Very often we find it difficult to understand how to initiate or respond to Islamic greetings due to our inability to find or use the appropriate words. Most often we use these expressions without knowing or understanding what it means..
Here are some essential expressions for use to learn..
Note: Spellings may vary when translated to English
1) Assalamu ‘Alaikum: Peace be upon you
When to say: when you meet a muslim
2) Wa’alaikum Assalam: And peace be upon you too
When to say: Reply to Assalamu ‘Alaikum
3) Assalamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh: May the peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be upon you
When to say: formal and great greeting to a Muslim
4) Wa’alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh: And peace and mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you
When to say: Reply to Assalamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh
5) Hiyyak Allah: May Allah greet you (lit. May Allah preserve your life)
When to say: When greeting someone after Salaams
6) Bismillah arRahman arRahim: In the name of Allah, most Gracious most Merciful
When to say: before making a beginning an activity
7) Jazak Allah Khairan: May Allah reward you with blessings
When to say: for expression of thanks
(Reply: Wa iyak(i), wa iyakum; Trans. And you)
8) BarakAllahu feekum or Allah baraka feek(i) : May Allah bless you
When to say: responding to someone’s thanks/ a way of expressing Thanks ( Jazak Allah Khairan)
(Reply: Wa feek(i), Wa feekum; Trans.: And you)
9) Fi Amanillah: May Allah protect you
When to say: by way of saying good-bye
10) Subhanallah: Glory be to Allah
When to say: for praising something
11) Insha Allah: If Allah wills/Through Allah’s will
When to say: for expressing a desire to do something
12) Astaghfirullah: I beg Allah for forgiveness
When to say: Repenting for sins before Allah
13) Masha Allah:As Allah has willed/Praise be to Allah
When to say: for expressing appreciation of something good
14) Alhamdulillah: Thanks be to Allah
When to say: for showing gratitude to Allah after success or even after completing anything.
14) Ameen: May it be so
When to say: At the end of a Dua or prayer
15) Sallahu ‘alayhi wa salaam: Peace be upon him (S.A.W.)
When to say: Whenever say the name of Prophet Muhammad
16) ‘Alayhi salaam: Peace be upon him (A.S.)
When to say: whenever say the name of a prophet
17) Radi Allah ‘Anhu: May Allah be pleased with him (R.A.)
When to say: whenever you say or mentioned the name of a male companion of the Prophet (Sahabi)
18) Radi Allah ‘Anha:May Allah be pleased with her (R.A.)
When to say: whenever you say or mentioned the name of a female companion of the Prophet
19) Radi Allah ‘Anhum: May Allah be pleased with them (R.A.)
When to say: Plural form of saying companions of the Prophet
20) Innaa lillaahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji’oon: To Allah we belong and to Him is our return
When to say: this is uttered as an expression upon hearing the news of some loss or some one’s death
21) aathama allahu ajrakom: may Allah make your ajer (reward) great
When to say: uttered to family of deceased
22) Shakar Allahu Sa’yikum: May Allah accept that your effort
When to say: uttered to people who attend aaza – when friends go to send condolences upon death of a person
23) La hawla wala quwata illah billah: There is no strength nor power except Allah
When to say: during the time of troubles
24) Tawakkal-tu-‘ala-Allah: I have put my trust in Allah
When to say: Rely on Allah to solving a problem
25) Tawkkalna-‘ala-Allah: we have put our trust in Allah
when to say: when waiting for a problem to be solved
26) Rahimahullah: Allah have Mercy on him
When to say: you see someone in distress
27) Na’uzhu-bi-Allah: we seek refuge in Allah
When to say: when showing your dislike
28) Fi sabeel illah: in/for Allah’s cause/way
When to say: When you give charity/help people
29) Ittaqillah: fear Allah
When to say: When you see someone doing a bad deed
30) Hayyak Allah: Allah maintain your life
When to say: When you greet someone
31) Hasbi Allah: Allah will suffice me
When to say: When you are in a difficult situation
32) Azhak Allah sinnaka: May Allah keep you cheerful
When to say: When you seek another Muslim with cheerful countenance
AL-HAMDU LILLAHI RABBIL ‘ALAMIN
This is a verse from the Qur’an that Muslims recite and say many times per day. Other than being recited daily during prayers, a Muslim reads this expression in every activity of his daily life. The meaning of it is: “Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.”
