All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
Muslim scholars have different opinions concerning the recitation of the Basmalah (Bismi Allaahi Ar-Rahmaani Ar-Raheemi) in the prayer. The Shaafi’i and Hanbali Schools – in one of his [Ahmad’s] narrations – are of the view that reciting Basmalah in the prayer is an obligatory act. Abu Haneefah and Ahmad – in his known view – are of the opinion that it is desirable. Imaam Maalik, however, is of the view that it is dislikeable.
The preponderant opinion in our view is that reciting the Basmalah is compulsory and acting according to this opinion is more appropriate in order to be on the safe side.
For more benefit on reciting the Basmalah before Al-Faatihah or before the Soorah after it in prayer, please refer to Fataawa 124439, 168535, and 124816.
For more benefit on scholars’ opinions regarding Basmalah, please refer to Fatwa 260482.
Allah knows best.