Magnolia

Magnolia

Thursday, February 02, 2012

In shaa'Allah

In shaa'Allah (Arabic: إن شاء الله‎) An Arabic term to indicate hope for an aforementioned event to occur in the future.  The phrase translates into English as "God willing" or "If it is God's will."  In Arabic speaking countries the term is used by members of all religions, meaning the term in and of itself does not denote a religion, but simply means "God willing."  
If you are living or traveling in a country where Arabic is spoken, you no doubt have heard people say In shaa'Allah.  It's used in so many instances that it really does become a part of everyday language. 
  • I'll see you tomorrow. In shaa'Allah.
  • I'll get that report to you before 5:00. In shaa'Allah.
  • Your flight will depart at 11:35 sharp. In shaa'Allah.
So you can see how In shaa'Allah can become a real part of your vocabulary.  Living in Oman, I have really bought in to the theory...to a certain point. 
I was having a conversation with an Omani couple the other day and we were discussing the very large numbers of people killed in auto accidents in Oman.   Children never appear to be buckled in...they're standing in the back seat or standing in the front seat or sitting in someone's lap.  The statistics are terrible when it comes to death on the roads here.  It doesn't help that there is no such thing as common courtesy on the road.   I asked why children were not restrained in seat belts. Her response...In shaa'Allah.  The prevailing attitude is that things are predestined and if Allah is ready to accept you or your child in death, you go.  I asked if this person went to the doctor when they were sick. Yes, she did.  Did they fastened their seat belt when they flew? Yes, her husband said they did.  I asked if they looked both ways when they crossed the street.  They did.  It looked like a light bulb came on in their heads.  I then asked them why, if they take other precautions for their own safety, did they not do the same for their children while riding in a car.  They had no answer.  Before we said goodbye, I asked again if they thought they would fasten the seat belt on their children the next time they rode in the car.  The lady looked at me, smiled and said she would.  In shaa'Allah.
Living in foreign countries, you learn there is a cultural barrier.  Most of the time, you won't convince someone to do something that, all their lives, they've done it their own way. I don't try to change anyone's culture, but sometimes a little conversation might make a difference.  In shaa'Allah.



4 comments:

Nomads By Nature said...

Great conversation to be having. Back three years when we were their there was a bit of an awareness campaign (one prominent store had car seats in is big display window and a huge plea for buckling up children to be safe). I rarely saw any restraints in use. I even saw a sun window screen up across most of a window and to the passenger side to cover for the wife who was nursing while riding in the front seat. The driver's vision was significantly blocked, but he proceeded to drive at top speed. I also volunteered for a project at one of the large hospitals to work on a mother's room whose children were in critical condition, many due to car accident injuries. It was a sad situation for all touched by such tragedy and In shaa'Allah was the common expression to show a stiff upper lip in the care of and waiting over the little ones. Hoping that your conversation makes a difference -- every drop creates waves, movement, and currents. I would love to see Omani children better protected - they are such a lovely people.

Debi said...

Each week, the Muscat Daily newspaper reports on the traffic statistics for the previous week. It's depressing...217 died, 189 died, 129 died...all in just one week! I know it's not my place to preach to the Omani people, but if just one mom or dad would realize the benefits of seat belts, it would all be worthwhile.

Nomads By Nature said...

Yes, those road death reports are depressing, aren't they. I don't think that they were doing them weekly when we were there, but rather just after a bad week of many accidents which was often enough. Maybe publishing those numbers are their way of raising driving safety awareness, but I think seat belts are a good start too.

Debi said...

I think Oman is getting it...that bad driving kills. There's even a Facebook account about driving safer in Oman. Whatever works and brings attention to the problem.