The Islamic forms of expressions in Arabic is simply beautiful, don’t you think? And so much more meaningful for us as Muslims. Instead of just saying “Hello” in a simple greeting, when we say ” Assalamualaikum”, the expression conveys along with it a wish (doa) for the other person, when we wish “peace be upon you “.

Better yet, say “Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh” because you will be wishing so much more for the receiver. ” Peace and mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you”. The appropriate reply to that greeting, of course, would be “Waalaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh ” (And peace and mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you).

I used to say “Bless you” or “Geshundheit” when somebody sneezed. Now hearing these words said to me makes me feel uncomfortable, as if embracing another religion’s expressions. Maybe it is just the language and the cultural implications. As Muslims, we should say ” Alhamdulillah” (Praise be to Allah) when sneezing, because indeed being able to sneeze is a ‘nikmat’. Imagine not being able to let out that sneeze in order to relieve the ticklish feeling in your nose! Next time you hear someone sneeze, wish him ” Yar hamukallah” (May Allah have mercy on you)”.

Remember the Beatle’s song “Let It Be “? Oh, I used to scream my lungs out belting out that song with my school friends. “When I found myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me, Speaking words of Wisdom, Let it be ” ……. I had no idea who this Mother Mary was (singing blind to the lyrics, I was). Now I know better. As Muslims, when we find ourselves in times of trouble, struck with calamity, or are taken over by a situation beyond our control, do not forget to say ” La hawla wala quwata illah billah“, which would be “There is no strength nor power except Allah”.

And what is ” Fi sabi lillah“? It means For the sake of Allah. You do something for the sake of Allah and it is much more honourable than doing something in order to be recognized, as when you give to charity.

Before embarking on any task, always begin with “Bismillah…”. This I found even in a preschooler’s books. That we should start everything ” In the name of Allah”. And at the completion, don’t go thanking some goodness or other, but remember instead “Alhamdulillah” ( Praise be to Allah) to show your gratitude to Allah for success or even after completing anything.

Similarly, for expressing appreciation of something good, I believe the phrase would be ” Masya Allah“, As Allah has willed. A phrase literally meaning ‘What Allah wishes’, it also indicates a good omen. For example,if my son gets an A in a test, I should say MashaAllah!!

For praising something, like when you see such a beautiful baby, “Subhaan Allah“succinctly says it. It stands for ” Glory be to Allah” or “Glorified is Allah”, for indeed, something beautiful is Allah’s glory.

“Jazakallahu Khairan ” is a phrase we are beginning to hear quite often nowadays. It not only sounds nice, but is said with such good intentions. This is a statement of thanks and appreciationto be said to a person who does a favour. Instead of saying ‘shukran’ (thanks), this phrase is used. It means ‘May Allah reward you with good. The equally eloquent-sounding response to that would be “Barakallahu Feekum” ( May Allah bless you).

When in pain or distress, say “YAA ALLAH“. Oh Allah . Remember only Allah in your times of needs.

When a Problem arises, say: Tawkaltu ‘ala Allah (I put my trust in Allah ).

When Pleasantness appears, say: Fata-Barak-Allah (May Allah bless you)

When Unpleasantness appears, say: Na’Uzoo Billah (I seek refuge in Allah)

ASTAGHFIRULLAH (I beg Allah for forgiveness) for the times I said “knock on wood” (it is a pagan believe, I suppose) and keeping my fingers crossed (Cross, Christianity, enough and simply said) in hopes of getting what I wished for.

As I bid you goodbye for today, FI AMAANULLAH. May you be in the protection of Allah.

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