Bismillah – In the Name of Allah
Purpose of the Bismillah
Of all the good practices founded by Islam is the practice of that a person should begin all his actions in the name of Allah. To remember Allah before any action is a way of admitting that everything is created by Allah and whatever the action or skill is going to be practiced is under the will granted by Allah. And hence granting the man a freedom to exercise his actions with a hint of consciousness that Allah is watching his action and a sense of gratitude to the Creator of the worlds. If we remember Allah before all actions it consciously makes us restrain the acts of wrongful conduct. Since one in his right mind will not conduct the acts of evil after acknowledging the power that will held him accountable for his deeds one day.
Not only bismillah helps man to avoid and restrain from evil but it also bestows the blessings of Allah when a person recites it before starting the work or action.
Importance of Bismillah
The Quran documents its first revelation as:
Read! In the Name of thy Rabb (Lord) Who Created (Quran 96:1).
The Holy Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said: “Any action of importance not begun with Bismillah is devoid of blessing and therefore incomplete.”
The Bismillah begins the Surah al-Fatihah and therefore opens the whole Quran.
The Almighty Allah describes Himself by means of His Attributes. The Attributes of Allah are a mean of us becoming familiar about Him. Allah, in this respect, does not only introduce the Quran but He also familiarizes Himself. The Bismillah is an prayer of the Divine Being by His supreme Name (Allah ), followed by two of His most beautiful names (Al-Rahman and Al-Rahim), which are in fact two of His main Divine attributes.
This headline, introduction or prelude called the Bismillah, summarizes in one short-term sentence the Creator’s relation to creation – the relation of love, care, concern, sympathy, compassion and mercy.
Bismillah literally means “In the Name of Allah”, “By the Name of Allah”, “through the Assistance and Blessing of the One called Allah.”
The three parts to this phrase are B, Ism, and Allah.
“B” could mean “in”, “by”, or “through”.
“Ism” means name.
According to the Quran (59:24; 17:110), unto Allah belongs the most Beautiful Names. (Asma-ul-Husna) and according to Prophetic Tradition, Allah has 99 Names.
“Allah”- This word is a proper noun par brilliance. Neither diminutive nor plural can be molded from it. It denotes all attributes of excellence, and mentions none other than the Absolute One, the Sole, Self- subsisting and Ultimate Being. The word “Allah” is thus the most comprehensive and inclusive Name of the Divine Being.
Both the words Rahman and Rahim depict and explain the compassion, mercy, love, sympathy and forgiveness of Allah. Allah says in the Quran,
”My Rahma encompasses everything.” (Quran 7:155)
To indicate the strength and inclusiveness of the Mercy of Allah, two intensive forms of the word Rahmah are used in Surah al- Fatihah it is recurrent in the third verse as an independent ayah (Ar- Rahman-ir-Raheem). As a matter of fact, no other attribute of Allah as so frequently been stressed in the Holy Book (over 300 times) than this Divine attribute of Rahmah (mercy).
The Bismillah introduces the “Opening of the Book” (Al- Fatihah) and thus marks the inauguration of the Final Divine book- the Holy Quran.
Here are some hadith
Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: Say Bismillah and eat with your right hand the food that is in front of you.” [Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi]
In Volume 1, Book 4, Number 143 ,Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:
The Prophet said, “If anyone of you on having sexual relations with his wife said (and he must say it before starting) ‘In the name of Allah. O Allah! Protect us from Satan and also protect what you bestow upon us (i.e. the coming offspring) from Satan, and if it is destined that they should have a child then, Satan will never be able to harm that offspring.”