A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Hello and Good Bye

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this, but I spent around 7 years in an ultra-Islamic, uniform-to-ankle school in Wahabbist Saudi Arabia (yeah, that clarifies a lot of things doesn’t it?)

Among the plentitude of stuff I’ve learned, they didn’t forget to deeply engrave the wickedness of greeting people with “Hello”, because, aside from the fact that it is the infidels chosen greeting, it also stems from the word “Hell”. Thus, logically and all, using “Hell-o” will only lead you to hell, and nooo, we don’t want that do we?

Now, as for the word “Bye”, at the time of my graduation, they still hadn’t managed to dig up any evil rootwords, so they just settled with the whole you-won’t-get-any-good-deeds-by-saying-bye-instead-of-al-salamu-alikum
so-you-will-end-up-going-to-hell deal. Ahuh.

But times change… and creativity isn’t unheard of… upon browsing the Wahabi blogosphere, I came upon this little banner:

Translating– “The word ‘bye’ has become something official for ending any call or meeting, but do we know it’s meaning??!! It means… “May God protect the Holy Pope” “In The Protection of the Holy Pope”, ex. we will be submitting our fate to one other than God! We have to be careful, this issue treads on our convictions.”

Hmmm. I see the connection I guess- Bye. Bobe. Pye. Pope. Bowb. Bay.

And just in case anyone is interested in a little documented etymology [source: The American Heritage® Dictionary];

Good Bye: Used to express an acknowledgement of parting. Alteration (influenced by good day) of God be with you. To understand how this came to be, it is neccessary to look at earlier forms of the expression “God be with you” are God be wy you, god b’w’y, godbwye, god buy’ ye, and good-b’wy. The first word of the expression is now good and not God, for good replaced God by analogy with such expressions as good day, perhaps after people no longer had a clear idea of the original sense of the expression. A letter of 1573 written by Gabriel Harvey contains the first recorded use of goodbye: “To requite your gallonde [gallon] of godbwyes, I regive you a pottle of howdyes,” recalling another contraction that is still used.

There! Alteration of “God be with you”- Bi aman il lah. Or am I going to go to hell for that?

As for “hello”, it is the alteration of hallo, alteration of obsolete holla, stop!
Any more proof that we’re em…


Cause you know


What should *hopefully* be the last post on the topic…


  1. Ridiculous!!

  2. I love your “word transformation”
    Pye, Pope….

    Akh ya Roba alla y3ena 3al hal j7ash, she bisawid il wije

  3. Anonymous

    Topics in this blog is getting boring day after day..I wonder why dont you blog the things that amazes you and might inspire others about islam instead of this Ongoing unstopping critical attitude of poeple practises that doesnt add anything or benefit anyone??

  4. Anon, because I post about whatever strikes my fancy. My goal is not to attract people towards anything.

  5. Jad

    I never thought people would go to this level.

  6. b.

    Honestly, Anon, if you don’t like it, don’t come back. I’m sure you have better things to do with your time, hmmm? Like, hm, let’s see: refreshing your memory on the sunnah of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, when it came to adab. Don’t be so busy chiding someone else on how to be a good Muslim that you forget, yourself.

    Anyway, Roba’s critique of the Wahhabist slant on things is right on. Such a peculiar worldview makes me wonder if they have ever actually seen the light of day, or if they’re all shut up in a room somewhere, faces pale from the lack of natural light.

  7. away from the topic.

    if I am not crossing the line, how old are you?

  8. Nas

    lool well it is sunnah (or recommended) that Muslims great each other with salam.

    I personally don’t like using hi and bye because it sounds too, i dunno, shmisani (like haitham once said). i like to incorporate the traditional words as much as possible. I think I’ve even stopped saying “keefak?” and have just switched over to “gawak?”.

    anyways, everyone is free to greet however they like. there’s nothing in Islam that forbids it that i know of

  9. It continues to amaze me how such simple words are interpreted … the level of creativity and effort people go to .. just to prove a point …

    Who cares what hello or goodbye mean or where they came from or who started using it first or what it means if we use it in our daily slang?

    What matters in my opinion is that they should advise people to use the greeting of Islam because it is nice and they gain (7asanat) when they do, and beacuse in its content the greeting (Al Salamu 3alaikom) or peace be upon you is a wish for the person being greeted … Isn’t this argument a lot better than Hello is from Hell and Goodbye is from Pope???

  10. Roba

    Though i wouldn’t go as far as our anonymous friend here, but your cynicism was somewhat agitating recently!

    If anything… i disagree with the factuality of your description of Saudi -contemporary Saudi that is- as being an ultra-Islamic state! Says who? Proven by what?

    its unfortunate that you were confined into a guantanamo-bay style school uniform, the Abaya would’ve been a burden on its own for some; I guess! but that’s negligible and stand as no premise or evidence of anything…

    methinks its possible to eruditely differentiate between what you seem to easily deem as Islamic (or stemming from an Islamic creed) and what is merely the result of a cumulatively rotten cultural burden that will inevitably burst!

