Clarification of an Important Issue: The correct way of writing In sha' Allah
- — CLARIFICATION OF AN IMPORTANT ISSUE —
THE CORRECT WAY OF WRITING IN SHA' ALLAHQUERY: What do the noble scholars state with regards to the following issue? Is writing in sha' Allah (ان شاء الله) on the pattern of insha' Allah (انشاء الله) correct? Does the meaning change due to the difference of writing in these two patterns? Kindly explain the matter and gain reward. ʿAbdullah Qadiri, Karachi.
REPLY: The phrase in sha' Allah is based upon three words and all the three words have their own individual positions in the science of nahw [syntax].
1. In is shartiyah [conditional].
2. Sha' is fi'l madhi m'aruf [active past tense verb]
3. Allah is ismu jalalah [the Exalted Name] and the doer of the action sha', according to grammatical analysis.These three words are written separately. The conditional word in was not written jointly along with the verb, anywhere in the Arab or Ajam. They have been written separately in the Qur'an, hadith and Arabic literature contained in the books of the past fourteen centuries. But nowadays, the error of writing the conditional in jointly with the verb sha' has become widespread in the Arab and non-Arab lands. This error, contained in certain Arabic websites and careless writing ways, is spreading rapidly in non-Arab lands, especially India and Pakistan. The correct way of writing it is in sha' Allah (ان شاء الله) only. Writing it as insha' Allah (انشاء الله) is absolutely incorrect. It is necessary for every Muslim to abstain from writing in this manner because the meaning that occurs due to this way of writing is kufr [infidelity].
1. وَإِنَّا إِنْ شَاء َ اللَّه لَمُہْتَدُونَ – al-Baqarah, 70
2. وَقَالَ ادْخُلُوا مِصْرَ إِنْ شَاء َ اللَّه آَمِنِینَ –Yusuf, 99
3. قَالَ سَتَجِدُنِی إِنْ شَاء َ اللَّه صَابِرًا وَلَا أَعْصِی لَکَ أَمْرًا – al-Kahf, 69
4. سَتَجِدُنِی إِنْ شَاء َ اللَّه مِنَ الصَّالِحِینَ – al-QaSaS, 27
5. سَتَجِدُنِی إِنْ شَاء َ اللَّه مِنَ الصَّابِرِینَ – al-Safat, 102
6. لَتَدْخُلُنَّ الْمَسْجِدَ الْحَرَامَ إِنْ شَاء َ اللَّه آَمِنِینَ – al-Fath, 27
It is evident from the above-mentioned Qur'anic verses that the conditional in has been written separately from the past tense verb sha'.
The way in which in sha' Allah has been written in the Prophetic narrations:
1. فَقَالَ لَه رَسُولُ اللَّہِ صَلَّی اللَّه عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ سَأَفْعَلُ إِنْ شَاء َ اللَّه – Sahih Bukhari, #407
2. لِکُلِّ نَبِیٍّ دَعْوَۃٌ یَدْعُوہَا فَأَنَا أُرِیدُ إِنْ شَاء َ اللَّه أَنْ أَخْتَبِئَ دَعْوَتِی شَفَاعَۃً لِأُمَّتِی یَوْمَ الْقِیَامَۃِ – Sahih Muslim, #295
3. إِنَّہَا لَرُؤْیَا حَقٌّ إِنْ شَاء َ اللَّه – Sunan Abi Dawud, #421
4. أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّہِ صَلَّی اللَّه عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ مَنْ حَلَفَ عَلَی یَمِینٍ فَقَالَ إِنْ شَاء َ اللَّه فَلَا حِنْثَ عَلَیْہِ – Tirmidhi, #1451
5. أنَّ رسُولَ اللَّہِ صَلَّی اللَّه عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ خَرَجَ إِلَی الْمَقْبُرَۃِ فَقَالَ السَّلَامُ عَلَیْکُمْ دَارَ قَوْمٍ مُؤْمِنِینَ وَإِنَّا إِنْ شَاء َ اللَّه بِکُمْ لَاحِقُونَ – Sunan Nasa'i, #150
6. اجْتَمَعَ عِیدَانِ فِی یَوْمِکُمْ ہَذَا فَمَنْ شَاء َ أَجْزَأَه مِنْ الْجُمُعَۃِ وَإِنَّا مُجَمِّعُونَ إِنْ شَاء َ اللَّه –Sunan Ibn Majah, #1301
Clarification of the meaning of insha' Allah (انشاء الله):
When in is written jointly with sha', it becomes insha' which is a root word in the category of actions and its meaning is 'to create', 'to invent'. Its past and present continuous tense forms are insha' (انشأ and yunshi' ینشیٔ) respectively. Its meaning is 'to create or invent something, the like of which never existed before'. Allah states:
1. وَهوَ الَّذِی أَنْشَأَ لَکُمُ السَّمْعَ وَالْأَبْصَارَ وَالْأَفْئِدَۃَ قَلِیلًا مَا تَشْکُرُونَ – al-Mu'minun, 78
2. قُلْ سِیرُوا فِی الْأَرْضِ فَانْظُرُوا کَیْفَ بَدَأَ الْخَلْقَ ثُمَّ اللَّه یُنْشِئُ النَّشْأَۃَ الْآَخِرَۃَ إِنَّ اللَّہَ عَلَی کُلِّ شَیْء ٍ قَدِیرٌ – al-Ankabut, 20
3. إِنَّا أَنْشَأْنَاهنَّ إِنْشَاء ً – al-Waqi'ah, 35
In the above-mentioned verses, insha' is the masdar [root word] belonging to the category of actions. Insha' is active past tense and yunshi' is present continuous tense form, the meaning of which is 'to create'. Now consider the third verse. The root word insha' is present in it. The forms of the root word insha' and the one written in insha' Allah are one and the same. When the conditional in is written jointly with the verb sha', its meaning will contain kufr.
