Generally it's good to say inshallah ("Allah willing") when saying one will do things in the future, for example: "inshallah, I'll go to Egypt one day"; "inshallah, I'll graduate from college"; "I'll go to the dentist after work, inshallah"; "inshallah, I'll find a nice husband".

And never say of anything, "Indeed, I will do that tomorrow," Except [when adding], "If Allah wills." And remember your Lord when you forget [it] and say, "Perhaps my Lord will guide me to what is nearer than this to right conduct." -- Qur'an 18:23-24

Sometimes we talk about acts we are intending not to do, for example: "I'm not going to that conference in New Zealand"; "I'm not paying for that"; "I'm already learning Spanish, I'm not going to learn Korean too"; "I'm never getting married". It's seemingly out of place to say 'inshallah' in these instances, despite it being possible for Allah to intervene if He willed.

Question: Should one say inshallah for acts they're intending not to perform?

There seems to be a curious distinction between the two, which I'm finding tricky to separate.

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    I think there is also a distinction between acts you are sure to do (as sure as one can be about the future) like I'll go to the dentist after work inshallah and acts that you hope to do, like I'll find a nice husband inshallah. Though in both cases we add inshallah. But in the negative statements it seems to be wrong sometimes. Just a feeling. I think it will be hard to answer this question with hadith.
    – Sadık
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 1:27
  • I'm glad some of my questions are hard to answer. We're not going to attract scholars to this site only asking easy questions. And there's no hurry---they question will remain openly accessible indefinitely (inshallah). Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 1:38
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    Well, to attract scholars to this site we need difficult questions which are also relevant for us. This one seems interesting regarding the use of language, but not so interesting in regard of what muslims should or shouldn't do. At the end you can add inshallah to every sentence you want to. It may sound strange and people may raise their eyebrows, but nobody is going to tell you that it's wrong (in the sence of haram). Also probably nobody will consider it obligatory to use inshallah this way, otherwise we would have heard it at least sometimes.
    – Sadık
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 6:53
  • Maybe you find your answer once you are aware that nothing in this life happens without the will of Allah. So maybe you are not intending to perform something but Allah guides you to performing it one day.
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 9:12
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    Don't know about Arab cultures but among Iranians it is quite common to add it before negative hopes, such as "No! I won't be late for work in sha' Allah"!
    – infatuated
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 11:29

1 Answer 1


First let me tell you a story of a Syrian Friend (I hope he and his Family are fine and doing well!) who came to Germany for his dissertation. In his first meeting with his supervisor he answered about each question or point of his discussed to do list by saying "I'll insha'Allah...".
His supervisor -who had some experience with Muslim postgraduates and students- said:" Muhammad! Don't say insha'Allah, but do it!"

Conclusion: Many non-Muslims with the time have got a bad experience with this statement. And Muslims are using it in different ways.

My practical suggestion or answer for your question would be: If it is something you don't intend to do and your conversation partner may ask you later or would be somehow offended, say insha'Allah "to yourself" and be honest, else you can and should say it loudly. Note that the story behind the verses teaches us to say insha'Allah in any case!

I'd like to add -explaining my former comment- that as Muslims we believe that anything which happens, happens with the will of Allah, so we don't know if we would do or accomplish something we intended or planed to do at the end of our given schedule or in our life. As you might not plan to do it, but Allah might lead you to it (read for example 76:28-31, 81:28-29). Imam al-Ghazaly in his Ihya' (Fourth Quarter: The Ways to Salvation, Book 36: On Love, Longing, Intimacy and Contentment. in the chapter explaining the virtues of Contentment) quoted a statement which might have an origin in the Torah as it seems to have been narrated from Ka'ab al-Ahbar () كعب الأحبار which goes as follows:

ويروى أن الله تعالى أوحى إلى دواد عليه السلام : يا داود إنك تريد وأريد، وإنما يكون ما أريد، فإن سلمت لما أريد كفيتك ما تريد، وإن لم تسلم لما أريد أتعبتك فيما تريد، ثم لا يكون إلا ما أريد

(My own translation take it with the necessary care)

It was narrated that Allah the Almighty has revealed to Dawod (peace be upon him): O Dawod you want and I want, but only what I want will be, so if you accept what I want I'll suffice you what you want, and If you don't accept what I want I'll burden you to excess in what you want, and afterwards only what I want will be!"

  • I like the first part of your answer, but 2nd part, "but Allah might lead you to it" <-- do you mean Allah might lead you to being thirsty and leave the decision to you...and you can still not drink if you want? or he would lead you to being thirsty and then also lead you to drink it and you have no choice?
    – Thaqalain
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 14:37
  • @Honey i had something maybe different in mind: Let's say you were asked to work as SW-developer, but you said no, because you didn't intend to or couldn't imagine yourself doing this. But years later your circumstances in life lead you to the conclusion that this might be a good job, so Allah lead you to change your former opinion by some "life experience" maybe now you would say: "hey why not?".
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 15:02
  • And at that moment that you say "hey why not?" you can still stay "hell no". Right?
    – Thaqalain
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 15:11
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    @Honey yep however "hell no" isn't that appropriate ;)
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 15:12
  • I agree to that...yet I thought you would say that would be tafwiz. To me that's not tafwiz and exactly the meaning of free-will ie (حریت)
    – Thaqalain
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 15:13

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