Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Allahu Akbar (allāhu akbar, الله أَكْبَر) is Arabic for "God is most great". akbar is the elative form of the adjective kabir (great, big, important), meaning "greater, greatest, or very great". The elative combines the meanings of comparative (greater than) and superlative (most great). However, the elative is only explicitly a term of comparison when used with the preposition min, e.g. Allahu akbar min mala'ikatihi, "Allah is greater than His angels", Allahu Akbar min kulli shay "God is greater than all". Without a term of comparison, the elative conveys the superlative quality "greatest", "supreme".
This phrase is recited by Muslims in numerous different situations; for example when they are happy or wish to express approval, when an animal is slaughtered in a halaal fashion, when they want to praise a speaker, and during battles.
The phrase is said during each stage of both obligatory prayers, which are supposed to be performed five times a day, and superogatory prayers, which are performed at will. The Muslim call to prayer, or Adhan, and to commence the prayer, or Iqama, also contains the phrase, which is heard in cities all over the Muslim world.
The actual title of this phrase is Takbeer (تَكْبِير), while the phrase itself is "Allahu Akbar". In the Islamic world, instead of applause, often someone will yell "Takbeer" and the crowd will respond "Allahu Akbar" in chorus.
The armies of Genghis Khan are said to have shouted "Allahu Akbar" while attacking Muslim armies.
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