In Conversation With A Muslim

There are many phrases which Muslims all over the world use very commonly in their conversation. These words are in Arabic and it does not matter if it is a Chinese Muslim, an American Muslim, an Indian Muslim or a British Muslim, at one point or the other, they will speak these phrases which are:

Assalamu alaikum: This is the way Muslims greet other (an Arabic version of hello/hi). Rough translation is “peace be upon you.” The standard response to the greeting is Wa alaykumu s-salam which means “and peace upon you too”

Allah-u-Akbar : This phrase called takbeer is recited by Muslims in many different situations. For example, when they are very happy, in times of extreme stress, to express approval, while slaughtering cattle for consumption, etc. Takbeer is also recited during prayers, The Muslim call to prayer (adhan) by the muezzin and to commence prayer (iqama) also contains the phrase Allah-u-Akbar which means “God is the Greatest”


Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim: Before starting any task, Muslims often say Bismillah When one says “Bismillaah” before starting anything, it means, “I start this action accompanied by the name of Allah or seeking help through the name of Allah, seeking blessing thereby.
In sha’ Allah: Translation is “God willing” — this phrase is used for planning things for the future. Muslims believe that anything planned will only happen by God’s will.
Subhan’Allah: Arabic version of Wow, used to express delight over something beautiful or some great news.
Alhamdulillah: rough translation: All praise is for Allah—– Muslims use it when talking about their blessings.
Masha’Allah: My favourite..It is used when praising something and recognizing the fact that only God could have created such perfection.
And last
Innalilahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon: Translation: To Allah we belong and to Him we shall return. It is actually a Qur’anic verse which shows a Muslims belief in life and death. it is spoken in times of sorrow or condolence, at someone’s death or any tragic loss.


So here’s how a conversation by a Muslim look like:

Assalamu alaikum. How are you?

Alhamdulillah, I am fine.

Is this your daughter? Masha’Allah, she is so cute.

Subhan’Allah, the weather is lovely today and the flowers are blooming.

In sha’ Allah, I will come visit you next week.

I heard about the death of your grandfather. Innalilahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon. May Allah enhance your recompense and be generous in your calamity and induce you with patience and forgive the deceased.



  1. Profile photo of Coral Levang
    Coral Levang

    I really enjoyed reading this, and I hope that you will write more articles about being a Muslim. There are many non-muslims who need to understand more. Unfortunately, media and fear has taken its toll on Humanity. I applaud you for speaking up and being willing to share. I know it’s not always easy. It is one of the reasons that I love you so.

    1. Profile photo of Dawnwriter
      Dawnwriter Post author

      Thank you Coral. It is people like you who make it possible for a person like me to speak up. Though media has made people fear and hate the words Islam and Muslims, I have met many people who are open minded and do not tar everyone with the same brush. I am proud to be a Muslim. My heart weeps for every innocent life that is lost whether in Orlando, Nice, Paris, any European city or whether in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine or Kashmir. There are horrible atrocities that are being committed by human beings on other human beings. And media, politicians, analysts just pour fuel on flame.

  2. Profile photo of

    I hear these salutations all the time in my neighborhood, but I never understood what these phrasses mean. Thanks for sharing here.

    1. Profile photo of Dawnwriter
      Dawnwriter Post author

      You are most welcome. If you meet a Muslim in your neighbourhood, maybe you can surprise him by saying Assalam-u-alaikum 🙂

  3. Profile photo of Gil Camporazo
    Gil Camporazo

    Assalam-u-alaikum, that is peace be with you. The answer or the reply would be so as with you. Peace be with you, too. Our second daughter confirmed this expression which she usually overheard from the Muslims in Kuwait.

  4. Profile photo of Kyla Matton Osborne
    Kyla Matton Osborne

    Thank you so much for sharing this, Dawnwriter. I was familiar with many of the phrases but learned about some new ones too. I hope I am saying it correctly when I say that, Masha’Allah, this sharing is an important work towards raising awareness and promoting love and tolerance among all people on earth.

  5. Profile photo of Dawnwriter
    Dawnwriter Post author

    Thank you @ruby3881. In today’s world when Muslims are being asked to leave the plane just because of words like InshaAllah or Alhamdulillah, I feel it is very important for us Muslims to engage people of other faith, language and culture. For too long, we have allowed Western media to sprout bias, ignorance and distorted views about Islam and Muslims. That is why platforms such as Persona Paper and BlogBourne are so precious.

    1. Profile photo of Kyla Matton Osborne
      Kyla Matton Osborne

      I am very happy that you are taking the time to share with us, my friend. We are blessed that you can help us to better understand Islam and the good people of faith who follow your path.

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