Arabic Cultural Expressions: From Assalamu ‘alaykum to Bismillah Posted by aziza on Feb 27, 2010 in Culture, Vocabulary
I am writing this post in response to a kind suggestion of Juan who asked me to write a post about cultural expressions and their replies. Thank you very much Juan for the suggestion! I think that this is a very important topic. Please find a list below.
“Bismillah” literally means (in the name of God). We use it when we start something, e.g. at the beginning of a meal.
“Alhamdu-lillah” literally means (Thank God). We use it when we finish something, e.g. at the end of a meal. It is also used when we are grateful for something or when something good happens to us.
ما شاء الله
“Maa shaa’ Allah” literally means (what God wants is done). We use it when we appreciate something, e.g. if my friend shows me something nice or new, I say this expression.
“Mabrook” means (congratulations). We use it in happy occasions, e.g. if some one gets married or succeeds in an exam, etc. The reply is (الله يبارك فيك)
“Alhamdu-lillah” is also used after sneezing, i.e. when I sneeze, I say “Alhadu-lillah”. The reply is (يرحمكم الله)
“Assalamu ‘alaykum” is a greeting you say when you meet someone. The reply is (وعليكم السلام)
“Albaqa’ Lillah” is used to convey condolences.
“Allah yarhamu/yarhamha” is used after the name of someone who passed away.
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