Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Allahu Akbar as part of Salat and as Battle cry

Lane's Lexicon and Other Sources
Lane's Lexicon, the most revered and scholarly dictionary of the Arabic language, confirms the majority view is that "Allahu Akbar" refers to Allah being "greater". Unlike in its early years, so does Wikipedia, stating the phrase literally mean "God is greater" but is usually translated "God is [the] Greatest," or "God is Great". Similarly, Pierre Tristam, the Lebanese-American About.com Guide states, although most often translated as "god is great," Allahu Akbar is Arabic for "god is greater" or "god is greatest."
Many Muslims and their apologists claim "Allahu Akbar" is simply the Arabic translation of a common English phrase meaning "God is great!" However, this is untrue. "Allahu Akbar" does not mean "God is great" as claimed. It actually means "Allah is greater." This is shown by applying basic Arabic where great is kabir, greater is akbar and greatest is Alkabir. As such the real name of Allah if it is to be applied is Allah Alkabir and not Allah u Akbar.
"Allahu Akbar" has been used historically by Muslims as a battle cry during war. This precedent is believed was set by Prophet Muhammad when he attacked the Jews of Khaibar. However this battle cry is under suspicion as it is not found in the Quran and the Prophet will not overruled any command of Allah if it can be found in the Quran.
Claim by the proponents on Allah u Akbar.
They claimed that Allah never limit His names to the ones in the Quran, on the contrary, God is teaching us that every beautiful name belongs to Him, being, Kabeer, Al-Kabeer, Al-Mutakabber, Akbar or Al-Akbar. His names can be found in and out of the Quran. They also claimed that since “Akbar” is a word in the Quran therefore it can be used to describe as Allah’s Name. The command in the Quran at Surah 2:185, 17:111, 22:37, and 74:3 is to "KABBER" meaning to magnify or glorify God. Thus pronouncing Allahu Akbar is not wrong. "Takbeerah" as a noun and in the singular form is the statement "ALLAHU AKBAR". One may claim that this meaning is acquired from the traditional use but no one can prove it is not the right meaning either. The command in Surah 17:111, for example, to "KABBER TAKBEERA" is to say ALLAHU AKBAR. They claimed that if one is using the verb "KABBER" for other than religious reasons, it would mean to magnify or make bigger. To "KABBER" anything is to make it AKBAR. One does not make it Al-Kabeer and since Quran is an Arabic Quran, the relationship of the verb Kabber, in relation to God, and to its actual daily life use cannot be ignored or disregarded.
Surah 17:111  "And proclaim: "Praise be to GOD, who has never begotten a son, nor does He have a partner in His kingship, nor does He need any ally out of weakness," and MAGNIFY Him constantly (KABBER-HO TAKBEERA)."
However the command in the Quran to takbeer is make Him “The Greatest” not greater.
In the following verse God commanded the Prophet to call upon Him by His most beautiful Names and the Most Beautiful Names were that which He has designed for Himself and has given authority. These names which He authorized can only be found in the Quran and the Prophet is obliged to call upon Him by those names. Allahu Akbar is not listed as one of His good names:
Say: "Call upon Allah, or call upon AlRahman: by whatever name ye call upon Him, (it is well): for to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. Neither speaks thy prayer aloud, nor speaks it in a low tone, but seek a middle course between." (Surah 17:110)
The use of the word Akbar do not apply to His good Names
All the word “akbar” in the Quran does not subscribed to His good names but is used to describe His other attributes. The following verses of the Quran shows some examples of the word akbar but it is not related to His good Names or the manner in which one is to call upon Him, it is not a way to magnify Him.
Akbar here is not to magnify Him but is related to witnessing
Say: "What thing is most weighty (akbar) in evidence?" Say: "Allah is witness between me and you; This Qur'an hath been revealed to me by inspiration, that I may warn you and all whom it reaches. Can ye possibly bear witness that besides Allah there is another Allah?" Say: "Nay! I cannot bear witness!" Say: "But in truth He is the one Allah, and I truly am innocent of (your blasphemy of) joining others with Him." (Surah 6:19)
Akbar here is related to His good pleasure not to magnify Him
Allah hath promised to the believers, men and women, gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein, and beautiful mansions in gardens of everlasting bliss. But the greatest (akbar) bliss is the good pleasure of Allah: that is the supreme felicity. (Surah 9:72)
Akbar below is to remember Allah is the greatest but not to magnify Him
Recite what is sent of the Book by inspiration to thee, and establish regular prayer: for prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds; and remembrance of Allah is the greatest (akbar) (thing in life) without doubt. And Allah knows the (deeds) that ye do. (Surah 29:45)
Akbar below show the aversion of Allah is not a way to magnify Him
The Unbelievers will be addressed: "Greater (akbar) was the aversion of Allah to you than (is) your aversion to yourselves, seeing that ye were called to the Faith and ye used to refuse."
(Surah 40:10)
Akbar below is to describe His punishment not as a way to magnify Him
Allah will punish him with a mighty (akbar) punishment (Surah 88:24)
In the message of Prophet Ibrahim’s case the use of akbar is in comparing things we can see but it cannot be apply to magnify an Unseen God. God is not comparable to anything.
When he saw the sun rising in splendor, he said: "This is my Lord; this is greater (akbar)." But when the sun set, he said: "O my people! I am indeed free from your (guilt) of giving partners to Allah. (Surah 6:78)
Say: He is God, the One and Only; God, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not nor is He begotten; and there is none like unto Him. (Surah 112)
Other than being called AlKabir in the Quran God is also described as kabir but that does not undermine His attributes as He is still incomparable when He is great or greatest but not the word “akbar” Him being greater. One does not call God as the greater but He is the Great or the Greatest.
The following verse shows that Allah is kabir not akbar when obeying the command to magnify Him and to call upon Him.
As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, Great (kabiran)
(Surah 4:34)
The claim that Allahu Akbar is Quranic in every aspect and is the way the Salat was passed to us from Abraham all the way down and including the correction made by the messenger of the covenant to our Salat can be questioned.
The command to call upon God in the Salat and battle cry to magnify Him
Since Allahu Akbar is not a name or battle cry to be found in the Quran it is therefore not the way the Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) call upon Him in the salat or proclaim as his battle cry. The Prophet takbir or to magnify God is obeying the command of God which is stated in the following verse of the Quran:
Say: "Call upon Allah, or call upon AlRahman: by whatever name ye call upon Him, (it is well): for to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. Neither speaks thy prayer aloud, nor speaks it in a low tone, but seek a middle course between."  (Surah 17:110)   
The Most Beautiful names of God are those listed in the Quran because these are names which He authorized. Those not found in the Quran were names invented and He gave warning that the consequence will sanction His wrath:
The most beautiful names belong to Allah: so call on him by them; but shun such men as use profanity in his names: for what they do, they will soon be requited. (Surah 7:180)
He said: "Punishment and wrath have already come upon you from your Lord: dispute ye with me over names which ye have devised - ye and your fathers - without authority from Allah? Then wait: I am amongst you, also waiting." (Surah 7:71)
Thus the manner to magnify Him for His greatness and glory as commanded in Surah 17:111 is to make Him the only Great or the Greatest not greater as the examples shown in the Quran in the following verses:
He knoweth the unseen and that which is open: He is the Great (AlKabiru), the Most High. (AlMutaa’l) (Surah 13:9)
"This is because, when Allah was invoked as the Only (object of worship), ye did reject Faith, but when partners were joined to Him, ye believed! The Command is with Allah, Most High (Al’aliyi), Most Great!" (AlKabiri) (Surah 40:12)

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