Why: Lindsay has been traveling around the world photojournalisting, and if I am to believe her current Facebook stats, she is now living in Tunisia. She recently wrote:
That word sure looks celebratory to me.
Answer: "Praise to Allah!" in Arabic! It's kind of like hallelujah, which means "praise to Yah." Let's talk about Hebrew:
- In the Torah, God's name is written like this: יהוה (called the tetragrammaton, "four letters"). Those letters (R to L) are "yud, hay, vav, hay."
- The Yehudim never say this word; when we see it in actual prayers, we pronounce it like "Adonai" ["my Lord"], but when we are just talking about ... prayers, we pronounce it like "HaShem" ["the Name"]. I don't know.)
- יהוה ("Yud, Hay, Vav, Hay") is sometimes written as YHVH (and also YHWH, because of how people pronounce things these days). This is why some people say things like "Yahweh."
- Latin interpretations use the four letters JHWH and JHVH, which is where we get the name Jehovah.
- Shawn Corey Carter uses the four letters "H to the izz-O, V to the izz-A," which is where we get the name Jayhova.
Source: the Wikipedias
The More You Know: Wait, what was I talking about? In everyday speech, alhamdulillah is used to mean something like "thank God," but it's also used in other situations, like after sneezing and as a response to "How are you?" (Alhamdu lillahi, "Thank God, I am fine").