During last night’s presidential debate, former Vice President Joe Biden uttered an unlikely phrase in response to the president’s declaration that he would, at least eventually, release his tax records.
Biden said “Inshallah,” an Arabic phrase literally meaning “God willing.”
Known for his stutter and not infrequent verbal gaffes, many thought Biden had said ‘in July’ or even ‘enchilada,’ but according to NPR’s Asma Khalid, the Biden campaign has confirmed that the candidate did in fact say “inshallah.”
Okay, for those of you wondering - did Joe Biden really drop an “inshallah” with the appropriate sarcastic usage?
Yes, he did. I confirmed with his campaign - that is indeed what the man said. https://t.co/MqseBsl2Ck— Asma Khalid (@asmamk) September 30, 2020
Unsurprisingly, Muslim and Arab Twitter has been gushing over the use of the term, especially since Biden seemed to use it in its more colloquial manner, as a sarcastic ‘yeah right.’ Al-Jazeera even dubbed the moment “historic.”
habibis, it’s happening… https://t.co/G1OfgD6GWX— Siraj Hashmi (@SirajAHashmi) September 30, 2020
Yes, Joe Biden said “Inshallah” during the #Debates2020 debate. It literally means “God willing,” but it’s often used to mean, “Yeah, never going to happen.”
My wife: Will you finally pick up your socks?
No, saying inshallah doesn’t make you Muslim.— Wajahat “Wears a Mask Because of a Pandemic” Ali (@WajahatAli) September 30, 2020
Just here for Inshallah twitter— Faiz Siddiqui (@faizsays) September 30, 2020
However, Jews have reason to be excited as well. While equivalents like the Hebrew b’ezrat Hashem or Aramaic b’siyata d’shmaya are used by Jewish communities all over the world in similar ways, for many Sephardi and Mizrahi Jewish communities who have spoken Arabic or dialects of Judeo-Arabic for hundreds of years, inshallah is as much a Jewish phrase as it is a Muslim one.
“Fun fact: The first time I heard ‘Inshallah’ used ironically like this was back in college when I asked my co-editor of the Queens College of Jewish Studies if she (an Iraqi Jewish woman) wanted to try some of my homemade gefilte fish,” said Russel Neiss in a now deleted tweet.
I love that expression!
I grew up in Israel with a Jewish grandma (from Egypt) who said Inshallah and Mashalla all the time. For me, it’s just part of our family’s communication.
I would not be offended if a non Jew says Be’ezrat HaShem or Baruch HaShem.— ShirTruth (@ShirTruth) September 30, 2020