The Purpose and History of the Islamic Phrase "Alhamdulillah"

Alhamdulillah Is a Prayer and Much More

Man Offering Namaz At Mosque
Alhamdulillah is an important aspect of Islam. Cielo De La Paz / EyeEm / Getty Images

Alhamdulillah (alternatively al-Hamdi Lil lah or al-hamdulillah) is pronounced al-ham-doo-li-lah and means Praise be to Allah (God). It is a phrase that Muslims often use in conversation, especially when thanking God for blessings.

Meaning of Alhamdulillah

There are three parts to the phrase:

  • Al, meaning "the"
  • Hamdu, meaning praise
  • Li-lah, meaning to Allah (the word Allah is actually a combination of al, meaning "the" and ilah, meaning deity or God.

    There are four possible English translations of Alhamdulillah, all of which are very similar:

    • All praise is due to Allah
    • All praise is due to God alone
    • All the praises and thanks be to Allah
    • Praise be to Allah

    Significance of Alhamdulillah

     

    The Islamic phrase alhamdulillah can be used in several different ways. In each case, the speaker is thanking Allah.

    • Alhamdulillah can be used as a secular exclamation of pleasure, much as Americans might use the expression "thank God." For example: "Alhamdulillah! I got an A in chemistry!"
    • Alhamdulillah may be a statement of gratitude to God for any gift, whether it be simply the gift of life or the gift of success, health, or strength.
    • Alhamdulillah may be used in prayer. By thanking Allah, the creator of all things, one is lifting prayers to God.
    • Alhamdulillah may be used as a term of acceptance for trials and difficulties placed before us. In other words, one says Alhamdulillah in all situation because all situations have been created by God.
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      Huda. "The Purpose and History of the Islamic Phrase "Alhamdulillah"." ThoughtCo, Nov. 3, 2017, thoughtco.com/islamic-phrases-alhamdulillah-2004284. Huda. (2017, November 3). The Purpose and History of the Islamic Phrase "Alhamdulillah". Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/islamic-phrases-alhamdulillah-2004284 Huda. "The Purpose and History of the Islamic Phrase "Alhamdulillah"." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/islamic-phrases-alhamdulillah-2004284 (accessed February 23, 2018).