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, Huda. (2017, November 3). The Purpose and History of the Islamic Phrase "Alhamdulillah". Retrieved from Huda. "The Purpose and History of the Islamic Phrase "Alhamdulillah"." ThoughtCo. (accessed April 20, 2018).