A Muslim invokes the praises of Allah before he does his daily work; and when he finishes, he thanks Allah for His favors. A Muslim is grateful to Allah for all His blessings. It is a statement of thanks, appreciation, and gratitude from the creature to his Creator.
This statement is said by Muslims numerous times. During the call for prayer, during prayer, when they are happy, and wish to express their approval of what they hear, when they slaughter an animal, and when they want to praise a speaker, Muslims do say this expression of Allahu Akbar. Actually it is most said expression in the world. It’s meaning: “Allah is the Greatest.” Muslims praise Allah in every aspect of life; and as such they say Allahu Akbar.
This is an expression Muslims say whenever they meet one another. It is a statement of greeting with peace. The meaning of it is: “Peace be upon you.”
Muslims try to establish peace on earth even through the friendly relation of greeting and meeting one another.
The other forms are: “Assalamu ‘Alalikum Wa Rahmatullah,” which means:”May the peace and the Mercy of Allah be upon you,” and “Assalamu Alalikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh,” which means:”May the peace, the mercy, and the blessings of Allah be upon you.”
This is an expression used by a Muslim when he wants to ask Allah forgiveness. The meaning of it is: “I ask Allah forgiveness.” A Muslim says this phrase many times, even when he is talking to another person. When a Muslim abstains from doing wrong, or even when he wants to prove that he is innocent of an incident he uses this expression. After every Salah (payer), a Muslim says this statement three times.
A’UDHU BILLAHI MINASHAYTAN IRAJEEM
This is an expression and a statement that Muslims have to recite before reading to Qur’an, before speaking, before doing any work, before making a supplication, before taking ablution, before entering the wash room, and before doing many other daily activities. The meaning of this phrase is: “I seek refuge from Allah from the outcast Satan.” Allah is the Arabic name of God.
Satan is the source of evil and he always tries to misguide and mislead people. The Qur’an states that Satan is not an angel but a member of the Jinn, which are spiritual beings created by Allah. So the belief that Satan is a fallen angel is rejected in Islam.
This is an expression, which means: “May the blessings of Allah (be upon you).” When a Muslim wants to thank to another person, he uses different statements to express his thanks, appreciation, and gratitude. One of them is to say “Baraka Allah.”
BISMILLAHIR RAHMANIR RAHIM
This is a phrase from the Qur’an that is recited before reading the Qur’an. It is to be read immediately after one reads the phrase: “A’uzu Billahi Minashaitanir Rajim.”
This phrase is also recited before doing any daily activity. The meaning of it is: “In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.”
IN SHA’ ALLAH
When a person wishes to plan for the future, when he promises, when he makes resolutions, and when he makes a pledge, he makes them with permission and the will of Allah. For this reason, a Muslim uses the Qur’anic instructions by saying “In Sha ‘ Allah.” The meaning of this statement is: “If Allah wills.” Muslims are to strive hard and to put their trusts with Allah. They leave the results in the hands of Allah.
INNA LILLAHI WA INNA ILAHI RAJI’UN
When a Muslim is struck with a calamity, when he loses one of his loved ones, or when he has gone bankrupt, he should be patient and say this statement, the meaning of which is: “We are from Allah and to whom we are returning.”
Muslims believe that Allah is the One who gives and it is He takes away. He is testing us. Hence, a Muslim submits himself to Allah. He is grateful and thankful to Allah for whatever he gets. On the other hand, he is patient and says this expression in times of turmoil and calamity.
This is a statement of thanks and appreciation to be said to the person who does a favor. Instead of saying “thanks” (Shukran), the Islamic statement of thanks is to say this phrase. It’s meaning is: ” May Allah reward you for the good.”
It is understood that human beings can’t repay one another enough. Hence, it is better to request Almighty Allah to reward the person who did a favor and to give him the best.
Talk or speech as in “kalamu Allah”; has also been used through the ages to mean logic or philosophy.
LA HAWLA WA LA QUWWATA ILLA BILLAH
The meaning of this expression is: ” There is no power and no strength save in Allah.” This expression is read by a Muslim when he is struck by a calamity, or is taken over by a situation beyond his control. A Muslim puts his trust in the hands of Allah, and submits himself to Allah.
