Pronouncing the intention for wudhu:
Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) held that the verbal utterance of the intention before performing wudhu was not to be done and this is in agreement with the view of Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah who mentioned:
“and what is correct is that it is not recommended to utter it, since the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and his companions did not utter it – neither in secret nor openly. The forms of worship which the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) legislated for his Ummah are such that it is not for anyone to attempt to change them or to introduce an innovation into them.”
The ruling of saying ‘Bismillaah’ for the wudhu:
The Scholars have differed over the ruling of saying ‘Bismillaah’ for the wudhu according to the following:
The majority of the Fuqahaa from the Hanafees and the Shaafi’ees and from Imaam Ahmad (in a report) hold it to be a Sunnah from the Sunnan of the wudhu. Whilst the Maalikees hold it to be recommended and the Fuqahaa of the Hanbalees hold it to be obligatory in the wudhu and the bathing and for the Tayammum.
Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) held that the saying of ‘Bismillaah’ in the wudhu is a Sunnah and this position is in agreement with the Hanafee, Maalikee and Shaafi’ee madhabs as well as in agreement with a report found with the Hanbalees.
Saying ‘Bismillaah’ whilst inside the bathroom:
Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen was asked: is it permissible to make the dhikr (remembrance/mention) of Allaah The Most High in the bathroom?
The Shaikh replied: “it does not befit for a person that he should make dhikr of his Lord – The Mighty and Majestic whilst inside the bathroom. This is because the place is inappropriate for that; and so if he remembers Him with his heart then there is nothing wrong with that – without uttering it upon his tongue. Except that the preference is that he does not utter with his tongue in this place and instead waits until he exits from it. As for if the place for performing wudhu is outside of the place were one would relieve oneself; then there is no harm in making the dhikr of Allaah therein.”
Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen was also asked if a person is in the bathroom, how should he make the ‘tasmiyyah’ [i.e. to say: ‘Bismillaah’]?
The Shaikh replied: “if the person is in the bathroom, he should make the ‘tasmiyyah’ with his heart and not with his tongue since the obligation of making the ‘tasmiyyah’ during the wudhu or during the time of bathing is not in its utterance. Since likewise Imaam Ahmad (rahimahullaah) said:
‘Nothing has been authentically transmitted from the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) in the issue of mentioning His (Allaah’s) Name during the wudhu.’
Due to that; Al-Muwaffaq – the author of Al-Mughni and other than him held that pronouncing the ‘Bismillaah’ during the wudhu is a Sunnah and not an obligation.”
(Taken from: Sharh Al-Mumti’ vol 1 p.158-162 and Tarjeehaat Shaikh Muhammad bin ‘Uthaimeen p.157-158 and Mawsoo’ah Al-Fiqhiyyah (Al-Kuwaitiyyah) vol 43 p.358 and Majmu’ Fatawaa Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen vol 11 p.109-110.)
 This is the Shaikhs position as is stated in Tarjeehaat Shaikh Muhammad bin ‘Uthaimeen p.157. It is supported also by the Shaikh’s statement after his citing the statement of Imaam Ahmad regarding the one that was in the bathroom and sneezes in which he said: “if the man sneezes; he should praise Allaah in his heart” – Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen said after this: “what is extracted from this report is that one should make the ‘tasmiyyah’ with ones heart.” See: Sharh Al-Mumti’ vol 1 p.159-160.
 Majmu’ Fatawaa vol 22 p.233.
 Sharh Al-Mumti’ vol 1 p.159-162 – refer to these pages for a more detailed discussion on this topic. Refer also to Shaikh Saalih Al-Fawzaan’s discussion of this issue in his Sharh Buloogh Al-Maraam vol 1 p.139-142.
 Majmu’ Fatawaa Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen vol 11 p.109-110.
 Majmu’ Fatawaa Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen vol 11 p.110.