Cultural/Religious Virtual Arabic Realia: Basmala – بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Basmala (Arabic بسملة) is an Arabic language noun which is used as the collective name of the whole of the recurring Islamic phrase bismi-llāhi ar-raḥmāni ar-raḥīmi .

This phrase constitutes the first verse of every “sura” (or chapter) of the Qur’an, and is used in a number of contexts by Muslims.

It is recited several times as part of Muslim daily prayers, and it is usually the first phrase in the preamble of the constitutions of Islamic countries.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
bismi-llāhi ar-raḥmāni ar-raḥīmi
“In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful”

Arabic-speaking Christians sometimes use the Basmala to refer to the Christian liturgical formula :

“In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit”

(باسم الآب والابن والروح القدس,

bismi-l-’abi wa-ll-ibniwa-rr-rūḥi lqudusii)

Calligraphic Signs of Al-Basmala

In Arabic calligraphy, Al-Basmala is the most prevalent motif for calligraphy artists – Have a look at these amazing calligraphic writings:

Can you decipher the letters /words?

Calligraphy created by Sudanese artist Hassan Musa


Islamic/Arabic Calligraphic Signs of Al-Basmala from China

Haji Noor Deen MiGuangjiangg is a master Arabic calligrapher and Chinese Muslim. He is normally invited to the Edinburgh Islam Festival every year. The following are samples of his work :

Another calligraphic sign of Al-Basmala inside a mosque in China

Find out more

Basmala (Wikipedia)

Saying Bismillah – Virtues and Occasions– Collection of Sayings from Authentic Hadiths

Haji noor deen

Key religious expressions/sayings (Digital flashcards/PDF)


6 thoughts on “Cultural/Religious Virtual Arabic Realia: Basmala – بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

  1. beautiful collection – The blend of the Chinese and Arabic calligraphy styles is really interesting!

    The Calligrapher Haji Noor Deen might come this year (2008) during the August Edinburgh festival to deliver a workshop in Islamic calligraphy – Mourad .

  2. I’d like to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this blog. I really hope to check out the same high-grade content by you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own, personal site now 😉

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