Saying The Basmala


  It is written on the sixth page of the first volume of Ibni Abidin, "It is wajib [1] to say Bismillah or Allahu akbar when killing an animal (by cutting its throat), when shooting an arrow at a game animal, when sending a trained hound for the animal to be hunted. It is acceptable as well to say the Basmala (saying Bismillahirrahmanirrahim) completely. There are those who say that it is wajib to say the Basmala before reciting the Fatiha at each rak'at [2]. Yet, more correctly, it is sunnat [3]. It is sunnat to say the Basmala when beginning to perform an ablution, to eat, to drink and to do any useful work. It is either permissible or mustahab [4] to say the Basmala between the Fatiha and the suura [5] (which is to be recited after the Fatiha while performing salat). It is mubah [6] to say it when beginning to walk, when sitting down or standing up.

"It is makruh [7] to say the Basmala when opening one's private parts, when entering a place where there is najasat [8], when reciting Baraa Sura immediately after the suura previous to it, when beginning to smoke a cigarette or to eat something with a strong smell, such as onions or garlics, [and when beginning to shave. The fact that the cigarette is compared to things with a strong smell, such as onions and garlics, shows that tobacco is, like these things, tab'an makruh, not shar'an makruh. ] It is haram (prohibited) to say the Basmala when beginning to commit a haram. In fact, it has been said that he who says the Basmala knowingly when beginning something which is certainly c becomes a disbeliever. It is haram for a (person who is in the state of) junub [9] to recite the Qur'an with the intention of reciting the Qur'an.

"It is wajib to say hamd in salat, and it is sunnat to say it in a khutba or before each du'a (prayer) or after eating and drinking. It is mubah to say it whenever you remember it. It is makruh to say it at dirty places, and it is haram to say it after eating or drinking something which is haram; it may even cause disbelief. "

[1] wajib: (act, thing) never omitted by the Prophet, so almost as compulsory as fard and not to be omitted. Wajib al-wujud: Being whose existence is indispensable and nonexistence is impossible.
[2] Rak'at: In performing namaz, the actions of standing, bowing and putting the head on the ground twice are altogether called a rak'at. Most prayers of namaz consist of two or four rak'ats. One of them contains three rak'ats.
[3] sunnat: i) (when used alone) The Shari'at; ii) (when used together with the name Book) The hadith of the Prophet. iii) (when used together with the word Fard) Any action, word or thought liked and commanded by the Prophet.
[4] mustahab: (act, thing) deserving thawab if done but no sin if omitted, nor disbelief if disliked.
[5] suura(t): a Qur'anic chapter [a chapter of the Qur'an].
[6] mubah: (act, thing) neither ordered nor prohibited; permitted.
[7] makruh: (act, thing) improper, disliked and abstained by the Prophet ('alaihi 's-salam); makruh tahrima: prohibited with much stress.
[8] najasat: i) any kind of dirt, filth, that prevents one from performing namaz. ii) religiously impure thing.
[9] Junub: i) a person who needs a ghusl ablution. What causes a person to become junub is prescribed by Islam. İi) state of a Muslim needing ablution of his whole body (needing a ghusl).