Hadith on Quran: Why bismillah is missing from Surat al-Tawbah

Ibn Abbas reported: I said to Uthman ibn Affan, may Allah be pleased with him, “What is your reasoning with Surat al-Anfal, which has less than a hundred verses, and Surat Bara’ah (al-Tawbah), which has more than a hundred verses, yet you put them together without writing ‘In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful,’ between them and you placed them with the seven long chapters. Why did you do that?” Uthman said, “A long time might pass with the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, without anything being revealed to him, and then sometimes a chapter with numerous verses might be revealed. So when something was revealed he would call for someone who could write and tell them to put these verses in the chapter which mentions this and that. When a verse was revealed, he would tell them to put this verse in the chapter which mentions this and that. Al-Anfal was among the first to be revealed in Medina, and Bara’ah was among the last of those revealed of the Quran and their discussions resemble each other, so we thought that they were part of each other. Then, the Prophet passed away and it was not clear to us if they were part of each other. For this reason, we put them together without writing ‘In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful,’ and we included them with the seven long chapters.”

Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 3086

Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Tirmidhi

عن ابْن عَبَّاسٍ قَالَ قُلْتُ لِعُثْمَانَ بْنِ عَفَّانَ رضي الله عنه مَا حَمَلَكُمْ أَنْ عَمَدْتُمْ إِلَى الْأَنْفَالِ وَهِيَ مِنْ الْمَثَانِي وَإِلَى بَرَاءَةٌ وَهِيَ مِنْ الْمِئِينَ فَقَرَنْتُمْ بَيْنَهُمَا وَلَمْ تَكْتُبُوا بَيْنَهُمَا سَطْرَ بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ وَوَضَعْتُمُوهَا فِي السَّبْعِ الطُّوَلِ مَا حَمَلَكُمْ عَلَى ذَلِكَ فَقَالَ عُثْمَانُ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مِمَّا يَأْتِي عَلَيْهِ الزَّمَانُ وَهُوَ تَنْزِلُ عَلَيْهِ السُّوَرُ ذَوَاتُ الْعَدَدِ فَكَانَ إِذَا نَزَلَ عَلَيْهِ الشَّيْءُ دَعَا بَعْضَ مَنْ كَانَ يَكْتُبُ فَيَقُولُ ضَعُوا هَؤُلَاءِ الْآيَاتِ فِي السُّورَةِ الَّتِي يُذْكَرُ فِيهَا كَذَا وَكَذَا وَإِذَا نَزَلَتْ عَلَيْهِ الْآيَةَ فَيَقُولُ ضَعُوا هَذِهِ الْآيَةَ فِي السُّورَةِ الَّتِي يُذْكَرُ فِيهَا كَذَا وَكَذَا وَكَانَتْ الْأَنْفَالُ مِنْ أَوَائِلِ مَا أُنْزِلَتْ بِالْمَدِينَةِ وَكَانَتْ بَرَاءَةٌ مِنْ آخِرِ الْقُرْآنِ وَكَانَتْ قِصَّتُهَا شَبِيهَةً بِقِصَّتِهَا فَظَنَنْتُ أَنَّهَا مِنْهَا فَقُبِضَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَلَمْ يُبَيِّنْ لَنَا أَنَّهَا مِنْهَا فَمِنْ أَجْلِ ذَلِكَ قَرَنْتُ بَيْنَهُمَا وَلَمْ أَكْتُبْ بَيْنَهُمَا سَطْرَ بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ فَوَضَعْتُهَا فِي السَّبْعِ الطُّوَلِ

3086 سنن الترمذي كتاب تفسير القرآن باب ومن سورة التوبة

قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ صَحِيحٌ