(1,245 words)

is the formula biʾsmi llāhi l-raḥmāni l-raḥīmi , also called tasmiya (to pronounce the [divine] Name). Common translation: “In the name of God, the Clement, the Merciful”; R. Blachère’s translation: “In the name of God, the Merciful Benefactor”, etc. The formula occurs twice in the text of the Ḳurʾān: in its complete form in Sūra xxvii, 30, where it opens Solomon’s letter to the queen of Sheba: “It is from Solomon and reads: In the name of God, the Merciful Benefactor”; on a second occasion, in its abridg…

Cite this page
Carra de Vaux, B. and Gardet, L., “Basmala”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 20 November 2018 <>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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