In sha' Allah, if God wills...

Great stuff from Intercultural Training:

Inshaalah is a phrase that Muslims and Arabs will use frequently, and it reflects deep-rooted beliefs on pre-destination and fatalism. Literally translated, Inshaalah means God willing. Taken in its everyday use, or abuse, it could mean yes, or no, and it could mean leave it with me, can we talk about this on another occasion or please drop the subject. It is a highly contextual phrase, and its precise meaning will depend on the request or issue being discussed, the relationships, power distance, and naturally body language and intonation. It is thus no wonder that it defeats most newcomers!

It made me laugh! But very insightful and true :-)


Rob said…
In Spanish, we say "si Dios quiere" to achieve a similar meaning. But I noticed that many Central Americans say "Primero Dios" at the beginning of many, if not all, of their sentences, and it essentially carries the same meaning.
Abu Daoud said…
Hi Rob, I have lived quite a bit in Latin America and I think that the use of inshallah is considerably more common in Arab culture than "si Dios quiere" or "primero Dios." I mean, I can't tell you how many times I have told a taxi driver, "take a left here," and he says, "inshallah."

There were also times when I would say something and a person would answer, "inshallah," and I would say, "I know it is Allah's will, so don't worry about it." That may seem to be a dangerous statement, but when it comes to spiritual things like us being wise we have a certain promise from Scripture that indeed it is God's will for us.

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