    Despite the exaggerated emphasis the captured banner may associate with the term “bye” or the one you described about “Hello”, it has little to do with the fact that a specific –islamic- school of thought advocate such speculations!

    Rather, it is merely an anxiety side-effect that’s associated with any defeated nation. I’ve received many forwards from your average Ammani non-practicing Moslem fellow whose fallen into the “don’t say mosque, for it originates from mosquito“!!!

    Besides, you had your breather in a gated-community heavenly compound, many didn’t! You’re one of the lucky expat kids.

  11. kinzi

    Roba, correct me, but I thought “Hello” had it’s roots in “Hallowed”, as in ‘made holy’, more of a blessing than a curse.

  12. Nadir B.

    you should read those banners and smile and let them pass by, dont let it get to you, you are killing yourself for nothing

  13. I received this in an SMS, it’s so funny to point of crying.

    and now it’s on the internet…

    I think the ‘no-bye’-‘no-danish’ people are soooo into “Al-Jihad Al-Electroni”.

  14. I think the words are considered evil because they are far to brief to be considered a proper Arabic greeting. I think my friends spend a good minute and a half greeting someone on the phone, and another minute just saying good-bye.

    Compare this to the “yo”, “howdy”, or grunt of greeting that I use when I answer the phone. Call me less than courteous, but I’m much more interested in getting down to business. After all, most of the people who call me are such good friends that there really is need for ultra-long, purely ritualistic greetings.

  15. Anonymous

    haha the banner is hilarious! where did u get it from?

  16. hahaha bye, pope, bob, bawb, pob! i think this is written by one of the saudis who lived outside my compound and called me “Amrecani” just cuz i live in the compound and speak a bit of english!

  17. lol, nice post:).

  18. Basem, how can you claim that this has anything to do with Islam? Yes, I am not the most religious person, but I am still Muslim, and to think that Islam is about going to hell because you choose to say “Hell-o” or “Bye” is quite offensive and silly. This is has to do with culture.

    I also did not say anything about Saudi Arabia, I was refering to the certain school I went to. I lived in Saudi Arabia for much longer than 7 years.

    But either/or, this is my blog, and if it is making you feel uncomfortable, you are free to ignore my posts.

  19. I Agree Roba, no sound Islamic doctrine would endorse such imbecile premise.

    I’ll repeat myself: whether its twisted/disguised in an ultra-Islamic flavor or not; refraining from using such terms based on the premise depicted in the banner is pathetic and flawed and only stems from a chronic cultural dysfunction.

    The Sunnah preference that was graciously referred to by Nas sums the whole issue up!

    I too; do not use these terms, not to avoid bad deeds or for the sake of scoring gold stars to be stamped to my forehead by angels! but out of sheer adherence to the overwhelming heritage of prophet Moh’d -peace & blessing upon him- that is to say… his Sunnah.

  20. Anonymous


    Just because your dad forced you into that school, don’t hold it against Islam and make it as if it is your mission to attack Islam. You attend the cheesiest Islamic sites and spend hours of your tireless time looking for loopholes or some stupid banner to put down the religion you were born into.

    1- If you are going to play the blaming game, blame your dad for living in Saudi.

    2- Save us ( and you )all the trouble and the time and convert to another religion, heck create your own if you want, but for God sake stop bitching about being a Muslim.

    3- You are aShmesani brat who will live all your life as a flake, your life has no purpose. Try to adopt a real goal in life, find yourself maybe..

    4- You kiss ass to the non-Muslims so much why don’t you move abroad? (That’s a real advice, no sarcasm here).



  21. Basem, precisely. And trust me, I’m all for conserving our culture, and it is also not my position to say anything against the sunnah.

    Anonymous, first off, anonymous comments don’t really have much value to me. If you have something to say to me, say it as yourself, whoever you are. Second off, it is not your position to judge what kind of Muslim I am, whether I want to convert or not, and what kind of life I’ve lived. If you really believe in the religion you are preaching your comment would have been more civilized.

  22. hey…
    anon…. i should stand by roba and say it was so wrong of you to say what you said… you are being double standarded…
    roba… much has been said… but you reached a point where you agreed upon what i wanted to say… so no need to repeat…
    but roba… really i advice you to look at a brighter image… dun indulge your self with all kind of crap…
    there is alot of good youth who think positively… and wanna change thier future and the future of thier cultures and countries to the better… spend more time in that… than in the scums… of ill minded people…

  23. Anonymous


    Dear Bassem,

    The Prophet(PBUH) did not master this command over the English language, using words like “sheer adherence”, as you have. Why do you disrespectfully break with with his ways as so?

