The Power of Allahu Akbar
Most of my days are quite similar and ordinary which is clear from my replies to the usual “how are you?”. But the thought that occurs to me now as I write this piece is that: Must something out of the ordinary happen so we can feel a change in our lives? Today, I found out that the answer is clearly ” No”. We all hear, see and live through lots of daily experiences worth pondering and to which we never turn attention.
This afternoon, after midday prayer (Zuhur), I rushed out to run some errands. As I passed the beautiful newly erected mosque down our street , the Imam was calling for prayer congregation , ” Allahu Akbar”. For a precious second there, I felt his call penetrate my ear and send a warm chill down my heart. What power does this word really hold? I thought. It is used by millions of Muslims worldwide in a multitude of situations. Aside from repeating it in our daily prayers, it is also vocalized angrily at scenes of martyrs murdered by the Occupation where people spontaneously cry out: “Allahu Akbar!” to express their highly emotive state. The latest usage has also been heard in the recent and ongoing revolutions sweeping across the Arab world. So whether in defeat, plight or victory, no other equivalent is as powerful as this one. I can understand that many are demanding an explanation of the term which I shall put in simple words.
Akbar is the superlative form of Kabeer which means, great in Arabic. When associated with Allah (God in Islam), it means that He Allah is the dominator over the universe. His power surpasses all forms of power possessed by us humans. The impact of this word on a Muslims is that it assures that there is no mighty power except Allah’s; He is the All-Mighty for no one is able to conquer and rule except Him. He is the Creator, so only He can ordain what happens over His creation and may change or make anything happen by saying: Be. “Verily, when He intends a thing, His Command is, “be”, and it is! Holy Quran: Surah 36, Verse 82.