Why does Surah Tauba not start with Bismillah?

What is the reason behind that? While reciting the Holy Quran, one observes that Surah Tauba does not start with Bismillah. Every other Surah in the Holy Quran starts with Bismillah. What is the reason behind that? Why did Holy Prophet PBUH not ask his scribers to place Bismillah before Surah Tauba?

Every surah is short or small, starts with bismillah except surah Tauba. Many Muslims are curious about it. The answer to the question is made clear in Al Tirmidhi narration.

Al Tirmidhi narration: According to it, Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him) has been reported once narrating that he went to Usman ibn ‘Affaan (may Allah be pleased with him) and inquired it.

He asked why Surah Al Anfaal has been placed next to surah Tauba as Surah Anfaal is a Mathaani surah while surah Tauba is a Mieen? Why isn’t Bismillah placed between the two surahs as Bismillaah is placed at the beginning of the rest of the seven lengthy surahs (al-Sab’ al-Tiwaal).

On this Usman confirmed that Holy Prophet PBUH would call his scribers after he received a revelation. In a revelation, he would receive ayahs of a surah. He would guide his scriber to place the ayahs in such and such portion with such and such ayahs.

Surah Al-Anfaal and the Surah al Tauba (also known as surah baraa’ah) have similar stories (context). Even though surah Al anfaal is one of the initial surahs to be revealed in Madina while surah Tauba was one of the last to be revealed.

As their contexts were similar it was deemed that surah Tauba would be a part of the surah Al anfaal.

The death of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W: However, before it could have been disclosed that it was really a part of Surah Al Anfaal or not, the Prophet PBUH died. Bismillah, therefore, wasn’t placed before it as they were not confirmed that if it was either part of the surah Al Anfaal or not.

Surah Tauba was then made part of the Sab’ al-Tiwaal or the seven long soorahs. According to Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah, 4/225, the Bismillah is not placed in between the surahs as scribers did not know if they were separate surahs or not.

The guidance of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W: As the Holy Prophet PBUH would always guide them to place bismillah before every surah, he did not guide upon Surah al Tauba. The scribers thereby did not write Bismillah before the Surah al Tauba. And Allah Almighty knows the best and may he guide us all.

Source: Islam QA