Written by Theresa Corbin
My first post here on islamwich.com was about the Islamic parts of speech, what the difference between Islam, Muslim, Islamist, and Islamic are, and what in the world an “islamwich” is.
When I wrote that very first post, I was sick and tired of people saying that I am Islamic, or that I am Islam, or the dreadful Southern drawl of a mispronunciation of Muslim (MOOOzlim). And that post was my feeble attempt at learnin’ y’all a thing or three (or maybe just tellin’ y’all what ya already know).
So here I am again, serving up some fresh islamwich info for those who:
-Have only ever heard the phrase Allahu Akbar used as some sort of battle cry and you fear people who use it.
-Or you thought Allah was the name of some moon god.
-Or if you heard someone say InshaAllah and said “God bless you” in reply because you thought they sneezed.
-Or you have heard people greet each other with the phrase Asalamu Alaikum, and wondered what it meant.
If any of these things describe you, what follows might be useful to know, and if you already know and know people who do not know then pass it on, so we can all know, ya know?! You can also check out our glossary for definitions of these words and more.
Allah [uhl – LAH] (n.)- The name of the one God who has no partners, The Creator, The Sustainer, The Provided, The Judge of all in existence. Allah is not a man, a woman, a stone, or an animal. Allah has created all of this and is far beyond comparison with any of His creation. It is the word in the Arabic language that is similar to the English word “God” with a capital “G”. But the Arabic word “Allah” cannot be made plural, a fact which goes hand-in-hand with the Islamic concept of God’s oneness.
ex: Allah created you and me, the moon and the trees, and Jesus and Muhammad (Peace be upon both of them).
Allahu Akbar [uhl – LAH – who – ACK – bar] -1.) A phrase used many times in the five daily prayers meaning “God is the greatest”. Also used when one truly feels Allah’s presence in their life. 2.) A phrase often misused by Muslims to symbolize death and destruction and misunderstood (understandably) by non-Muslims who may believe it is a call to battle.
ex: 1.) Allahu Akbar! The Saints won the super bowl!!!
InshaAllah [in – SHA – uhl – lah] – 1.) God Willing. If God allows it. A phrase used when making future plans or referencing anything that has not happened yet. Founded on the fact that nothing will happen without the will of God even if you and all that is in the heavens and earth try to make it happen. 2.) A phrase often misused by Muslims who are not willing to fulfill their commitments and misunderstood (understandably) by non-Muslims who may believe it means that someone will not do what they say.
ex: 1.) I am going to make some halal peeps today, using the islamwich recipe found here, InshaAllah 2.) Yeah, yeah, yeah, InshaAllah, I will be finished with your drywall by Wednesday.
Assalamu Alaikum [As – sa – LAMB– oo – ah – LAY– coom] – 1.) Used as a greeting meaning “peace be upon you”. The person greeted should respond with the phrase “Walaikum Assalam”, meaning “and peace be upon you”. Also known as giving salam (peace).
ex: Me: Assalamu Alaikum, Kiran. What’s up?
Kiran: Walikaum Assalam, Corbin. Nothin’ much.
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