Alhamdulillah

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Alhamdulillah (Arabic: ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّٰهِ‎, al-Ḥamdu lillāh) is an Arabic phrase meaning "praise be to God", sometimes translated as "thank God".[1] This phrase is called Tahmid (Arabic: تَحْمِيد‎, lit. 'Praising')[2] or Hamdalah (Arabic: حَمْدَلَة‎).[3] A longer variant of the phrase is al-ḥamdu l-illāhi rabbi l-ʿālamīn (ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّٰهِ رَبِّ ٱلْعَالَمِينَ), meaning "all praise is due to God, Lord of all the worlds".

It is frequently used by Muslims of every background, due to its centrality to the texts of the Quran and Hadith—the words of the Islamic prophet Muhammad—and its meaning and in-depth explanation have been the subject of much exegesis. It is also commonly used by non-Muslim speakers of the Arabic language.

Meaning[edit]

Alhamdulillah written in Sini-Arabic script on an incense box, Qing Dynasty, 19th century, China. Adilnor Collection, Sweden.

The phrase has three basic parts:

  • al-, the definite article, "the".
  • ḥamd(u), literally meaning "praise", "commendation".[1]
  • li-llāh(i), preposition + noun Allāh. Li- is a dative preposition.

The word Allāh (Arabic: ٱللَّٰه‎) means "The God", and it is a contraction of the definite article al- and the word ʾilāh (Arabic: إِلَٰه‎, "god, deity"). As 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". Therefore, Allāh is the Arabic word for "God". ʾilāh is the Arabic cognate of the ancient Semitic name for God, El.

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 (Arabic: حَمْدَلَ‎), "to say al-ḥamdu li-llāh" was coined, and the derived noun ḥamdalah (Arabic: حَمْدَلَة‎) is used as a name for this phrase.[1]

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

Translation[edit]

Alhamdulillah
Arabicالحمد لله
Romanizational-ḥamdu li-llāh
Literal meaningPraise be to God

English translations of alhamdulillah include:

Variants[edit]

Various Islamic phrases include the Tahmid, most commonly:

Arabic
Qurʾanic Spelling
Transliteration
IPA
Phrase
ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّٰهِ ʾalḥamdu lillāhi
/ʔal.ħam.du lil.laː.hi/
All praise is due to God.
ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّٰهِ رَبِّ ٱلْعَالَمِينَ
ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّٰهِ رَبِّ ٱلْعَٰلَمِينَ
ʾalḥamdu lillāhi rabbi l-ʿālamīna
/ʔal.ħam.du lil.laː.hi rab.bi‿l.ʕaː.la.miː.na/
All praise is due to God, Lord of all the worlds.
سُبْحَانَ ٱللَّٰهِ وَبِحَمْدِهِ
سُبْحَٰنَ ٱللَّٰهِ وَبِحَمْدِهِ
subḥāna -llāhi wa-bi-ḥamdihī
/sub.ħaː.na‿ɫ.ɫaː.hi wa.bi.ħam.di.hiː/
Glorified is God and by His praise.
سُبْحَانَ رَبِّيَ ٱلْعَظِيمِ وَبِحَمْدِهِ
سُبْحَٰنَ رَبِّيَ ٱلْعَظِيمِ وَبِحَمْدِهِ
subḥāna rabbiya l-ʿaẓīmi wa-bi-ḥamdihī
/sub.ħaː.na rab.bi.ja‿l.ʕa.ðˤiː.mi wa.bi.ħam.di.hiː/
Glorified is my Lord, the Great, and by His praise.
سُبْحَانَ رَبِّيَ ٱلْأَعْلَىٰ وَبِحَمْدِهِ
سُبْحَٰنَ رَبِّيَ ٱلْأَعْلَىٰ وَبِحَمْدِهِ
subḥāna rabbiya l-ʾaʿlā wa-bi-ḥamdihī
/sub.ħaː.na rab.bi.ja‿l.ʔaʕ.laː wa.bi.ħam.di.hiː/
Glorified is my Lord, the Most High, and by His praise.

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 lā ʾilāha ʾillā llāh and the best prayer (du'a) is al-ḥamdu li-llāh." (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 al-ḥamdu li-llāh remains defective." From Abu Dawood. Anas bin Malik wrote that Muhammad said: "God is pleased with his slave who says, al-ḥamdu li-llāh when he takes a morsel of food and drinks a draught of water."[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Wehr, H.; Cowan, J. M. (1979). A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic (PDF) (4th ed.). Spoken Language Services.
  2. ^ P. Bearman; Th. Bianquis; C. E. Bosworth; E. van Donzel; W. P. Heinrichs, eds. (2012). "taḥmīd". Encyclopaedia of Islam, Glossary and Index of Terms (2nd ed.). Brill. doi:10.1163/1573-3912_ei2glos_SIM_gi_04657.
  3. ^ MacDonald, D. B. (2012). "Ḥamdala". In P. Bearman; Th. Bianquis; C.E. Bosworth; E. van Donzel; W. P. Heinrichs (eds.). Encyclopaedia of Islam (2nd ed.). Brill. doi:10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_2663.

External links[edit]