Basmalah : It is Befitting to Begin With it in Every Important Affair – Shaykh Fawzan | Dawud Burbank

Bismillaah

Sharh-ul-Usool-ith-Thalaathah : Lesson 01 : Part B
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|English]

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The Author’s Introduction

قال رحمه الله: بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

He, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: In the Name of Allaah, the Extremely Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy.1


[1]: He began, may Allaah have mercy upon him, this treatise with the Basmalah, following the example of the Book of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, since the first thing which you see in the mus-haf (the printed copy of the Qur’aan), and before every soorah of it is, Bismi Allāhi Ar-Raĥmāni Ar-Raĥīm (In the Name of Allaah, the Extremely Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy).

So therefore it is used to begin treatises, or letters and books and works following the example of the Book of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic. And likewise the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam used to write it at the start of his letters when he wrote to the governors and the chiefs and to those who were in the different regions of the earth, calling them to Islaam, he would begin his letter with,  Bismi Allāhi Ar-Raĥmāni Ar-Raĥīm.

And he sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam used to begin his talks and his speech with,  Bismi Allāhi Ar-Raĥmāni Ar-Raĥīm (“In the Name of Allaah, the Extremely Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy”), which shows that beginning with,  Bismi Allāhi Ar-Raĥmāni Ar-Raĥīm, is the sunnah of the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam, just as Sulaymaan ‘alaihissalaam when he wrote to Bilqees, the Queen of Saba’, he began his letter with, Bismi Allāhi Ar-Raĥmāni Ar-Raĥīm:

قَالَتْ يَا أَيُّهَا الْمَلَأُ إِنِّي أُلْقِيَ إِلَيَّ كِتَابٌ كَرِيمٌ
إِنَّهُ مِن سُلَيْمَانَ وَإِنَّهُ بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
أَلَّا تَعْلُوا عَلَيَّ وَأْتُونِي مُسْلِمِينَ

She said: O chiefs, a noble letter has been delivered to me, it is from Sulaymaan, and it reads, “In the Name of Allaah, the Extremely Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy”. Do not be haughty, and refuse what I call you to, but rather come to me in submission”. [27:29-31]

So it is befitting to begin with, Bismi Allāhi Ar-Raĥmāni Ar-Raĥīm, in every important affair and in every work which has importance and value, and in every letter.

So therefore those people who do not begin their works and their letters with, Bismi Allāhi Ar-Raĥmāni Ar-Raĥīm , those people have left the Prophetic sunnah and left following the example of the Book of Allaah the Mighty and Majestic and perhaps because of that these books of theirs and these letters of theirs do not contain blessing and do not contain benefit, because they are deprived of, Bismi Allāhi Ar-Raĥmāni Ar-Raĥīm. So therefore, they are deprived of benefit.

Why did they abandon, Bismi Allāhi Ar-Raĥmāni Ar-Raĥīm? They abandoned it because it is a sunnah, and they flee away from the sunnah, or they blindly follow those people who flee away from the sunnah. So it is befitting that attention is given to the like of this.

So the meaning of, Bismi Allāhi Ar-Raĥmāni Ar-Raĥīm, is seeking aid through the Name of Allaah.

So his saying, Bismi Allāh (With the Name of Allaah), this is a preposition, and a word which is governed by the preposition, connected to something which is left unmentioned, whose meaning is taken to be, “I seek aid through the Name of Allaah, the Extremely Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy”, or, “I begin with the Name of Allaah, the Extremely Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy”, seeking blessings by means of it and seeking the aid of Allaah the Mighty and Majestic.

So therefore it is a tremendous preface for speech and for books and for letters, so a person seeks the aid of Allaah in its beginning and seeks blessing by means of His Name, He the Perfect and Most High.

