Saying ‘Oh my God’ permissible
Fatwa No: 324598

Question

Assalaamu alaykum. Could you please tell me about the permissibility of common phrases like 'oh my God'? I speak a lot in English and find myself using such common phrases but I do not know whether they are considered permissible or not. Also, I was just recently cracking a joke to a colleague of mine, where I took the phrase 'The road to hell is paved with good intentions' and said (in reference to eating unhealthily), “The road to hell is paved with calories,” as a joke. Is it impermissible to use such phrases because of how close they are related to matters of faith? Would such a joke be considered an act of disbelief? I did not mean to offend my faith, and I know that I have asked a similar question before, but is this considered treading in the path of disbelief? I had a bad feeling before making the joke but made it anyway, is this something that requires repentance?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

With regard to saying “Oh my God”, to express astonishment and the like, in any language, it is permissible, and there is nothing in sharee'ah that prevents from saying it.

As regards the phrase, “The road to hell is paved with calories,” then there is nothing to indicate that this expression is explicit or implicit disbelief, as it is free from what implies disbelief and apostasy, such as mocking or blaspheming religion. That would be the case if what is meant here is the Hellfire of the Hereafter; otherwise, it may mean devastation, distress, and hardship in this worldly life, but one should avoid saying such expressions to preserve Islamic terms and avoid what could have a corrupt meaning.

In general, whether or not what you uttered is forbidden, you have to seek forgiveness and repent to Allaah in any case, as Allaah ordered all His believing servants to repent to Him; Allaah says (what means): {And turn to Allaah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.} [Quran 24:31]

Ibn al-Qayyim  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said:

This verse was revealed in Madeenah. Allaah addressed with it the believers and the best of His creation to repent to Him, after their belief and patience, migration and jihaad, then He made success conditional upon repentance, in a cause-and-effect relationship, and He said {that you might}; which is an expression of hope, as a sign for them that if you repent, then it is hoped that you will succeed, so it is only those who hope for success who repent; may Allaah make us among them.

Allaah says (what means): {And whoever does not repent - then it is those who are the wrongdoers.} [Quran 49:11]

Allaah classified people into two categories: those who repent and those who are wrongdoers, and there is no third category at all. Allaah called those who do not repent wrongdoers, and there are none who are more unjust than them, as they are ignorant of their Lord and His right and ignorant of their flaws and evil deeds.

In conclusion, we recommend that you avoid all those doubts about falling into disbelief and stop being preoccupied with them. Do not get carried away with them, and earnestly supplicate Allaah to relieve you from them.

Allaah knows best.

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