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Mā shāʼ Allāh (ما شاء الله) is an Arabic phrase that expresses appreciation, joy, praise or thankfulness for an event or person that was just mentioned. Towards this, it is used as an expression of respect, while at the same time serving as a reminder that all accomplishments are so achieved by the will of Allah. It is generally said upon hearing good news.
In the Bosnian culture, mash'allah is also commonly used as an expression of big/great things (sometimes even as an unofficial unit of measure).
The triliteral of shāʼ is sh-y-ʼ 'to will', a doubly weak root. The literal English translation is "God has willed it", the present perfect of God's will accentuating the essential Islamic doctrine of belief in destiny, qadar.
Person A: I have just become a father!
Person B: Ma shaʼAllah!
Person A: Your house is beautiful, mashaʼAllah!
Person B: Thank you!
Among non-Arabic peoples
The phrase has also found its way into the colloquial language of many non-Arabic peoples, such as Persians, Turks (who say "maşallah"), Kurds, Bosniaks, Azeris, Chechens, Avars, Circassians and other Muslim peoples of the Caucasus, Tatars, Albanians and Muslims and Urdu-speakers of South Asia (who say "Masha'Allah"), and some of the peoples of the Balkans who once lived under Turkish rule, including some who are not of the Islamic faith: Serbians, Bulgarians and Macedonians say "машала" ("mašala"). In the vernacular form of Cypriot Greek speakers invoke Masha'Allah in a similar fashion to Turks.
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- Predestination in Islam
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