“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“.
“When do you plan on handing in your late assignment?
“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)
“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)