A Muslim guy got kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight last week because another passenger heard him use the Arabic phrase 'inshallah' (God willing) on the phone. Despite what Homeland teaches us, using the phrase as some sort of "Muslim terrorist code word" is not actually a thing. So here's an explainer on some of the ways Muslims do use it:
  1. To comfort a friend who just got dumped the night before. Picture a boozy brunch the morning after, like in a Sex and the City rerun, or not.
    Sincerity Level: High (because drunk or sober, you're a good friend) Example: "Trust me, you totally dodged a bullet with that one. And Inshallah, you're going to find someone. I know it.."
  2. To soften the blow of having bailed on an acquaintance who figured out you were around because you stupidly checked in on Facebook.
    Sincerity Level: Low (you don't mean it and the other person probably knows it.) Typically delivered via txt (with emojis) so you don't have to lie to their face, or see them generally. Example: "Ahhh 😞😞😞 Im so sorry I couldn't make it - had this last minute work thing come up. Spent the whole night on it. 😔 but will def ping you next time I'm in town. Would be great to see you, inshallah! 😘😘
  3. To comfort aging parents who worry about your safety 24/7.
    Sincerity Level: Increasing with every year (because as your parents get older, you realize how precious the time you have with them actually is.) Example: "Ok, they're telling us to turn off our phones. I'll call you as soon as we land, Inshallah. Love you."
  4. To cover all of the Universe's bases (in case God exists)
    Sincerity Level: High but agnostic or secular in tone. Often paired with fingers crossed or a knocking on wood motion. Example: "Inshallah, I get the interview" or "Inshallah, I think the Cubs have a good shot at making it to the World Series this year." (Inshallah inshallah inshallah)
  5. To give yourself a loophole out of a current work or personal commitment you have no intention of keeping.
    Sincerity Level: Zero (you know you should've just said no when they asked but it's so hard to do that sometimes..) Example: "Yeah, I should be able to turn in my part by Friday ... Inshallah." (Note: inshallah is either said aloud or muttered under your breath)