Thursday, February 18, 2010

إن شاء الله

The Arabic phrase, insh'allah, can be either full of meaning or meaningless - it depends on the context and on the person who is speaking. Insh'allah is one of the most common Arabic phrases used in everyday conversation. Uses range from "insh'allah I will meet you at 8:00 for football," to "insh'allah you will have a healthy child soon." Insh'allah means, "if it is God's will." The correct use, according to my Arabic friends, is to wish someone good fortune in an endeavor, or to assure a friend or business associate you will do everything in your power to complete a task.

When I hear insh'allah from upper management though, I am sometimes discouraged. If someone says insh'allah he can mean that he really does not want to do this thing or that it cannot be done... in other words, the commitment or deadline will only be met if there is divine intervention.

So to take insh'allah as "yes" or "for sure" every time is too optimistic. "Inshallah, the labs will be open in August 2009," or "insh'allah you will have all of your books for the fall semester," or "insh'allah the gym will be open next week"... are all improper uses of insh'allah.

I still like the phrase insh'allah - we have a similar concept in the New Testemant (Injeel), as found in the book of James, chapter 4.

Insh'allah reminds us that in life, we do not have the final word. Insh'allah means that I realize I am not all-powerful and I do not know everything; I am only a man. I will do everything in my power, but I am only a man. If God allows this to happen, it will happen. If he does not, then it will not.

That reminds me of a story from early in Christian history. After Jesus was taken up to heaven, the religious leaders in Judea wanted to kill the Christians, but there was one religious leader named Gamaliel who spoke out against the persecution.

Acts, chapter 4:

So... insh'allah I will graduate in May, inshallah I will get a good job afterward, and insh'allah I will see my family again soon. Ultimately though, it matters more what God wants more than what I want, and that is comforting in a way.


  1. قال تعالى : (( ولا تقولن لشيء إن فاعل ذلك غدا ًإلا أن يشاء الله واذكر ربك إذا نسيت وقل عسى أن يهدين ربي لأقرب من هذا رشدا ))

  2. Dear Nathan,
    Get Your Facts Straight.
    The meaning of the word Bible is a Greek word Literally mean Book.
    So when the Christian use the word Holy Bible they refer to a collection of ancient writings including the books of both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Besides, when the Jewish use Bible they refer to the holy book of the Jewish religion, consisting the Hebrew Scriptures such as the Prophets, and Old Testament. So, word Bible has nothing to do with neither Torah nor Injeel even in translation. Also, Arab Christian or Arab Jews refer to Holy Bible by (الكتاب المقدس) Alktab Almoqdas not Torah nor Injeel. For example If you pick up any Arabic bible you will not find the word Torah nor Injeel in the title but you will find الكتاب المقدس.
    In Islamic perspective Torah and Injeel do not exist anymore. So, kind of insult to Muslim and changing the fact of history by referring Torah and Injeel as bible.
    Any way I just like to share with you some info.
    I’d like to take the chance to welcome you and I wish you all the best.
    Salam (Peace)

  3. Bandar,

    The Torah and Injeel don't exist any more? I believe we are living in two different factual worlds. I would think that it is insulting to Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike to say that God's words could be completely wiped out.

    There is very strong historical evidence to show that the books of the Injeel has remained unchanged since they were written down, just after Jesus was taken to heaven. Parts of the Torah have been found which date back even before Jesus' birth - more than 2,000 years ago. They too are the same.

    The Islamic scholars which say that Torah and Injeel do not exist have no proof. In fact, the evidence is against them. Jesus said at one point that he did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it, and I do not think that Mohammed came to abolish the Torah and Injeel. However, to say that Torah and Injeel do not exist any more gives scholars unquestioned authority and free to interpret Islamic scriptures as they see fit... without having to refer to or acknowledge God's older revelations. It is dangerous to dismiss God's instructions, no matter how old, as outdated or irrelevant.

    Thank you for your insightful comment.


  4. Dear Nathan,

    Thanks for your response.

    Is not only Muslim scholars but also Christians and Jews scholars are agree that real Torah and Injeel do not exist anymore. I think you will see more prove from Christians scholars than you can imagine.

    If you don't mind, I would highly recommend a list of books by Bart D. Ehrman (Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).

    -Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why by Bart D. Ehrman

    -Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament by Bart D. Ehrman

    -Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew by Bart D. Ehrman

    -Whose Word Is It? by Bart D. Ehrman
    When you read these book I’d like to hear your opinion.

    There are more books from different authors regard the same topic. If you want I'd be happy to provide them for you.



  5. الرجاء إنشاء ارتباط إلى بلدي بلوق :


    هذا هو الموقع الايرلندي الذي يعطي معلومات عن التراث المسيحي.

    يرجى اتباع هذا الموقع ووضعها على قائمة المواقع.

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