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Philosophy in Bismillah, Meaning and Value

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basmalahBegin your all of your activities by saying the name of Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. What does it really mean to say the lafaz of Basmallah or Bismillaahirrahmaanirrahiim? Saying the name of Allah is not only just spoken in tongue, but it also implies that we are fully convinced that the activities we are going to do is inseparable from Allah’s permission, will and power.


When we are about to do something, we require time, opportunity, strength, ideas, health and so forth. All of that aspects can only be attained if we have the permission and grace from Allah SWT. We may  be able to create a careful plan with clear and accurate steps to achieve something but often we end up with unexpected results. We can only plan but only Allah decides the outcome. We are going to learn the philosophy in Bismillah, meaning and value.

The Meaning of Basmalah

Basmalah is the opening remarks of Bismillah, by itself it has the meaning of “By the name of Allah”. The complete pronounciation of Basmalah is Bismi-llāhi ar-raḥmāni ar-raḥīmi. This sentence is stated in every prefix of the Surah in the Holy Book of Qur’an, except in Surah At-Taubah. Basmalah is said every time a Muslim about to performs prayers. Muslims are also advised to say Basmalah before starting any activities. Basmalah  is usually also used as an opening sentence (Mukadimah) in the constitution, speeches, or charter in Islamic countries, including Indonesia.

The sentence of Basmallah was also written at the time of the Prophet Sulaiman when he sent Queen Bilqis a letter, it stated in the Holy Qur’an Surah An-Naml, verse 30. Bismi-llāhi ar-raḥmāni ar-raḥīmi (بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم)
 which in english it transltes to “In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful”.

We as Muslims are strongly recommended to read Basmalah before starting every activities. The activities that we are going to do is intended in the name of Allah and hopefully our activities will be blessed.

Basmilah is indeed an opening to do something. Here is the complete meaning of Basmalah explained from each phrase.

  • Bismillahi.
    Formed from three words: bi; ismi or asthma; and Allah.  The meaning of each word is as follow: “Bi” means In/With. “Ismi” or Asma means name. And the third word is Allah, the name of Our Creator. So, bismillah means “By the name of Allah”, this is the original meaning.
  • Arrahmani.
    The basic word is “Rahima” which means loving or generous or graceful. Ar Rahman is also one  of the Asmaul Husna, one of the ninety nine Allah’s most beatuful other names. It means the possessor of vast mercy, Allah’s grace extend to everything that He created, good or evil, dead or alive.
  • Arrahimi
    The basic word is the same as arrahmani, namely rahima. The basic words are the same, the meaning is similar, that is, merciful. Ar-Rahim is also one of Asmaul Husna, which mean that Allah is The granter of mercy to whomever He wills it. So in order to receive His mercy, we have to start our activities and prayers with Basmalah.
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If translated comprehensively the meaning of bismillah is as follows: In the name of Allah, The most graceful an also the All-Merciful in this universe and the hereafter. Bismillah is never separated from the context. So, the meaning of bismillah is always closely related to the context that is being carried out. The followings are what reading Basmalah implies:

  1. When we are reciting basmalah  before activities, it implies that we are asking Allah’s guidance  so that we are always on the right path, the farthest from immoral, vile and unjust activities which will produce illicit fortune.
  2. Basmalah also implies that we fully believe that Allah is The most Compassionate, Most Merciful. Allah’s grace and mercy doesn not follow favoritism, all of Allah’s creatations have their own shares of grace. In Holy Quran Surah At Taha versese 3, it stated that whoever devoted themselves to Allah, then Allah will open for him the gates of fortune from unexpected sources.
  3. Reading basmalah also implies that whatever activities we do, it will be also serves as act of worshiping in the sight of Allah. Worship is not only the ones  which are governed by shari’ah or Mahdhah, but there is also another one which is called Gairu Mahdhah worship or general worship. This type of general worship includes all good deeds done in the name of Allah. Activities such as eating, working, changing clothes, decorating, riding vehicles, treating your wife and so on will be considered as act of worship in the sight of Allah if  those activities are started by reciting Basmallah.
  4. In Holy Quran Surah Az Zariat verse 11, it stated that Allah did not create  jinn and men except only to worship Him. With this verse, it is very clear that the mission of life is worshiping Allah, so to make all activities worth worshiping is to start all work by reciting the name of Allah.
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Benefit and Value of Reciting Basmalah

Even though Basmalah is very easy to say, the philosophy in Bismillah, meaning and value is very deep and comprehensive. It also has various benefits to those who recite it. Here are the benefits and value of reciting Basmalah in our daily life:

  • Familiarizing ourselve with saying the word Bismillah wherever we are, whether we are in a difficult or happy situation, turns out to be able to summon our inner strengthen. It can also increase clarity in thinking so because after saying Basmalah we know that we are always protected from activities that causes sin, for example, the nature of envy, sloth, anger.
  • Familiarizing yourself with dhikr by reciting Bismillah can be a foundation for someone to always remember and praising Allah SWT. It can foster love, pride and trust in the perfect Almighty Allah, that only He can help us when we are in need of helps.
  • As long as we are still breathing, we should always say bismillah when we are going to do something.  Saying Bismilah before doing something good and truthful so can also bring goodness to those who are near us and create blessings.
  • We should believe that no matter how small good deed we had done, that deed will come back to us too. Therefore when we diligently say Bismillah, the number of goodness will be as many as the word bismillah we had said, even though we may not remember how many Bismillah words we have said everyday. Allah never forget to rewards good deeds.

It is time for us to get used to saying the word Bismillah before doing  every activities so that we are always in a state of safety, blessed and successful. These habits should be tought from young children so that they understand well what is the meaning of Basmalah and how the efficacy of the word Bismillah is. In conclusion, Bismillah is revealed by Allah SWT as a sacred sentence that is the written in the Holy Qur’an which is easy to recite but has deep meaning and many benefits if we can understand the words. We have to always remember Allah constantly and geting used to reciting Basmallah will help us. Aamiin ya rabbal ‘alamin. 

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