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    Posted: 05 September 2006 at 8:54am

Alsalam alikom w rahmat Allah w barakato,

In the Name of Allah (swt), The Beneficent, Most Merciful.

After attestation to faith (shahadah), the most cardinal and often-used formula is bismillahir- rahmanir-rahim. The invocation (al-basmalah) has from the beginning occupied an important and special place in Muslim piety and practice.

Purpose of the basmalah :-

Of the many good practices instituted by Islam is that Muslims should begin all their activities in the Name of Allah (swt). Re-membering Allah (swt) before starting any act is an admission on the part of the individual that everything is the creation of Allah (swt) and that whatever activity or skill is to be exercised, has been granted by Allah (swt); thus developing a degree of proprietal consciousness and a sense of gratitude to the Creator. If the basmalah is thus consciously applied it could restrain wrongful conduct; since one in his right mind would not pronounce the Name of Allah (swt) and then commit evil, in-decency or wrongful acts. In this way, illegitimate activity would be avoided, thus ensuring that the initiation of deeds and the doer's mental orientation are good. In addition to that, when a person reads the basmalah, the Name of Allah (swt) is invoked and due to Allah's nobility, perfection, grandeur and sanctity, the activity which follows is Divinely blessed, protected from evil and thus sanctified.

Place of the basmalah:-

Scholars agree that the basmalah is a verse of the Qur'an, that it is part of a verse of Surah Naml(27:30), but not part of the ninth chapter (surah Tawbah). It is part of Surah al-Fatihah according to all seven Imams of Qira'ah (i.e. Imams 'Asim, Kisa'i, Nafi', Abu 'Amru, Ibn 'Amir, Ibn Kathir and Hamzah) and according to the madhahib (schools of jurisprudence) of Shafi'i, Zaydi, Zahiri, 'Ibadi and Ja'fari. The Hanafi, Maliki and Hanbali schools differ with this view.

Importance of basmalah :-

The Qur'an documents its first revelation as: Read! In the Name of thy Rabb Who Created (Q 96:1). In the Old Testament (Deuteronomy, 18:18), we read: I will raise them (the Semites) a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee (Moses) and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in My Name, and I will require it from him.

As the Holy Prophet of Islam (sas) was raised in the likeness of Moses (Q 73:16), so in fulfillment of the above prophecy, Allah (swt) so ordained that each time a new surah was revealed, it was begun by the words: In the Name of Allah (swt), the Beneficent, Most Merciful.

The Holy Prophet Muhammad (sas) is reported to have said: "Any action of importance not begun with basmalah is devoid of blessing and therefore incomplete." The basmalah begins the Surah al-Fatihah and therefore opens the whole Qur'an.

The Almighty describes Himself by means of His Attributes. The Attributes of Allah(swt) are a means of us becoming knowledgeable about Him. Allah (swt), in this respect, does not only introduce the Qur'an but He also introduces Himself. The basmalah is an invocation of the Divine Being by His supreme Name (Allah (swt)), followed by two of His most beautiful names (Al-Rahman and Al-Rahim), which are in fact two of His principal Divine attributes. This headline, introduction or foreword called the basmalah, encapsulates in one brief sentence the Creator's relation to creation - the relation of love, care, concern, sympathy, compassion and mercy.

To indicate the intensity and comprehensiveness of the Mercy of Allah (swt), two intensive forms of the word rahmah are used side by side and in Surah al-Fatihah it is repeated in the third verse as an independent ayah. As a matter of fact, no other attribute of Allah (swt) has so often been stressed in the Holy Book (over 300 times) than this Divine attribute of Rahmah (mercy).


Alsalam alikom w rahmat Allah w barakato...

Edited by Fear_Allah
Our LORD! accept from us. You indeed, You are the all-Hearing, the all-Knowing. (2:127)
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