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For other uses, see Inshallah (disambiguation).

Inshallah (Arabic: إن شاء الله‎, ʾin shāʾa llāhu), also in sha Allah or insha'Allah, is Arabic for "God willing" or "if Allah wills".[1] Variants of inshallah are used not only among Muslim groups, but also in Christian and Jewish groups from the Middle East, in parts of Africa, and among Portuguese and Spanish-speaking peoples.

Religious explanation[edit]

Inshallah is said when speaking about plans and events expected to occur in the future. The phrase also acknowledges submission to God, with the speaker putting him or herself into God's hands. Muslims believe that everything is maktub (lit. "written") and so whatever it is one wishes to do, will only occur if it is within God's plan. One's use of inshallah indicates not one's desire to succeed in an endeavor, but rather that the endeavor one embarks on will be within God's will, which might be interpreted as that which is best for humanity, the Earth, and all of Allah's creation. It indicates one's desire for being in tune with God's plan for the cosmos. For example, if one's submission to God's will might be accomplished with great difficulty, one invokes God's blessing, and even more the fact it is in tune with God's will as the primary focus before one attempts to achieve it, otherwise one wishes one's endeavor to fail.

In the Quran, Muslims are told that they should never say they will do a particular thing in the future without adding inshallah to the statement.[2] This usage of inshallah is from Islamic scripture, Surat Al Kahf (18):23-24: "And never say of anything, 'I shall do such and such thing tomorrow. Except (with the saying): 'If God wills!' And remember your Lord when you forget...'" Muslim scholar Ibn Abbas stated that it is in fact obligatory for a Muslim to say inshallah when referring to something he or she intends to do in the future.

In the Iberian Peninsula[edit]

Due to the Muslim rule in the Iberian Peninsula from the 8th to 15th century, a similar derivation from Arabic occurred: the adverbs ojalá in Spanish and oxalá in Portuguese, which means "hopefully".[3]

In Malta[edit]

A similar expression exists in the Maltese language: jekk Alla jrid (if God wills it). Maltese is descended from Siculo-Arabic (the Arabic dialect that developed in Sicily and later in Malta, between the end of the 9th century and the end of the 12th century).

Concept in Christianity[edit]

A similar concept appears in Christianity, although its practice is not as culturally pervasive in the Christian world.[according to whom?] The Epistle of James in the New Testament of the Christian Bible tells followers of Jesus: "Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that’" (James 4:13-15 NIV). In Christian writing, particularly letters of the twentieth century, "God willing" was written as D.V., an abbreviation of the Latin Deo volente.

However, the classical Christian teaching on the sovereign will of God, especially as it relates to the governing of human destiny, does not include the element of fatalism. The Old and New Testaments never advocate resignment in the face of God's will. Instead, believers are commanded to act according to biblical principles, trusting that God's will is revealed in his written word. Calvinism is the lone exception to this, as predestination is a key tenet of its philosophy.

In Welsh the words are used in everyday speech: "os mynn Duw".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Inshallah: Religious invocations in Arabic topic transition
  2. ^ "Saying, 'In šāʾ Allāh' (If Allah Wills) when Determining to do something in the Future". Retrieved 2012-07-15. 
  3. ^ Real Academia Española, Diccionario de la lengua española, s.v. "ojalá". [1]

External links[edit]