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What Does InshAllah Mean and How to Use It?

by | Aug 9, 2018

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If you have ever lived in a Muslim society, I bet you must have heard these words frequently, e.g., InshAllah, Masha ALLAH, Alhumdulillah, etc. Whether practicing or nonpracticing, these words are the jargon of the Muslim community, so much so that you might hear these words from non-muslims who chose to assimilate into Muslim society. However, this article will discuss how to use InshAllah correctly.

Meanings Of InshAllahFrom the Quran:

“Insha” has been used in the Quran on multiple occasions, for example;

وَهُوَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَنشَأَ لَكُمُ ٱلسَّمْعَ وَٱلْأَبْصَٰرَ وَٱلْأَفْـِٔدَةَ ۚ قَلِيلًا مَّا تَشْكُرُونَ

And it is He who produced for you hearing and vision and hearts [i.e., intellect]; little are you grateful.

(AlQuran 23:78)


قُلْ سِيرُوا۟ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ فَٱنظُرُوا۟ كَيْفَ بَدَأَ ٱلْخَلْقَ ۚ ثُمَّ ٱللَّهُ يُنشِئُ ٱلنَّشْأَةَ ٱلْءَاخِرَةَ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

Say, [O Muhammad], “Travel through the land and observe how He began creation. Then Allāh will bring the Hereafter into being. Indeed Allāh, over all things, is competent.” 

(AlQuran 29:20)

All these instances use this word in a different context.

Similarly, ﺍِﻥ ﺷﺎﺀ used at the following places;

وَإِنَّآ إِن شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ لَمُهْتَدُونَ

And indeed we, if Allāh wills, will be guided.”

(AlQuran 2:70)

فَلَمَّا دَخَلُوا۟ عَلَىٰ يُوسُفَ ءَاوَىٰٓ إِلَيْهِ أَبَوَيْهِ وَقَالَ ٱدْخُلُوا۟ مِصْرَ إِن شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ ءَامِنِينَ

And when they entered upon Joseph, he took his parents to himself [i.e., embraced them] and said, “Enter Egypt, God willing, safe [and secure].

(AlQuran 12:99) 

قَالَ سَتَجِدُنِىٓ إِن شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ صَابِرًا وَلَآ أَعْصِى لَكَ أَمْرًا

[Moses] said, “You will find me, if Allāh wills, patient, and I will not disobey you in [any] order.” 

(AlQuran 18:69)

قَالَ إِنِّىٓ أُرِيدُ أَنْ أُنكِحَكَ إِحْدَى ٱبْنَتَىَّ هَٰتَيْنِ عَلَىٰٓ أَن تَأْجُرَنِى ثَمَٰنِىَ حِجَجٍ ۖ فَإِنْ أَتْمَمْتَ عَشْرًا فَمِنْ عِندِكَ ۖ وَمَآ أُرِيدُ أَنْ أَشُقَّ عَلَيْكَ ۚ سَتَجِدُنِىٓ إِن شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ مِنَ ٱلصَّٰلِحِينَ

WherHe said, “Indeed, I wish to wed you one of these, my two daughters, on [the condition] that you serve me for eight years; but if you complete ten, it will be [as a favour] from you. And I do not wish to put you in difficulty. You will find me, if Allāh wills, from among the righteous.”


Where to Use Insha Allah

The first question about using InshAllah is where to use it. The answer lies in its meanings. InshAllah means ” As ALLAH wishes” or ” If Allah wills.” Following its purpose, InshAllah is in situations where we discuss an event that will happen in the future or whenever we intend to do something.

Correct Use of Insha Allah

In Arabic, the word Insha Allah is written as “ﺍِﻥ ﺷﺎﺀ اللّٰہ.” However, we have often seen people reporting it as ﺍﻧﺸﺎﺀﺍﻟﻠﮧ. We write the two initial words collectively, like Insha Allah in English.

Both words seem similar. They sound identical in pronunciation. But are very different from each other. You might argue how writing ﺍﻧﺸﺎﺀ is wrong. You must have seen this word in the Quran many times. The difference lies in the meaning of both. ﺍﻧﺸﺎﺀ means “being born,” while ﺍِﻥ ﺷﺎﺀ means ” By the will of.” Thus ﺍﻧﺸﺎﺀﺍﻟﻠﮧ will mean ” Born of ALLAH” ( may Allah forgive us), which is sinful to say. The frequency of usage of In Sha ALLAH makes this mistake more dangerous.

Inshallah In Arabic

All these examples use ﺍِﻥ ﺷﺎﺀ in the same context of “if ALLAH wills.” Hence proven the correct form is

 ﺇِﻥْ ﺷَﺎﺀ َ ﺍﻟﻠَّﻪ.

If Allah wills

We can see how a slight difference in a word alters the meaning of Scripture. Thus we must be vigilant in using Arabic words correctly. Unfortunately, Arabic is not the mother tongue of all 1.3 billion Muslims worldwide. As a result, we make mistakes while reading and writing Arabic words.

Our responsibility is to educate ourselves and future generations on the correct usage of Arabic words.

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