Takbir


Takbir

The takbīr or takbeer ( _ar. تَكْبِير) is the act of saying the phrase ArabDIN|Allāhu Akbar, _ar. الله أكبر. Usually translated "God is great" or "God is [the] greatest," it is a ubiquitous Arabic expression, used as both an informal expression of faith and as a formal declaration. It is also used in exclamation.

Definition and grammar

The form ArabDIN|Allāhu is the nominative of "Allah" " [Islamic concept of God| [the one] God] " The form ArabDIN|akbar is the elative of the adjective "ArabDIN|kabīr" "great ". In Semitic languages, an elative may indicate a superlative (best), or a comparative (better).The term "ArabDIN|takbīr" ( _ar. تَكْبِير) itself is the stem II verbal noun ("ArabDIN|tafʿīlun") of the triliteral root "ArabDIN|k-b-r" "great". [Some dictionary definitions of "ArabDIN|k-b-r" derivatives include:
*E. W. Lane, Arabic English Lexicon, 1893
**kabīr: great in body, or corporeal substance, and in estimation or rank or dignity
**akbar: greater, and greatest, in body, or corporeal substance, and in estimation or rank or dignity, and more, or most, advanced in age, older, and oldest
*F. Steingass, 1970
**kabīr: Great, large, bulky, immense, heavy, serious, senior, elder...
**akbar: Greater, greatest.
*R. Baalbaki, 1995
**kabīr: Great, big, large, sizeable, bulky, huge, senior...
**akbar: Greater, bigger, larger, major, senior, superior.
]

The word ArabDIN|"akbar" as used in the ArabDIN|"takbir" indicates the superlative, usually translated as "greatest". In Arabic usage, ArabDIN|"akbar" may also be used as a comparative, in which sense it may be approximately translated as "greater" (dictionaries carry both senses of "akbar").

Usage

This phrase is recited by Muslims in numerous different situations. For example, when they are happy or wish to express approval, when they want to praise a speaker, during battles, and even times of extreme stress or euphoria.

The phrase is said during each stage of both obligatory prayers, which are supposed to be performed five times a day, and supererogatory 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.

Note that "takbīr" ( _ar. تَكْبِير) is only the name of the expression, while the phrase itself is "Allahu Akbar". In the Islamic world, instead of applause, often someone will shout "takbir" and the crowd will respond "Allahu Akbar" in chorus.

Takbir on flags

The phrase "Allahu Akbar" is written on the center of the flag of Iraq, along the borders of the central white stripe on the flag of Iran, and beneath the Shahadah in the 2004 draft constitution of Afghanistan in white script on the central red background.

ee also

*Hallel
*Hallelujah
*List of Arabic phrases

Notes

References

*cite book|year=1995|author=Dr. Rohi Baalbaki|title=Al-Mawrid|edition=7th|publisher=DAR EL-ILM LILMALAYIN, Beirut
*cite book|year=1970|author=F. Steingass PhD, University of Munich|title=Persian-English Dictionary, Including the Arabic words and phrases to be met with in literature|publisher=Librairie Du Liban, Beirut
*Citation|last=AP|first=|author-link=Associated Press|publication-date=2006-06-10|year=2006|title=New beheading video aims to quash hopes for respite in Iraq violence|periodical=USA Today|publication-place=Arlington, Va.|place=Baghdad|publisher=Gannett|url=http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2006-06-10-iraq-beheadings_x.htm |issn=0734-7456|oclc=8799626|accessdate=2007-08-17.
*Citation|last=Fisher|first=Ian|author-link=Ian Fisher (journalist)|publication-date=2006-09-19|date=2006-09-18|year=2006|title=Pope’s Regrets Over Statement Fail to Quiet a Storm of Protests|periodical=New York Times|place=Rome|url=http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/19/world/europe/19pope.html?ei=5088&en=c56927eae2c42670&ex=1316318400&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&pagewanted=all| issn=0362-4331|accessdate=2007-08-25.

External links

* [http://www.slate.com/id/2149455/ Slate.com essay on "takbir"]
* [http://www.islamway.com/english/images/prayer/akbar.ram Audio clip (Real Audio)]


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