On September 29, many people gathered in front of their screens to watch the first presidential debate between former Vice President Joe Biden and current President Donald Trump, to see what they had to say.
When talking about taxes and the claims that Trump only paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2017, Joe Biden was questioning whether Trump will ever release his tax return to the public and said “When? Inshallah?”
Inshallah — ” In-Shaa’-Allah” — is an Arabic word that means “when God is willing” or “God’s willing.” The word is often used by Muslims when talking about something that will happen in the future because it is in Allah’s “God” knowledge so if He is willing, it will happen. An example is “Tomorrow I will go to the park, inshallah.”
It’s well-known in some Muslim cultures that the word has been used as an excuse for procrastination. When there is something they don’t want to do or never plan on doing, some people will say they will “inshallah” do it. Although this is a wrong usage of the word, as it loses its true meaning of trust in Allah and his plan, many people across different cultures unconsciously use it that way.
When Joe Biden — a non-Muslim person — uses that word in a sarcastic context as if he is saying something will never happen, we shouldn’t be proud or feel like we are being represented. This was used in a derogatory and offensive way for us. We, as Muslims, shouldn’t be using this word in such context anyway, and we should work on ourselves to avoid doing so. We should not accept others using it in such context. It has been noted the Joe Biden is trying to win over the Muslim-American population. He said he plans on ending the infamous Muslim ban on day one of his presidency. He was also seen in an ad reciting a hadith from the prophet PBUH, but he shouldn’t be using our religion in such way. Our religion is not campaign fodder.
What do you think about Biden’s usage of “inshallah”?