Qur’an begins with the aayat (verse) “Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem” carries the deep meaning and explains us that, (we begin) With the ism-e-mubaarak i.e. name of Allaah Ta’aala and His Hujjat on this earth, the fountain-head of rehmat. If one says “The most gracious” and “The most merciful” for “ar-Rahmaan” and “ar-Raheem” then it will be injustice to it and any language is void to explain the core sense of “rahem” as in the case of “Rahmatul lil Aalameen”, the epithet of Mohammad Rasoolullaah (saws). Human-being lives in the confinement of the “rahem” (womb) of his mother for nine months and gets full nourishment and before his delivery in this world he develops completely to bear the reality of life. This example has deep roots with the facts of Mazhab-e-Ahl ul-Bayt (as), in which a mumin remains in the ruhaani “rahem” of Imaam uz-Zamaan (as) and his Da’i and gets imaani strength with piety and devotion till his death, when he attains najaat and qurbat to Allaah Ta’aala. The reality of aakherat is unveiled before him more brighter than the sunlight. Every Surah of the Qur’an begins with this aayat except “Surat ut-Taubah” or “Surat ul-Bar’at”. Conversely, “Surat un-Naml” has “Bismillaah” twice, one in its beginning and the other in between! Hence the total number of Bismillaah in Qur’an is 114! Neither more nor less than the total number of Surahs i.e. 114.
Allaah Ta’aala has exemplified the first Surah, Surat ul-Faateha as the “Faatehat ul-Kitaab” which literally means as “The Opening of the Book”. And the other name addressed to it is “Umm ul-Kitaab” which means, “The Mother of the Book”. If Allaah Ta’aala has addressed Surat ul-Faateha to be a mother then the position of Bismillaah which is at its inception and helm of it, is in the position of the head of the mother! Comparatively if Allaah Ta’aala addresses Surat ul-Faatehah as the door, then “Bismillaah” automatically becomes the ‘Signboard’. Imagine what a door without a signboard and a mother without head would be? Both are senseless without one another!
Other attribute of Surat ul-Faateha given by Allaah to Rasoolullaah (saws) is the name ”Sab’ul Masaani”, due to which his darajah was elevated over other Ambiyaa and Mursaleen. Sab’ul Masaani means the7 aayats of Surat ul-Faatehah starting from Bismillaah till the word zaalleen at the end of the Surah. And all these verses are recited in every rak’at of namaaz, the omission of any of them would render the Namaaz null and void! Sab’ul Masaani also points to the fact that the 7 words are repeated twice in Surat ul-Faatehah. In Taweel or esoteric interpretation, it points to the multiples of 7 imaams of Aal-e- Mohammed (saws) who will come for hidaayat till the Day of Qayaamat!
Now, if we analyze and dissect the letters or alphabets of “Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem”and associations of its different words then there is a vast hidden knowledge and numerical secrets! For e.g. in the beginning of Surat ul-Faatehah there is “Bismillaah” and in it there are 2 words “Bism” and “Allaah” in which total letters are 7. And in the last 2 words of “ar-Rahmaan” and “ar-Raheem”, there are in all 12 letters. Thus “Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem” has the letters totaling to “19”.
The first 7 letters of “Bism” and “Allaah” points to the 7 days of a week and just as these days keep on recurring, the 7 imaams, implied by these 7 letters will keep on perpetually coming till the day of Qayaamat! The other 12 letters of “ar-Rahmaan” and “ar-Raheem” points to the 12 months of a year which are also unending and which points to the 12 hujjats of an Imaam (as) spread for the propagation of Da’wat in 12 different jazaa’ir (islands or parts of different lands)! Saiyedna Moayyed Shiraazi Saheb (aq) and Saiyedna Badr ul-Jamaali (aq) who were present during the reign of Imam Mustansir Billaah (as) have mentioned in their majaalis and discourses that, the 7 letters of “Bism” and “Allaah” personify the 7 pillars and fundamentals of Islam like Walaayat, Tahaarat, Namaaz, Roza, Zakaat, Hajj and Jihaad. And the 12 letters of “ar-Rahmaan” and “ar-Raheem” exemplify the 12 Sunnats of Rasoolullaah (saws). So if we add the two digits, 7 and 12, it comes to the total of 19 which embodies all the Faraa’iz (obligations) and Sunnat (practices) of Islaam.
Allaah Ta’aala mentions in Surat ul-Muddassir about 19 hurraas (guards) guarding the gates of Jahannam (hell). But the people, who have confined themselves to the external and superficial meaning of the Qur’an, assert that there is nothing miraculous in the number 19 which can increase the faith of the faithful or cause dissent and unrest amongst the infidels. Commending the same number 19, Maulaana Imaam Ja’far us-Saadiq (as) says that, the 19th night of Ramazaan is so pious that in it a list of those guests who will meet Allaah is prepared and hence he especially advocated people to pray for Hajj on this night!
