amazingly the drive from Mecca to Madina took us just under 4 hours, we had to hand in our passports at a base on the outskirts of Madina, we where there for 2 hours exactly which was an achievement in itself as we heard that people could be there for a whole day before being 'released', so to be there for 2 hours was an accomplishment to be proud of for sure.
why is it that trying to get paper stamped or some sort of form to be looked at or anything of that sort can be such a hassle in the Arab world? they will tell you to come 'tomorrow' and then tomorrow comes and then then they say 'well the person who deals with this sort of thing is not here right now, come back tomorrow', again tomorrow comes and again another excuse.
if a competition was to be held on who can make their people wait the longest to get an official stamp, us Arabs would win it, hands down.
ok so maybe I'm not being fair but has any one heard of the phrase IBM? to put it quite simply IBM stands for Inshallah Bukrah Maybe ( translation -god willing, tomorrow, maybe), IBM.....
i remember as a child the word inshallah (god willing) used to annoy me, i know know astaghfurallah and all that, but i was a child, and i felt that when adults used to say to me 'inshallah' then that was a guarantee that they wouldn't do as they promised, to me inshallah was a way of shutting me up, a way of getting me out of their face, for example 'can we got to the park tomorrow?' adult: 'inshallah'
tomorrow comes, me: 'when are we going to the park?' adult: 'bukrah inshallah (tomorrow good willing), me: 'but you said we would go today' adult: 'torrow inshallah'
tomorrow comes, me: 'so what time we going to the park?', adult: inshallah on Saturday', me:' what? you said today', adult:'the weather will be better on Saturday, inshallah Saturday'
and the circle continues to go round, that's why i have learnt to never abuse inshallah, to me inshallah is a promise that is guaranteed unless Allah wills it not.
recently i found that some of my non-muslim friends have picked up on the types of inshallah, so i found it really hilarious as well as upsetting at the same time when i heard one of them say to a person in the Islamic society at university 'so when you just said inshallah right now, was that an inshallah of the type to mean i will be there unless i am struck down by lightning, or was it the type of inshallah to mean yeh yeh stop talking and shut up?'
see when i heard this i couldn't believe that even the non-Muslims had picked up on this and even though it was funny, it still was sad to think that inshallah is being abused and not used in the correct sense.
it's like the word 'wallahi' (i swear by Allah) that word was only used in serious cases such as in court, now every one uses it for the most simplest of things inculuding myself, i have this habit of asking people 'say wallah' whenever they tell me anything, i dont even realsie that its come out my mouth.
you hear the shabab (youth) saying 'walah man' this and 'walah man' that in amongst there conversations, and non-arabs will always vouch that there arab friends will always put the word wallah into conversation.
i have kinda diverted from what i was saying initially but i find it interesting.