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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Insha'Allah: Lord willing

(Qur'an Manuscript)
Many religions have ways of affirming that "Man plans, God laughs" (from the Yiddish, aka "Man proposes, God disposes").

The following expression shares a similar conviction:  "Lord willing and the creeks don't rise." offers two explanations for the origin of this common statement.  The first links it to the Creek Indian Nation back in the days of George Washington.  When President Washington asked Colonel Benjamin Hawkins to come to the new nation's capitol, Hawkins reputedly replied:  "God willing and the Creek don't rise."  If the Creek
Nation rose up in rebellion, Hawkins would then have to forego his trip to the capitol.  The second explanation traces the roots of this expression to
the Irish potato famine.  When the creeks rose, the potatoes rotted.  This occurred in Idaho as well as in Ireland.

According to Wikipedia, the term "Insha'Allah" is not only used within the entire Muslim world, but is also commonly used by Christian groups within the Middle East and Africa.  It indicates "submission to God," as well as the Muslim belief that "everything is maktub [written]" by Allah before it actually occurs.  In Surat Al Kahf (18):23-24 of the Qur'an it is stated that one should never speak of future actions without also saying "Insha'Allah" ("if God wills"). 

A similar exhortation is found within the Christian Bible's Epistle of James.  James 4:14-15 (NIV) states:
"Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow…  You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that.'"


Copyright October 25, 2012 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved 

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