Wed, Jun 29, 2022

"Al'lahu Akbar" (God is great): An expression of peace or terrorism?


  • 02/15/2022 - by Imam Marwan Gill

One of the mentioned attributes of God in the Quran is "As-Salam", the source of peace. So, a Muslim in consecrating himself for adapting and following the divine attributes must necessarily be a manifestation of peace. This is also the reason why Muslims are taught to greet others with words of peace, with "Assalamo aleikum".

Because of the attacks in recent years falsely committed in the name of Islam, some people in the West have developed the view that Islam is the problem and that it is a threat to the freedom, peace and values ​​of their Western societies. .

For example, the French government declared the murders in connection with Charlie Hebdo “Islamist attacks” because the assassins were of Muslim origin and allegedly before their attacks had shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is great). Before considering whether or not that claim about Islam is justified, it would be important to determine what Islam is.

It would be wrong to believe that its definition can be based on what a Muslim individual or group does or claims; since Islam has its own sources of definition. The mere use of the phrase "Allahu Akbar" or any other Islamic terminology before an act does not mean that such act is inspired and prescribed by Islam.

The definition of Islam is based on three sources:

1. The Holy Quran (the divine book) 2. The practical life of the Prophet Muhammad, founder of Islam 3. The words of the Prophet Muhammad.

"Islam" literally means peace in Arabic and its goal is to show humanity the way to achieve peace with its creator and God's creation.

The founder of Islam defined a Muslim as such, from whose hands and tongue other human beings are safe.

One of the mentioned attributes of God in the Qur'an is "As-Salam", the source of peace. So, a Muslim in consecrating himself for adapting and following the divine attributes must necessarily be a manifestation of peace. This is also the reason why Muslims are taught to greet others with words of peace, with "Assalamo aleikum".

Allah is the personal name of God and according to the first chapter of the Holy Quran He is Lord and Creator of all mankind. So if one loves God, he must love and respect all of his creation. Therefore, the Prophet Muhammad declared that those who are not merciful towards others will also not receive God's mercy. Islam teaches to respect the dignity of every life and makes it clear that whoever kills an innocent person is as if he had killed all of humanity.

The responsibility of a Muslim, according to the Koran, is not only to protect and honor mosques, but every synagogue, church and religious temple. Once, the Holy Prophet Muhammad was meeting with his disciples and when a Jewish group passed by carrying a deceased Jew to the graveyard, the Prophet stood up to express his condolences to him. One of his disciples was surprised by his gesture and asked him why he had expressed his sympathy for a non-Muslim. The prophet replied: The Jew was not a human?

His answer is a golden rule, it implies that before dividing us by religions or ethnic groups, we must first accept that we are all children and the creation of the same creator. He teaches us that the difference of creed, race or opinion is not a justification for not respecting others. On the contrary, Islam does not even allow insulting or verbally attacking the religious sentiments of others. Thus, the motto of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, which was founded in 1889 by the Promised Messiah His Holiness Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, summarizes the 114 chapters of the Holy Quran in 6 words: Love for all, hate for no one.

In conclusion, "Allahu Akbar" is a call for peace, harmony and unity. “God is great” means to glorify your Creator by loving all of his creation regardless of religion, color, or race.

Imam Marwan Sarwar Gill 

Islamic theologian and President of the Ahmadia Muslim Community in Argentina.