The Original “INSHALLAH”!

    “Inshallah” is Arabic for “God willing“, or “Allah willing” to be exact. What many of the people here don’t know is that the concept of “God willing” originates from the Bible which was written hundreds of years before the Koran. The Bible quote above comes from the book of James, chapter 4, verses 13 to 17.
Unfortunately, it is so overused here and rolls so easily off the tongue that many times when people say “Inshallah” it sounds to the foreigner like “Don’t hold your breath” or “Don’t count on it“.
Ex:
“When do you plan on handing in your late assignment?
“Tomorrow, Inshallah.”
“Can you fix my leaky pipes?”
“This afternoon, Inshallah.”

The problem with overusing such a phrase is that the concept loses its power and is cheapened with every failed attempt to come through in the simplest of tasks. Something I would say to my students in the case of their piously answering “Inshallah” to late assignments and such would be, “God IS willing. The question is “Are YOU?!”

The Old Testament Jews used to use a similar mantra that slowly lost its meaning over time. That expression was “As surely as the LORD lives” which was a solemn oath used by God Himself numerous times to highlight certain promises or consequences. The more they used this expression casually, however, the more God was angered by their lack of awe and respect for His name.
“And though they say, The LORD liveth; surely they swear falsely.” (Jeremiah 5:2)

These are, what I believe to be, 2 examples of taking the LORD’s name in vain, which is the 3rd Commandment.
“Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain.” (Exodus 20:7, Deuteronomy 5:11)
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5 responses to “The Original “INSHALLAH”!

  1. >No wonder that similar expressions can be found in Bible or Torah since they were revealed by the same God, and as Muslims we believe in Quran and in the previous revelations .Nice blogHope to see you around our blogosphereCiao

  2. >Hello there, Balqis!Welcome to my blog! :-)Thanks for your comment.I wish I could agree with you, but even a surface level comparision of our different faiths would reveal that the same God did not write both.There are contradictions that are irreconcilable.Just one quick example and probably the biggest problem to “interfaith dialogue” among Christians and Muslims is the fact that the Bible reveals Jesus as the Only Begotten Son and yet the koran states that “allah neither begets nor is begotten.”God does not contradict Himself, of course, so one must do some homework to reveal what is the true revelation of God.Anyway, I’m sure we can agree to disagree. Omanis, by nature, seem quite openminded to different ideas from different people. It’s one thing I love about this country.Interesting to hear from other bloggers from Omani cyberspace!Many blessings!

  3. >Heheand in fact am not Omanivery Italian and openminded til a certain extentI myself don’t believe in interfaith dialogue cause as you said we are divided on the basicsAs I don’t believe your religion is monotheist [I was raised as Catholic then converted], I understand you don’t believe in the Quran as the final revelationWell we believe in all the messages in our articles of faith but not really in the Bible as factual book, cause as you surely know, we don’t believe in its autenthicityI think we are all pushing for this interfaith dialogue for other reasons : we are suffering the integration in Europe and Catholics want more Churches in Arab lands for exampleI agree that we can agree to disagree :-)I learned about your blog through Blue Chihttp://blue-chi.blogspot.com/2008/05/new-blog-discovery-andy-in-oman.htmlYou might like to take a look at our community alsohttp://omancommunityblog.blogspot.com/Take care

  4. Hey Andy, I’m an Australian not from a Muslim family who accepted Islam on my own, mostly because of 2 reasons, on one hand I wanted a way to purify myself and just meditating wasn’t making lasting changes in my life, and two, the Islamic Understanding of Allmighty God, who is “Above the Heavens”. I found this article to be truly Inspirational and has strengthened by Imaan (Faith) in the common source of Revelation to Jews, Christians and Muslims being of One Message to Humans since Adam, “none is worthy of Worship except Allmighty God”. I just wanted to pass on some knowledge to consider before “writing off” Islam, because you seem like a mad dude (I’ve met some boss Canadians out here :p) ‘on the path’ and didn’t want to email your article to some friends without sharing something in return.
    You may have heard already that Muslims recognise Jesus as an Important Prophet and the ‘Word’ of God rather than the literal ‘Son’ of God. But this isnt just something Muslims say to christians to try to ‘turn’ them or something – it is a Definite Article of Faith. There’s more to it though; Muslims believe that Jesus WAS an immaculate conception; that angel Gabriel came to Mary to tell her she would have a child, who would bring the Gospel (Injeel in Arabic) to spread the faith, and testify there is noone worthy of worship except Allmighty God. When Mary asked how she would have a son without being touched by a man, Gabriel told her that Jesus was a ‘Word’ of God- that God simply says “Be!”, and it is so.

    There is one Chapter in the Qur’an that’s pretty important called “Surat Ikhlas” (Surat 112). It’s only small but considered to be one third of the Quran. It goes; “Say, He is God, the One and Only, God the Eternal, Absolute; he begetteth not, Nor is He begotten; And there is none Like unto Him.”
    If you’re resding this I wish you all the best in your travels and hope Inshalla worshipping God continues to bring truth and meaning to our lives and the lives of our loved ones.
    I gotta go make Fajr :p

    • Thanks for taking the time to share you thoughts. Yes, I have heard time and time again how Muslims recognise Jesus as a prophet and therefore respect Him. But imagine the Son of God being described as anything as less than God and then say that it’s respectful. To call “God who was made flesh to dwell among men” simply another prophet among many is quite insulting to say the least. Your quote from the Qur’an is a perfect example about how our two religions are mutually exclusive and that God does not have contradicting revelations. Either God has begotten His Son, Jesus (which I know to be true based on the Word of God) or you believe He hasn’t, which you choose to believe. What we should not do is fool ourselves or others into thinking we worship “the same God”. “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) That was written in the 1st century AD. I fail to believe that God would contradict and change that important historical fact some 600 years later.

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