It’s one of the many frequently oral pentasyllabic phrases in the Arabic language.
It is shouted by millions of Muslims and Arab Christians every day.
And, at slightest in the West, it has turn poorly related to terrorism.
Known as the takbir in Arabic, the word literally translates to “God is the greatest.”
American-Muslims like myself are reclaiming it — from both the misled extremists who have wasted it, and the pundits who’ve upheld their bulletin by deliberately or inadvertently endorsing its weaponization.
This word is used in a crowd of ways: in ceremony or prayer; in moments of complacency or relief; to worship and simulate on God’s majesty; to demonstrate fun and dismay; in appreciation of something that resonates with us.
As the daughter of Pakistani immigrants, my beginning memories of Allahu Akbar are of listening to my father tell stories of the harvesting of crops on the family farms in Punjab.
Agriculture is a fatiguing industry, heavily reliant on Mother Nature. And she was not always cooperative.
Summers in Pakistan are mostly brutal, with temperatures rising good into the triple digits.
The dry feverishness can stifle the land like a difficult blanket, which is catastrophic for crops not receiving adequate rain.
During a dry spell, at the first sign of rain clouds gathering, the margin workers would jubilantly scream “Allahu Akbar!”
A good collect meant food on the list to feed their families.
This observant is also used to respond to comfortless or shocking news.
A crony reacted with this exclamation when her relatives had to leave the California fires recently.
It is a absolute countenance that can also lend strength and restraint in formidable times.
In his final days, before succumbing to the cancer that lent us nineteen years with him, my father mostly invoked the words.
In the midst of fast unthinkable pain, we’d find him sensitively and sensitively reciting “Allahu Akbar. Sabr aur shukr.”
God is the Greatest. Be patient, be grateful.
One of the many noted lessons from my childhood is that we can’t control all that happens around us, but we can control the greeting to it.
Personally, to me, this countenance evokes a totalled clarity of change in an imperfect, increasingly pell-mell world.
It serves as an critical sign that no matter how complicated, toxic, or stressful times become, Allah, or God, is in control. Stay humble, and don’t despair.
Unfortunately, the thriving amounts of misinformation that exists about Islam and Muslims creates some Americans some-more prone to trust the worst.
Islamophobes gain on this to feat militant acts involving Muslims as being secretly contemplative of Islam.
Understanding suitable context and consulting legitimate sources is essential when considering sacrament partly since it can help forestall fear, anger and hatred.
Recently, in a inhuman and villainous attack, the man accused of killing eight people after plowing a Home Depot lorry onto a bike trail in Manhattan reportedly spoken Allahu Akbar after the incident.
He joins a list of others who’ve reportedly pronounced these difference after brutal acts of violence
But don’t be cheated by extremists who use this word while waging conflict and wreaking terror.
In a new CNN op-ed, the Founder of Yaqeen Institute, Imam Omar Sulaiman, emphasized that these difference are a jubilee of life, not death and destruction. Indeed, immorality acts targeting trusting people are not authorised by Islam or any other major universe religion.
“Allahu Akbar is a admission of humility, mercy, interjection and misery to God, not power, pain and coercion,” says Imam Suhaib Webb, Resident Scholar at the Islamic Center of NYU.
“Invoking Allahu Akbar while using vulgar assault is the pinnacle form of theological insult since it illustrates the person’s detriment of wish and faith in God’s genuine energy over all affairs including the external perceptions of duration injustice,” reflects Professor Hatem Bazian, Provost and Co-Founder of Zaytuna College, the first accredited Muslim Liberal Arts college in America. “Indeed, God is larger than all of the temporal limitations, exaggeration and attempts to request wrong-headed and rapist revenge.”
As CAIR Florida Executive Director Hassan Shibley elaborated after the Manhattan attack, “shouting God’s stately name when committing the misfortune crime against him is the biggest act of heresy.”
So the next time you hear Allahu Akbar — either it’s in a media report, on an airplane, or in a selling mall, remember that the word used by millions of Muslims and Christians daily to regard God regardless of their circumstances, can never be fit for use when harming His creation.
Dr. Zainab Chaudry, Pharm.D. is a spokeswman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. CAIR is America’s largest Muslim polite liberties organization.
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