This is the exposition on the Muqaddimah of Imam Muslim which in effect is a preface to his famous Sahih. Here, if Allah almighty gives ability, I will clarify the text and summarise the issues rather than delve deep or prolong discussion for which I will merely point towards relevant article. Imam Muslim starts his Muqaddimah with the following declaration:
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ وَصَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ خَاتَمِ النَّبِيِّينَ وَعَلَى جَمِيعِ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ وَالْمُرْسَلِينَ أَمَّا بَعْدُ
"In the name of Allah, the very merciful and very kind. All praise is to Allah, the lord of the worlds. Salutation (salat) be upon Muhammad, the last of the prophets. [Salutations] be upon all the prophets and messengers.
Imam Muslim start with bimillah, hamd of Allah almighty and salat upon the prophet (peace be upon him). There are three topics discussed here; (1) the sequence of uttering bismillah, hamd and salat, (2) the detailed analysis of these three, (3) the validity of omitting salam when sending salat.
Firstly, in regards to the sequence of uttering bismillah, hamd and salat in the beginning. Although it is better to read or write all three, it is sufficient that the remembrance of Allah occurs in some way. This is the best solution for reconciling the narrations as the pronouncement must be sequential. The prophet (peace be upon him) declared in separate narrations that any matter of significance starting without bismillah, hamd or salah will be decrepit1. The arguments of relative beginnings is posited but is largely rejected.
Secondly, in regards to the detailed analysis of Bismillah, Hamd and the Salat. This is a long topic and one discussed in length in most tafasir. See the article bismillah, hamd and salat2.
Thirdly, in regards to omitting salam and relying upon salat as done by Imam Muslim. It is better to declare both3 as indicated in the Quran4, however, it is tolerable to rely upon only the salat or salam as was seen in numerous ahadith.
Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami
9 Sha’ban 1437
16 May 2016
1 Lacking barakah
2 Note unpublished
3 Shami p.10 v.1
4 Surah Ahzab: 56. صلوا عليه و سلموا تسليما