Copyright © 2003-2011, Aishah Schwartz. Permission granted to circulate among private individuals, groups, or in not-for-profit publications in full text and subject title. All other rights reserved.

November 29, 2007

Introducing the "Beginner's Cheat Sheet" Sound File!


Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatuallahi wa Barakatuhu and Greetings to Non-Muslim Readers!

As it happens, I am not one of those people with the gift that allows one to memorize well or to learn foreign languages. Al-hamdulillah, Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala is okay with that, insha'Allah! But it set me to thinking that for sure I was not the only one with this handicap!

So, I set out in the early days of my writing to compile a list of Arabic words and phrases that I could, in the very least, incorporate into my writing. I was keen to do this because I had become aware of the significance and potential for reward, or acceptance as good deeds, for those things that Muslims say and do in remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. It stood to reason, in my mind, that Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala was already aware of my handicap, so if I made the extra effort, the potential for reward would be even greater. The list of words and phrases I chose to compile each contain a form of the word "Allah" - and as such, as I understood it, when used or spoken, became reward worthy! 


Then I got to thinking, hey! How great would it be to share the list with others! And then every time someone used one of the words or phrases from the list they received from me, I would receive yet another reward! At that point the whole reward system was looking pretty good to me! *smile!*

And then I got another idea!

What if I could get the list recorded so that people who do not speak Arabic and are not even around other people who speak Arabic, could actually hear how the words pronounced and defined! Has anyone ever played the board game SCRABBLE? *lol* My brain was running in over-time mode and I was thinking, "Triple points!" (rewards.) *lol*

So, on November 18, 2005, I distributed an email through my e-distribution lists in search of a volunteer willing to record the list to create an up-loadable audio file of the now, much re-cycled Sister Aishah's "Beginner's Cheat Sheet" (inserted below).

Al-hamdulillah, 16-months later (March '07) the task was, at long last, embraced by a dedicated Muslim brother from Jordan. May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala reward him greatly, in this dunya and in the Hereafter, insha'Allah.


Now lets review.

There is reward to be found in each word used for each time I speak or write it.

Then the reward is multiplied for each time another person speaks or writes it.

Then there is a reward for each time another person hears the words, repeats and/or writes them!

Then there is a reward for each time the person you share the list with who repeats and/or writes them!

And so on, and so on, and so on!

Is anyone else seeing the potential for reward here that I am? *smile*

And all you have to do is click on the share link...imagine that.

Could remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala (or dawah even!), possibly get any easier?

‎"Allah the Most High says, 'I am with my slave when he thinks of Me and I am with him when he mentions Me. For if he mentions Me to himself, I mention him to Myself; and if he mentions Me in a gathering, I mention him in superior gathering. If he approaches Me by a hand's width, I approach him by an arm's length, I approach him by two arms length. And if he comes to me walking, I hasten to him swiftly.'" [Bukhari]



ALAYHIS SALAM - Alayhis Salam'Peace be upon him', a formula used after the name of a prophet.

AMEEN - Ameen - The Arabic expression meaning 'Please accept'. Used at the end of prayers and supplications (duas).

ASSALAMU ALAYKUM - Assalamu Alaikum - 'Peace be upon you' the greeting of the Muslim. [The reply is 'wa alaikumus salam' which means 'and peace be upon you'. The fuller version reads, 'assalam u alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa baakatuhu' which means'peace be upon you and the blessings and mercy of Alllah' the reply is 'wa alaikumus salam wa rahmatulahi wa baakatuhu'].

ALLAHU AKBAR - Allahu Akbar - The Arabic expression meaning 'Allah is great(est)'. Also called the takbir.

ALLAHU A'ALAM - Allahu A'alam - An Arabic expression meaning 'Allah knows best'.

AL HAMDU LILAH WA SHUKRU LILLAH - Al Hamdulilah wa Shukru Lillah - The Arabic expression meaning which means 'Praise belongs to Allah and all thanks to Allah'.

ASTAGFURALLAH - Astagfur'Allah - The Arabic expression meaning, 'I ask forgiveness of Allah'.

AUDHU BILLAHI MIN ASH SHAYTAN AR RAJIM - Audhu Billahi min ash Shaytan ar Rajim - The Arabic expression meaning, 'I seek protection in Allah from the accursed satan'.

BARAKALLAH FIK - Barak'Allah Fik - An expression which means, 'May the blessings of Allah be upon you.' When a Muslims want to thank another person, they uses different statements to express thanks, appreciation and gratitude. One of them is Barak'Allah. 

BISMILLAH AR RAHMAN AR RAHIM - Bismillah ar Rahman ar Rahim -The basmala. 'In the name of Allah, the all Merciful the all Compassionate' [this is also translated as In the Name of Allah most Gracious Most Merciful].

