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Masha Allah (Arabic: ما شاء الله, mā shāʾa llāhu), also Masha'Allah, is an Arabic phrase that expresses appreciation, joy, praise, or thankfulness for an event or person that was just mentioned. While Masha'Allah is used as an expression of respect, it also serves as a reminder that all accomplishments are considered by arabic speaking Christians, and Muslims to be achieved through the will of God. It is generally said upon hearing good news.
The triconsonantal root of shāʼ is šīn-yāʼ-hamza "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 predestination.
The exact meaning of MASHALLAH is "what ALLAH wanted has happened"; it is used to say something good has happened, used in the past tense. INSHALLAH, literally "if ALLAH wills", is used similarly but to refer to a future event.
Person A: I have just become a father!
Person B: Masha Allah!
Person A: Your house is beautiful, Masha Allah!
Person B: Jazak Allahu khayran!
In some cultures, people may utter Masha Allah in the belief that it may help protect them from jealousy, the evil eye, or a jinn. However, in Islamic aqeeda (matters that are believed with certainty), it is understood that protection comes only from Allah.
The phrase has also found its way into the colloquial language of many non-Arabs such as Persians, Turks, Kurds, Bosniaks, Azerbaijanis, Chechens, Avars, Circassians and other Muslim peoples of the Caucasus, Tatars, Albanians and Muslims and Urdu-speakers of South Asia, and some of the peoples of the Balkans who once were part of the Ottoman Empire, including some who are not of the Islamic faith: Serbians, Bulgarians and Macedonians say "машала" ("mašala"), often in the sense of "a job well done". Greeks use the word similarly. In Cypriot Greek, speakers invoke mashallah in a similar fashion to Turks. The practice of saying this word is also present in the Horn of Africa, where it is used by the local Muslims of Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti.
- Jazak Allah
- Subhan Allah
- Apotropaic magic
- As-salamu alaykum
- Deus vult
- Fi amanillah
- Predestination in Islam
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