النوري رضي الله عنه: ان البسملة آية من الفاتحة، ومن كل سورة عدا براءة

Muhammad Jamal-ud-Din Al-Amili writes: “According to our consensus, beginning in the name of the gracious and merciful God (Basmalah) is a verse of Al-Fatihah and of every chapter of the Qur’an except Bara’ah (At-Tawbah).” [Dhikra Ash-Shi’ah Fi Ahkam Ash-Shari’ah, Volume 3 page 298]

قال الشهيد الأول محمد جمال الدين العاملي رضي الله عنه: بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم آية من الفاتحة، ومن كل سورة خلا براءة اجماعا منا

This fact is even circulating amongst Sunnis.

Proof:

Isma’il Ibn Umar Ibn Kathir writes: “Those who spoke about the Basmalah being a verse from every chapter except Bara’ah (At-Tawbah) were Abdullah Ibn Abbas, Ibn Umar, Ibn Az-Zubair, Abu Hurairah and Ali. Of the disciples of the Companions, Ata’, Tawus, Sa’id Ibn Jubair, Makhul and Az-Zuhri, and of this view were Abdullah Ibn Al-Mubarak, Muhammad Ibn Idris Ash-Shafi’i and Ahmad Ibn Hanbal according to some accounts of them, and Ishaq Ibn Rahawaih and Abu Ubaid Al-Qasim Ibn Salam, God have mercy on them. Malik Ibn Anas, Abu Hanifah and their companions said: “Basmalah is not a verse of Al-Fatihah or a verse of any other chapter. Ash-Shafi’i said according to the statement of some paths of his school of law: “Basmalah is a verse of Al-Fatihah, but not a verse of any other chapter.” It is also reported from him that it belongs to some verses at the beginning of each chapter and both are strange.” [Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Volume 1 Page 116-117]

قال إسماعيل بن عمر بن كثير: وممن حكي عنه أنها آية من كل سورة إلا براءة ابن عباس وابن عمر وابن الزبير وأبو هريرة وعلي . ومن التابعين: عطاء وطاوس وسعيد بن جبير ومكحول والزهري وبه يقول عبد الله بن المبارك والشافعي وأحمد بن حنبل في رواية عنه وإسحاق بن راهويه وأبو عبيد القاسم بن سلام رحمهم الله وقال مالك وأبو حنيفة وأصحابهما: ليست آية من الفاتحة ولا من غيرها من السور وقال الشافعي في قول في بعض طرق مذهبه: هي آية من الفاتحة وليست من غيرها وعنه أنها بعض آية من أول كل سورة وهما غريبان

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