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Al-ḥamdu lillāh (Arabic: الحَمْد لله‎) or alḥamdulillāh is an Arabic phrase meaning "Praise be to God". It is frequently used by Muslims of every background, due to its centrality to the texts of the Quran and the words of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, but also spoken by some Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews.

The meaning and in-depth explanation of the phrase have been the subject of much exegesis.


The phrase has three basic parts:

  • Al - The definite article, "the."
  • Ḥamdu - Meaning the "feeling of gratitude", as opposed to Shukr, "words of gratitude."
  • Li-l-lāh - preposition + noun Allah. Li- is a preposition meaning "for," "belonging to," etc.

The word "Allah" is itself the fusion of the definite article al (the) and the word ilah (a god, deity). Like in English, the article is used here to single out the noun as being the only one of its kind, "the god" (the one and only) or "God" with a capital G (the concept of capital letters does not exist in Arabic). Therefore, "Allah" is the Arabic word for "God". "ilāh" is the Arabic cognate of the ancient Semitic name for God, El.

It also means that anything in existence to which is ascribed praise, thanks, glorification, or gratitude, is only able to achieve it due to God's infinite mercy and grace.

Alhamdulillah: in theory, it is to be said with a profound sense of love, adoration, and awe of the power, glory, and mercy of God. In practice, however, its use is so widespread in Arabic-speaking countries that it might better be understood as meaning "thankfully," "thank goodness," or "thank God" as used in American English. Which is to say that not all Arabic speakers who use the phrase are consciously praising God when they say it.

The phrase is first found in the second verse of the first sura of the Qur'an (Al-Fatiha). So frequently do Muslims and Arabic-speaking Jews and Christians invoke this phrase that the quadriliteral verb Hamdala حمدل, "to say al-Hamdu li-'llah" was coined, and the derived noun Hamdalah حمدلة is used as a name for this phrase.

On any occasion and in any situation when Muslims desire to praise God, they may say: Alhamdulillah (الحمد لله).

The triconsonantal root Ḥ-M-D (ح م د), meaning "praise," can also be found in the names Muhammad, Mahmud, Hamid and Ahmad.


Arabic الحمد لله
Romanization Al-Ḥamdulillāh, Alḥamdulillāh
Literal meaning Praise to God

English translations of "Alhamdulillah" include:

Use in other historical sources[edit]

Jabir ibn Abd-Allah wrote in a hadith that Muhammad, said: "The best remembrance of God is to repeat La ilaha ilallah and the best prayer (du'a) is Alhamdulillah (all praise belongs to God)." (Narrated by Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, and Hakim who declared its chain 'sound'.)

Abu Huraira wrote that Muhammad said: "Any matter of importance which is not begun with Alhumdulillah remains defective." From Abu Dawood

Anas bin Malik wrote that Muhammad said: "God is pleased with his slave who says, 'Alhumdulillah' when he takes a morsel of food and drinks a draught of water."

See also[edit]

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