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Bismillah Meaning and Virtues to Say It in Islam

Bismillah is one of the most oft-repeated phrases in Islam. Muslims utter it before commencing any action, from the slightest to the most significant acts in their life. They say it before going to sleep and when walking up. Before eating, drinking, dressing, and commuting to work.

In fact, every good action must start by summoning the name of Allah in our hearts. Saying bismillah is a reminder for us that Allah sees our actions and he keeps his eyes upon us. It’s also a pursuit for getting god’ help and blessings.

What’s Bismillah Definition?

The meaning of bismillah al rahman al rahim is to ask Allah for Barka, abundance, and help. It consists of four words

B: Proposition b ب which appears at the beginning of bismillāh is not merely a letter of the Arabic alphabet; rather, it is a letter that conveys a complete meaning. In the Arabic language, there’re some letters that signify certain meanings. The letter b ب is the second in order in the Arabic alphabet and one of its characters that it conveys a complete meaning [by itself].

It means association and seeking help. its literal translation is ‘by’ and ‘with’. However, since neither definition fully conveys the proper meaning of bā’ on its own, it has been translated as ‘by invoking,’ which is the closest phrase that includes both of the above meanings.

Allah: the greatest name of God and it’s derived from the word إله ( god in English). Allah is the name of that Holy Being Who has existed before creation to eternity. He is the Living, Self-Subsisting, and All-Sustaining. He is the Master, the Creator, and Lord of all creatures.

Moreover, Allah is God’s personal name, and not an attributive name, Allah is referring to the One and Only Being. It is used only to refer to God’s name.

Ism: it refers to highness and sublimity to the noun following it.

Al-Rahman: one of the names of Allah that mean his thorough mercy over everything. This mercy is provided by a mighty God who expects nothing in return. No one can claim this mercy is dedicated only for him.

Al-Raheem: Also one of the names of Allah and it refers to the mercy Allah keeps especially for his believers and Prophets for their virtuous deeds as Allah said: وَكَانَ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَحِيمًا.

What are the Virtues of Bismillah?

Bismillah is a powerful phrase we shall say before any action as it adds immense reward and barakah to everything that follows it. It has great virtues and dignified mysteries in Islam. Here we mention some of them

  • It precedes every surah in the Quran, the greatest book of Islam
  • It secures the Muslim from all harm and surrounds him with goodness
  • It curtains the Muslim’s private parts so the eyes Ginn don’t see it
  • ‘Ali reported God’s messenger as saying, “The covering between the eyes of the jinn and the private parts of the children of Adam when one of them enters the privy is provided by his saying, ‘In the name of God.’” (Tirmidhi transmitted it, saying that this is a gharib tradition and that its isnad is not strong.
  • It adds baraka and abundance to Muslims and brings goodness to one’s life
  • It relieves the Muslims of any despondency and replaces their negative feelings with joy and tranquility
  • It protects Muslim from devils’ whispers

Read also: As-salamu alykum: Greeting for peace and love in Islam

What Does Bismillah Mean in Islam?

Bismillah begins with a preposition ب which means asking for help or support. So when we say: (In the name of God); we ask God and we seek His help, [5] and the word “God” is a knowledgeable name of God Almighty by which He is known, and it is used for glorification, prestige, and strength.

Muslims say Bismillah before doing any action: standing, sitting, eating, etc. Also, they say it before reciting Quran. When Muslims say it they mean: we read in the name of Allah, guided and supported by him.

As every action in life needs the energy to occur. by saying Bismillah, we derive this energy and strength from Allah, the supreme power in the world and the owner of all keys. In Quran, Allah SWT said to Noah ship in surah hud

"وَقَالَ ارْكَبُوا فِيهَا بِسْمِ اللَّهِ مَجْرَاهَا وَمُرْسَاهَا إِنَّ رَبِّي لَغَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ"
And he said, “Embark therein! In the Name of Allah shall be its (running) course and its berthing (Literally: anchorage). Surely my Lord is indeed Ever-Forgiving, Ever-Merciful. (Hud, 41)

Thus, this ship couldn’t set off without the power of Allah. It has to derive the power from Allah.

See bismillah font in Arabic calligraphy

When Do You Say Bismillah?

1. When you start doing anything like working, traveling, cooking. Always remember to say it before involving in the work and you’ll notice Baraka in your life.

2. Before reciting Quran, you shall say bismillah al-rahman al-rahim at the beginning of any surah. Also, When you start reciting Quran in the middle or any position, you should say it.

