Imam Razi writes in Tafseer Kabeer (Vol 1, page 173) that invocation of the name of Allah بِسْمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمـَنِ الرَّحِيمِ is extremely powerful and effective when done with full conviction. He points out the two specific places where Bismillah (literally meaning ‘in the name of Allah’) is mentioned in the holy Quran to show how the difficult missions of the prophets who recited Bismillah faithfully were made easy for them to accomplish successfully.
When prophet Noah was commanded by Allah to build an Ark he was ridiculed by the non-believers of his nation who were all well-to-do persons. They said Noah we find no one with you except the weak and the downtrodden.
فَقَالَ الْمَلأُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن قِوْمِهِ مَا نَرَاكَ إِلاَّ بَشَرًا مِّثْلَنَا وَمَا نَرَاكَ اتَّبَعَكَ إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ هُمْ أَرَاذِلُنَا بَادِيَ الرَّأْيِ وَمَا نَرَى لَكُمْ عَلَيْنَا مِن فَضْلٍ بَلْ نَظُنُّكُمْ كَاذِبِينَ
Translation. “The eminent among those who disbelieved from his people said, ” We do not see you but as a man like ourselves, and we do not see you followed except by those who are the lowest of us (and) at first suggestion. And we do not see any merit in you over us ; rather, we think you are liars.” [Surah Hud 11:27]
And when the great deluge began to surround them, Noah did not know where to sail because he had never been on the seas. But he followed Allah’s command and boarded the Arc invoking His name and he and all his companions were saved by Allah.
وَقَالَ ارْكَبُواْ فِيهَا بِسْمِ اللّهِ مَجْرَاهَا وَمُرْسَاهَا إِنَّ رَبِّي لَغَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
Translation: “Noah said (to his followers), Board the Ark. In the name of God, it shall sail and anchor. My God is most forgiving and merciful”. [Surah Hud 11:41].
After he landed on Mount Judi, Noah lived long to preach Allah’s message to the people. He lived for 950 years.
When Prophet Solomon was conveyed intelligence by his bird hoopoe that there was a kingdom ruled by a Queen who worshipped the sun, Prophet Solomon was obliged to invite her to embrace Islam together with her followers, for his mission as a prophet was to end idol worship and spread the message of one true God, Allah. He wrote her a letter which began in the name of God.
إِنَّهُ مِن سُلَيْمَانَ وَإِنَّهُ بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
“Verily, it is from Sulaiman (Solomon) and verily, it (reads): In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.” [Surah An-Naml 27:30]
Imam Razi says that by relating his letter to “the name of God, prophet Solomon invoked the help of the most powerful king, Allah on his side. The result was that he attained his mission without a battle which Queen Sheba’s advisers were prepared to fight. Allah not only made Solomon a great king but also gave him power over Jinn and taught him the languages of animals, birds and insects. He also lived long to spread the message of God far and wide.
In Surah Al-Kahf we are also advised in the verse relating to the faithful dwellers of the cave that we should always seek guidance of Allah in our affairs.
إِذْ أَوَى الْفِتْيَةُ إِلَى الْكَهْفِ فَقَالُوا رَبَّنَا آتِنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً وَهَيِّئْ لَنَا مِنْ أَمْرِنَا رَشَدًا
Translation: “When the young men took refuge in the Cave and said, “Our Lord, bless us with mercy from Your own and provide us with guidance in our matters.” [Surah Al-Kahf 18:10]
And what a best way it is to directly invoke the name of Allah at the start of everything we do in our lives to be successful and happy.
14 February 2018