August 14, 2019 1



The Basmala, also known by its opening utterance
Bismillah is the collective noun for the Islamic phrase “b-ismi-llāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīmi”. This is the phrase recited before each sura
of the Qur’an – except for the ninth – and is often translated as “In the name of
God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful”. It is used by Muslims in various contexts
and is usually the first phrase in the preambles to the constitutions of Islamic countries. بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
bismi-llāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīm “In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the
Most Merciful.” In Unicode, the Arabic letters of the Basmala
are encoded as one ligature at codepoint U+FDFD ﷽‎. Name The word basmala was derived from a slightly
unusual procedure, in which the first four pronounced consonants of the phrase bismi-llāhi…
were used as a quadriliteral consonantal root: b-s-m-l. This abstract consonantal root was used to
derive the noun basmala and its related verb forms, meaning “to recite the basmala”. Other oft-repeated phrases in Islam given
their own names include “Allāhu Akbar” and the phrase beginning “A`ūdhu billāhi…”
called the Ta’awwudh. The method of coining a quadriliteral name
from the consonants of a phrase is paralleled by the name Hamdala for Alhamdulillah. Recitation of the Basmala is known as tasmiyya. Occurrence In the Qur’an, the Basmala is usually numbered
as the first verse of the first sura, but, according to the view adopted by Al-Tabari,
it precedes the first verse. Apart from the ninth sura, it occurs at the
beginning of each subsequent sura of the Qur’an and is usually not numbered as a verse except
at its first appearance at the start of the first sura. The Basmala occurs as part of a sura’s text
in verse 30 of the 27th sura, where it prefaces a letter from Sulayman to Bilqis, the Queen
of Sheba. The Basmala is used extensively in everyday
Muslim life, said as the opening of each action in order to receive blessing from God. Reciting the Basmala is a necessary requirement
in the preparation of halal food. In the Indian subcontinent, a Bismillah ceremony
is held for a child’s initiation into Islam. Significance
The three definite nouns of the Basmala—Allah, ar-Rahman and ar-Rahim—correspond to the
first three of the traditional 99 names of God in Islam. Both ar-Rahman and ar-Rahim are from the same
triliteral root R-Ḥ-M, “to feel sympathy, or pity”. According to Lane, ar-raḥmān is more intensive
and may be rendered as “the Compassionate”, while ar-raḥīm has for its peculiar object
the believer, and may be rendered as “the Merciful”. The Basmala has a special significance for
Muslims, who are to begin each task after reciting the verse. It is often preceded by Ta’awwudh. There are several ahadith encouraging Muslims
to recite it before eating and drinking. For example: Aisha reported:
“The Prophet said, “When any of you wants to eat, he should mention the Name of God
in the beginning. If he forgets to do it in the beginning, he
should say Bismillah awwalahu wa akhirahu”.— From At-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud
Umaiyyah bin Makshi reported: The Prophet was sitting while a man was eating
food. That man did not mention the Name of God till
only a morsel of food was left. When he raised it to his mouth, he said, Bismillah
awwalahu wa akhirahu. The Prophet smiled at this and said, “Satan
had been eating with him but when he mentioned the Name of God, Satan vomited all that was
in his stomach”. — From Abu Dawud and Al-Nasa’i
Wahshi bin Harb reported: Some of the Sahaba of the Prophet said, “We
eat but are not satisfied.” He said, “Perhaps you eat separately.” The Sahaba replied in the affirmative. He then said, “Eat together and mention the
Name of God over your food. It will be blessed for you”. — From Abu Dawood
According to a Tradition, Muhammad said: “All that is contained in the revealed books
is to be found in the Qur’an and all that is contained in the Qur’an is summed up
in the surat al-fatihah while this is in its turn contained in the formula Bismillahi-r-Rahmani-r-Rahim.” A Tradition ascribed to Imam Ali states:
“The basmalah is in essence contained in the first letter, Ba, and this again in its diacritical
point, which thus symbolizes principial Unity.” In a commentary on the Basmala in his Tafsir
al-Tabari, al-Tabari writes: “The Messenger of Allah said that Jesus
was handed by his mother Mary over to a school in order that he might be taught. [The teacher] said to him: ‘Write “Bism”.’ And Jesus said to him: ‘What is “Bism”?’ The teacher said: ‘I do not know.’ Jesus said: ‘The “Ba” is Baha’u’llah,
the “Sin” is His Sana’, and the “Mim” is His Mamlakah.” Alternative Christian meaning
Arabic-speaking Christians sometimes use the name “Basmala” to refer to the Christian liturgical
formula “In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” from Matthew 28:19. Numerology The total value of the letters of Bismillah
al-Rahman al-Rahim, according to one Arabic system of numerology, is 786. There are two methods of arranging the letters
of the Arabic alphabet. One method is in common alphabetical order,
beginning with the letters Alif ا, ba ب, ta ت, tha ث, etc. The other method is known as the Abjad numerals’
method. In this method, the letters are arranged in
the Abjadi order: Abjad, Hawwaz, Hutti, Kalaman, Sa’fas, Qarshat, Sakhaz, Zazagh; each letter
has an arithmetic value assigned to it, from 1 to 1,000. This arrangement was probably done during
the 3rd century of Hijrah during the ‘Abbasid period, following the practices of speakers
of other Semitic languages such as Aramaic and Hebrew. Taking into account the numeric values of
all the letters of the Basmala, according to the Abjad order the total is 786. In the Indian subcontinent the Abjad numerals
have become popular. Some people—mostly in India and Pakistan—use
786 as a substitute for Basmala. They write this number to avoid writing the
word ‘Allah’ or to avoid writing Qur’anic verses on ordinary paper. This practice does not date from the time
of Muhammad, and is not universally accepted by Muslims. In calligraphy In Arabic calligraphy, the Basmala it is the
most prevalent motif, even more so than the Shahadah. Cultural references The Iranian authorities permitted an album
of songs by the English rock band Queen to be released in Iran in August 2004, partly
because the song “Bohemian Rhapsody” contained several exclamations of the word Bismillah. The group’s lead singer, Freddie Mercury,
was born in Zanzibar as “Farrokh Bulsara” to Indian Parsi parents and was proud of his
Persian ancestry. At the beginning of each of his albums, the
American rapper Mos Def recites the Basmala. The rapper Lupe Fiasco recites the Basmala
during the first track of his album Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor. The rapper Nas recited the phrase in two of
his songs, “Black Zombie” from his 2002 compilation album The Lost Tapes and “Smokin” from his
2001 record Stillmatic. The Wu Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah recites
the Takbir and the Basmala in the song “Underwater” from his 2006 record FishScale. BT’s song “Firewater” also features the phrase. The rapper Rakim closes the last verse of
his song “R.A.K.I.M.” with “Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim”. In 2008, the remix of the hip hop artist Busta
Rhymes’s single “Arab Money” was the subject of controversy because of its use of the Basmala
in the chorus. The Basmala, translated as “In the Name of
God, the Merciful, the Compassionate”, was used as the title for the Lambda Literary
Award-nominated novel of the same name by Tim Parise, which discusses sovereignty, revolution
and anarchism from an Islamic theological perspective. See also
List of Christian terms in Arabic List of Islamic terms in Arabic
“Al-Fatiha” Besiyata Dishmaya
Deus vult Insha’Allah
Names of God in Islam Shahada
Six Kalimas Notes References External links
Bismillah Samples, a collection of bismillah art-forms. Bismallah in Tadabbur-i-Qur’an. Meaning of Bismillah
Beyond Probability, God’s Message in Mathematics. Series 1: The Opening Statement of the Quran.

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