Question: What is the ruling of saying In Sha Allah, and what are the related etiquettes in doing so?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate,
It is recommended when resolving to do any task in the future to say In Sha Allah. Allah Most High says, “do not say of anything, ‘I will do that tomorrow,’ – without adding, ‘God willing,’ [Qur’an; 18:23]
If you forget to say so, you should say it when you remember. As the above verse continues, “and, whenever you forget, remember your Lord and say, ‘May my Lord guide me closer to what is right.’” [Qur’an; 18:24]
The Realities of Faith
When saying In sha Allah, one is essentially reminding themselves, or should remind themselves, that Allah Most High is the sole actor and the only one who brings forth results. This realization is manifested in the state ‘if Allah wills’.
To teach us this reality, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) was admonished in the above verse when He resolved to answer the question of the Jewish tribes. Allah Most High made it such that his resolve without ascribing the results to Allah Most High did not come to fruition and the revelation was delayed. [Ibn Kathir, Tafsir Ibn Kathir]
This is a lesson to all of us. We tend to live as though we have ultimate control of our lives and all we aspire to. Rather, we must consign our affairs to Allah and saying In sha Allah brings forth that meaning within us.
The Meaning of In Sha Allah
Ibn Kathir (Allah have mercy on him) said regarding the saying In Sha Allah, “This is guidance from Allah Most High to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) toward proper etiquette in that which he resolves to do in the future, and he also said that etiquette is to consign that matter to the will of Allah Most High, the Knower of the unseen, who knows what was, what is, and what will be. [Ibn Kathir, Tafsir Ibn Kathir]
I hope this helps,
Allah knows best.
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences