The term BASMALAAH is an abbreviation for saying بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم BismillaHir RahmanNirRaheem. and the term TASMEEYAH is an abbreviation for saying بسم الله

The term بسم الله has two parts, the Arabic letter بِ Ba and Allah.


This BA بِ in the Arabic language is a HARFU-JARR a preposition. So we have a prepositional phrase here and with every prepositional phrase in the Arabic language we say there is always a TA’AL-LUUK something that it connects to, meaning this preposition بِ is always connected to a noun or verb but in the case of بسم الله this word that it should have been connected to, has been omitted i.e. it’s been left out. So what is this word that has been omitted?

The Ulamaa have explained; It (the word that is missing) is a omitted verb which has been deferred and it is suitable for the occasion. Confused? All will be explained in the next few passages inshaaAllah

It is a omitted verb

This omitted word is a verb and not a noun. Why? When do we say بسم الله ? At the beginning of actions. So therefor we say the omitted word that has been left out is actually a verb. But why has it been delayed/deferred?

Think about it… an example if I said, ‘With my stick…’ it that complete sentence? What is missing? What’s the 1st thing that comes to your mind? What do I do with my stick. With my stick I (eg) lean on it. With my stick…I defended myself etc I can add any verb I want to the statement ‘With my stick’. Similarly when you say بسم الله you haven’t said WHAT you are doing with His Name.. On the face of it, Bismillah is an incomplete sentence.

If you being to eat you say بسم الله but what your actually saying (without saying it) is BISMILLAH AAKULU With the Name of Allah I eat (Obviously when you eat you do not add the words ‘I eat’ but by your actions that’s what you intend).

Or before reading, you say بسم الله but what your actually saying (without saying it) is BISMILLAH AQRAUW With the Name of Allah I read. Or when you your write BISMILLAH (AKTUBU) In the name of Allah I write.

So the verb has been omitted so that you can do any action (lift weights, standing on a ladder, putting on clothes etc) and say بسم الله and the missing verb is at the end i.e. With the Name of Allah… I do these actions.

Notice the order of the phrase, we mention بسم الله then the omitted verb is at the end (even though we don’t say it). Why don’t we mention the action 1st then mention بسم الله ? eg. I eat with the name of ALLAH Vs With the name of Allah I eat.

This is because we want the BARAKAH blessing from the Name of Allah to come at the beginning of that action. We want to mention the Name of Allah at the beginning before we even mention the action because Allah is so important to us we want to mention Allah 1st more than the action. It has been left at the end for this reason. We also mention Allah 1st for exclusivity i.e ONLY With His name do I do this action.

Suitable for the occasion

We say بسم الله for a number of reasons. When we Eat, entering a house, putting on clothes etc. Hence this is the wisdom for why the verb has been left out is so we can use it in an array of circumstances. Hence no matter what action the servant intends to do, the بسم الله is applicable to it.


This بِ in the Arabic language can have up to 14 meanings but the Ulamaa generally restricted it to two major meanings here.

1. ISTI’AANAH; Seeking help and support; I seek help and assistance with the Name(s) of Allah.

Meaning that the slave is seeking aid and help of Allah in the action he is about to preform, thereby expressing his servitude and weakness to Allah.

Again like the ISTI’ADHA, بسم الله  is 1st and foremost an action of the heart. So this بسم الله is you seeking aid and assistance from Allah in that action that your about to do. So you realize and actualize that all Tawfeeq (success) comes from Allah.

2. MUSAAHABA:  Seeking companionship

Meaning when you do this action you want Allah to be there with you (NOT physically but be there in terms of) taking care of that action, guiding you in doing that action, making sure that you are not left to your own accord but rather you want Allah to assist you in doing that action. Both are very similar in meaning.

Think about this, when you eat you say بسم الله Your saying ‘O Allah, help and assist me to eat this food’ But how many of us when we say بسم الله when we eat food have this understanding in our hearts? That we need Allah’s help to eat food! Why is this understanding far from us? Because we think we are the ones who give ourselves the ability to eat but it is Allah who gives us the ability. Tell me, Who is the One who gave you the strength to pick up your hands?  Who gave you the ability to chew? The ability to digest your food? It is Allah.



There is a difference in usage between the Tasmeeyah (Bismillah) and the BASMALAAH (Bismillah Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem)

The BASMALAAH has been legislated (generally) to be used at two occurrences.

  1. The beginning for the recitation of the Quran
  2. The introduction for books, letters or other correspondences

When a person sends letters or memos he begins them with , ” Bismillah Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem”.  These are the only two places where it’s legislated to say the BASMALAAH (And Allah knows best)

The Tasmeeyah on the other hand, can be said or mentioned any time in any instance. Hence when you read the invocations of eating, sleeping, putting on cloths etc the way our Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم taught us, he did not add AR-RAHMAAN AR-RAHEEM. Wallahuallam


Why is the statement بسم الله , With the Name of Allah’ and not just BILLAH, ‘With Allah’. This is to indicate the ISM i.e the Names of Allah are complete and perfect. A general principle in the Arabic language; if any indefinite noun is annexed to a definite noun it conveys the meaning of generality.

So the ISM has been annexed to Allah. So this means when you say بسم الله you’re actually saying ‘I seek aid and assistance with ALL the Names of Allah (in the particular action I am about to do).

So if you want to seek knowledge, you say بسم الله and you’re including in that, the Names of Allah Al-ALEEM, ALLAAMULGUYOOB, your including these names.

When you want to lift weights (gym) and you begin with بسم الله your saying I seek the help and assistance with All the names of ALLAH including Al-QAQWEE Al-ATHEEM Al-QADEER etc All the Names of Allah to do with power and ability.

and Allah said “The most beautiful names belong to Allah (God): so call on Him by them…” (7:180) So this requires us to reflect and ponder over this this statement بسم الله


To understand the meanings of the Names of Allah AR-RAHMAAN & AR-RAHEEM click HERE

Notice BASMALLAH ends with the names Ar-RAHMAAM & Ar-RAHEEM and not Al-AZEEZ Al-JABAAR. This indicate that the Mercy of Allah encompass supersedes all of His other Attributes. There is a hadith QUDSI that states: “My mercy prevails over My wrath.”

So it is befitting that we begin our actions with these Attributes Ar-RAHMAAM & Ar-RAHEEM. And it is said ‘You’ll notice all of the names of Allah, they are all connected with these names, Allah, Ar-RAHMAAM & Ar-RAHEEM and Ar-Rabb.


This concludes the section on the BASMALAAH & TASMEEYAH. There is so much more that can be said that has not been said but إن شاء الله this will suffice for now.

Click HERE for the Introduction to Surah Al-Faatiha




Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “When one of you eats some food, let him say Bismillah, and if he forgets to do so at the beginning, let him say Bismillah fi awwalihi wa aakhirihi (In the name of Allah at the beginning and end). Narrated by at-Tirmidhi, 1781; classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allah have mercy on him).

All the movements of a Muslim accompanied with the saying “bismillah” are protected from the trickery of Satan as the hadith says:

“أغلق بابك وذكر اسم الله عز وجل فإن الشيطان لا بفتح بابا مغلقا وأطفئ مصباحك واذكر اسم الله وخمر إناءك ولو بعود تغرضة علبه واذكر اسم الله وأوك سقاءك واذكر اسم الله عز وجل “

“Shut/lock your door and mention the name of Allah Most Almighty and Majestic upon it for the Satan does not open a locked (or closed) door, and put out your lamps and mention the name of Allah, and cover your utensils even with a stick and mention the name of Allah, and close your containers and mention the name of Allah Most Almighty and Majestic upon it.” [Reported by Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad, Abu Da`ood, and Timidthi]

And on Jabir ibn Abdullah may Allah be pleased with him, who said that he heard the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, say:

إذا دخل الرجل بيته فذكر الله عند دخوله وعند طعامه قال الشيطان: لا مبيت لكم ولا عشاء، وإذا دخل فلم يذكر الله عند دخوله قال الشيطان: أدركتم المبيت، فإذا لم يذكر الله عند طعامه قال: أدركتم المبيت والعشاء

“If a man remembers Allah as he enters his house and when he takes food, the Satan says: no place to stay the night and no food. And if he doesn’t remember Allah as he enters his house the Satan says: I found a place to spend the night. And if he doesn’t remember Allah as he takes food the Shaitan says: I have found a place to stay the night and have dinner.” [Reported by Muslim and Ahmad]

Abu Tamimah al-Hujaimi narrated upon the person who was riding behind the Prophet, may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him:

وعن أبي تميمة الهجيمي عمن كان ردف النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال كنت ردفه على حمار فعثر الحمار فقلت تعس الشيطان فقال لي النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لا تقل تعس الشيطان فإنك إذا قلت تعس الشيطان تعاظم في نفسه وقال صرعته بقوتي وإذا قلت بسم الله تصاغرت إليه نفسه حتى يكون أصغر من ذباب [رواه أحمد بإسناد جيد والبيهقي والحاكم إلا أنه قال ( صحيح ) وإذا قيل بسم الله خنس حتى يصير مثل الذباب

“I was riding behind the Prophet, may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, on a donkey when it tripped, so I said ‘may the curse be upon the Satan’ whereupon the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, said to me: “Do not say ‘curse be upon the Satan’ because if you say this he aggrandizes himself and says ‘I have made him stumble by my power,’ but if you say ‘in the name of Allah’ he grows small in himself until he becomes smaller than a fly.” [Reported by Ahmad, al-Baihaqi and al-Hakim, and al-Albani verified it in Sahih at-Targheeb 3/118 no. 3129] and in another version “…but if you say ‘in the name of Allah, he shrinks away until he is smaller than a fly.”

