Saying or writing bismillaahir-rahmaanir-raheem is called the basmalah. It is most often translated as “In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful” (but there are a number of variations). And the core message is that the basmalah consists of three beautiful parts: The name Allah and two of His great attributes: Ar-Rahmaan and Ar-Raheem.
This statement alone should melt our hearts if we would really remember our Lord and His greatness, love, and care for us while saying it. However, for most of us it became lip-service.
Basmalah for Happiness!
How will the basmalah make you more productive? Make it a habit. More important, make it a conscious habit. Habits are normally things we don’t even notice anymore; the key with the basmalah is to say it with your tongue and heart.
Here are some reflection points for you on the basmalah:
1- Who is Your Greatest Enemy?
Yes, Satan. He loves you to be unproductive, lazy, and above all, to forget about Allah. So first of all, when you say, “In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful”, think about Allah.
Really think about Him. Remember Him. Show Him you didn’t forget about Him. Show Him He is your Most Beloved. And show Him that you rather mention His Name than cursing whatever thing went wrong in your life.
A typical example:
You bump your foot again the table and you say “stupid table!” (For parents: how many times have you said, when your child hurts himself, “naughty table”?) This is the time for the basmalah. To defeat Satan and show your love for Allah.
The companion, Abul Malih said:
“I was riding on a mount behind the Prophet. It stumbled. Thereupon I said:
“May the devil perish!”
Do not say: May the devil perish! For if you say that, he will swell so much so that he will be like a house, and say: By my power. But say Bismillah for when you say that, he will diminish so much so that he will be like a fly. (An-Nasa’i 6/142, Ahmad 5/59 and Abu Dawud 4946)
2- The Basmalah as a Weapon against Sins!
If you teach yourself to start speaking with the basmalah then would you easily start gossiping? Or lying? It is an instant reminder for yourself and a motivation not to say or do bad things. How can you do a sin starting with the name of Allah? So making the basmalah a habit can help you to stay away from sinning.
3- Hello Big World!
We all have many worries and stress. We have financial problems, can’t find a suitable job, we encounter people who harm us and this often hits us all when we close the door of our homes behind us.
The Prophet Muhammad said:
If any one of you, when leaving the house says, ‘In the name of Allah, I trust in Allah, there is no power and might except from Allah,’ (Bismillaahi tawakkaltu ‘alaa Allahi wa laa hawla wa laa quwwata illaa billaah) your needs shall be fulfilled, you shall be saved from difficulties and hardships. Shaytan hearing these words leaves him. (At-Trimidhi)
If you want to be protected and productive as soon as you leave your house, memorize this dhikr and say it every day! What an easy act with immense blessings. On the opposite, we should also say the basmalah when we enter our houses. Everything in Islam is truly in such a beautiful balance.
4- Relief from Pain
If you ever suffered from pain in your body you instantly feel less productive because you can’t do the things you wanted to do. Uthman bin Abu al-As Al-Thaqafi reported that he made a complaint of pain to Prophet Muhammad that he felt in his body at the time he had become Muslim. Thereupon the Prophet said:
Place your hand at the place where you feel pain in your body and say, ‘In the name of Allah,’ three times and seven times ‘I seek refuge with Allah and with His Power from the evil that I find and that I fear.’ (Muslim)
A hidden gem is that we should always remember Allah and have full trust in His power, instead of decreasing our worship because we are so “busy” with our pains!
5- Productive Writing
At the beginning of a contract or a document of communication, writing the basmalah is a virtuous act to seek barakah (blessings) in whatever you want to achieve with this writing.
[Queen Sheba] said O chief! Surely an honorable letter has been delivered to me. Surely it is from Sulaiman, and surely it is in the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. (30:29-30)
6- Remembering Your Most Beloved and His Care for You
What do we teach our children from very young?
“Say bismillah and eat!”
However, do we teach them what a beautiful remembrance this is at this specific moment? Who gave you this food? Who gave you this drink? Subhan Allah, remind yourself of the infinite mercy and care of Allah Ar-Rahman for us. We are simply wrapped up in it.
The Prophet said:
Say Bismillah, eat with your right hand and eat what is in front of you. (Al-Bukhari 7/88, Muslim 2/207, Ahmad 17/92, Muwatta Malik 10/32 and Ibn Majah 1/557)
Allah could have chosen the basmalah to consist of other attributes, but He chose these two beautiful Attributes. Subhan Allah, let the name of your most beloved be on your lips all the time.
From now on, every time you say bismillaahir-rahmaanir-raheem, feel it with your heart.
Reflect on Allah’s mercy for you.
Be thankful to Allah that He chose you to say the basmalah and that He gave you the chance to reap all its virtues.