“And never say of anything, “Indeed, I will do that tomorrow,” “except by adding, “If Allah wills.” [Quran 18: 23-24]
Quraysh wanted to challenge Prophet Muhammad because they wanted to ridicule him and show that he wasn’t a authentic prophet. They met Jews in Madina and those Jews passed onto Quraysh three questios so they could examine Prophet Muhammad’s truth. Those questions were about the People of the Cave, the Spirit and Dhulqarnayn. Jews informed Quraysh that no one know the aswers except the real prophet.
The Prophet was clueless having no answer in regards to their questions, so he told them he would answer their question tomorrow wishing that Allah would hint him the answers by sending him the revelation through the angel Gabriel. Nevertheless, the Prophet forgot to say ‘if Allah wills’ and suddenly the revelation was delayed for a total of fifteen days. This made the Prophet worry.
At this point, Quraysh began to vastly criticize the Prophet by blaming him and putting him down. They said loudly that he wasn’t a Prophet. However, the revelation eventually came and the questions asked by the Quraysh were answered. This is also the main evidence that Quran is only Allah’s revelation not Muhammad’s writing. If so, our Prophet would not wait for days to answer their questions.
On the other hand, note that Allah rebukes and reminds the Prophet not to do so again. Allah shows His Prophet the correct etiquette when he determines to do something in the future. All plans should always be referred to the will of Allah, the Knower of the everything. Who knows what was and what is yet to be and what is not to be, and how it will be if it is to be. Al-Nawawi (d. 1277) explained, “It is strongly recommended to someone who says ‘I am going to do something’ to say after it ‘In shaa Allah/If Allah wills’.”
Furthermore, saying “In sha Allah” will help our plan go on the right way. Hence, it is forbidden to say this sentence when someone is telling a lie. It cannot be translated as “maybe, maybe not” in practical terms, or most usually, “maybe not”. Instead, “In shaa Allah” is something which must be taken very seriously since it is a kind of dua towards Allah in order to make our plans easier. It is also an expression of humility and acceptance of Allah’s control over all things. We consider it is arrogant of us to surely promise that something will happen when in reality we have no control over what in the future. There are always circumstances beyond our effort that get in the way of our plans. We firmly believe that Allah is the ultimate decider.
For instance, Prophet Solomon (d. c. 931 BC, peace be upon him) once said: “Tonight I will go around to seventy women so that each one of them will give birth to a son who will fight in Jihad for the sake of Allah.” An angel said to him, “Say:`If Allah wills'”, but Prophet Solomon did not say it. He went around to the women but none of them gave birth except for one who gave birth to a half-formed child. Prophet Muhammad commented after telling this story, “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, had he said, “If Allah wills,” he would not have broken his oath, and that would have helped him to attain what he wanted, and they would all have fought as horsemen in the cause of Allah.” [reported by Al-Bukhari & Muslim]
written by Nur Fajri Romadhon
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