FI AMANALLAH - Fi Aman'Alla - Valedictory (expressing or containing a farewell) phrase meaning 'In Allah's protection'.

FI SABILILLAH - Fi Sabilillah - The Arabic expression meaning 'In the way of Allah', 'For the cause of Allah' [also used to mean 'for the love of Allah'].

HASBALA - Hasbala - The Arabic expression, 'Hasbunallah wa nimalwakil' meaning'Allah is enough for us and an excellent Guardian'. Usually known as 'Hasbi Allah'.

INNA LILLAHI WA INNA ILAYHI RAJIUN - Inna Lillahi wa Inna Ilayhi Rajiun - This is something which a Muslim expresses when he is afflicted by a misfortune, the meaning of which is, 'We are from Allah and to Him are we returning.' It is taken from an ayat (verse) from the Quran (ch 2 vs 156). [This is usually said upon hearing of the death of an individual.]

INSHALLAH - Insha'Allah - The Arabic expression meaning 'If Allah wills' - 'God Willing'.[This is usually said when referring to a situation in the future e.g. IinshAllah I will go to the grocery shop tomorrow." etc.]

ISTIGHFAR - Istighfar - To ask the forgiveness of Allah, especially by saying,Astagfur'Allah, 'I seek the forgiveness of Allah'.

JAZAKALLAHU KHAIRAN - Jazaka Allahu Khairan - Jazakallahu Khayran - This is a statement of thanks and appreciation to be said to a person who does a favour. Instead of saying 'shukran' (thanks), this phrase is used. It means 'May Allah reward you with good'.

LA HAWLA WALA QUWWATA ILLA BILLAH - 'la hawla wa la quwwata illa billah' - The meaning of this expression is, 'There is no power nor strength save in Allah' . This is said by a Muslim when he/she is struck with calamity, or is taken over by a situation beyond his/her control.

MA SALAMA - Ma'Salaama - With peace', a formula for ending letters [in reply, "Fi Aman'Allah" - In Allah's Protection].

MASHALLAH - Masha'Allah - A phrase literally meaning 'What Allah wishes', and it indicates a good omen. 

RABBANA WA LAKAL_HAMD - Rabbana wa Lakal Hamd - 'Our Lord, Praise if yours', said after rising from ruku after saying 'sami Allahuliman hamidah' [which means 'Allah listens to the one who praises him']. 

SUBHANALLAH - Subhan'Allah 'Glorified is Allah.' - To honour Allah and make Him free from all (unsuitable evil things) that are ascribed to Him, (or 'Glorified be Allah').

SUBHANALLAH WA TA'ALA - Subhanahu wa ta'ala - 'Glorified is He and exalted', an expression that Muslims use when the name of Allah is pronounced or written [this is often abbreviated as (swt)].

TABARAK'ALLAH - Tabarak'Allah - The formula 'Blessed is Allah' [usually used in the context of when one hears good news].

YA ALLAH - 'Oh God' - or 'Lets Go' Often used by Aishah's heart-adopted sister, Sameera (in Saudi Arabia), when she would call out, "Ya'Allah! Aishah! Come!" *smile*



Please remember Br. Omar of Jordan in your duas and ask that Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala reward and bless him for his contribution in providing us with the wonderful audio file that brings this list to life, and insha'Allah serves as a reminder to one and all the importance in remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala in all that we say and do, insha'Allah.

If I am right, it is from Allah; if wrong, it is from me. I ask Allah Almighty to protect you and me from errors and from all that displease Him. Al-Hamdu-lillahi rabbil-alameen.


  1. “ALLAHU AKBAR - Allahu Akbar - The Arabic expression meaning 'Allah is greater'. Also called the takbir.”

    Assalaamu‘alaikum Sister Aisyah,

    Allahu Akbar means Allah is the Greatest, not Allah is Greater.

    Allah is the Greatest, nothing else is greater.

    When Allah is Greater, it means there is something else that is greater than Allah.


    Brother Mazlan from Malaysia

  2. Assalamu'alaiakum sister :)

    Nice list, though I'm not a revert to Islam Alhamdulilah, its helpful none the less :)

    Jazaka'Allah Khairan :)

  3. Assalamu alaikum,

    Actually I read that Allahu Akbar means 'Allah is greater', since it doesn't say greater than what, the implication is greater than everything. Whatever you want to say after Allahu akbar is correct because nothing is greater than Allah.

    Marie Wong

  4. Salam sister Aishah,

    Thank you for an amazing Blog/Website and such useful information.

    May Allah reward you.

    Adam from Canada.