This is something which comes naturally to some, while some learn it the hard way. Saying, Masha Allah, is an extremely integral part of our daily lives. Whenever we decide to compliment someone, whether a woman, man or child we usually forget to add Masha Allah to our compliments. Many women do not say so, while they complement another woman’s beauty or their clothes. Men do not say, Masha Allah when complimenting other men for success or for improving their health. There have also been many incidents when nurses had been reported by families to the hospital, for not saying, Masha Allah. The nurses then have also been replaced or ultimately fired, which is a real eye opener for all those who do not use this term.[irp]
It is something that does not go over our mind when we go about our daily lives but its importance is vital to our lives and the lives around us. The question, however, arises that what does Masha Allah mean. The literal translation would be ‘as God has willed it’. It serves as a reminder to us that all the things that we receive on this planet are all given to us by God as his blessings. It is a popular belief in Saudi culture to say, Masha Allah, even when glancing at something of interest, as it prevents the effects of an evil eye.
When we are surrounded by children, every alternate word that is uttered in our conversations is Masha Allah. It can albeit become frustrating for those who are not used to repeating the term in such a great frequency; however, it comes naturally for the Saudis. It is possible some Saudi families might distance themselves from you, as they might be suspicious of you giving them the evil eye by not saying, Masha Allah. This might sound backward and superstitious to some but this matter is given great importance in the Kingdom, so if you see any cute kids by any chance, please say Masha Allah.
One of our avid readers had responded to an earlier article of the same nature and described the horrible ordeal that he went through as a child, which was supposed because of a lack of Masha Allah being said. The user describes that when he was little a lot of people would call him cute without saying, Masha Allah. Then at age 2, he got seriously ill and medical staff all over Riyadh had given up on him, as they could not find out what was wrong.[irp]
He says that his parents prayed for him day and night and eventually he did become better. Now he takes special care when people meet his younger brother to say Masha Allah so that no such instances of ‘evil eyes’ can be harmful to his health. Even if the person praising you, your wife or your child may not be accustomed to saying Masha Allah after every compliment, you should regularly say Masha Allah and ward off any evil thoughts or intentions that others might have had for you and your family.