22. The sunnah of reciting ‘bismillāh’ before eating is general for men, women, one in the state of major ritual impurity and a menstruating woman.
23. If one forgets to recite ‘bismillah’ before eating, then during the meal, whenever one remembers, one should recite, بِسْمِ اللَّهِ أَوَّلَهُ وَآخِرَهُ or بِسْمِ اللَّهِ فِي أَوَّلِهِ وَآخِرِهِ. This has been reported in many narrations.
Abdullah Ibn Mas‘ūd (r.a) narrates that the Messenger of Allāh (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “Whoever forgets to remember Allāh before eating, then upon remembering he should recite بِسْمِ اللَّهِ فِي أَوَّلِهِ وَآخِرِهِ, as it will be as though he is beginning a new meal, and he will be stopping the evil Shaytan from eating who accompanied him in eating. (Ibn Ḥibbān)
24. If there are others partaking of the meal, it is recommended to say ‘bismillāh’ in an audible tone so that others may be reminded.
25. If one has invited a guest for a meal, it is recommended that one says words like: ‘bismillāh’ or ‘you may begin’ as a polite gesture to allow the guest to begin eating.
(Adapted from Khāne Pīne ke Ādāb by Muftī Muhammad Riḍwān. Published by Kutub Khāna Idāra Gufrān, Rawalpindi.)
More to follow …