    God forbid you use this electronic device with a “keyboard” on it to answer my question. Istaghfar Allah.

    2)What does a “Shmesani” mean?

    Thank you.

  24. Just say your opinion and leave the rest behind your back. IT’S ENDLESS !

  25. Look, it is known that if you want a group of people to refrain from any behaviour, you have to know what moves them:
    For salafi khalijis: Tell them it’s a Christian thing.
    For us horney deprived Egyptians: Tell them it causes impotency.

  26. I really would like to know what does Shmesani mean???
    (It is becoming an obsession since i read this post…plz…tell me what does it mean!!)

  27. reminds me of the time the “No drink Coca Cola, drink zamzam cola….!!!” campain…..!!!
    because of an urban legend that talks about when facing a mirror holding the can it would read no Allah no Muhammad….!!!

    also baning the pokimons because they support the theory of evolution ie. the man’s origion is from monkeys……..!!!

    there are many other darnest things like barby’s boycott because some kuwaiti parlimist found that the 11cm doll aroused him and had him to erect….!!!

    well, thanks for bringing back some waki memories….!!! thank god the west doesn’t know how to speak arabic….?!?! they know…..!!!


  28. Anon, Tomanbay, Shmesani is an area in Amman, which, at some point (around 20 years ago) was associated with the um.. how do I say this.. brats (?) cause people who lived there were better off than most other areas. Shmesani is not the Amman prestige area anymore, but the term stuck. Sorry for the use of Jordanian lingo ;)

    Alef, lol!

  29. Zombie, that was funny. Did the Kuwaiti guy really say that about the barbie??

  30. ExZombie, haha! Is that why they’re creating Fulla in her black frock?

  31. Jabal Amman

    it’s weird that you are Jordanian
    you live here in amman yet you keep talking about problems of other countries. when are you going to talk about the problems we have here if you must talk about problems? What makes you feel that talking about the religious fanatics of another country is more important than talking about local issues? Idon’t know if this is the the second or third time you talk about fanatics from that same country.
    عن جد يعني شو كنو مافي عنا مشاكل ومتطرفين متل هادول

  32. Jabal Amman, I definitely agree that Jordan is not lacking issues to discuss, and it would have been smarter if you took a few minutes to browse through the archives to see that I do not critisize based on country, conviction, or georgraphy, but based on topic. This is my space, my opinions- if you are not happy with the topics I choose to criticize, you are more than free to avoid this blog.

    It would have also been smart to take a better look at the archives because you would have seen that I am extremely fond of Saudi Arabia, for after all, it was my first home, where I lived for over 80% of my life..

    Thank you.

  33. This debate is fascinating.

    The “why don’t you move abroad?” by anonymnous is scary!

    Although littering your beautiful language with foreign expressions seems somewhat silly, I don’t think anybody should forbid it because of religious reasons.

    Keep up the good job, Roba!

  34. This shit got to stop.

  35. Anonymous

    you must be crazy…and “bye”.

  36. Ranzi

    Dear Roba,
    This is my first post ever on any blog, and I just felt compelled to thank you for taking a stance against those “takfiris” that believe more in themselves than they do in God. While I do respect everyones opinions, I cannot help but feel ashamed that we are a society living in the 21st century that still discusses (and vilontly might I add) how to say HI and BYE.
    We complain about how the “WEST” (whatever that means), treats us, and yet we do not see how we treat ourselves. We disrespect one another, we insult and dehumanize one another and we question peoples motives and faith all the time.
    When will we learn to live with one another, let alone with the rest of the world.
    Thank you,

  37. Hell….oh!

    just a little more etymology: 1000+ years ago when the Danes were vikings (and polytheists) the god of death was called Hel, (I believe it was a female god) and her/his realm was named “Niflheim” – land of fog. After cristianity took over “Hel” became the name of the afterlife of the unfortunate. It would be described as cold and foggy, very unlike the Biblical(and maybe Qu’ranic, not sure) Hell that is hot and dry.

    Just a little fod for thought form a Dane who does not hate.

    [can any1 point me to a website where i can learn about the translitteration of Arabic with numbers like “Al Salamu 3alaikom”]

  38. As i see in the link you mentioned:

    No doubt more than one reader has wondered exactly how goodbye is derived from the phrase “God be with you.” To understand this, it is helpful to see earlier forms of the expression, such as God be wy you, god b’w’y, godbwye, god buy’ ye, and good-b’wy. The first word of the expression is now good and not God, for good replaced God by analogy with such expressions as good day, perhaps after people no longer had a clear idea of the original sense of the expression. A letter of 1573 written by Gabriel Harvey contains the first recorded use of goodbye: “To requite your gallonde [gallon] of godbwyes, I regive you a pottle of howdyes,” recalling another contraction that is still used.

    Where’s the pope there?!!!

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén