The Meaning of Allaahu Akbar!
Bismillaah Al-Hamdulillaah wa salatu wa salaamu ‘ala rasulullaah
Student Abul-’Abbaas Moosa Richardson (hafidhahullaah Ta’aala) relayed that Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Saalih al-’Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah Ta’aala), in his work Ash-SharH al-Mumti’ (3rd Volume, pg. 22), said:
“Let’s return back to the meaning of this word ‘Allaahu akbar.’ What is the meaning of it, and what is the significance of beginning our salat with this phrase? The answer: its meaning is that Allaah, Ta’aala, is Greater, more Majestic, and more deservingly Proud than everything with regards to His presence (His actual Dhat), and His Names and His Attributes. And every single thing that could be understood from this word [Allaahu akbar].
As Allaah, ‘Azza Wa Jall (The Mighty and Majestic), says:
وَمَا قَدَرُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ قَدْرِه ِِ وَالأَرْضُ جَمِيعا ً قَبْضَتُه ُُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَالسَّماوَاتُ مَطْوِيَّات ٌ بِيَمِينِه ِِ سُبْحَانَه ُُ وَتَعَالَى عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ
They made not a just estimate of Allaah such as is due to Him. And on the Day of Resurrection the whole of the earth will be grasped by His Hand, and the heavens will be rolled up in His Right Hand. Glorified is He, and High is He above all that they associate as partners with Him! (Az-Zumar, ayah 67)
And Allaah, ‘Azza wa Jall, said:
يَوْمَ نَطْوِي السَّمَاءَ كَطَيِّ السِّجِلِّ لِلْكُتُبِ كَمَا بَدَأْنَا أَوَّلَ خَلْق ٍ نُعِيدُه ُُ وَعْداً عَلَيْنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا فَاعِلِينَ
And (remember) the Day when We shall roll up the heavens like a scroll rolled up for books, as We began the first creation, We shall repeat it, (it is) a promise binding upon Us. Truly, We shall do it. (Al-Anbiya`, ayah 104)
And from these attributes and this right that He has – to be worshipped with a just estimation – is that He has Greatness (‘Adhama) and His Greatness entails that He is Greater, more Majestic than everything.
And Allaah, The Most High, said:
وَلَهُ الْكِبْرِيَاءُ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
And His (Alone) is the Majesty in the heavens and the earth, and He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise. (Al-Jathiyah, ayah 37)
So every single meaning that is associated with this word of Majesty and Greatness is something that is affirmed and established for Allaah, ‘Azza wa Jall (The Mighty and Majestic).”
For the entire audio: click here
* Abul-’Abbaas had earlier explained: Pride is only for Allaah. Allaah’s Pride is in a Just and Majestic way. Allaah alone deserves this descrption.
From ‘Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood (radiallaahu ‘anhu) who narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: Man kanna fee Qalbihi Mithqalu Dharatin Min Kibr La Yadkhulul-Jannah (Whoever has an atom’ worth of pride in his heart will not enter Paradise).
So a man asked: ‘What about a person who loves wearing beautiful clothes and beautiful shoes?’ So he (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) replied: InnAllaaha Jameelun YuHibul-Jamaal, Al-Kibru Batr-ul-Haqq wa Ghamtun-Nas (Indeed Allaah is All-Beautiful and loves beauty. Pride is to reject the truth, and to despise the people). [Muslim (1/65)]
For more on this hadeeth and the types of pride that prevent one from Paradise, click here
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