My children are in the habit of saying “Allahu Akbar”.
Yeah, you’ve heard that before right?
Now, imagine being a Muslim woman walking through the busy aisles of a big box store, while your children repeatedly exclaim “Allahu Akbar!!!”
It makes me mad.
I’m mad that I feel embarrassed and nervous when they gleefully bust out “Allahu Akbar!” In public.
I am upset, because I am aware that this beautiful statement has come to be reminiscent of the brutish, heartless murderers killing with impunity, who stole it.
Who yell these prescious words while committing crimes against the creation and law of the One they are supposed to be venerating with those very words.
It means “God is the Greatest”.
It means He is Supreme. His power, praiseworthiness are beyond compare.
He is the epitome of Greatness.
We say it throughout our prayers, reminding ourselves that nothing supersedes Him, there is nothing more important, more deserving of our gratitude and praise, and that He is the one to whom everything will ultimately return. The One who we will stand before one day, humbled and powerless.
It helps remove arrogance.
It is a reminder of the fact that we haven’t accomplished anything without His will. Our bodies and sustenance were all His before they were ever ours.
It helps remove despair.
It is a reminder that no matter how difficult a difficulty in life might seem, it is minute in comparison to His Mercy and the comfort of knowing Him. A reminder that obstacles are easy for Him to remove, for He has complete power over all things.
When my children say this, It makes me happy and hopeful.
Happy that the recognition of their Maker has begun to take seat in their little hearts. Hopeful that this thikr – this remembrance will persist throughout their lives. That they will absorb and embody the meaning of this simple, yet powerful statement.
That it will help to guide them to the high road of life’s journey.
I dream of a day where these words will cease to be misused. Where they will no longer arouse suspicion and discomfort in the people around us.