It is something that does not go over our mind when we go about our daily lives but its importance is vital to our lives and the lives around us. The question however arises that what does mash’Allah actually mean. The literal translation would be ‘as God has willed it’. It serves as a reminder to us that all the things that we receive on this planet are all given to us by God as his blessings. It is a popular belief in Saudi culture to say mash’Allah, even when glancing at something of interest, as it prevents the effects of an evil eye.
When we are surrounded by children, every alternate word that is uttered in our conversations is mash’Allah. It can albeit become frustrating for those who are not used to repeating the term in such a great frequency; however it comes naturally for the Saudis. It is possible some Saudi families might distance themselves from you, as they might be suspicious of you giving them the evil eye by not saying mash’Allah. This might sound backward and superstitious to some but this matter is given great importance in the Kingdom, so if you see any cute kids by any chance, please say mash’Allah.
One of our avid readers had responded to an earlier article of the same nature and described the horrible ordeal that he went through as a child, which was supposedly because of a lack of mash’Allah being said. The user describes that when he was little a lot of people would call him cute without saying mash’Allah. Then at age 2 he got seriously ill and medical staff all over Riyadh had given up on him, as they could not find out what was wrong. He says that his parents prayed for him day and night and eventually he did become better. Now he takes special care when people meet his younger brother to say mash’Allah so that no such instances of ‘evil eyes’ can be harmful to his health.
Even if the person praising you, your wife or your child may not be accustomed to saying mash’Allah after every compliment, you should regularly say mash’Allah and ward of any evil thoughts or intentions that others might have had for you and your family.
Source: Blue Abaya
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