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God Willing: Im Yirẓeh Hashem—In Sha Allah

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image of Review of Rabbinic Judaism

Abstract Except for three passages in the New Testament, the earliest usage in Jewish literature of the phrase “God willing” (or: “if God wills”) dates from the Islamic period. The Hebrew im yirẓeh Hashem reflects the Arabic in sha Allah, but without the underlying Islamic occasionalist denial of natural causality and emphasis on divine omnipotence and decree (al-qadar) propounded by Al-Ghazali and Ash’arite Kalam. The Hebrew term merely reflects belief in divine providence and not occasionalism.

Affiliations: 1: P.O. Box 4649, Jerusalem 91044 Israel ; 2: 14 Naftali, Ofrah 90627 Israel


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