3. Before eating as Prophet Mohamed, peace upon him said

يا غلامُ، سمِّ اللهَ، وكُلْ بيمينِكَ، وكُلْ ممَّا يلِيكَ

Narrated ‘Umar bin Abu Salamah (RA):

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said to me, “Dear child, mention Allah’s Name, eat with your right hand, and eat from what is next to you.” [Agreed upon].

4. Before slaughtering animals and birds

وَلا تَأْكُلُوا مِمَّا لَمْ يُذْكَرِ اسْمُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ وَإِنَّهُ لَفِسْقٌ وَإِنَّ الشَّيَاطِينَ لَيُوحُونَ إِلَى أَوْلِيَائِهِمْ لِيُجَادِلُوكُمْ وَإِنْ أَطَعْتُمُوهُمْ إِنَّكُمْ لَمُشْرِكُونَ (الأنعام،121)

“And do not eat of that upon which the name of Allah has not been mentioned, for indeed, it is grave disobedience. And indeed do the devils inspire their allies [among men] to dispute with you. And if you were to obey them, indeed, you would be associators (SURAH AL-AN’AM, 121).

5. It’s a sunna to say it before performing religious rituals like ablution or ghusl; major ablution

Read also: the powerful meaning of alhamdulillah in Islam: Your road to gratitude

Why Say Bismillah Before Eating?

Bismillah gives the power to resist the devil as he is accompanying the Muslim and doesn’t eat from his food if he said the name of Allah before eating, thus saying Bismillah before eating is draining satan of all energy, making him fragile.

Hudhayfah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace, and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, Satan permits himself to eat the food over which the name of Allah is not mentioned. ( Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim)

عَنْ حُذَيْفَةَ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ يَسْتَحِلُّ الطَّعَامَ أَنْ لَا يُذْكَرَ اسْمُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ
Also saying Bismillah adds baraka into the food, and this effect can be seen in its sufficiency and good impact on our health

What Happen if You Forgot to Say “Bismillah Before Eating?

Saying Bismillah before eating is sunna Prophet Mohamed did. and if the Muslim forgot to say it in the beginning, he can rectify this mistake by saying it in the middle or at the end of eating. prophet Mohamed, peace upon him said

“When anyone of you begins eating, say: Bismillāh.And if you forget then when you remember, say: Bismillāhi fī awwalihi wa ākhirih. When anyone of you begins eating, say: With the Name of Allah. And if you forget then when you remember, say: With the Name of Allah, in the beginning, and in the end.( source: Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi)

Which Surah Includes Bismillah?

There are Quranic surahs that include bismillah in their verses.


The first surah has Bismillah at its beginning and is counted as a second verse of the surah (bismillah ir Rahman ir rahim). For other surahs, Bismillah is merely an introduction and is not counted as part of the surah. The only surah that doesn’t begin with Bismillah Is surah Al-tawbah

2. Al-Namal:

This surah narrates the story of King Solomon and his monotheistic message to Balqish, the Queen of Saba’ , she said

إنه من سليمان وإنه بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم ألا تعلوا علي وأتوني مسلمين (30)

Surely it is from Sulayman, (Solomon) and surely it is in The Name of Allah, The All-Merciful, The Ever-Merciful. (30)

3. Hud

When the believers have mounted to Nouh Ship, Allah revealed to the ship to set off, saying

وَقَالَ ارْكَبُوا فِيهَا بِسْمِ اللَّهِ مَجْرَاهَا وَمُرْسَاهَا إِنَّ رَبِّي لَغَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ

embark therein! In the Name of Allah shall be its (running) course and its berthing (Literally: anchorage). Surely my Lord is indeed Ever-Forgiving, Ever-Merciful. (Hud, 41)

4. Al-Alaq

It’s the first verse of this surah

اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ

Read, ˹O Prophet,˺ in the Name of your Lord Who created (1)

bismillah in English

in The Name of Allah, The All-Merciful, The Ever-Merciful. (30)Bismillah in the Quran

bismillah in Arabic

بسم الله ، بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


Bismillah has a deep meaning in Islam that every action or act in our life shall begin with it. We seek Allah’s power, help, and support in his name. While we eat, drink, go to work, or sleep, bismillah Is our bond to connect with God and feel his all-dominant power in our life.

Also, it has many virtues as it increases baraka and abundance in our life, protects our souls from the devil’s whispers, and surrounds it with peace and tranquility.

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