Obviously then, “Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem” is an entire aayat of Qur’an, which Allaah has preserved in the Lauh-e-Mahfooz, and has proclaimed in another aayat that, “We have indeed sent our Zikr (kitaab and aal) and we are its protectors”. “Bismillaah” is the essence, the nectar, the core and the gist of Qur’an and as mentioned earlier, it is recited before all Surah and is the introductory aayat of Surat ul-Faatehah. Morever in Bismillaah the entire esoteric and abstract meanings of the Kalemat ush-Shahaadat are inclusive and comprehensive.
Now the commonalty, the people of zaahir, not blessed with the Walaayat of Maulaana Ali (as) i.e. the baatin of Islaam – who is the orator and Naatiq of the Qur’an, categorically deny that, “Bismillaah” is the aayat of Qur’an. The zenith and the acme of paradox is when they claim that they have memorized and protected the Qur’an in their hearts by doing Hifz – and that too without understanding the beginning of the Qur’an. Indeed, in doing so, they have removed the head of the opening of the Qur’an. Undoubtedly, then, they have rendered the fountainhead and mother of all the knowledge – the Qur’an, headless! Wallaah, they will be put to test on the Day of Qayaamat. No sound intellect could ever grasp their speculation and claim that Shaitaan Iblees has stolen the Bismillaah from the Qur’an! In fact, this is an utter refusal of the commands of Allaah and it can be refuted with several facts and figures!
“ar-Rahmaan” and “ar-Raheem” of “Bismillaah” is a complete 3rd aayat of Surat ul-Faateha. And if we look at the first word “ar-Rahmaan” it is also an entire 1st aayat of “Surat ur-Rahmaan”. And if we see the first 3 letters of “ar-Rahmaan”, they are ‘alif’, ‘laam’ and ‘raa’ and interestingly for those who have a detailed knowledge of Qur’an and its different Surahs will immediately say that these three letters also form a complete aayat (Huroof ul-Moqatta’aat – broken letters) of the beginning of Surah Ibraahim in the Qur’an. And again if we go further and study another 2 letters of “ar-Rahmaan” like ‘haa’ and ‘meem’, it is clear that even these two letters form a complete aayat of the beginning of Surat ul-Zukhruf elsewhere in the Qur’an. And the last letter ‘noon’ also is a complete aayat of the beginning of Surat ul-Qalam! Hence undoubtedly if the half and the one fourth portions and still the different segments of the last portion of “Bismillaah” are the complete verses of the Qur’an which is undisputed by translators and interpreters world over, how can anybody dispute the veracity of the Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem? Verily, Allaah says in the Qur’an that, ‘He guides those He intend to’. Countless praise and prostration in the way of Allaah Who has selected us among His creation as the blessed and distinguished, that He has kept flowing the stream of His divine knowledge through the pious succession of A’immat-e-Taahereen (as) and Du’aat ul-Akrameen (as) who are Kitaab-e-Mubeen (an open book) for us and the true interpreters of the Qur’an and the Shari’at of Allaah.
Not reciting Bismillaah in the beginning of Surat ul-Faateha in the Namaaz nullifies it and makes it void. Even thousands of rak’ats offered near the Ka’batullaah without reciting the Bismillaah and understanding its significance is useless and unfruitful. May Allaah guide the ignorant and strayed people! Reciting Bismillaah before starting anything in public and private has been strongly advocated by Ahl ul-Bayt (as); like entering the house, leaving the house, wearing dress, shoes, driving vehicle, alighting from vehicle, starting food and drink, before reciting any du’a or undertaking any tasks!
Moreover, reciting the daily du’as like washing hands before ablution (wuzoo), entering the mosque, before reciting the small tashahhud, reciting the tashahhud of fault (sahw), and many other duaas start with Bismillaah only. And for the mumineen, in the presence of Saheb-e-Da’wat, when a child recites the “Bismillaah” for the first time, it is a matter of great pride and happiness for the head of the family.
It is related by Abdullaah bin Abbas (ra) from Rasoolullaah (saw) that, “When a teacher teaches Bismillaah to a pupil and the child recites it, immediately Allaah Ta’aala liberates the pupil, the teacher and the parents from the torments of Hell-fire”. Imaam Ja’far us-Saadiq (as) says, “What has happened to these people who have corrupted this noble aayat of Bismillaah and declared its recitation in public as Innovation (Bid’at)? Are they not worthy of curse?”
In conclusion, it is utterly senseless, that Bismillaah is omitted before Surat ul-Faatehah and “Aameen” is recited at the end, the word which is never there in the Qur’an. And what a shame if the staunch believers of Ahl ul-Bayt (as) pray the Farz namaaz behind these people! And how good it would be if some sagacious wise people after reading this article try to correct our ignorant brothers and correct their fallacies.