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Which Surah does not begin with 'BismAllah' and why?

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Author Topic: Which Surah does not begin with 'BismAllah' and why?  (Read 26 times)
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« on: May 09, 2022, 08:06:16 am »
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Salaam and peace. 

Only the 9th Chapter, Surah At-Taubah, does not begin with 'BismAllah Ar Rehman Ar Raheem."  While the precise reason is known to Allah alone, there are logical opinions. 

The  9th Chapter, Surah At-Tawbah (Repentence) is also known as Surah Al-Bar’aah (Repudiation or immunity).   As we know, the title of every Surah is derived from some word in some Ayat of that Surah.  The word “Tawbah” is derived from Verse 9:104 quote:  “Do they not know that it is Allah who accepts repentance from His servants and receives charities and that it is Allah who is the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful?”  9:104.    Similarly, the word Al-Bar’aah is derived from the first Verse of this Surah (Chapter 9) quote:  “Freedom from obligations (is declared) from Allah and His Messenger to those of the mushrikun (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah), with whom you made a treaty..”  9:1.

First off, there is an opinion that the absence of "BismAllah" in Surah 9 is because this Surah largely deals with punishments (in the world and the Hereafter) of the disbelievers, the hypocrites and the disobedient.  Surah 9  is often viewed as the Chapter of punishment and not the Chapter of mercy because of the destructive, stubborn and deceitful stance of the idolaters of Makkah.  Therefore, The Almighty decided not to mention “BismAllah” at the beginning and instead made up for it by mentioning 'BismAllah' twice in Surah 27 (An-Naml), first time at the beginning and second time in Verse 27:30 where The Almighty quotes a letter from Prophet Solomon (pbuh) to the Queen of Sheba: “Indeed, it is from Solomon, and indeed, it is: In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful;”  27:30.  Thus, the omission of "BismAllah" in Surah 9 is made up by the one in V.28:30 with a total of 114 "BismAllah" in the entire Quran.  This point is also in conformity with the Quran's mathematical code upheld by close observers of this theory.    It is definitely correct that The Almighty has disclosed the evil intents of many segments of disbelievers and trouble-makers in Surah 9 and has plainly asserted the punishment that will be meted out to them.  “Bismillah-ar-Rehman-ar-Rahim” means  In the name of Allah Who is “The most Gracious” (referring to kind and bountiful) and “The most Merciful” (shows unlimited and infinite mercy).  Since The Almighty has confirmed the punishment of some categories of disbelievers in this Surah, henceforth, it does not commence with “BismAllah.”  Logically there is a very valid point here.   Probably with the exception of Verses 9:128 and 129, Surah At-Tawbah was the last one to be revealed in Medina, in the ninth year of the Hijra.  The fact that this Surah begins with the declaration of immunity towards idolaters, it is not required to begin like all other 113 Surahs with " Bismi-Allah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim because “Bismi-Allah” is an indication of mercy and security while At-Tawbah (also known as Al-Baraah) began with the declaration of immunity towards the idolaters.   Furthermore, it is also known that in accordance with Arab culture, when they write messages to their enemies, they generally do not begin with “BismAllah Ar Rehman Ar Raheem.”  This is also a very plausible explanation for the omission of “BismAllah” in Surah 9.

Secondly, it's probable that Surah 9 (At-Taubah) is a continuation of Surah 8 (Al-Anfal) because of some similar  contents of Revelation and therefore the omission of "BirmAllah" in Surah 9.   For example, it is widely opined that people during the Prophet's (pbuh) lifetime observed that the Prophet  (pbuh) did not mention "BismAllah"  prior to reciting Surah 9.  That made them think that perhaps Surah 9 is not an independent Surah but a continuation of another Surah.  However, no one could confirm this point.  During the Revelation of Surah 9, some contemporaries were of the view that this Surah was revealed in portions and in between the revelations of Surah 9, other Surahs were also revealed and completed.  Therefore it was hard to confirm whether Surah 9 was an  independent Surah or a continuation of another Revelation.  Thus as I already stated, this point couldn't be confirmed.  It was not easy to elucidate the exact sequential pattern of Surah 9.   The possibility can go either way, that maybe Surah 9 is independent OR it is a  continuation of a Divine Revelation.  Thus, for lack of confirmation of this point, Surah At-Taubah was seen as a separate Surah after Surah Al-Anfal but on the safe side “BismAllah” was omitted because the compilers (the 2nd and 3rd righteous caliphs – Umar bin Khattab and Osman bin Affan - who compiled the Noble Quran with meticulous care) did not know at which point of the Divine Revelation "BimsAllah" was stated by the Divine Power.  In other words, the absence of the “BismAllah” denotes preserving the difference of opinion and not confirming any matter that is beyond human capacity.   All confirmations in the Quran come from The Almighty ONLY and not from human mind or opinion.  Thus it has to be omitted as the compilers would never put anything in writing unless they had full confirmation from the preserved written contents of the Noble Quran in their safe possession handed over from the Prophet (pbuh).

Both above opinions are rational and could be the reason for the omission of "BismAllah" in Surah 9.

To conclude, I reiterate that only Allah Almighty (Allah  جل جلاله ) knows best.
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