Crete and Blogging and what does inshallah mean?

Abu Daoud & Co. will be out of town for the next week or so (thanks be to God!) This is a good thing, after a fantastically stressful half-week so far--and it is only Wednesday! All this to say, the blogging will be spare.

Hope you all are well. I will be enjoying Crete, in sha' allah.

Ah yes, in sha' allah. Just what does that means? the word 'in' makes the sentence conditional: IF. Sha' is the past 3rd person masculine for "to will" more or less. And Allah, well, I'm guessing you know who Allah is. Thus it means "if God willed it" but in Arabic the past tense in conditional sentences also applies to the continuous, making it both "if God wills it" and "if God will will it."

In practical parlance it can mean anything from "I hope so" to "maybe" to "I don't want to, but I'm trying to be nice about this" to "I have no idea" to "that's fine with me." Thus I have told a taxi driver "Turn right at the light," to which he answered "in sha' allah."

Salam!

Abu Daoud

Comments

Don said…
If you're going to be consistent, you should replace "thanks be to God!" with Alhamdulillah.

I've seen in sha' allah used by Muslim engineers, which is interesting considering that engineers are supposed to be analytical and proactive. Then again, when we are dealing with the properties of the ground (as I do in geotechnical engineering,) such an attitude is unsurprising...
Steve Scott said…
Grace, peace and digital camera mercies to you.
Jeff said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
My personal favorite is "yalla yalla." Although the merits of "mumkin" should never be underestimated.
Abu Daoud said…
Salome: Indeed, yallah is literally 'ya allah' or O God! But really it means 'hurry up' or 'what the *&^% are you doing?!?' or 'hey you!'

:-)
Abu Daoud said…
And Steve: pictures will indeed be forthcoming...

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