Ihsan IbadurrahmanG1025429 UNISLAMIC ENGLISH IDIOMS T-Z
THANK ONE’S LUCKY STARS We say this when expressing heartfelt gratitude or feeling fortunate. “I can thank my lucky stars I wasn‟t on the plane that crashed.” Origin: Ancient religions believed that fortune would come when stars are in the right alignment, so when the fortunes indeed came, the primitive people would "thank their lucky stars" for this. It is unislamic to thank stars, as a Muslim we should only thank Allah for whatever good that may come to us. “and, indeed, we granted this wisdom unto Luqman: “Be grateful unto God - for he who is grateful [unto Him] is but grateful for the good of his own self; whereas he who chooses to be ungrateful [ought to know that], verily, God is self-sufficient, ever to be praised!” – [Luqman, 31:12] http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/thank_one%27s_lucky_stars
THE WRITING ON THE WALL A clue that foretells the future. “Im not surprised by this, I saw the writing on the wall.” This idiom originated from the bible, and it suggests the superstitious belief about something the belief that something written on the wall might come true. As a muslim, we should only believe in Allah. `Abdullah Ibn Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,“(Believing in) bad omen is (a form of) idolatry.” Originated From the Bible, Daniel 5:5/6 (King James Version): In the same hour came forth fingers of a mans hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the kings palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. Then the kings countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another. http://xeniagreekmuslimah.wordpress.com/2009/12/02/believing-in-good-and-bad-omens-superstitions/ http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/416550.html
(AS) UGLY AS SIN Used to refer to people or things that are considered very unattractive. “Have you seen the new neighbor? They are as ugly as sin.” Origin: This simile, first recorded in 1801, replaced the earlier ugly as the devil. It is unbecoming in Islam to call people‟s name especially when it‟s connected to sins. Islam sees sin as anything that goes against the will of Allah (God). Islam teaches that sin is an act and not a state of being, and we do not want to label someone negatively just because of one‟s appearance. “O ye who believe! Let not some men among you laugh at others: It may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): Nor let some women laugh at others: It may be that the (latter are better than the (former): Nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames: Ill-seeming is a name connoting wickedness, (to be used of one) after he has believed: And those who do not desist are (indeed) doing wrong.” [Al-Hujurat, 49:11] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sin#Islam http://www.answering-christianity.com/good_manners.htm http://idioms.yourdictionary.com/ugly-as-sin
WHEN HELL FREEZES OVER Never, not a chance. “You can ask until hell freezes over, I still won‟t allow you to go bungee-jumping” Etymology: based on the idea that hell (a very hot place where people are punished forever) can never freeze. The use of the word „hell‟ itself is very obscene, and should only be used in a religious context as to warn people. Also, in Islam we should have faith in Allah and trust him that even something impossible can happen if He says „be it‟. “If Allah touches you with affliction, none can remove it but He; if He touch you with happiness, He hath power over all things. He is the Omnipotent over His slaves; and He is the Wise, Acquainted with all things.” [Al-An`am, 6:17-18] http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/until+hell+freezes+over
WAIT FOR THE CAT TO JUMP To delay taking action until you see how events will turn out. “Let‟s wait for the cat to jump before we decide.” Origin: A cruel sport in the olden days was to place a cat in a tree as a target; the "sportsman" would wait to see which way the cat jumped before pulling the trigger. Based on its rather vicious origin, this idiom seems to suggest that a decision is made out of a cat, which can be linked to another superstitious belief. http://www.xmission.com/~emailbox/phrases.htm
(AS) WHITE AS A GHOST To refer to a person who looks very pale and frightened. “You look as white as a ghost, what happened?” Origin: The earliest written evidence of this saying dates from the 1600. When a person is frightened, or sick, the blood drains from their face, leaving them looking very white. This gives that false impression that ghosts are visible in white. In Islam, Ghost is something to be believed as ghaib, and therefore cannot be attributed to it being white in appearance. “And yet, some [people] have come to attribute to all manner of invisible beings a place side by side with God - although it is He who has created them [all]; and in their ignorance they have invented for Him sons and daughters! Limitless is He is His glory, and sublimely exalted above anything that men may devise by way of definition.” [Al-an‟am, 6:100] http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/750571
WORK LIKE A CHARM If something works like a charm, it functions very well and has the desired effect. “I tried cleaning with Vinegar and it worked like a charm.” Origin: Probably related to the fact that one of the meanings of the word "charm" is "magic spell", so if something "works like a charm" it works as well as magic. Charm here refers to a magic and the use of magic itself is forbidden in Islam as it is an act of blasphemy. “…Suleiman (Solomon) did not disbelieve, but the devils disbelieved teaching men magic…" [Al-Baqarah, 2:102] http://www.englishclub.com/ref/esl/Idioms/W/work_like_a_charm_374.htm http://www.islamawareness.net/BlackMagic/magic.html
TURN UP LIKE A BAD PENNY To say that someone appears at a place or even where they are not welcome or wanted. “I try to avoid Jane, but whenever I go she turns up like a bad Penny.” Origin: This is probably a reference to tossing a coin to decide something. A penny is a type of coin, and the old British penny, in use up to about 1970, was a big coin, about 30mm across, so it was very good for tossing to decide a 50/50 outcome. A bad penny would be one that would keep turning up the same side. Based on its origin, this idiom has an association to a tossing of a coin, or a game of chance, and is forbidden in Islam. “O YOU who have attained to faith! Intoxicants, and g ames of chance, and idolatrous practices, and the divining of the future are but a loathsome evil of Satans doing: shun it, then, so that you might attain to a happy state!” [Al-Ma‟idah, 5:90] http://www.funtrivia.com/askft/Question66898.html
WHIZ-KID To refer to someone, usually young, who is very talented and successful at doing something. “Apparently the new engineer knows what he‟s doing – he‟s such a real whiz kid.” Origin: The whiz may be a back-formation from the word wizard, with its connotations of uncanny skill. Wizards in Islam are practitioners of witchcraft, or worshippers of demons. It is not in line with Islamic manners to call people with „bad‟ names such as wizards. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whiz_kid
TALK OF THE DEVIL It is used when an object of discussion unexpectedly becomes present during the conversation. A: “So, what do think of the new teacher?” B: “Oh he‟s brilliant, look here he comes.” A: “Talk of the Devil!” The phrase is an abbreviation of English proverb, "Speak of the devil and he doth appear." Deriving from the Middle Ages, this proverb (which was, and to a certain extent still is, rendered as "Talk of the Devil...") was a superstitious prohibition against speaking directly of the Devil or of evil in general, which was considered to incite that party to appear, generally with unfortunate consequences. Its first printed usage in modern English can be found in Giovanni Torrianos Piazza Universale (1666), as "The English say, Talk of the Devil, and hes presently at your elbow.“ This idiom carries that superstitious belief that speaking directly of the devil might incite him to appear, also the meaning itself suggests that „coincidence‟ exists. This is to contrast with the teaching of Islam that says that everything is pre-determined, and Allah has arranged all of our actions in heaven. “And in the heaven is your providence and that which ye are promised.” [Adh-Dhariyat, 51:22] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speak_of_the_devil http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?pagename=IslamOnline-English- Ask_Scholar/FatwaE/FatwaE&cid=1119503546622
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