Translated by Ahmed Abu Turaab
Al-Albani: It is obligatory upon every Muslim, as an act of worship firstly, and secondly as a means of [medically] treating oneself, to seek refuge with Allaah the Mighty and Majestic with those words authentically reported from the Prophet عليه السلام, [which are] that he either say:
Bismillāhilladhi lā Yaḍurru Ma’asmihī shai’un fil-Arḍi wa
lā fis-Samā’i wahuwas-Samī’ul-Alīm
بِسْمِ اللهِ الَّذِيْ لَا يَضُرُّ مَعَ اسْمِهِ شَيْءٌ فِيْ الْأَرْضِ
وَلَا فِي السَّمَاءِ وَهُوَ السَّمِيْعُ الْعَلِيْمُ
In the Name of Allaah with Whose Name nothing is harmed on earth nor in the heavens and He is The All-Hearing, The All-Knowing.
A’uthu bi kalimātillāhit-Tāmmāti min sharri mā khalaq
أَعُوْذُ بِكَلِمَاتِ اللهِ الْتَّامَّاتِ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا خَلَقَ
I take refuge in Allaah’s Perfect Words from the evil He has created.
For then nothing will harm him that day. Imaam Ahmad reported this hadith in his Musnad as did the authors of the Sunan in their [respective] collections by way of Abaan ibn Uthmaan ibn Affaan.
Uthmaan ibn Affaan is more famous than a fire on a mountain top [Trans. note: an Arabic proverb to show how famous and well-known something is. As part of their generosity, Arabs would light a fire on the top of a mountain so that any prospective guests could see it from far away, and so come and eat from their food. Such a fire would be seen easily by everyone and would thus be very famous], one of the Rightly Guided Caliphs, the third one. His son, Abaan, is from the trustworthy taabi’een and one of the great preservers of hadith [huffaaz] amongst them.
One time he was sitting in a gathering when he narrated this hadith [i.e., that whoever says the above will not be harmed that day] and one of the people present looked at him in a certain way. Abaan understood what he meant. For the hand of this muhaddith, Abaan, was paralysed. So [like I said] Abaan understood what the person who looked at him in that particular way meant [i.e., you’re relating this hadith but what happened to your hand then?].
So Abaan said to him, ‘O my son …’ and the meaning of what he said was, ‘… when the Decree comes nothing else can avail against it, I forgot to seek refuge with Allaah with this supplication that day, so I was afflicted with this paralysis.’
Someone present: Laa ilaaha illallaah.
Al-Albani: For this reason it is befitting that the Muslim makes it his practice and principle [to say these supplications so that] it is not possible for him to forget [them] just as it would be impossible for him to forget to drink or eat if he was in dire need of food or water. In such a way he should be eager to say such supplications of refuge.
But when that which [is written in the Decree] occurs, then none besides Allah can avert it.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, no. 746.