We live in times when godless people are in control of the economy, culture, social trending and power matrix of the world. In such times of utter chaos and confusion, our only hope is returning to Allah and keeping the faith. As Allah is the undoubted King of the universe, entering His court, we need to learn few manners. The story behind phrase “Insha Allah” teaches us that manner and highlights the importance of resting complete faith in Allah. It is among many gifts of Al Kahf. It has two strong strands; we must have unwavering faith that every future happening is conditioned to Allah’s Will and not our abilities. Secondly, knowledge of unseen only rests with Allah. Let’s discover the background and significance of the story.
When Allah's Messenger (PBUH) declared Allah's Oneness and proclaimed to be the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) and revelation of Divine Message. The disbelievers of Mecca sent some men to Jewish rabbis in Medina and said: "Ask them (the rabbis) about Muhammad (PBUH). The rabbis said: 'Ask him about three things, some young men in ancient times, what was their story? For there is a strange and wondrous tale. Ask him about a man who traveled a great deal and reached the east and the west of the earth. What was his story? And ask him about the Rooh (soul or spirit) what is it? they came to the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) and said: 'O Muhammad (PBUH) tell us,' and they asked him about the things they had been told to ask.
The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: "I will tell you tomorrow about what you have asked me." But He (PBUH) did not say, Insha Allah (If Allah Wills).
Allah Messenger (PBUH) waited for the revelation from Allah but fifteen days passed away without any revelation. The people of Mecca started to doubt him and said: 'Muhammad (PBUH) promised to tell us the next day and now fifteen days have gone by and he has not told us anything in response to the questions we asked.'
The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) felt sad because of the delay in revelation and was grieved by what the people of Mecca were saying about him. Then Jibreel (AS) came with the revelation of Surah Al-Kahf, which contained answers to the questions asked by Meccans. Following verse was also revealed explaining the correct etiquette when intending to do something in future.
وَلَا تَقُولَنَّ لِشَيْءٍ إِنِّي فَاعِلٌ ذَلِكَ غَدًا ﴿18:23﴾
(18:23) and never say about any matter, "I will do this tomorrow (for you cannot do anything)
إِلَّا أَنْ يَشَاءَ اللَّهُ وَاذْكُرْ رَبَّكَ إِذَا نَسِيتَ وَقُلْ عَسَى أَنْ يَهْدِيَنِ رَبِّي لِأَقْرَبَ مِنْ هَذَا رَشَدًا ﴿18:24﴾
(18:24) except that Allah wills it." If ever you inadvertently utter anything like this, you should at once remember your Lord and say, "I hope that my Lord will guide me *24 in this matter with that thing which is nearest to the right way for me"
Now just imagine the intensity of the situation. Credibility of infant Islamic movement and title of Allah’s Prophet (PBUH) “Sadiq & Amin” was at stake. It is Allah’s best chosen religion for which He appointed His most beloved Prophet (PBUH). He is the reason of creation of the universe but in order to stamp His authority, Allah swt delayed the answers to questions of Meccan idolaters. This shows importance of etiquettes in Allah’s Court. It also reflects importance of having this infallible faith that only Allah is the Knower of the unseen.
So, if one intends to do something in future or even takes an oath, he should say, 'If Allah Wills' or 'Insha'Allah.' If one forgets to say, Insha'Allah then he should say when he remembers it even if it is a year later, as Ibn Abbas (RA) explained.
May Allah forgive us for whenever in past we forgot to say Insha Allah while talking about future happenings.