If you trip…

بسم الله والحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وعلى آله وصحبه ومن تبع هداه وبعد

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Abu Al-Malih narrated that a man said:

كُنْتُ رَدِيفَ النَّبِىِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَعَثَرَتْ دَابَّتُهُ فَقُلْتُ تَعِسَ الشَّيْطَانُ . فَقَالَ: لاَ تَقُلْ تَعِسَ الشَّيْطَانُ فَإِنَّكَ إِذَا قُلْتَ ذَلِكَ تَعَاظَمَ حَتَّى يَكُونَ مِثْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيَقُولَ بِقُوَّتِى وَلَكِنْ قُلْ بِسْمِ اللَّهِ فَإِنَّكَ إِذَا قُلْتَ ذَلِكَ تَصَاغَرَ حَتَّى يَكُونَ مِثْلَ الذُّبَابِ

“I was riding behind the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and his mount stumbled. I said: ‘May the Shaytan perish!’ The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “Do not say ‘May the Shaytan perish’, because (when you say that) he swells up so much like a house and says, ‘By my power’. Rather say say: Bismillah, ‘for if you say that, the Shaytan shrinks (until he becomes) like a fly.'”

[Sunan Abu Da’wud, 4982; Musnad Ahmad, 5/59; with strong isnad – classed as saheeh by Ibn Muflih ‘Adaab ash-Shar’iyyah’, 3/424; Al-‘Ayni ‘ilm al-Hayb’, 544; Al-Albani, ‘Saheeh Abi Da’wud, 4982; Al-Waadi’ (Muqbil) ‘Saheeh al-Musnad’, 1504]

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1.  Shaykh Abd al-Rahman ibn Salih Muhiy ad-Ddeen حفظه الله تعالى said, “Saying Bismillah when you trip is Sunnah as reported in this hadeeth. All mishaps that befall the Muslim are result of Allaah’s decree not (because of) Shaytan.” [Q&A between the shaykh and the translator]

2. Regarding this hadeeth, Al-Adheemabadi comments in his ‘Awn al-Ma’bood’:

– Shaytan says, “By my power” because Shaytan believes the person has made du’a against him. The person made du’a against the Shaytan with the belief that this mishap did not occur because of Shaytan.

“Shaytan shrinks until he becomes like a fly” means nothing is attributed to his power, because Allaah’s remembrance makes him reduce in size and humiliates him. [Hashiyah Musnad Imam Ahmad 5/59]

“May the Shaytan perish!” refers to his destruction. When a person makes d’ua against Shaytan because of a mishap and calamity, he believes that Shaytan is the one who caused it to take place.”

“He swells up so much that he becomes like a house” means he grows mighty, strong and arrogant.”

Translated by: Abu Aaliyah Abdullah

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3. Shaykh Muhammad Adam (Al-Ethiyopi) حفظه الله تعالى explained that saying “Bismillah” can be uttered during any situation where mishaps occur – e.g. when your child trips, or when you have an accident or a tyre puncture etc.

4. Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه narrated that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

لا تسبوا الشيطان فإنه يتغيظ ، ولكن تعوذوا بالله عزوجل من شره

“Do not revile Shaytan, but seek refuge in Allaah from his evil.”

[‘Fawa’id Tamam ar-Razi’, 730; ‘Thabat’ Umar bin Ahmad bin Ali ash-Shamaa’, 243 – graded as saheeh by Al-Albani in his ‘Silsilah as-Saheehah’, 5/547]

Some scholars explain that the order not to revile Shaytan could be due to the anger that swells within a person (due to the reviling) and thus he becomes subjugated and agitated – (the very types of emotions that can lead to detrimental effects for a person’s character and thus counter-productive).

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And Allaah knows best and He alone is the source of protection. May He keep us safe from the whisperings and insinuations of Shaytan

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