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Insha'Allah (Arabic: إن شاء الله, [in ʃæʔ ʔɑlˤˈlˤɑːh]) is Arabic for "God willing" or "if Allah wills" . The term is used in the Islamic world, but it is also common in Christian groups in the Middle East, in parts of Africa and by some Portuguese and Spanish-speaking people.
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In sha'Allah 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. This does not take away from the concept of free will. One's use of insha'Allah 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 their endeavor to fail.
In the Qur'an, Muslims are told that they should never say they will do a particular thing in the future without adding insha'Allah to the statement. This usage of insha'Allāh 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 insha'Allah when referring to something he or she intends to do in the future.
A similar concept appears in Christianity, although its practice is not as culturally pervasive in the Christian world. 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).
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