Bismillah, In the Name of Allah, is the start of all things good. We too shall start with it. Know, O my soul! Just as this blessed phrase is a mark of Islam, so too it is constantly recited by all beings through their tongues of disposition. If you want to know what an inexhaustible strength, what an unending source of bounty is Bismillah, listen to the following story which is in the form of a comparison. It goes like this:
Someone who makes a journey through the deserts of Arabia has to travel in the name of a tribal chief and enter under his protection, for in this way he may be saved from the assaults of bandits and secure his needs. On his own he will perish in the face of innumerable enemies and needs. And so, two men went on such a journey and entered the desert. One of them was modest and humble, the other proud and conceited. The humble man assumed the name of a tribal chief, while the proud man did not. The first travelled safely wherever he went. If he encountered bandits, he said: “I am travelling in the name of such-and-such tribal leader,” and they would not molest him. If he came to some tents, he would be treated respectfully due to the name. But the proud man suffered such calamities throughout his journey that they cannot be described. He both trembled before everything and begged from everything. He was abased and became an object of scorn.
And so, my proud soul! You are the traveller, and this world is a desert. Your impotence and poverty have no limit, and your enemies and needs are endless. Since it is thus, take the name of the Pre-Eternal Ruler and Post-Eternal Lord of the desert and be saved from begging before the whole universe and trembling before every event.
Indeed, this phrase is a treasury so blessed that your infinite impotence and want bind you to an infinite power and mercy; it makes that impotence and want a most acceptable intercessor at the Court of One All-Powerful and Compassionate. The person who acts saying, “In the Name of Allah,” resembles someone who enrolls in the army. He acts in the name of the government; he has fear of no one; he speaks, performs every matter, and withstands everything in the name of the law and the name of the government.
At the beginning we said that all beings say, “In the Name of Allah” through the tongue of disposition. Is that so?
Indeed, it is so. If you were to see that a single person had come and had driven all the inhabitants of a town to a place by force and compelled them to work, you would be certain that he had not acted in his own name and through his own power, but that he was a soldier, acting in the name of the government and relying on the power of a king.
In the same way, all things act in the name of Almighty Allah, for minute things like seeds and grains bear huge trees on their heads; they raise loads like mountains. That means all trees say: “In the Name of Allah,” fill their hands from the treasury of Mercy, and offer them to us. All gardens say: “In the Name of Allah,” and become cauldrons from the kitchens of Divine Power in which are cooked numerous varieties of different foods. All blessed animals like cows, camels, sheep, and goats, say: “In the Name of Allah,” and become fountains of milk from the abundance of Mercy, offering us a most delicate and pure food like the water of life in the name of the Provider. The roots and rootlets, soft as silk, of all plants, trees, and grasses, say: “In the Name of Allah,” and pierce and pass through hard rock and earth. Mentioning the name of Allah, the name of the Most Merciful, everything becomes subjected to them.
Indeed, the roots spreading through hard rock and earth and producing fruits as easily as the branches spread through the air and produce fruits, and the delicate green leaves retaining their moisture for months in the face of extreme heat, deal a slap in the mouths of Naturalists and jab a finger in their blind eyes, saying: “Even heat and hardness, in which you most trust, are under a command. For, like the Staff of Moses, each of those silken rootlets conform to the command of, And We said, O Moses, strike the rock with your staff, 1 and split the rock. And the delicate leaves fine as cigarette paper recite the verse, O fire be coolness and peace2 against the heat of the fire, each like the members of Abraham (A.S.).
Since all things say, ” Bismillah-In the Name of Allah,” and bearing Allah’s bounties in Allah’s name, give them to us, we too should say, “Bismillah-In the Name of Allah”. We should give in the name of Allah, and take in the name of Allah. And we should not take from heedless people who neglect to give in Allah’s name.
Source: 1st Word, Words
1 Qur’an 2:60
2 Qur’an 21:69