Basmala

“Bismi Allahi alrrahmani alrraheemi”, known as the Basmala, has various translations in English. Differences arise from the words ‘Rahman’ and ‘Raheem’. The root of both words is ‘rahmat’. ‘Rahmat’, commonly translated as ‘mercy’, is ‘mercy and compassion that requires being beneficent and charitable to those for whom you have mercy and compassion’. However, the word is sometimes used to refer only to ‘mercy and compassion’ or only to ‘beneficence and charity’. When used as an attribute of God, the term refers only to ‘beneficence and giving[1]’. [2]

‘Rahman’ is ‘the One whose mercy embraces everything’. This is exclusively an attribute of God. On the other hand, ‘Raheem’ means ‘one who is generous with mercy’. This quality can be found in others besides God as well. This is why the adjective ‘raheem’ was used in the Qur’an when referring to the Prophet Muhammad, too.

 

The Almighty God commands:

لَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيصٌ عَلَيْكُمْ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ.

“Indeed, there has come to you a messenger from among yourselves. He is concerned over your suffering, and is fond of you. Towards the believers, he is compassionate and merciful.” (At-Tawba/The Repentance; 9:128)

 

We have translated ‘Rahman’ as ‘Endlessly Beneficent’, since nobody else but God, can be of eternal goodness and help. [3]

‘Raheem’ has been translated as ‘Generous in giving’ because; the mercy of a powerful person is shown in life by his generosity in giving to others.

Consequently, the translation of the Basmala is:

“In the name of God, Endlessly Beneficent, Generous in giving…”

 

We think this is the most accurate translation.



[1] T.N.: Charity is done to the poor, ill, etc. However, God gives to everyone.

[2] Raghib al-Isfahani, Müfradat, art. رحم.

[3]Beneficence: ‘helping people and doing good acts’ ; http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/beneficent

