What Does Mashaallah Mean — For Moslems, the term Mashaallah must not be a strange thing. It is commonly uttered while facing certain conditions like being amazed or impressed by someone, something, or a condition.
In other words, it is a kind of expression for award or appreciation along with a reminder that all the achievement must be done under the power and wants of Allah, Moslems’ only god. So, do you want to learn more about this expression? Here is the further explanation.
What does Mashaallah Mean Literally?
If we translate this sentence literally from Arabic to English without any other deeper meaning, Mashaallah means “Allah wills it” or “It is all done under Allah’s willingness”. It is based on the belief, doctrine, and ideology of Islam itself which is emphasized on the power of Allah. More than that, Islam is also a religion that truly believes in destiny.
In Islam, anything happened in this world has been written on the pages namely Lauhul Mahfudz. There are some opinions related this Lauhul Mahfudz. Some Moslem scholars claim that it consists of conditions or destiny that cannot be changed by people.
Meanwhile, some others argued that as they said that some conditions may be changed by people due to their efforts. However, although people may have a power to change something, it is still not being happened well without the permission of Allah. That’s the essence.
What does Mashallah Mean Etymologically?
According to the book of Tafsir Al Quranul Karim Surat Al Kahf, authorized by Sheikh Muhammad bin Shalih Al Utsaimin, it is stated that Mashaallah can be defined into two meanings. Why are there two? It is because of the structure of the sentence that can be translated into two ways.
First, it is by placing the word “maa” as the conjunctions as well as the predicate or verb. Meanwhile, the subject or mubtada’ (Arabic) in the sentence is a kind of hidden subject. It is “hadzaa”. Therefore, the complete form of Mashaallah is actually “hadzaa maa syaa Allah”. When you translate it into English, it means “this is what has been wanted by Allah”.
Second, the word “maa” in Mashaallah or “maa syaa Allah” is a noun that indicates cause. Meanwhile, phrase “syaa Allah” is the verb indicating cause (fi’il syarath). The known indicating cause (syarath) in this sentence is hidden. It is “kaana”. The complete form for Mashaallah is “maa syaa Allahu kaana” which means “what is willed by Allah, this is what will happen”.
The conclusion is sentence Mashaallah is able to be translated into two main translations; they are “this is what has been wanted by Allah” or “what is willed by Allah, this is what will happened”. It is clear than why as Moslems, we need to utter Mashaallah or Masyaallah when we see something amazing. It is more than just an utterance; it is about how we feel so grateful and realize that those amazing things can be happened just because the power of Allah.
Although literally Mashaallah means those ways; as it has been explained above, it is important to know why we must utter that sentence. The order is on Surah Al Kahf sentence 39. The translation is as follow, “So, why don’t you utter it while entering your garden Maa syaa Allah, Laa Quwwataa illaa billah”. Since the main guidance of Moslems in this world is Al Quran, it is really a must for us to follow that order anyway.
Mashaallah and Subhanallah
In many traditions, the terms of Mashaallah and Subhanallah are often switched. Yes, if based on the explanation above, Mashaallah is the right term for being-amazed expression; in fact, it is not for many people nowadays. Subhanallah is often used anyway. Sure, it is something wrong that needs to be fixed. So, what is Subhanallah Anyway?
There are mainly two opinions for this matter. The first opinion said that the utterance of tasbih sentence or Subhanallah is right to be done when the person has been wondered but also amazed toward a certain happening. However, it can be done also if the person sees or hears something inappropriate particularly towards Allah.
There is a primary base why Subhanallah is right to be used for wondering expression. Based on Hadith of Bukhari 279; Abu Hurairah ra. had met Prophet Mohammad while he was not in a clean condition. Then, he cleaned himself without saying a word to the prophet. After his comeback, Prophet Mohammed asked him why he did go.
Abu Hurairah answered that he was not clean and he did not like to sit down with the prophet when he was not in a clean condition. Then, Prophet Mohammad replied: “Subhanallah, there is no Moslem who is dirty”.
Meanwhile, the second opinion is Subhanallah can be uttered when you see something amazing and beautiful, with a note it is purely from Allah without any human intervention. Good examples are when you see beautiful landscape, naturally beautiful person, and miracle things.
Besides, it is also allowed to be uttered when you see disasters like earthquake, flood, and others. In other words, Subhanallah is proper to be said to amaze the greatness of Allah, whatever the condition whether it is good and bad.
It is clearly different then the use of Masyaallah and Subhanallah. Masyaallah is used to appreciate something good and beautiful in general. It is for any good thing whether it is naturally happened due to Allah’s power or there is also for human intervention. Meanwhile, Subhanallah is to appreciate anything whether it is good or bad which is happened only because of Allah’s wants and power.
There are many terms from Al Quran in which not all Moslems are probably acknowledged. The Moslems, maybe including us, tend to utter it because of habits or the influence of environment around. Unfortunately, not all the utterances are correctly used. Masyaallah is one of the examples. Therefore, it is important to learn more about it event into the core so that it can just add the reward and bless Allah may give to us.
Syaikh Abdul Aziz bin Baz. Tafsir Al Quranul Karim Surat Al Kahf. Fatawa Nurun ‘alad Darbi, no. 39905.