The Fiqh of ” Bismillah ” and ” Bismillah Ir-Rahman Ir-Raheem

Translated and compiled by Abu Aaliyah Abdullah ibn Dwight Battle

There are numerous hadith which show the virtue for the words, ” ” Bismillah Ir-Rahman Ir-Raheem”.

  • Ibn Abbass (radi Allahu Anhu) said: ” Bismillah Ir-Rahman Ir-Raheem  is a verse from the Quran and many people are  unaware of this.” ( Faadaw’il Quran by Al-Qasim Al-Harwee( 224H)
  • Ibn Juraj said: Sulayman ibn Dawud never wrote more than “” Bismillah Ir-Rahman Ir-Raheem ” in his letters. Allah says, “Verily! It is from Sulaiman (Solomon), and verily! It (reads): In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. (An-Naml 30). Faadaw’il Quran by Al-Qasim Al-Harwee( 224H) page 217-218

There are few issues around the usage of the Tasmeeyah and Basmallah.

1. The difference between the two and when to say them.

There is a difference between Tasmeeyah (Bismillah) and Basmallah. The Basmallah is to say, ” Bismillah Ir-Rahman Ir-Raheem”and Tasmeeyah is to mention Allah  by simply saying, ” Bismillah”

There is a difference in the usage for these words. The Basmallah has been legislated 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 Ir-Rahman Ir-Raheem”.  These are the only two places where it’s legislated to say the Basamallah.

The Tasmeeyah on the other hand, can be said or mentioned any time. For example, Imam Al-Bukhari mentioned in his Sahih , ” The chapter for Tasmeeyah at all times during all occurrences. Following this, he mentioned the Hadeeth

أما إنَّ أحدَكم إذا أتى أهلَه ، وقال : بسمِ اللهِ ، اللهمَّ جَنِّبْنا الشيطانَ وجَنِّبِ الشيطانَ ما رزَقْتَنا ، فرُزِقا ولَدًا لم يَضُرَّه الشيطانُ

If anyone of you, when having sexual intercourse with his wife, says: In the name of Allah. O Allah! Protect us from Satan and also protect what you grant us [i.e. Coming offspring] from Shaytaan and if it is destined that they should have a child, then Shaytan will never be able to harm him.” (AL-Bukhari 141 and Muslim3606)

Moreover there are other ahadith which show that  ” Tasmeeyah is legislated to be said  anytime. The Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wa salam) said:

إذا كان جنحُ الليلِ – أو أمسيتم – فكفُّوا صبيانكم . فإنَّ الشيطانَ ينتشرُ حينئذٍ . فإذا ذهب ساعةٌ من الليلِ فخلُّوهم . وأغلقوا الأبوابَ . واذكروا اسمَ اللهِ . فإنَّ الشيطانَ لا يفتحُ بابًا مغلقًا . وأَوْكُوا قِرَبَكم . واذكروا اسمَ اللهِ . وخمِّروا آنيتِكم . واذكروا اسمَ اللهِ . ولو أن تَعرضوا عليها شيئًا . وأطفؤا مصابيحَكم

When night falls  or late evening begins stop your children from going out, for the devils spread out at that time. But when an hour of the night has passed, release them and close the doors and mention Allah’s Name, Verily, the devil does not open a closed door. Tie the mouth of your water-skin and mention Allah’s Name; cover your containers and utensils and mention Allah’s Name. Cover them even by placing something across it, and extinguish your lanterns. “ (Al-Bukhari 3304 and Muslim 5368)

It’s legislated to say Bimillah at any time. However to add Ar-Rahman Ar Raheem to it isn’t legislated, except in two incidences. Therefore based on this we can acknowledge the error that the general Muslims fall into when saying, “Bismillah Ir-Rahman Ir-Raheem, in the places where only Bismillah should be said. For example when eating and drinking a person should only say, ” Bismillah” This is based on the hadith,”

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

“Say Bismillah, eat with your right hand and eat what is in front of you.”

(Al-Bukhari  5376 and Muslim 5388)


He didn’t say, Say the Basmallah or say, ” Bismillah Ir-Rahman Ir-Raheem. This is a mistake that people make.

. Taken from Explanation of the Sunnah by Al-Muzani by Shaykh Muhammad  ibn Al-Husni

2: Reciting the Quran , ” Bismillah should only be said at the beginning of all chapters except for chapter 9 – At-Taubah.

When a person begins to read or recite the Quran he should seek refuge from Shaytan. And if he is going to read from the beginning of a chapter he should add, ” Bismillah Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem” after it. Otherwise if he’s reading from the middle of the surah, or near the end or even from the 2nd or 3rd verse , then he should say , I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed devil. This is based on the verse.

So when you want to recite the Qur’an, seek refuge with Allah from Shaitan (Satan), the outcast (the cursed one).(An-Nahl 98)(At-Tibyan fee Adab Hamlatil Quran by An-Nawwai page 80-81)

3:The power of (بِسْمِ اللهِ) Sh Abdur Rahman As-Sa’dee

The Basmallah is a compound noun which is joined with Allah so all of His names are included. When the slave says it he is seeking Allah’s help in each and everyone of His names for his need. When it’s said at the beginning of reading the Quran it serves as assistance for the Muslim to understand the meanings of Allah’s speech and to be guided by them.(Tayseerul Latif)

  In Conclusion, from this topic we understand these main points:

  • There is a difference between Bismillah ” and ” Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim
  • Bismillah Ir-Rahman Ir-Rahim is only said for two instances.
  • To say Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim after Bismillah when eating or drinking is an innovation.
  •  Bismillah can be said at anytime
  • Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim is said at the beginning of every Surah and seeking refuge is said when beginning to recite the Quran.



  1. The Quran


  1. At-Tibyan fee Adab Hamlatil Quran by An-Nawwai  676H , checked and editied by Muhammad Al-Hajar , printed by Dar ibn Hazm, 3rd edition 1994


  1. Faadaw’il Quran by Al-Qasim Al-Harwee( 224H) checked and edited Marwan Al-Attiayh, printed by Dar ibn Kathir 2nd edition 1999
  1. Sahih Al-Bukhari


  1. Sahih Muslim


  1. Sharhus Sunnah Az-Muzani by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Husni (may Allah preserve him)
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