LA ILAHA ILLALLAH
This expression is the most important one in Islam. It is the creed that every person has to say to be considered a Muslim. It is part of the first pillar of Islam. The meaning of which is: ” There is no lord worthy of worship except Allah.”
The second part of this first pillar is to say: “Mohammedan Rasul Allah,” which means:”Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”
MA SHA’ ALLAH
This is an expression that Muslims say whenever they are excited and surprised. When they wish to express their happiness, they use such an expression. The meaning of “Ma sha’ Allah” is: “Whatever Allah wants.” or “Whatever Allah wants to give, He gives.” This means that whenever Allah gives something good to someone, blesses him, honors him, and opens the door of success in business, a Muslim says this statement of “Ma Sha’ Allah.”
It has become a tradition that whenever a person constructs a building, a house, or an office, he puts a plaque on the wall or the entrance with this statement. It is a sign of thanks and appreciation from the person to Almighty Allah for whatever he was blessed with.
This statement is the second part of the first pillar of Islam. The meaning of this part is that Prophet Muhammad is the last and final prophet and messenger of Allah to mankind. He is the culmination, summation, purification of the previous prophets of Allah to humanity.
These letters are abbreviations for the words Peace Be Upon Him which are the meaning of the Arabic expression ” ‘Alaihis Salam”, which is an expression that is said when the name of a prophet is mentioned.
This expression is widely used by English speaking Muslims. It is to be noticed here that this expression does not give the full meaning of “Salla Allahu ‘Alaihi Wa Sallam”. Therefore it is recommended that people do not use (p.b.u.h.) after the name of prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.); they should use “Salla Allahu ‘Alaihi Wa Sallam” instead, or they may use the abbreviated form of (s.a.w) in writing.
This is an expression to be used by Muslims whenever a name of a companion of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) is mentioned or used in writing. The meaning of this statement is: “May Allah be pleased with him.”
Muslims are taught to be respectful to the elderly and to those who contributed to the spread and success in Islam. They are to be grateful to the companions of the prophet (s.a.w.) for their sacrifices, their leadership, and their contributions. Muslims are advised to use this phrase when such names are mentioned or written.
This is a statement of truth that a Muslim says after reading any amount of verses from the Qur’an. The meaning of it is: “Allah says the truth.”
The Qur’an is the exact words of Allah in verbatim. When Allah speaks, He says the truth; and when the Qur’an is being recited, a Muslim is reciting the words of truth of Allah. Hence, he says: “Sadaqallahul ‘Azim.”
SALLALLAHU ‘ALAIHI WA SALLAM
When the name of Prophet Muhammad (saw) is mentioned or written, a Muslim is to respect him and invoke this statement of peace upon him. The meaning of it is: “May the blessings and the peace of Allah be upon him (Muhammad).
Another expression that is alternatively used is: “Alaihissalatu Wassalam.” This expression means: “On Him (Muhammad) are the blessings and the peace of Allah.”
Allah has ordered Muslims, in the Qur’an, to say such an expression. Muslims are informed that if they proclaim such a statement once, Allah will reward them ten times.
S.A.W. These letters are abbreviations for the words “Salla Allahu ‘Alaihi Wa Sallam”.
SUBHANAHU WA TA’ALA
This is an expression that Muslims use whenever the name of Allah is pronounced or written. The meaning of this expression is: “Allah is pure of having partners and He is exalted from having a son.”
Muslims believe that Allah is the only God, the Creator of the Universe. He does not have partners or children. Sometimes Muslims use other expressions when the name of Allah is written or pronounced. Some of which are: “‘Azza Wa Jall”: He is the Mighty and the Majestic; “Jalla Jalaluh”: He is the exalted Majestic.
S.W.T. These letters are abbreviations for the words of “Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala”.
WA ‘ALAIKUM ASSALAM
This is an expression that a Muslim is to say as an answer for the greeting. When a person greets another with a salutation of peace, the answer for the greeting is an answer of peace. The meaning of this statement is: “And upon you is the peace.” The other expressions are: ” Wa Alaikums Salam Wa Rahmatullah.” and “Wa ‘Alaikums Salam Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh.”
If there’s an Islamic phrase/ word that’s not included above, feel free to share with us down in the comments below inshallah!!..
Jazakum Allahu Khair
Sources: Islamic Inc