Is It Permissible to Recite Bismillah before Taking Medication?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


Is it permissible to say Bismillah before taking medication?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

I pray you are in good faith and health.

Yes, one should say “In the name of Allah (Bismillah— بِسْمِ اللَّهِ)”  at the beginning of every good and important action, including taking medication.

Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) reported the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “When one of you eats a meal, let him begin ‘In the name of Allah (بِسْمِ اللَّهِ).’ If he forgets to say it in the beginning, let him say: ‘In the name of Allah, in its beginning and its ending (بِسْمِ اللَّهِ فِي أَوَّلِهِ وَآخِرِهِ).’” [Tirmidhi]

There is a hadith that is often quoted about beginning every important task with “Bismillah.” The hadith “Every matter which is started without saying ‘Bismillah’ is purposeless” with this exact wording is recorded by Khatib Baghdadi (Allah have mercy on him) with a highly unreliable chain, according to Hafiz Ibn Hajar (Allah have mercy on him). [Siddiq al-Ghumari, Al-Isti’adhatu wa al-Hasbalah]

However, there are many other reasons for commencing our tasks with the name of Allah Most High. Among them are the following:

  • The Quran started with “Bismillah”;
  • The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) commenced his letters to the various kings with “Bismillah”;
  • The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “(…) When you recite ‘Bismillah,’ shaytan contracts till he reaches the size of a fly.” [Abu Dawud, Ahmad]
    After citing this Hadith, Hafiz Ibn Kathir (Allah have mercy on him) writes the following at the beginning of his exceptional commentary:
    “This is the blessed effect of ‘Bismillah.’ Therefore, it is recommended at the beginning of every deed or speech.”  He then cited Hadiths that clearly recommend reciting “Bismillah” before meals, entering the toilet, engaging in sexual relations with one’s wife, wudu, etc.

These are merely a few examples. [Ibn Hajar, Fathul Bari,]

One is indeed encouraged to say “Bismillah” before any task.

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I pray this helps with your question.
[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied in the UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete the hifz of the Quran in India, then enrolled in an Islamic seminary in the UK, where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for several years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh, and many other Islamic sciences to children and adults onsite and online extensively in the UK and Ireland. He taught at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK, where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in the UK with his wife. His interest is a love of books and gardening.