Basmala is an Arabic phrase that is recited by Muslims daily for many different occasions. It is a powerful phrase that completes our actions and adds immense reward and barakah to everything that follows it.
Continue reading to learn basmala meaning, how to write it in Arabic and benefits of saying it on a regular basis.
Muslims often say this short phrase when embarking on any significant endeavor, and the phrase is considered by some to be a major pillar of Islam.
This expression is so magnificent and so concise that all but one chapter of the Qur’an begins with it.
Basmala Meaning in English
Basmala is the Islamic phrase “Bismillahir Rahmanir rahim” it means In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful.
Basmala is the name of, Bismillahirrahmanirrahim (In the name of Allah, the most gracious, the most merciful).
To say Basmala means to recite Basmala. In Arabic, there is a tradition of shortening some widely used sentences comprised of a few words.
Basmala in Arabic Text
Basmala in Arabic is written in as;
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحِيْمِ الرَّحْمٰنِ
Consequently, you may encounter a variety of different transliterations of this glorious phrase, including:
- Bismillah ar-rahman ar-rahim
- Bismillah hir rahman nir raheem
- Bismillah al rahman al rahim
- Bismillah hir rahman nir rahim
- Bismillah ir rahman ir rahim
- Bismillah hirrahman nirrahim
- Bismillah ir rahmaan ir raheem.
However, regardless of how one chooses to write the English transliteration of the original Arabic, it is not the writing of the words or their pronunciation that is important, but rather what is in our hearts and how we act in the world.
If you can’t pronounce the term correctly, this video clip might help you to pronounce full bismillah fluently as it contains the correct pronunciation of Bismillah Rahman Rahim.
Every chapter of the Qur’an (except the ninth chapter, Surah Tawba) begins with basmala.
This phrase is truly an ideal to be expressed from the heart, with the utmost sincerity, an ideal that leads us to sacred purpose, the purpose for which we have been given life.
When To Say Bismillah or Basmala
It is recommended to say Bismillah when we start any good work. If we do, Allah will increase the good in that work,and bless it.
- We must say Bismillah, before making wudhu,
- before drinking water,
- upon opening the door of our house,
- upon closing it,
- before we sleep,
- before sitting or standing,
- before putting on our clothes or shoes,
- upon leaving our house,
- and upon getting in the car or on the bus.
We should also say it before we start eating, but if we forget to say it at the beginning.
In short, we must make a habit of saying Bismillah before we start doing things. Saying it has great virtues.
Let’s look deeper into the meaning of these wonderful words.
Using these basic roots, the term Bismillah might be translated as:
- By means of the very essence of God
- For the glory of our Creator
- With the light of the One
- With the guidance of The Divine
- As an instrument of the One
- In harmony with Divine Presence.
The central idea here is that everything we do, every step we take, every breath we take, is done for, by, and through the essence of the One who created us.
It is not us who do the work, it is not us who create opportunities, and it is not us who reap the benefits of our actions.
We are powerless on our own. The Creator gave us life and the ability to move, think, and feel, but we are completely dependent on the Creator for the very essence of life itself.
Thus, this beautiful word bismillah is a magnificent reminder of our relationship to our Creator and our relationship to all of creation.
In one simple word bismillah expresses our wonder, awe and thankfulness while it also expresses our innermost prayer that we may have the blessing of another breath, another moment of life, and that we may walk on a path of truth and understanding.
To say bismillah is to humbly offer one’s self as a vehicle for the glory and majesty of The One.
These two terms Rahman and Rahim refer to attributes of the One. While they are often translated simply as Merciful and Compassionate, the roots of the words point to a deeper meaning.
Both Rahman and Rahim are derived from the Semitic root r-h-m which indicates something of the utmost tenderness which provides protection and nourishment, and that from which all of creation is brought into being.
And indeed, the root rhm has meanings of womb, kinship, relationship, loving-kindness, mercy, compassion, and nourishing-tenderness.
Thus, both Rahman and Rahim point toward that which emerges from the source of all creation, while also conveying a sense of tenderness, loving-kindness, protection and nourishment.
There are many hadiths which stress the virtues and benefits to the one who remembers to say Bismillah.
Hadith On Basmala Before Eating
Narrated Umm Kulthum: From ‘Aishah that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:
“When one of you eats food, then let him say: ‘Bismillah.’ If he forgets in the beginning, then let him say: ‘Bismillah Fi Awwalihi Wa Akhirih (In the Name of Allah in its beginning and its end.)”Reference: Jami At-Tirmidhi 1858
We ask for Allah’s blessings and remind ourselves that all we do is at Allah’s command.
As a result, we ask Allah to bless us with barakah in rizq as we recite Bismillah before beginning our meal.
Reciting Bismillah Before Entering Your House
Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
I heard Messenger of Allah (SAW) saying, “If a person mentions the Name of Allah upon entering his house or eating, Satan says, addressing his followers:
‘You will find no where to spend the night and no dinner.’ But if he enters without mentioning the Name of Allah, Satan says (to his followers); ‘You have found (a place) to spend the night in, and if he does not mention the Name of Allah at the time of eating, Satan says: ‘You have found (a place) to spend the night in as well as food.”‘ [Muslim] – Riyad As Salihin.
The Benefits Of Saying Bismillah
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem Contains Three Of Allahs Names
Allah which is His most familiar name to indicate that all things happen only by the will of Allah.
ArRahman which means gracious. Allah is the only one who can keep things from destruction.
ArRahim which means merciful. Allah is the most merciful and it is only through His mercy that man can thrive or be successful.
We begin all our actions in the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Benevolent, to remember that everything is for His sake. We begin in Allah’s name in the hope that we will be successful, rewarded and blessed.
By Saying, ‘Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem‘ you are consciously asking Allah to be with you during the task, speech or action that you are about to perform.
‘Bismillah’ literally means that we start our action seeking help and blessings through the name of Allah.
Protection from Jinn: The jinn is likewise kept away from our rizq by saying Bismillah.
Saying Bismillah when opening or closing a window, for example, will keep the jinn out of your home.
When Slaughtering an Animal
Part of the basis for the argument about whether a dish, mainly meat, is halal to eat when we go to a restaurant is the method the animal was slaughtered.
Did Shariah’s guidelines for the animal slaughter it? And, more importantly, did the slaughterer utter “Bismillah” before killing the animal?
As Muslims, we always begin our acts with the name of Allah (SWT).
This word is not only because of the protection that it provides but also because it encourages us to confirm our faith in our creator.