Why do Muslims say "Allahu Akhbar" even after a bomb strikes such as in Syria?

Hello everyone. Why do Muslims always say “Allahu Akhbar” even after bomb strikes such as in Syria? Here are some videos of such things occurring in the Syrian War where you can find examples of what I am talking about:


Are you wondering why they do it or are you wondering what moderate Muslims have to say about it?

Because those are the two answers you’re going to get here.

Devout Muslims say this because they believe they are following the will / orders of their god.

I would like both answers please. :slight_smile: But first, I would like to hear why they (the Syrian rebels) do it.

Which order or will of God do they think they are following?

Sure! Allahu Akbar is loosely translated to, “God is great.” It’s their way of saying, “Praise God” or something of that sort. When an extremist kills another human being, they believe they are obeying the Qur’an. There are certain Surah’s in the Qur’an which call for the fighting of unbelievers (my favorite is 9:29). When they accomplish this (as it is Allah’s will in their Qur’an according to Islam) they shout praises to Allah.

Now, perhaps a second school of thought on this topic would be that the Muslims who are doing these things believe they aren’t supposed to kill unbelievers unless they are attacked first; so in some of their minds they are being attacked and need to attack back. Although some Muslims in the Middle East believe they need to one day fight the Jews and conquer the world (I could give you references to the Hadith if you’d like) some believe they should only do so if they are attacked first. This may be the case for some extremists such as the Westgate mall shooters who would only kill non-Muslims. They claimed their reasons were in retaliation and that infidels brought it upon themselves. If they felt they were never harmed in the first place they would have never attacked all of those innocent people.

The moderate school of thought would be that everything in Islam that points to any kind of fighting is being taken way out of context and the Muslims committing atrocities are not acting in a way that Islam commands. They point to passages in the Qur’an such as, “There is no compulsion in Religion (Surah 2:256)” as proof that Muslims are not to do such things.

Now, the Muslims that blow things up and shout, “Allah Akbar” have also read that passage, however they believe that it has fallen under the rule of abrogation (surah 2:106). The Qur’an states that a passage can be removed and replaced with a better message. Muslims often believe that the later message is greater than the message that came first, as it has replaced the previous message.

Because Surah 9 is one of the latest Surah’s given to Muhammad and in it contains much about war, Muslims sometimes interpret that they are meant to carry out acts of war; while other Muslims disagree and say they are still bound to the more peaceful passages revealed earlier, such as Surah 2.

It basically all comes down to interpretation.

Surah 16:101 When We substitute one revelation for another,- and Allah knows best what He reveals (in stages),- they say, “Thou art but a forger”: but most of them understand not.

“Allahu Akhbar” means “The God is Great”, and for Muslims, it is a acknowledgement that
God is Great, like how Christians will sing “How Great Is Our God…”, but for Terrorists, it’s
both that AND a battle cry, a shout for victory.

I want to make it clear then that Terrorists are not Muslims. YES there are passages in the
Qur’an a so forth that call for the death of nonbelievers, but the way Terrorists go about it is
VERY MUCH antithetical to what Muhammad taught.

NO I am not saying that Muhammad is a true prophet or that his teachings were spot
on, but if Muhammad were here today, seeing the calamity Al-Qaeda and other such
groups have brought, he be like "WHAT THE KAABA?!"

Anyway, when Terrorists terrorize , they believe that they are doing it in the name of the God,
so they act as though their crimes are of God’s Will, “It is God who made this possible, THE
GOD IS GREAT!” (*Great *as in Mighty, mind you).

[RIGHT]I personally like the phrase “Allahu Akhbar”,
so I find it miserable how Terrorists (who are
**NOT **True Muslims) dare invoke the Lord as
they perform those acts of horror.
[LEFT]Islam is not true,
But Terrorism is
not true of Islam.

The same order or will of God that American Christians think they’re following while conducting drone strikes? :shrug:

Although it translates to “Gd is Great" it is the Moslem World’s equivalent of "Oh my Gd” in the English speaking world. Nothing more nor less. Like in the UK, Canada, and the US, saying it has nothing to do with how devout a person is. It has become a cultural rather than a religious epithet.

I have no explanations as to why Muslims do anything, but just a technical note on Arabic grammar, contrary to the translations you’ve been given so far for this phrase:

The general pattern under which “akbar” falls is used to form superlatives (and I believe also other comparatives of degree, but it’s been a while since I studied this stuff in Arabic; I have dim memories of being taught sentences such as “akhi akbar minni” for “my brother is older than me”, but that might be colloquial), such that you will also find it for other adjectives. Take a root like H-s-n (ح س ن). It is not only the proper name “Hassan”, it also means “good”. To form its superlative form, you add an initial alif (long “a” sound) - ahsan ‘best’, as in a sentence like “lughati al-'arabi laistu ahsen” (my Arabic is not the best).

While I don’t know that this is followed strictly with the phrase under consideration (since it is highly conventionalized), following this pattern we can see that akbar is the superlative form of kbir ‘great/large’. So Allahu akbar would be more literally translated as ‘God is greatest’.

Now, I may be completely out to lunch with this one, but it seems to follow that given the general thrust of Islamic theology essentially being defensive and aggressive (defensive in that it is making dubious claims as to its continuation and perfection of previous messages and the religions based on them – i.e., Judaism and Christianity; aggressive in that it seeks to impose that self-understanding on others, even twisting and distorting their narratives and scriptures in order to do so), it makes perfect sense that Muslims would adopt this saying as an affirmation of the correctness of their religion before performing some extreme act in misguided service to it. After all, we all agree that God is great, but Islam alone – and within the historical context in which it has tried to graft itself onto previous Abrahamic religion and claim itself the corrective to all of them – claims that God is greatest. In a very real way, “Allahu akbar” coming from an Islamist is a confrontational and provocative statement, because in it is an implicit rejection of other religions’ claims. Coupled with violence, “Allahu akbar” is, like their perversion of tawhid (monotheism), a weapon of Muslims against the preexisting Christians and Jews, and whoever else may claim to worship God. When they burn down your church while chanting “Allahu akbar”, they’re not only showing that they are stronger than you and can treat you as they please – they’re also saying that their God can beat up your God (to use an American phrase popular with bumper sticker philosophers).

Before you say I’m being unfair, have a listen to an Arabic-speaking Christian using essentially the same phrase in praise, not confrontation – here it is “Allah Kbir” (‘God is Great’; not the superlative form), an affirmation and not an attempt to one up others, and certainly not with violence:

Fairouz “Allah Kbeer”

Christians obviously agree that God is greatest, but have generally shied away from using that as a weapon against others. Not so with Muslims.

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