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1. Orientations
a. Figures
2. Koran
3. Theology
4. Concept of divine
5. Sharia
6. Muhammad
7. Cult and Festivals
8. Mecca
9. Cultic personalities
10. Caliph
11. Structures
12. Popular religion
13. Others
14. Calendar

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Islam / Cult and Festivals /
Arabic: bi-smi llahi r-rahmāni r-rahīmPlay sound

Opening phrase of all suras in the Koran, meaning 'In the name of God; the Merciful; the Compassionate', except for sura 9 (the reason for this omission is that the beginning of this sura makes the bismillah superfluous).
The function of the bismillah is to state that the sura is issued in the name of God, and is not made by man. Learned Muslims will in most cases say that it is Muhammad who added the bismillah to the revealed texts with this purpose in mind.
As Allah, Rahman, and Rahim all theoretically can be TH name of gods, there were some few local speculations in early Islam as to whether the bismillah was referring to one or three gods. Some Meccans in the first years of Islam did see in this a polytheism. This died out, and since then there have been very few attempts to interpret the bismillah as a trinity equal to the one in Christianity.
The short form of bismillah is used as a part of daily language, normally as a way of underlining sincerity and honesty.

By Tore Kjeilen