Facebook'ta PaylaşTwitter'da Paylaş
Date: Oct 11, 2015
Other Fatwas In This Category:
#   Title Date Reads 
1 Seals Upon Hearts 2014.07.07 2,057
2 Ransom of the Fast 2016.06.15 2,513
3 Does shopping on Ashura increase abundance? 2013.01.03 633
4 Getting the period while fasting 2013.08.05 2,420
5 Places of Worship 2013.12.14 822
6 The Situation Of Those Who Don’t Use Their Reason 2014.08.03 1,297
7 Iftidaa – Women’s Right to Divorce 2009.10.13 830
8 The responsibility of one who is not informed of the Message 2013.02.04 562
9 Compensation of unfulfilled fasting duties 2013.07.30 785
10 Combining of prayers 2014.01.01 1,276
11 Basmala 2015.10.11 788
12 Being Responsible For Your Thoughts 2014.01.17 952
13 Marriage Testimony 2009.10.13 675
14 Are scholars successors of prophets? 2013.02.06 357
15 Zakat and Fidya in Ramadan 2013.07.29 1,340
16 Bid’ah 2014.01.08 752
17 Christianity Today 2015.11.04 889
18 The Saturday Prohibition 2009.09.07 2,906
19 Testimony Of Women 2009.10.13 1,130
20 What is the ruling of hudud law if we live in secular country? 2013.02.17 483
21 Fasting without major ablution (ghusl) 2013.07.29 2,088
22 Prayer of The Traveler 2014.01.08 1,220
23 Praise And Thanksgiving 2015.11.08 844
24 Baqara – Sacrificial Bull Issue 2010.11.04 960
25 Fasting Prolonged At Least Forty Minutes in Turkey 2010.08.20 1,388
26 Is terrorism part of Islam? 2013.02.17 1,025
27 Giving money instead of fasting? 2013.07.28 1,767
28 The purpose of iddah 2014.01.29 3,316
29 Muslims Today 2015.11.03 1,184
30 Relation Between Sleep and Death 2014.11.07 7,416
31 Eid al-Fitr 2016 2016.07.04 967
32 Marriage without an authority (Wali) 2013.02.24 1,029
33 Are extremely hot and long days an excuse for not fasting? 2013.07.25 1,004
34 Mentioning God’s name while slaughtering animals 2014.03.07 853
35 Introduction 2009.09.04 486
36 Method to Understand Quran 2010.12.28 1,034
37 Period of zakat 2015.08.14 831
38 What about the missed worship before Islam? 2010.09.25 399
39 Fasting of women during menstruation period 2013.07.24 2,201
40 Women in prayers 2014.03.16 1,941
41 Common Belief Mistakes – Preface 2010.09.06 571
42 Kitabi Tahrif 2009.09.17 606
43 Did any fatwas come from Madhhab’s Imams about candle nights? 2012.02.06 299
44 Does Islam provide freedom of religion? 2013.03.04 510
45 Sects 2013.07.07 615
46 Intercession of prophets 2014.03.23 573
47 Religiousness in Quran 2009.09.07 613
48 Did The Jews Swear To Rebel? 2009.09.17 393
49 What is the ruling on taking drugs that include alcohol? 2011.09.11 358
50 Interest 2013.03.26 461
51 Should women cook for their husbands? 2013.07.01 8,163
52 Punishment For Apostasy In Islam 2014.05.17 1,285
53 Tesbih And Takdis 2009.09.07 996
54 Shortening of Ajal 2010.10.13 1,631
55 Do rich people have priority over poor people to get into the Garden 2013.01.21 361
56 Is Islam a religion of war, or peace? 2013.03.05 882
57 Does vomiting break the fast? 2013.06.22 3,162
58 Beginning of Ramadan 2015.06.13 745
59 Who Goes to Heaven 2009.09.07 1,693
60 Duty of the Intercessor 2010.09.25 524
61 Is a convert responsible for the prayers he missed? 2013.05.25 396
62 What is the meaning of “people that your right hands possess”? 2013.04.15 2,894
63 The penalty of breaking a fast 2013.06.20 2,251
64 Touching and Reciting Qur’an Without Ablution or Ghusl 2016.03.30 7,159
65 The Religions 2009.09.07 648
66 Intercession 2009.09.17 748
67 Abrogation (Naskh) and Stoning Punishment (Rajm) 2011.10.30 1,579
68 Religion Difference in Marriage 2013.06.10 649
69 Dowry 2013.06.15 1,895
70 Nabi and Rasul According to The Qur’an and Traditional Islam 2014.12.14 2,881
71 Explanation of the verses 11-16 in surah al-Hajj 2009.09.07 2,515
72 Questioning Sentences 2009.10.13 505
73 Will Jesus Return to Earth? 2012.01.02 1,358
74 Wearing scarf while reciting Quran 2012.09.07 833
75 False Roots of Fatalism in Islam – Destiny and Measure 2013.08.03 1,666
76 Deifying The Prophets 2015.11.01 997
77 Munafiq – Hypocrite 2009.09.07 2,729
78 Violence Against Women 2010.10.20 1,800
79 Spouses of Different Religions 2016.11.08 2,615
80 Women Travelling Alone 2013.08.26 2,111
81 Istikhara 2013.09.01 901
82 Is Five Times Prayer Mentioned in the Quran? 2016.06.13 2,433
83 Kafir (pl:Kuffar) – Concealer 2009.09.07 1,228
84 Friday Prayer – Salat of Juma 2009.10.13 1,016
85 Are there any special forms of worship for month of Muharram? 2013.01.03 730
86 Working of women 2013.08.13 2,342
87 Does Islam Focus on Men? 2013.11.23 339
88 The Traits That Make The Human, Human 2009.09.07 451
89 Fasting and Prayer Of Women During Menstruation Periods 2011.08.05 22,555
90 What is the ruling for fasting on Ashura Day? 2013.01.03 1,489
91 Supervision in marriage 2013.08.07 514
92 Hadith 2013.12.08 734