Saying, 'Insha'Allah' (If
Allah Wills) when
Determining to do something in the Future
SAY OF ANYTHING, 'I SHALL DO SUCH AND SUCH THING TOMORROW.? EXCEPT (WITH
THE SAYING): 'IF ALLAH WILLS!'? AND REMEMBER YOUR LORD WHEN YOU FORGETâ€¦"
[SOORAH AL-KAHF (18): 23]
When Allah's Messenger (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) declared Allah's Oneness
and proclaimed to be the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) and
revelation of Divine Message. The disbeliveers of Makkah sent some men to
Jewish rabbis in al-Medina and said: "Ask them (the rabbis) about Muhammad (sallalahu
alaihe wa-sallam), and describe him to them, and tell them what he is saying.
They are the
people of the first Book, and they have more knowledge of the Prophets than we
do.' So they set out for al-Medina, they asked the Jewish rabbis about the
Messenger of Allah (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam). They described him to them
and told them some of his teachings.
said: 'Ask him about three things which we will tell you to ask, if he answers
them then he is a Prophet who has been sent (by Allah); if he does not, then
he is saying things that are not true, in which case how you will deal with
him will be up to you. Ask him about some young men in ancient times, what was
their story? For there is a strange and wondrous tale. Ask him about a man who
traveled a great deal and reached the east and the west of the earth. What was
his story? And ask him about he Ruh (soul or spirit) what is it?
If he tells
you about these things, then he is a Prophet, so follow him, but if he does
not tell you, then he is a man who is making things up, so deal with him as
you see fit.' So, the men came back to Makkah and said: 'O people! We have
come to you with a decisive solution which will put an end to the problem
between you and Muhammad (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam). The Jewish rabbis told
us to ask him about some matters,' and they told them what they were. Then
they came to the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) and said: 'O
Muhammad (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) tell us,' and they asked him about the
things they had been told to ask.
of Allah (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: "I will tell you tomorrow about
what you have asked me." But he (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) did not say,
'If Allah Wills.'
Allah Messenger (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) never spoke anything except with
revelation. So, he waited for the revelation from Allah but fifteen days
passed away without any revelation concerning those matter which the
disbelievers asked, neither did Jibreel (alaihis-salaam) come to him. The
people of Makkah started to doubt him and said: 'Muhammad (sallalahu alaihe
wa-sallam) promised to tell us the next day and now fifteen days have gone by
and he has not told us anything in response to the questions we asked.'
The Messenger of Allah (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) felt sad because of the
delay in revelation and was grieved by what the people of Makkah were saying
(alaihis-salaam) came with the revelation of Soorah al-Kahf, which contained
answers to the questions and also the above mentioned verse explaining the
correct etiquette when determining to do something in the future.
Determining to do something in the future should always be attributed to the
Will of Allah, Who is the Knower of the Unseen and Who Alone Knows what was
and what is yet to happen and what is not to be.
It is reported in Saheeh al-Bukharee from Abu Hurayrah (radhiyallahu anhu),
who said: "The Messenger of Allah (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: "Sulaiman
Ibn Dawood (alaihimus-salaam) said: 'Tonight I will go around to all my
seventy wives (according to some reports it is ninety or one hundred wives) so
that each one of them will give birth to a son who will fight for the sake of
Allah.' It was said to him, (according to one narration, an Angel said to
him), say, 'If Allah Wills.' But he did not say it. He went around to the
women but none of them gave birth except for one, who gave birth to a
half-formed child." The Messenger of Allah (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) said:
"By the One, in Whose Hands is my soul, had he said, 'If Allah wills,' he
would not have broken his oath, and that would have helped him to attain what
he wanted." [Saheeh Muslim (vol. 3, no. 1275)]
So, if one determines to do something in the future or even takes an oath, he
should say, 'If Allah Wills' or 'Insha'Allah.' If one forgets to say,
then he should say when he remembers it even if it is a year later, as Ibn
Abbas (radhiallahu anhu) explained.