A Companion was riding behind the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) when his mount stumbled, so he said: “May Allah destroy Shaitaan.” The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Do not say this, for it makes Shaitaan grow in stature so much that he becomes as great as a house. Say, ‘In the name of Allah,’ for this makes him as insignificant as a fly.” [Abu Dawud]
Shaitaan’s shrinking happens as a result of the blessing of saying “In the name of Allah.”
A scholar was expounding the virtues of Bismillah when a man in his audience, himself well known, wondered aloud how such benefits were possible with only the taking of Allah’s name. The scholar said, “You donkey! What do you know?!”
The man broke out in a sweat and turned red with embarrassment at being called a foolish animal in front of such a large crowd. The scholar asked him why he looked so peeved. The man mentioned it was his use of the word “donkey” for him. So the scholar said, “When the word ‘donkey’ can have such an effect, can’t the word ‘Allah’ have any effect?”
This Hadith teaches us that if you stumble, or your child trips, or you have a tire blowout, say “Bismillah.” The mishap didn’t happen because of Shaitaan, but was from Allah’s Decree.
If a person attributes the accident to Shaitaan (such as by saying, “May Shaitaan perish!”) this false attribution of power to Shaitaan makes him swell with arrogance. The remembrance of Allah reduces Shaitaan in size and humiliates him.