Ahadith – On Beginning with Bismillah and Barakah

25Nov09

First a few ahadith (sayings of the Beloved Prophet of Allah – sallallahu alayhe wasallam – peace and blessing upon him and his family) on food.

In Sahih Muslim, Hadrat Hudhayfa (radi-Allahu anhu) relates that the Prophet sallallahu alayhe wasallam stated that not reciting Bismillahir Rahman ir-Rahim over food makes the food permissible for Shaytan to partake in.  This means that if one does not recite Bismillahir Rahman ir-Rahim prior to eating, Shaytan partakes in the meal.

In Sahih Muslim, Hadrat Jabir (radi-Allahu anhu) relates that the Blessed Prophet sallallahu alayhe wasallam said “If a person enters his  house and begins his meal by saying Bismillah, Shaytan tells his family “you will not find here place to stay nor food to eat.” And if he enters his house without Bismillah then he says “you have found place to stay.” Then, when such a person eats without Bismillah, Shaytan says “you now have a place to stay and food to eat.”

In Sahih Bukhari and Muslim, Hadrat Umar ibn abi Salamah (radi-Allahu anhu) relates “I was a child when I was in the care of the Blessed Prophet sallallahu alayhe wasallam (this companion was under the guardianship of the Prophet sallallahu alayhe wasallam and the son of the Mother of the Believers Umm Salamah) and during mealtime, I’d eat from various parts of the dish, so the Prophet sallallahu alayhe wasallam said “Say Bismillah, eat with your right hand, and eat from that part of the plate which is closest to you.” 

In Abu Daud, Tirmidhi, and Haakim A’isha (radi Allahu anha) relates that the Prophet sallallahu alayhe wasallam stated “When one of you begins to eat, remember the Name of Allah, meaning say Bismillah and if you forget to say Bismillah in the beginning then say it as such “Bismillahi awwalahu wa aakhirahu” and in the traditions of Imam Ahmed, Ibn Maajah, Ibn Habbaan, and Bayhaqi, it is as such:   “Bismillahi fi awwalihi wa aakhirihi.”

Imam Ahmed, Abu Daud, Ibn Maajah, and Haakim mention it, and Wahshi ibn Harb (radi Allahu anhu) relates that the Prophet sallallahu alayhe wasallam said “Eat in a group, and recite Bismillah, for in these are Barakah ” (Barkat – blessing, grace, increase, a lot with a little). Ibn Majah relates that the people asked “O Messenger of Allah, we eat yet are not satiated.” The Prophet sallallahu alayhe wasallam replied “Perhaps you eat separately.” They said “Yes”. He said “Eat your meals together and recite Bismillah, therein is Barakah.”

In the Sharah Sunnah Abu Ayyub radi-Allahu anhu narrates that we were in the blessed presence of the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alayhe wasallam and at the beginning of the meal there was abundance of barakah the likes of which we had never seen before, but towards the end there was an absence of such.  So we asked the Prophet sallallahu alayhe wasallam, “O Rasul Allah! What was the cause of this change.” He sallallahu alayhe wasallam responded “We all began the meal with the recitation of Bismillah, then a person joined in without doing so such that Shaytan joined in the meal with him.”

Abu Daud relates from Hadrat Umayyah ibn Maghsha radi-Allahu anhu who says “A person was eating without having said Bismillah and had almost completed the meal, but on lifting the last morsel recited “Bismillahi awwalahu wa aakhirahu”.  The Prophet sallallahu alayhe wasallam smiled and said “Shaytan was eating along with him and when the person remembered the name of Allah he threw up whatever he head eaten” and this may also mean that the barakah that had dissipated returned.”

In Sahih Muslim Hadrat Hudhayfa radi-Allahu anhu says that when we joined in meals with the Holy Prophet sallallahu alayhe wasallam we would never place our hand in (begin) the meal unless the Prophet sallallahu alayhe wasallam did first. Once in the company of the Prophet sallallahu alayhe wasallam a girl rushed in as if someone was pushing her from behind. She tried to place her hand in the dish but the Prophet sallallahu alayhe wasallam prevented her. Then an A’arabi (bedouin) rushed in as if he was being pushed from behind and the Prophet sallallahu alayhe wasallam withheld his hand likewise as said “When the Name of Allah is not mentioned over food, that food becomes permissible (halal) for Shaytan.  Shaytan came in with the girl so that he could partake with her in the meal and I withheld his hand, then he came in with this A’arabi so that he could partake in the meal with him and I withheld his hand. I swear by He in Whose Hand is my life, his hand along with theirs is in my hand”, thereafter, the Blessed Prophet mentioned the Name of Allah, meaning he said Bismillah and began to eat.”  A similar narration is mentioned by Imam Ahmed, Abu Daud, Nisa’i, and Haakim.

Ibn ‘Asakir mentions that Hadrat ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Amir radi-Allahu anhu relates that the Prophet sallallahu alayhe wasallam said “The food on which the Name of Allah is not mentioned is (a cause of) disease and is devoid of barakah and its atonement, if the tablecloth (the sheet that is spread out to place the dish or dishes of food on the floor) has not been lifted, is to read Bismillah and eat something from it, and if already lifted, to read Bismillah and lick your fingers.”

Daylami mentions that Anas radi-Allahu anhu relates that the Prophet sallallahu alayhe wasallam said “If any of you eats or drinks you should say “Bismillahi wa billahil-ladhi laa yadurru ma’a ismihi shay-un fil ardi wa laa fis-Samaa-i ya Hayyu ya Qayyumu” and with this you will never get sick even if the food contains poison.

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