It is farz to pray Bismila-he-wa`alla-barkatillah.
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
Dear Burhan Bhai,
Sir i wanted to ask you that wether it is farz to pray Bismila-he-wa`alla-barkatillah`e before each and everything we eat or drink e.g chips,fruit whatever we eat between the day or is it just must to say it before meals i.e breakfast,Lunch and Dinner
(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)
Bismillah before food
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Al-Muwatta Hadith 49.32
Yahya related from Malik from Abu Nuaym that Wahb ibn Kaysan said, "The Messenger of Allah (saws) was brought food while his stepson Umar ibn Salama was with him. The Messenger of Allah (saws) said to him, 'Say "Bismillah," and eat what is in front of you."
Sahih Muslim Hadith 5004 Narrated by Hudhayfah
Once we were with the Messenger of Allah (saws) and about to consume food when a girl came rushing in as if someone had been pursuing her. She was about to lay her hand on the food, when Allah's Messenger (saws) caught her hand. Then a desert Arab entered (in a hurry) as if someone had been pursuing him. He (the Prophet (saws)) caught his hand; and then Allah's Messenger (saws) said: The Shaytaan considers that food lawful for him on which Allah's name is not mentioned. He (the Shaytaan) had brought this girl so that the food might be made lawful for him and I caught her hand. And he (the Shaytaan) had brought this desert Arab so that (the food) might be lawful for him. So I caught his hand. By Him, in Whose hand is my life, it was the Shaytaan's hand that was in my hand along with her hand!
It is wajib (obligatory) that whenever one starts ones meal, regardless of whether it is a morsel of food, or a mere snack, or a full-fledged luncheon, etc...one who sincerely believes in Allah and the Last Day must declare the blessed Name of Allah Subhanah before one starts to consume any food or drink.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,