Bismillahir rahmanir raheem
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
This phrase literally means ‘May Allah swt reward you with goodness’. There are a number of ways to express the phrase depending on whether you are talking to a man, woman or group.
For a man: JazakAllahu khayrun
For a woman: Jazakillahu khayrun
For 2 men or 2 women: JazakumAllahu khayrun
For 3 women or more: Jazaakumunna-llaahu khayrun
Just like ‘Asalaamu alaikum’, jazakAllahu khayrun is a dua you make for your brother or sister in Islam.
“Is there any reward for good other than good?” [ar-Rahmaan 55:60]
how do you respond?
The response can come in 2 forms. One comes from the sunnah and the other is a more common form among Arabic speakers. As Muslims, we should always strive to implement the sunnah in our lives inshaAllah. From the sunnah we see, narrated by a Sahaba, Usayd ibn Hadayr (ra), that when he said jazakAllahu khayrun to the Prophet (saw), the Prophet (saw) responded “Wa Antum fa Jazakumullahu khayrun” meaning “And you too, May Allah reward to with Khayr”. Typically, people will also say ‘wa iyyakum‘ which means and to you.
The one who does not give thanks to people does not give thanks to Allah (swt). Narrated in Bukhari
shortening our blessings
One thing that Muslims often do is shorten jazakAllahu khayrun to jazakAllah. I would urge you brothers and sisters, that conveying the full response is better. There are some that have said the intention behind saying jazakAllahu khayrun is the same as saying jazakAllah but we know as Muslims that doing actions with ihsan (excellence) is part and parcel of the religion.
Whoever has a favour done for him and says to the one who did it, ‘JazakAllah khayr,’ has done enough to thank him.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi
alternatives to jazakallahu khayrun
Just imagine, if you say jazakAllahu khayrun to somebody, you are thanking someone in the same way our Beloved Prophet (saw) thanked people. And if they respond back, they’re affording you the same good, subhanAllah.
Umar ibn al-Khattaab (ra) said “If one of you knew what there is in his saying to his brother, ‘JazakAllah khayr’, you would say it a great deal to one another” Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah (5/322)
So let’s take Umar’s (ra) example and spread thanks and praise among ourselves so that inshaAllah, Allah will spread thanks and praise amongst us on the Day of Qiyyamah (Day of Judgement)!
A substitute for jazakAllahu khayrun is ‘barakAllahu feek‘ which means ‘May the blessings of Allah be upon you.’ This is also acceptable and another form of dua that you can make for someone who has done something ncie for you. I often use this in response to ‘Jazakillahu khayrun’.
What an amazing phrase and what beautiful words Allah swt and his Messener (saw) have provided us with! Saying thank you will never cut it again!
The next word we’ll be discussing is ‘InshaAllah.’