Saying bismillah (in the name of ALLAH) before meals

Features of the Mode of life of the Holy Prophet, Hadith & Seerah, The Ways of the Prophet (SAWS) / Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Amr bin Salma (Radi Allaahu Ta’ala Anhu) once came to the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) when meals had just been served to him. The Prophet said, “Come closer, son, and saying Bismillah (in the name of ALLA.AH) commence eating with the right hand from before you.” [Shama’il-e-Tarmizi]

There is unanimous agreement (amongst the theologians) that saying Bismillah before taking a meal is a Sunnah but eating food with the right hand is a Sunnah according to majority of them while some of them hold it to be a wajib (obligatory). It has been commissioned by the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) that one should eat and drink with his right hand for Satan eats and drinks with the left hand. [Khasail-e-Nabawi]

Hadrat Anas (Radi Allaahu Ta’ala Anhu) narrated on the authority of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) that ALLAH, the Glorious and the Magnificent expressed great pleasure when a servant of His thanks Him on taking a draught of water. If someone began eating food without having recited Bismillah, the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) would hold his hand and command him to say Bismillah. [Zadul-Ma’ad]

According to theologians, it is preferable to say Bismillah aloud so that this may serve as a reminder to those who may have forgotten to do so. [Khasail-e-Nabawi]

One will not be questioned for a bounty on the Day of Reckoning which is preceded by Bismillah and followed by Alhamdu-lillah. Hadrat Aishah (Radi Allaahu Ta’ala Anha) narrated that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said, ‘If one forgets to say Bismillah at the beginning and recollects it during or after the meals, he should say: In the name of ALLAH at the beginning and at the end of it. [Zad-ul-Ma’ad, Shamail-e-Tirmizi]

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