God Talk

Casual mentions of God and divinity in everyday language.

Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash

I am going to start using my God-conscious, divinely-infused speech around everyone now. With zero apologies and necessary annotations and explanations.

When you tell me that you wish me ‘good luck’ or the ‘absolute best’, I can never take your warm wishes as anything beyond that, as having any real power for goodness or genuine impact on my life. Knowing the little I do about language and the construction of sentences, I have noticed that these wishes often lack the doer (subject-object-doer) and end up being passive, not-quite-precatory statements. Who will execute and ensure my receipt of the good luck you wish me?

If I were to start crying right this moment, I’m sure someone would rush to comfort me and say, at some point, that ‘everything will be okay’. And who are you to make that promise to me? Are you the one guaranteeing my comfort and future ease?

When I, a Muslim, make statements, each one is a prayer. Each one recognises my goodwill towards you, recognises you as a creature receiving my love in the form of prayer, and recognises God as the ultimate Decider of whatever good I wish to happen to you. I am not making grand promises of what will happen to you, or of what I think you deserve. Nor am I instructing you to take the helm of your own life as if you are somehow responsible for your fortune and have blessings dependent on your own efforts. I am not giving myself authority either, that things will go ‘well’ for you, my version of ‘well’, simply because I say so and know exactly what is best for you. That is why I leave you in the trust of God when wishing you well.

So the ma sha Allah, tabarak Allah, allahuma barik, barak Allah feek, yarhamak Allah, in sha Allah, may Allah be pleased with you, fi amanillah are all here to stay.

And the subhanAllah, alhamdulillah, Allahu akbar too, because of course I will praise and remember Allah in moments of His planning and at happenings of His decision, good, bad, happy or sad. I will not be embarrassed to worship God on God’s own earth.

(Post-religious Europe and pop culture condemnations of traditional God-consciousness may sit in their rage and discomfort for all I care. The mention and recognition of God is not a faux pas, outdated turn of phrase, or automatically the butt of a joke. You may roll your eyes, but take up any qualms with the concept of freedom of speech. Now group me with the dear Irish grannies who ‘bless your cotton socks’.)

With these expressions of love and goodwill that do not fall below the seven heavens, consider the chat elevated.



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Attempting to seek and express reflections of knowledge and truth, trying to find meaning in everything under the sun.