MCQ (Multiple Choice Questions) for this Audio: (Source)

The Shaykh Saalih al Fawzaan hafidhahullaah mentions in his explanation that:

Q1. The Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdil Wahhaab rahimahullaah is following which example in beginning with the statement bismillaah ir rahmaan ir raheem:

a) The example of the Qur’aan [4]
b) The example of the Sunnah of the Messenger sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam [5]
c) The example of the angels
d) The example of the people of Paradise

Answer: a) and b)

Q2, Beginning with the basmalah was the example of which prophet from earlier times:

a) Sulaymaan
b) Moosaa
c) Ibraaheem
d) Aadam
‘alaiyhimussalaatu was salaam

Answer: a)

Q3. This previous prophet was writing to whom when he used the phrase bismillaah ir rahmaan ir raheem: [6]

a) Daawood
b) The people of Loot
c) Fir’awn (Pharaoh)
d) Bilqees

Answer: d)

Q4. The people who do not begin those things which they have authored with bismillaah ir rahmaan ir raheem have done what:

a) Left the Prophetic Sunnah
b) Abandoned the example of the Book of Allaah
c) Committed a major sin
d) Committed an act of apostasy

Answers: a) b)

Q5, The consequences of not beginning that which a person has authored with bismillaah ir rahmaan ir raheem may be:

a) Entering the Hellfire
b) Those writings being deprived of blessing
c) Those writings be deprived of benefit
d) Being punished in the Grave

Answers: b) c)

Q6. The reason why a person might leave off beginning his writings with bismillaah ir rahmaan ir raheem is because:

a) He has an aversion to the Sunnah
b) He is a mushrik (person of shirk)
c) He has complete tawakkul (reliance) upon Allaah
d) He blindly follows someone else who has an aversion to the Sunnah

Answers: a) d)

Q7. A person ,when he begins with bismillaah ir rahmaan ir raheem, intends what? [7]

a) I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy
b) In the Name of Allaah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy I live and I die
c) I seek the aid through the Name of Allaah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy
d) I begin with the Name of Allaah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy seeking blessing by doing so [8]

answer: c) and d)

Footnotes for MCQ:

[4] Shaykh al Fawzaan comments in his explanation of al Usool uth Thalaathah:

This is the first thing that you see in the mus-haf (the written copy of the Qur’aan) and before every soorah from it – bismillaah ir rahmaan ir raheem (in the Name of Allaah, the Extremely Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy.

[5] Shaykh al Fawzaan comments in his explanation of al Usool uth Thalaathah:

He (the Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) used to write it (the basmalah) at the start of his letters when he wrote to the governors and to the chiefs and to those who were in the different regions of the Earth, calling them to Islaam…And he sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam used to begin his talks and his speech with “bismillaah ir rahmaan ir raheem”..

[6] Allaah, the Most High, states:

She said: O chiefs! There has been delivered to me a noble letter.
It is from Sulaymaan and it reads:
Bismillaah ir rahmaan ir raheem.
Do not be haughty and refuse what I call you to but come to me in submission. (Soorah an Naml (27) aayaat 29 to 31)

[7] Shaykh Zayd al Madkhalee hafidhahullaah mentions in his explanation of Thalaathat ul Usool :

.. bismillaah ir rahmaan ir raheem meaning: I begin this action of mine and my writing, seeking blessing in the Name of the Deity who alone is deserving of the right to be worshipped, to the exclusion of everything other than Him, the One who is described with the Attributes of Perfection and Majesty – and from them is the Attribute of ar Rahmah (Mercy) in the general sense and the Attribute of Mercy in the specific sense. The Attribute of Mercy in a general sense is that which is indicated by His statement, He the Most High: ar Rahmaan.. And the Attribute of Mercy specific to the believers is that which is indicated by His statement, He the Most High: ar Raheem..

[8] Shaykh al Fawzaan comments in his explanation of al Usool uth Thalaathah:

So therefore it(the basmalah) is a tremendous preface for speech and for books and for letters – so a person seeks the aid of Allaah in their beginning and seeks blessing by means of His Name.

Sharh-ul-Usool-ith-Thalaathah. Explanation of the Three Fundamental Principles of Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdil-Wahhaab by Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan al-Fowzaan hafizahullaah. Translated by  Daawood  Burbank, rahimahullaah

Posted with kind permission from Dawud Burbank rahimahullaah

Listen to the Full Audio Series:
Sharh Usool-ith-Thalaathah – Shaykh Fawzan | Dawud Burbank

Book Study Resources – Three Fundamental Principles