In the name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. These words, known as the bismillah, are among the most commonly recited phrases in the Islamic faith. It 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.
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. But what do these words mean, and why are they so important to Muslims?
In the Name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful in Arabic
In the Name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful is written in Arabic text as;
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحِيْمِ الرَّحْمٰنِ
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
Every chapter of the Qur’an (except the ninth chapter, Surah Tawbah) begins with this Arabic phrase.
When To Say Bismillah
It is recommended to say it when we start any good work. If we do, Allah will increase the good in that work, and bless it.
- We should 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, we should say Bismillah fi awwalhi wa akhirih
In short, we must make a habit of saying Bismillah before we start doing things. Saying it has great virtues.
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.
Let’s look deeper into the meaning of these wonderful words.
The name Allah is the Arabic word for God, and is used by Muslims to refer to the one and only deity worshipped in Islam.
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 (in the name of Allah) 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.
The phrase “the Most Gracious” (al-Rahman) refers to the attribute of Allah that is characterized by mercy and compassion.
We believe that Allah is merciful and compassionate towards all of his creations.
The phrase “the Most Merciful” (al-Rahim) refers to the attribute of Allah that is characterized by mercy and kindness.
Together, these two phrases remind Muslims of the infinite mercy and grace of Allah, and serve as a reminder to turn to him in times of need and to seek his guidance and protection.
The Benefits Of Saying Bismillah
There are many hadiths which stress the virtues and benefits to the one who remembers to say Bismillah.
In the name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful 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, In the name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful ‘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.
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.
In conclusion, the bismillah is a powerful and meaningful phrase in Islam. It serves as a reminder of the mercy and grace of Allah, and encourages Muslims to turn to him for guidance and protection in all that they do.