An Arab friend has recently reported how they have come to realize that the word “insha Allah” has taken on a different meaning for their non-Arab friends. Whenever someone would ask them to do something they would respond with “insha Allah” and were confused to see some of the expressions that were received from their friends. This confused them a great deal as this word has no ulterior meaning and they wonder why people have taken a negative approach to this word. “Insha Allah” is actually a statement or a short sentence whose words have been conjoined for the ease of the speaker, but what does it really mean? “In” means if, “Shaa” means will, and Allah meaning God, so the literal translation to this statement would be “if God wills so”.
This word is one that we are quite common with, we as Muslims use it every day, it is embedded in our vocabulary and we often use it when assuring someone. So how has a statement that is meant to assure the other person that if it is God’s will, it will happen, been turned around not to assure someone but to leave the person doubtful. This statement has been embedded so deeply in our vocabulary that sometimes we forget that we are using it, without realizing the weight of those words. When your mom tells you to do something, you tell her insha Allah. However you might not be in the mood to let’s say clean your room or do the dishes, so the thing is left undone.
We have used this phrase so much that people catch on to the fact that we do not mean it. After continuous usage of this word and the action not being completed, your mom will also tell you to stop saying it and get to work, it has happened in nearly all families, so you will most probably agree to the statement. This phrase has become notoriously famous in Arab circles for they never know when someone is genuinely telling them insha Allah or are they telling them to keep dreaming.
It is wrong to associate such a statement to an ulterior or negative meaning, it is our doing though not consciously, but through our unconscious we associate this statement as just part of the language and another word in our vocabulary. We should strive to associate this word only where it deserves to and only when you yourself are genuine, we should consciously make an effort to use this statement in the most correct places so that the sovereignty and the beautiful meaning behind it may come to light rather than it being taken negatively.
After all we are the ambassadors of our religion and it is through us that other non Muslims come into contact with our teachings, and sayings and we should do our best to promote a better image of the beauty of God, Islam and the lessons we have been taught by them.
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