It is very recommended in Islam to start everything with the name of Allah. So starting the letters, books or presentations with name of Allah is very common. But it has been a question for me that is it suitable for the Muslims leaving in non-Muslim countries to use the name of Allah or God in public?

For example consider a student who wants to write a letter, or make a seminar in his/her department. Is it suitable that s/he use the name of Allah above the letter or presentation? Does it make negative or positive effect on the audiences?

Specially for the case that the major audiences are non Muslims or even people with no religion. Referenced answers are more than welcome.


3 Answers 3


I am an atheist living in a non-Muslim country, in Europe, and I will tell how it looks from my perspective.

Starting letters, books or presentations with name of any God is extremely rare. The only situation that comes to my mind, is that priests sometimes start and often end their letters with phrases like "may God bless you", but "regular" people use such phrases rarely.

So the first thing with starting with "God" as a first word in any publication or speech is that such thing is very uncommon.

The second thing is discrimination. Muslims are quite often not much liked in non-Muslim countries. Starting something with the word "Allah" may then create negative reaction on people.

You can find people that will not react any negative, if you start something with the name of God at the beginning. Some may even react positively, as they may be interested in Muslims' culture. However, as of today, majority of Europe citizens are not so open on Islam and your action may take a different result than expected.

Summarizing. In my personal opinion, as an European citizen, using "Allah" in the beginning of letters, books or presentations may (but not must) bring negative reactions in open public. If you have non-Muslim friends who are interested in Muslims' culture, then they should react okay.

The best answer could probably bring a Muslim person who tried such things in public, who could tell us about his/hers experience.

  • Thanks, but what about using "In the name of the most high"? Do you think it also causes negative reaction?
    – Ali
    Commented Jun 29, 2014 at 11:59
  • I am sorry for the late reply, I was without Internet for the last week. "In the name of the most high" is often used in Catholic communities - using that phase is then rather "safe". However, keep in mind that majority of European people are not as religious as Muslims. You can start your presentation or speech with "In the name of the most high", but it's not very common to do so in Europe.
    – user6661
    Commented Jul 7, 2014 at 7:53

Allah has 99 names. In the Qur'an the verse says:

"The most beautiful names belong to Allah. so call on him by them; but shun such men as use profanity in his names: for what they do, they will soon be requited." Al Aaraf, 180.

In the USA, you can start by saying "In the name of the Creator", which is one of the 99 names. This is used by some Christians and sometimes in documentary movies. The Creator is a name used often in Christianity and Judaism as well, which I believe will be the majority of the receptive audience in non-Muslim countries.


If Audience is more important for you, then Allah, then you can ignore saying Bismillah, otherwise you have to follow what Allah has said...

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