انشاء الله ای كاننا نقول اننا اوجدنا الله... العیاذ بالله
Meaning, 'we created Allah' or 'we invented Allah'. We seek refuge in Allah from this (meaning)!
The meaning of in sha' is 'the Divine Will', whereas, insha' means 'to create' or 'to invent'. Writing in jointly with sha' gives such extremely abominable meanings. Thus, it is necessary for all the Muslims to abstain from this way of writing. Wherever they see this written, they should rectify it immediately. It is our fair perception that not even the thought of the vile meanings ever crosses any Muslim's mind. But, while writing, in sha' should be written instead of insha', i.e., the way in which it is written in the Qur'an and hadith texts, so that every trace of thenefarious meaning is eliminated. We do not want to begin a nahwi [syntaxial] explanation here, otherwise the discussion will become lengthy. A new discussion can be started to explain the relationship between the root word insha' as mudaf [possessed] and the Lofty Name (Allah) as mudaf ilayh [possessor], but there is no scope for it here (to keep the discussion simple). Our aim is to explain to the common people. We request the scholars and students of knowledge that they make the laymen aware of this matter.
It is mentioned in Tafsir Tabari:
إن عجبتم من إنشاء الله إیاكم
In another place:
إنّ فی إنشاء الله السحاب
In these two statements, the word insha' is present and the meaning of the word in both these statements is, 'to create'. In the above statements, the root word insha' is the mudaf [possessed], and the doer, i.e., Lofty Name (Allah) is the mudaf ilayh [possessor]. The meanings are, “Allah's creation of you” and “Allah's creation of the clouds”. The purpose of mentioning this is, even if insha' is considered as mudaf [possessed], the purpose of saying in sha' Allah will be nullified. Because, when we say in sha' Allah,we hand over the results of our deeds to the Divine Will of Allah and seek help from Him. But, when we write insha' Allah in the form of mudaf and mudaf ilayh, the meaning becomes “creation by Allah”, which is not our intended meaning. Whenever we make an intention for a good deed, we say in sha' Allah – this is from the Islamic etiquettes and a sunnah (tradition of the Prophet – may Allah bless and greet him). We hand over our intention to the Divine Will of Allah. Here, our purpose is not to mention Allah as the Creator and the Originator.
Mufti Sayyid Shuja'at Ali Qadiri [may Allah have mercy upon him] has authored a book by the name 'Insha-ul-Arabiyyah'. The meaning of the title is, 'building eloquence in the Arabic language'. If we write this word insha' (used here) with the Lofty Name (Allah), it will not fulfill our purpose. The meaning will drift from 'the Divine Will' (the intended meaning) to 'create' and 'invent'.
الحمد لله المنشی الخلق من عدم
In this verse, the word al-munshi indicates the name of the doer, the meaning of which is 'to create'. The translation of the verse is:
All praises are due to Allah, who brought forth the creation from nonexistence.
munshi means 'creator', 'the One who brings forth from nonexistence'. The difference between writing nasha' and insha' is similar to that between writing in sha' Allah and insha' Allah. After all the above explanation, we presume that the Sunni masses have understood that the correct way of writing is in sha' Allah and that has to be followed from now on. Also bear in mind that one should abstain from words which have aberrations in them, especially when it pertains to the Divine Glory and the Prophetic Magnificence. Immense caution has to be exercised therein. Finally, I would advise that while sending messages through SMS or email, one should always write in sha' Allah (ان شاء الله). If it is being written in English, do not write insha Allah, inshaallah or inshaALLAH. Instead, write in sha Allah, in shaa Allah or in sha' Allah.
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Written by: Abu al-Fadl Muhammad Nau'man Shiraz al-Qadiri al-'Iraqi
Friday, 21st of Dhu al-Hijjah, 1432H [Friday, November 18th, 2011]
Translated into English by: Najibullah Qadiri