The protection against the Satan is to say “bismillah” (in the name of Allah) since this is the major weapon as mentioned above, and we also find in the traditions that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

ستر ما بين الجن وعورات بني آدم إذا دخل الخلاء أن يقول بسم الله

“The screen between the jinn and the nakedness of the children of Adam when they go to the bathroom is to say  “bismillah” (in the name of Allah).” [Reported by Ahmad, Ibn Majah, at-Tabrani and others and confirmed] Note that it is not allowed to mention Allah’s name in the bathroom and thus one says it before entering as it is reported by Bukhari and others one should say before entering the toilet:

بِسْمِ الله  اللّهُـمَّ إِنِّـي أَعـوذُ بِـكَ مِـنَ الْخُـبْثِ وَالْخَبائِث “In the name of Allah. O Allah, I take refuge with you from all evil and evil-doers.” And after leaving the toilet: غُفْـرانَك ‘I ask You (Allah)  for forgiveness.’

And concerning the food we eat and animals we slaughter for food, Allah the Most Blessed and Exalted said:

فَكُلُواْ مِمَّا ذُكِرَ اسْمُ اللّهِ عَلَيْهِ إِن كُنتُمْ بِآيَاتِهِ مُؤْمِنِينَ

“Then eat of that over which the name of Allah has been mentioned, if you believe in His signs.” 6:118]

The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

” إن الشيطان يستحل الطعام أن لا يذكر اسم الله تعالى عليه “

“Verily the Satan deems as legal (for himself) the food that does not have the name of Allah mentioned upon it.” [Reported by Muslim]

And  the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“قال إبليس : كل خلقك بينت رزقه ؛ ففيم رزقي ؟ قال : فيما لم يذكر اسمي عليه

“Iblees (the Satan) said: everybody’s sustenance has been determined so what is my sustenance? He (Allah) said: What has not had My name mentioned upon it.” [Reported by Abu as-Sheikh, and Abu Nu’aim, and Deya`a al-Maqdasi, and verified by al-Albani in as-Silsalah as-Sahihah no. 807]

And  the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“ما أنهر الدم وذكر اسم الله عليه فكلوا…”

“What spills and drains the blood (from the animal), and the name of Allah has been mentioned over it, then you may eat of it…”[Reported by al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Da`ood, Timidthi, an-Nasa`e,  Ibn Majah, and others]

And on Eidi ibn Hatim, may Allah be pleased with him:

عن عدي بن حاتم قال : قلت : يا رسول الله إني أرسل كلبي وأسمي , قال : إن أرسلت كلبك وسميت فأخذ فقتل فكل , وإن أكل منه فلا تأكل , فإنما أمسك على نفسه , قلت : إني أرسل كلبي أجد معه كلبا آخر لا أدري أيهما أخذه ؟ قال : فلا تأكل فإنما سميت على كلبك ولم تسم على غيره  وفي رواية: ” وإذا أرسلت كلبك المعلم فوجدت معه كلباً آخر فلا تأكل ، فإنك إنما سميت على كلبك ولم تسم على غيره  [وفي رواية] :“إذا أرسلت كلبك المعلم فاذكر اسم الله ، فإن وجدت مع كلبك كلباً غيره وقد قتل فلا تأكل ، فإنك لا تدري أيهما قتله.“ متفق عليه

And Eidi Ibn Hatim, may Allah be pleased with him, said to the Prophet (peace be on him), O Messenger of Allah I send my dog and mention the name of Allah. The Prophet said: “If you send your dog and mention the name of Allah, then he goes and kills, then eat that which he catches for you, but if he eats from it do not eat from it since he only killed it for himself.”  Eidi Ibn Hatim said: Suppose I send my dog but I find another dog at the game, and I do not know which dog caught it?” The Prophet, peace be on him, replied, “Do not eat it, for while you mentioned the name of Allah over your dog, you did not mention it over the other dog.” [Reported by Bukhari and Muslim]

Abdullah ibn Masood, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: أتاني داعي الجن، فذهبت معه، فقرأت عليهم القرآن، قال: فانطلق بنا فأرانا آثارهم وآثار نيرانهم، وسألوه الزاد فقال:  لكم كل عظم ذكر اسم الله عليه يقع في أيديكم، أوفر ما يكون لحما، وكل بعرة علف لدوابكم. فقال رسول الله: فلا تستنجوا بهما فإنهما طعام إخوانكم .

A caller of the Jinn came to me so I went with him and read the Qur`an on them. He (ibn Masood) said: We went and saw their tracks and the evidence of the fires. They had asked him for provisions, and he said: You have every bone that the name of Allah has been mentioned upon as bountiful with meat as it ever was, and every dung dropping is the provision for your beasts.” So the Messenger of Allah said (to us): Therefore do no clean yourselves (after the call of nature) with these two (i.e. bones and dung) since they are the food of your brothers.” [Reported by Muslim]


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  1. Pingback: Isti’adha… Seeking refuge in Allah | ContemplateQuran

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