Sometimes, when you’re having your lunch at school with your friends, chatting away about football and the fastest cars (or friendship bracelets and your hair, if you’re a girl!), one of them comes up with a question that makes you look really silly, because you don’t know the answer and you’re supposed to know it, because the question is about Islam and you’re a Muslim.
Usually when this happens, I stop chewing, stare at the person asking (with my food in my mouth, because I forgot to swallow), make my face look all wise and clever while I think of an answer, then just say, “I don’t know.”
shaytan is such a menace! He trips us up, plays tricks on us, whispers to us and what's more - he enjoys it! Now I know his name is an actual noun AND it's at the beginning of a sentence but I am not going to honour him with a capital S.
I am particularly upset with him for doing these terrible things when I was a kid:
He made my sister and me play tug of war with our little sister's most favourite pair of shorts till they ripped and she cried till the sun went down.
He made me fly right over the handlebars of my bike. I don't know how he did this but it hurt.
You're a Muslim child. You know this feeling: when you're about to climb up really high, or even jump down once you're there, it feels a lot better when you say: "Mum watch me!"
It feels safer, just because someone is watching. Well bismillah is like that, except it is Allah's attention you call out for - and you get it every time! Imagine that! Allah watching over whatever you do to make sure it goes well - that's what bismillah is...