What does it mean Bismi’llah ?


“Bismi’llah Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim”
When should we say Bismi’llah ?

At the beginning of everything we do or say;

– Eating, drinking..
– Writing letters, lessons..
– Entering into Prayer, Wudu..
– Reading Quran, books..
– Preparing food, starting a work..
– Before entering the house, car, going on a trip..

What does it mean Bismi’llah ?

The term is often translated to be something like, “In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful”. But there is so much more to it when you understand it from the Arabic prospective.

It begins with “Bi” and this carries a meaning of “with” more-so, than “In”. The reason for saying “In (the name)” is because this is the form used in English when someone comes with a message or decree from the king or potentate. However, in Arabic it is the way of thinking someone is coming to you “with” something from the one mentioned. And that is exactly the way it should be for Muslims. We are coming “with” something from the Almighty. Something very precious, indeed.

The next part “ismi” means the “Name” and implies what goes with the position of the One being Named. Again, the reference to royalty cannot be overlooked in this reference.

Then comes “Allah” which means in English God and its explanation needs a special post, but there is a website for this purpose of describing God – Allah

Now the next part comes and really brings a special message along with it. Two of the amazing attributes and characteristics of the Almighty.

Ar-Rahman cannot be fully explained in English. But I would at least like to offer an idea of the astonishing value of this “Name of Allah”.
The root of the word here (and for the next word as well) comes from three Arabic letters; ‘ra’ ‘ha’ ‘ma’. The root, ‘Rahama’, carries a deep meaning of Mercy to the Max. Even this term cannot bring to mind the depth of such a heavy expression.
Imagine, the word for a woman’s “womb” in Arabic, is “rahm”, from this same root. It implies immediately, the source of life, the very place of conception within our mothers is nothing less than a “place of mercy”.
When presented in the form of an attribute of Almighty God, it carries the absolute and epitome of the word “Rahman” and is proceeded by the article “AL” (The). This gives us the notion of The Merciful or The Gracious. However, this is not just saying, “Allah has Mercy”. Rather, this clearly denotes Allah as being “The Mercy” and all mercy and all grace emanates from His Mercy, His Grace.

The next word seems almost redundant when presented in English and in translation doesn’t produce the awe and inspiration coming from the Arabic.

Ar-Raheem is bringing into an even more concentrated focus of the Mercy and Grace of Allah, by offering another form of the same attribute. Whereas, the first usage mentioned above carries the meaning of “The Mercy” or “The Merciful” in general terms, the usage of “AL Raheem” brings us to the understanding of the special and specific Mercy waiting on the Day of Judgment for all who are to be saved by this “Mercy” (or as is sometimes translated, “Grace”).
Now we see the term here being better translated as, “The Especially Merciful”.

So from the very beginning of this special phrase we are praising, extolling and raising high the Names of the Almighty, as He, Himself has demonstrated and conveyed to us in His Book – the Quran.

The Quran begins with this same exact expression, “Bismillah (Ar) Rahman (Ar) Raheem”.

And when we put it into proper usage, we are saying something more or less like, “I (do this thing) with complete trust and belief – In (and with) the Name (and Names) of Almighty God (Himself), The Eternally and Completely Merciful, The Especially and Particularly Merciful.


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