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What is the difference between ‘bi ithnillah’ and ‘Insha-Allah’?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

What does ‘bi ithnillah’ mean?

Assalamu Alaikum.
I find in the writing of some authors the phrase ‘bi ithnillah’, which as per Internet search it means “by Allah’s will”, essentially meaning the same as Insha-Allah. It’s used a lot by Egyptians.
Now, my question is, which one do you suggest we should use? Insha-Allah or ‘bi ithnillah’? From my childhood, I have been taught to use, Insha-Allah. `Bi ithnillah’ is something new to me. 
And what could be sources of these two phrases?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

When one makes any decision or commitment about the future, one may say Insha-Allah or bi ithnillah. Both are correct.[1]

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Abdullah ibn Mohammed Aijaz

Student Darul Iftaa
Baltimore, USA

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.


[1]The usage of Insha-Allah is derived from the Ayah of the Qur’an:

وَلَا تَقُولَنَّ لِشَاْىۡءٍ إِنِّى فَاعِلٌ۬ ذَٲلِكَ غَدًا إِلَّآ أَن يَشَآءَ ٱللَّهُ‌ۚ

“And never say about anything, “I will do this tomorrow” Unless (you say) “Allah wills.” (Surah Al Kahf – Verse: 23-24)

The usage of Insha-Allah is also recorded in the Hadith. Rasulullah () is reported to have mentioned:

السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ أَهْلَ الدِّيَارِ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُسْلِمِينَ، وَإِنَّا، إِنْ شَاءَ اللهُ لَلَاحِقُونَ، أَسْأَلُ اللهَ لَنَا وَلَكُمُ الْعَافِيَةَ

Translation: Peace be upon you, O believing men and women from the dwellers of this place. Certainly, Allah willing, we will join you. We ask Allah to grant ease to you and us.” (Muslim) (1)

 The usage of bi-ithnillah is derived from the Ayah of the Qur’an:

قُلۡ مَن كَانَ عَدُوًّ۬ا لِّجِبۡرِيلَ فَإِنَّهُ ۥ نَزَّلَهُ ۥ عَلَىٰ قَلۡبِكَ بِإِذۡنِ ٱللَّهِ مُصَدِّقً۬ا لِّمَا بَيۡنَ يَدَيۡهِ وَهُدً۬ى وَبُشۡرَىٰ لِلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ

“Say, if someone is an enemy to Jibra’il (it can by no means degrade him for) it is he who has brought it (the Qur’an) down upon your heart by the permission of Allah, confirming what has been before it, and a guidance and good tidings to the believers.” (Surah Al Baqarah – Verse: 97)

The usage of bi-itnillah is also recorded in the Hadith. Rasulullah () is reported to have mentioned:

إِذَا أَصَابَ أَحَدَكُمُ الحُمَّى فَإِنَّ الحُمَّى قِطْعَةٌ مِنَ النَّارِ فَلْيُطْفِئْهَا عَنْهُ بِالمَاءِ فَلْيَسْتَنْقِعْ نَهْرًا جَارِيًا لِيَسْتَقْبِلَ جَرْيَةَ الْمَاءِ فَيَقُولُ: بِسْمِ اللهِ، اللَّهُمَّ اشْفِ عَبْدَكَ وَصَدِّقْ رَسُولَكَ، بَعْدَ صَلاَةِ الصُّبْحِ قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ الشَّمْسِ فَلْيَغْتَمِسْ فِيهِ ثَلاَثَ غَمَسَاتٍ ثَلاَثَةَ أَيَّامٍ، فَإِنْ لَمْ يَبْرَأْ فِي ثَلاَثٍ فَخَمْسٍ، وَإِنْ لَمْ يَبْرَأْ فِي خَمْسٍ فَسَبْعٌ، فَإِنْ لَمْ يَبْرَأْ فِي سَبْعٍ فَتِسْعٍ فَإِنَّهَا لاَ تَكَادُ تُجَاوِزُ تِسْعًا بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ

Translation: “When one of you suffers from fever – and indeed fever is a piece of the Fire – let him extinguish it with water. Let him stand in a flowing river facing the direction of it and say: ‘In the name off Allah. O Allah! Cure your slave and testify to Your Messenger.) Doing so after Salat As-Subh (Fajr) and before the rising of the sun. Let him submerse himself in it three times, for three days. If he is not cured in three, then five. If he is not cured in five, then seven. If he is not cured in seven, then nine. For indeed it will not remain after nine, with the permission of Allah.” (Thirmidhi)(2)

صحيح مسلم (2/ 671) (1)

(975) حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو بَكْرِ بْنُ أَبِي شَيْبَةَ، وَزُهَيْرُ بْنُ حَرْبٍ، قَالَا: حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللهِ الْأَسَدِيُّ، عَنْ سُفْيَانَ، عَنْ عَلْقَمَةَ بْنِ مَرْثَدٍ، عَنْ سُلَيْمَانَ بْنِ بُرَيْدَةَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، قَالَ: ” كَانَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يُعَلِّمُهُمْ إِذَا خَرَجُوا إِلَى الْمَقَابِرِ، فَكَانَ قَائِلُهُمْ يَقُولُ – فِي رِوَايَةِ أَبِي بَكْرٍ -: السَّلَامُ عَلَى أَهْلِ الدِّيَارِ، – وَفِي رِوَايَةِ زُهَيْرٍ -: السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ أَهْلَ الدِّيَارِ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُسْلِمِينَ، وَإِنَّا، إِنْ شَاءَ اللهُ لَلَاحِقُونَ، أَسْأَلُ اللهَ لَنَا وَلَكُمُ الْعَافِيَةَ “

سنن الترمذي ت بشار (3/ 480) (2)

حَدَّثَنَا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ سَعِيدٍ الأَشْقَرُ الرِّبَاطِيُّ، قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا رَوْحُ بْنُ عُبَادَةَ، قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا مَرْزُوقٌ أَبُو عَبْدِ اللهِ الشَّامِيُّ، قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا رَجُلٌ مِنْ أَهْلِ الشَّامِ، قَالَ: أَخْبَرَنَا ثَوْبَانُ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: إِذَا أَصَابَ أَحَدَكُمُ الحُمَّى فَإِنَّ الحُمَّى قِطْعَةٌ مِنَ النَّارِ فَلْيُطْفِئْهَا عَنْهُ بِالمَاءِ فَلْيَسْتَنْقِعْ نَهْرًا جَارِيًا لِيَسْتَقْبِلَ جَرْيَةَ الْمَاءِ فَيَقُولُ: بِسْمِ اللهِ، اللَّهُمَّ اشْفِ عَبْدَكَ وَصَدِّقْ رَسُولَكَ، بَعْدَ صَلاَةِ الصُّبْحِ قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ الشَّمْسِ فَلْيَغْتَمِسْ فِيهِ ثَلاَثَ غَمَسَاتٍ ثَلاَثَةَ أَيَّامٍ، فَإِنْ لَمْ يَبْرَأْ فِي ثَلاَثٍ فَخَمْسٍ، وَإِنْ لَمْ يَبْرَأْ فِي خَمْسٍ فَسَبْعٌ، فَإِنْ لَمْ يَبْرَأْ فِي سَبْعٍ فَتِسْعٍ فَإِنَّهَا لاَ تَكَادُ تُجَاوِزُ تِسْعًا بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ.

هَذَا حَدِيثٌ غَرِيبٌ

This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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