Friday, October 9, 2009

Inshalla Time

From what I've seen, when foreigners come to Egypt or this part of the world one of their most common complaints is the lack of respect for time. They even have a phrase for that. "Inshalla Time". When I heard that at first I laughed but after thinking about it, I became saddened. The term inshalla time is just another piece of proof as to how much people misuse their religion and butcher a perfect religion. Also another tool people use to attack an otherwise perfect concept.
A term that was taught to us in order to rid an over successful society of arrogance has instead been turned into an excuse to being lazy.
When the term Inshalla was mentioned in the Quran, it was in the chapter, "The Cave". The story behind it was the Prophet (PBUH) was asked by some people about the story of the men who slept in the cave for over 300 years. He confidently said "I will tell you the story tomorrow." About two weeks past before the Angel came to Prophet Muhammad with the story and people had started challenging him. He thought it was because of his personal shortcomings and was very pained and saddened thinking he must have done something wrong. Then the chapter of "the cave" was revealed with the verse saying "do not say you will do this tomorrow except if God is willing."
This verse reminds people that there are two sides to action and getting things done, the first is taking action and the second part is knowing that with the action you take you must know that things will get done only by God's will.
Some people have now interpreted "Inshalla" as a way to hang their own laziness on God's will.
Inshalla by no means means we can be late to everything or not fulfill a certain committment. It is merely a reminder that you should work hard and do your part but know that what you do is all by God's will. It is a lesson in knowing you have control but not total control. However, a balance is important you must do the work in order for things to get done and when they get done you know that it is by the will of God.
In Egypt so many aspects of daily life are out of our hands. Traffic can suddenly stop because someone decided they needed extra security. The electricity can shut down freezing a whole companies operation. Anything can happen, so people say inshalla knowing that somethings are out of their hands. It would help to put these things into consideration when dealing with time in order to bring the term back to its original context.
It's up to us to change the perception of "Inshalla time" to a positive one again.


Shimo said...

Very interesting Sahra. I had an experience with ISA misue that I also discussed in my blog

I need to link your post to mine? Would you like that or not?

عصفور طل من الشباك said...

very true