February 7, 2020

“Allah U Akbar”: Meaning & Faith

“Allah u Akbar” is an Arabic phrase which means “Allah is Greater” but is often mistranslated in the media as “God is great”. It is recited by muslims as an expression of their faith. This religious term serves as a reminder to Muslims, that no matter the situation or emotion, the Almighty Allah is always greater than any real or imaginary entity. It is one of the most commonly used phrases in Islam and is uttered during ritualistic prayer where Muslims face the holly Kaaba in Mecca. It is also recited in the call to prayer heard from the minarets of mosques throughout the muslim world. In Islamic faith it is considered a form of applause and is spoken in union as a way of showing approval of a speaker. Many muslims recite Allahu Akbar in their daily lives to remind themselves of God’s vastness and power. Islam’s 1.6 billion followers say it in every occasion and it has a multitude of meanings. It is repeated in times of distress, as an expression of joy, following births and deaths and during Islamic festivals such as Eid as a declaration to Almighty Allah. Unfortunately anti-Islam voices in many countries claim that the phrase, “Allah u Akbar” is the “Muslim battle cry”. They base this claim on the fact that many muslims waging war for enforcing Islamic rule of law globally cry “Allahu Akbar” before carrying out attacks on their critics but undisputed fact is that “Allah u Akbar” was not the “Muslim battle cry” at the time of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). “Allahu Akbar” is more than just a phrase as undisputed fact is that “Allah u Akbar” is a way of life. It means that God is Greater than anything else on earth. Muslims believe in predestination. They have a deep faith in that God wills everything, and nothing exists or occurs without the will of Almighty Allah. It is basically the same in the rest of the religions in the world.
Muslims frequently say “insha allah,” which means, “if God wills,” when they are asked or ordered to do something. It means: “I will try my best. If God wills it, I can make it”. We use the word “bismillah,” which means, “in the name of God,” when we start doing something. We like starting to eat, drink, work or drive by whispering this word at the beginning and believe that if we say his name, God will protect us from bad things like sickness or accidents. Muslims say “alhamd u lillah,” which means, “all praise and thanks be to God,” when we hear something good or we finish something like food, work or an exam with no trouble. We say the phrase “Allahu akbar” when something good or something bad, simply anything, happens. The phrase is the takbir, and in Arabic means “God, or “al ilah,” which means “the God” in Arabic, is greater.” “Allahu akbar” shows its sayer’s belief in faith and predestination. As stated abover, it is easy to see how and why Muslims use the phrase Allah u Akbar on many occasions, not only in trying times, but also exams, while traveling, starting something or when good or bad things happen like our team wins a match or a natural disaster happens. They are like a simple yes or no to us. For muslims it is enough to have a basic knowledge about Islam and muslims to understand chants like “Allahu akbar.”

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