بسم اللہ الرّحمٰن الرّحیم
Virtues. Condition of Reciting “Bismillah”- Its Timing and Occasions.
Allah (SWT) is our Creator, our Sustainer and above all the Most Forgiving and Most Merciful towards us. He loves us all dearly and desires that our worldly life and that of the hereafter becomes a beautiful one. He seeks that we perform good deeds and that there is an immense blessing and goodness in every good deed of ours that not only benefits us but also those around us. In order to fulfil these afore mentioned goals, Allah (SWT) has given us various commandments, one of these commands is to commence every good deed with the name of ‘Allah’. This is because Allah (SWT) Himself is the most sacred and the most blessed. Allah (SWT) says in Qur’an:
اَللّٰهُ الَّذِيْ جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْاَرْضَ قَرَارًا وَّالسَّمَاءَ بِنَاءً وَّصَوَّرَكُمْ فَاَحْسَنَ صُوَرَكُمْ وَرَزَقَكُمْ مِّنَ الطَّيِّبٰتِ ذٰلِكُمُ اللّٰهُ رَبُّكُمْ فَتَبٰرَكَ اللّٰهُ رَبُّ الْعٰلَمِيْنَ
“Allah, it is He Who has made for you the earth as a dwelling place and the sky as a canopy, and has given you shape and made your shapes good (looking) and has provided you with good things. That is Allah, your Lord, so blessed is Allah, the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists).”
In another instance, Allah (SWT) says in the Holy Quran:
تَبٰرَكَ اسْمُ رَبِّكَ ذِي الْجَلٰلِ وَالْاِكْرَام
“Blessed is the Name of your Lord (Allah), the Owner of Majesty and Honor.”
Therefore, commencing every good action with the name of Allah (SWT) is an important teaching of Islam.
- Specifically if we desire to be: Successful in the task we are doing.
- To receive Allah (SWT)’s help and aid in successfully completing that task.
- To ensure that we are not inflicted by any loss, difficulty or complexity in the completion of that task.
- To ensure that we receive benefit and blessing from the task that we are performing.
- If that task is related to a good deed, then reciting Bismillah before it will ensure that it becomes acceptable to Allah (SWT) and resultantly becomes beneficial for us.
This command regarding reciting of Bismillah was given by Allah (SWT) to His most beloved Messenger ﷺ, and as a result this is also a command for the Ummah of the Messenger ﷺ to follow till the Day of Judgement.
At this juncture, it is also vital for us to understand the fact that in order to attain the aforementioned benefits whilst performing a good/noble task, the following four conditions must be met:
- Firstly, to possess a solid and unshakable belief and view that it is only Allah (SWT ) who holds the complete and indisputable power and ability at all times to provide benefit to anyone and to stop any harm from happening to anyone. No one else including the Prophets, the angels or the jinn’s have this distinctive and majestic quality and ability except Allah (SWT)
- Secondly, to have a firm belief that a human being without the will of Allah (SWT) can cause no benefit to him/her and can stop no harm from happening to him/her except for the will of Allah (SWT). Therefore, we as human beings are totally dependent on Allah (SWT) for each and every second of our existence.
- After fulfilling the above conditions, a believer should then place his life, wealth, honor and dignity in the safest hands of his creator, the Almighty Allah. He/she should then be fearful only of Allah (SWT) and have hopes and aspirations only from Him (SWT).
- Then a believer should adopt the masnoon (proven from the sunnah of the Messenger ﷺ method of seeking benefit from Allah (SWT) and seeking Allah’s protection from harm or loss.
If one seeks benefit from Allah (SWT) and His protection from harm/loss after following the above mentioned four conditions, then surely, he/she will have the complete support, help and assistance from Allah (SWT.)
Condition of reciting Bismillah (in what manner and how much)
In this regard, the following method must be followed:
- Wherever it is proven from the Messenger ﷺ to recite the complete
“Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem” then it should be recited completely. For instance, at the beginning of each surah.
- In instances where the Prophet ﷺ only recited “bismillah” then we should do the same, for example when starting to make ablution.
- Wherever it is proven that the Prophet e used to recite additional words after “Bismillah” then we should also recite bismillah with those additional ‘masnoon’ words.
Times and places of reciting “Bismillah”:
- Whenever reciting the Qur’an or reading anything good.
Allah (SWT) says in the Qur’an:
اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ
“Read! In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists)”
- When writing letters, emails, applications etc.
This was the way of the Prophet ﷺ as he began the letters that he wrote to the various kings with “Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem”. Likewise, similar was the routine of the pious predecessors.
These days, people have a made it a norm to write ‘786’ at the beginning of any piece of written work instead of writing the tasmiyah. They believe by doing so they prevent the tasmiyah from getting disrespected. However, this is a completely wrong practice. Firstly, because no such action is proven from the messenger e or his companions and hence this act becomes an innovation in the deen. Secondly, if disrespect to the tasmiyah was suspected than the Prophet ﷺ would have never written it at the beginning of each letter he wrote to the various kings of the time. They were non-Muslims and therefore greatly prone to disrespecting the tasmiyah. The King of Persia even tore the letter, yet the Prophet ﷺ did not change his method and we too must follow only in his footsteps.
- While writing up a document or a treaty:
It is proven from the sunnah to start with “Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem” as the Prophet ﷺ ordered for the tasmiyah to be written at the top when the Treaty of Hudaibyah was being penned with the polytheists (Sahih Bukhari)
In the above mentioned three instances, the entire tasmiyah i.e. “Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem” will be recited.
Pertaining to the matters which will be discussed in the next few lines, where there is a proven recital of only “Bismillah” then only bismillah will be recited and where there are more words proven along with bismillah then it will be recited as such.
- Before eating:
The Prophet ﷺ:
سَمِّ الله تعالى، وكُل بيمينك، وكُل مما يليك
“Say Bismillaah, eat with your right hand, and eat from what is directly in front of you.”
(Sahih Bukhari & Muslim)
Eating the food after reciting Bismillah adds barakah (blessing) to it.
Warning: if someone forgets to recite Bismillah at the beginning then they must recite the following dua during the meal:
بِسْمِ اللہِ أوَّلَهُ وَآخِرَهِ
“Bismillaahi awwalahu wa aakhirahu”
In the name of Allah at the beginning and at the end.’
- Before drinking:
In Sahih Bukhari 6452 it is mentioned that the prophet e recited bismillah before drinking milk
- Before commencing ablution, ghusl or tayammum (dry ablution):
The Prophet ﷺ:
لاَ وُضُوءَ لِمَنْ لَمْ يَذْكُرِ اسْمَ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى عَلَيْهِ
“There is no wudoo (ablution) for the one who does not mention the name of Allah”
(Sunan Abu Dawood: 101)
Eight more companions of the Prophet ﷺ have also narrated ahadith with a similar meaning to this hadith.
- When entering the Masjid:
The Prophet ﷺ used to recite the following dua while entering the masjid:
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ وَالسَّلاَمُ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي ذُنُوبِي وَافْتَحْ لِي أَبْوَابَ رَحْمَتِكَ
“Whenever the Messenger of Allah entered the mosque he would say: ‘Bismillah, was-salamu ‘ala Rasulillah, Allahummagh-firli dhunubi waftah li abwaba rahmatika.
(Sunan Ibn-e-Maja: 771)
(In the Name of Allah, and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah. O Allah, forgive me my sins and open to me the gates of Your mercy).”
- When leaving the Masjid
The following dua should be recited:
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ وَالسَّلاَمُ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي ذُنُوبِي وَافْتَحْ لِي أَبْوَابَ فَضْلِكَ
“In the name of Allah, and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah. Oh, Allah forgive me my sins and open to me the gates of Your bounty
(Sunan Ibn-e-Maja: 771)
- When entering the house:
إِذَا دَخَلَ الرَّجُلُ بَيْتَهُ فَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ عِنْدَ دُخُولِهِ وَعِنْدَ طَعَامِهِ قَالَ الشَّيْطَانُ لاَ مَبِيتَ لَكُمْ وَلاَ عَشَاءَ. وَإِذَا دَخَلَ فَلَمْ يَذْكُرِ اللَّهَ عِنْدَ دُخُولِهِ قَالَ الشَّيْطَانُ أَدْرَكْتُمُ الْمَبِيتَ . وَإِذَا لَمْ يَذْكُرِ اللَّهَ عِنْدَ طَعَامِهِ قَالَ أَدْرَكْتُمُ الْمَبِيتَ وَالْعَشَاءَ
“Jabir(RA) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ saying, “If a person mentions the Name of Allah upon entering his house or eating, Satan says, addressing his followers: ‘You will find nowhere 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.”
إِذَا وَلَجَ الرَّجُلُ فِي بَيْتِهِ فَلْيَقُلِ اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ خَيْرَ الْمَوْلِجِ وَخَيْرَ الْمَخْرَجِ بِسْمِ اللَّهِ وَلَجْنَا وَبِسْمِ اللَّهِ خَرَجْنَا وَعَلَى اللَّهِ رَبِّنَا تَوَكَّلْنَا ثُمَّ لْيُسَلِّمْ عَلَى أَهْلِهِ
The Prophet ﷺ said whenever anyone of you enters his/her house they should recite this dua:
“O, Allah, I beg of You a good admission into the house and a good exiting from it. With Allah’s name do we enter and leave the home and upon Allah, our Sustainer, do we rely”.
(Sunan Abu Dawood: 5096) Imam Albany classified it as Sahih (Sahiha: 225)
These are few places where we can seek Allah’s help by reciting Tasmia may Allah (SWT) put Barakah in every aspect of our lives. Ameen!