Saying "grace" over one's meal before eating
Fatwa No: 85853

  • Fatwa Date:18-5-2003 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 17, 1424
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I realised later I had forgotten to say "Bismi Allahi Arrahmani Arraheem" before my meals. So after about 30 minutes I say "Bismillah Wal Awwalahu Wal Akhirah". What is the duration allowed to say this? Is it accepted after 30 minutes?


Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions. It is desirable for the person intending to eat or drink to say: 'Bismillah' before beginning to eat or drink. Now if he forgets to do so, he can say it anytime he remembers it as long as the meal or drink has not finished. al-Tirmizi reported from Ayisha (Radiya Allahu Anha) that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "When any of you eats a meal he should say "Bismillah" (before starting). If one forgets to say so in the beginning, then he says: "Bismillah" in its beginning and its end . The author of Tuhafat-al-Ahwazi says: 'If the person leaves saying Bismillah at the beginning of eating whether voluntarily or because of forgetfulness, or ignorance or inability to do so for any reason, and if he is able to say it while eating then it becomes desirable for him to do so, saying: 'Bismillah in its beginning and its end' . From the above, we deduce that there are three probabilities: the person can remember to say Bismillah before eating, while eating or after eating. So, if the person says Bismillah at the beginning that is good. If he remembers it while eating he says it and adds: "in its beginning and its end". But if he remembers it only after finishing eating, then he does not have to do anything. Allah knows best.

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