Real Meaning Behind ‘Allahu Akbar’

On Tuesday, a Muslim terrorist rented a truck and drove it down a pedestrian walkway in lower Manhattan, killing eight and wounding 11.

When the terrorist (ISIS, an Islamic extremist group, has claimed responsibility) jumped from the vehicle, witnesses say he yelled, “Allahu akbar!” CNN likes to translate this phrase as meaning “God is great.” The New York times does, too, as in this passage from its front-page story on Wednesday, when it said the terrorist “ran up and down the highway waving a pellet gun and paintball gun and shouting “Allahu akbar,” Arabic for “God is great….”

But it doesn’t mean that — not by a longshot.

“Allahu akbar” means, literally, “Allah is greater.” But the elative tense in Arabic is somewhat flexible, so it can also mean “Allah is greatest.” Either way, though, there is no generic deity — it isn’t just “God.” No, Allah is explicit in the phrase and means, literally, “Allah” — not “God.”

“The translation of the phrase is often rendered as ‘God is Great,’ but when you unpack the term you quickly realize that it is much more than a simple expression,” The Jerusalem Post wrote. “After all, a simple expression would never do as the last words a Muslim speaks while maiming and murdering innocents.”

Allahu Akbar does not actually mean “God is Great,” and contrary to common belief, it is not a phrase from the Koran. In fact, it is not found anywhere at all in the holy book of Islam, but rather in the Hadith.

The Arabic expression is called the takbir. The words “akbar” and “takbir” use the same three-letter root, k-b-r, which means “big” or “great.” Allahu Akbar is, in fact, part of the muezzin’s call to prayer. It is a phrase used in times of happiness and joy, used when a baby is being born, during the pilgrimage to Mecca called the hajj and during festivals called the Eid. And yes, also in wartime and in jihad.

But the phrase soon began to mean something else entirely.

We understand how it was intended when Egyptian Olympic judoka Islam El Shenaby uttered the words just before his match with Israeli Olympic judoka Ori Sasson. He was not celebrating the birth of a child.

It was a declaration of jihad, of war, it was a war cry used to destroy the non-believer. …

After September 11, 2001, the FBI said that they found notes with the takbir among the possessions of the terrorist in Dulles, the crash site in Pennsylvania and in Mohamed Atta’s suitcase.

In the suitcase they even found a note that read, “When the confrontation begins, strike like champions who do not want to go back to this world. Shout ‘Allahu Akbar,’ because this strikes fear in the hearts of the non-believers.”

Micah Halpern, a political commentator, also traces the phrase back to the Hadith, a set of additional Muslim texts written after the Koran. One passage describes how the prophet Mohamed prepared to attack Jews in 628 A.D., shouting “Allahu Akbar.”

The exact quote from the Hadith is: “The Prophet set out for Khaibar and reached it at night. He used not to attack if he reached the people at night, till the day broke. So, when the day dawned, the Jews came out with their bags and spades. When they saw the Prophet; they said, ‘Muhammad and his army!’ The Prophet said, ‘Allahu Akbar! (Allah is Greater) and Khaibar is ruined, for whenever we approach a nation [i.e. enemy to fight] then it will be a miserable morning for those who have been warned.’” “Allahu” is the nominative form of the word “Allah,” the name of God in Islam. It is not God. There is a significant difference between the name of God and the word “god.”


  • Ricarrdo estavans

    They kill eight of us we kill 800 of them.

    • Gary Belich


      • Merlinever

        Gary Belich: So……if we kill a hundred or a thousand of them for every one of us they kill, eventually there won’t be any of them left to kill us.
        And please be aware that the Muslims intend to take over the entire world…by any means necessary…
        Notice how in every Islamic terrorist attack it’s always one or a very small number of Muslims who kill a very much larger number of non-Muslims. The most egregious example of this was the 9/11 attack where 19 Muslim jihadists killed 2,996 non-Muslims……and did so in less that 30 minutes!
        This is the Muslims’ two prong strategy; they reduce our numbers by killing large numbers of us while outperforming us in procreation; their fertility rate is EIGHT times that of non-Muslims. The Muslims are using the wombs of Muslim women as weapons of jihad.

        • Gary Belich


          • Ricarrdo estavans

            No, just kill those who pronounce your death and ours.

        • Ricarrdo estavans

          Perfect image. Demographic time bomb.Tick tock. Dumb westerners smoking dope and aborting their young. These future muslim warriors will eat these millenialls alive.

    • Merlinever

      Ricarrdo estavans: If we had never let any of them into our country, this horror would never have happened. Only if we kill every Muslim in the world will all Islamic terrorism ever cease to be.

      • Ricarrdo estavans

        How about 200,000,000. That’s the general consensus the amount of radicals. Ten percent. A good start, more if necessary.

  • John Gasper

    GEEEE! Can you believe the media would distort the REAL meaning of this phrase!!!! Just kidding. Allah is a made up cave dweller made up by millions of really STUPID other cave dwellings pedophiles and animal rapist!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dwight Hartmark

    A true Christian defines his God in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is the name of my God. He is the second person of the Trinity, God the Father, God the Son (Jesus ), and God the Holy Spirit.
    This Triune God is the one and only God of the universe. He is the Great I AM, from everlasting (past), to everlasting (future ).
    Allah is the name of the false god of Islam, the god Muslims worship. A Christian and a Muslim worship two entirely different deities.

    • Joe Williams

      You are right, and to anyone with their eyes open the real identity of that Allah is obvious. It was Satan, who convinced a gullible criminal warlord (Mohammed), that mass murder, rape and pillaging, ethnic cleansing, pedophilia, extortion, deception slavery and a whole host of other despicable acts are fine, even required for the furthermemt of his power on Earth. Such wickedness can only come from Satan. Case closed, never trust a Muslime !

      • Dwight Hartmark

        Yes, Joe, all the evil you listed that illegitimate religion has promoted and executed for centuries is the fruit that proves that Islam is wicked and is not of God.
        Anyone who believes otherwise, or thinks they will change, is a fool.

        • Cougar

          I don’t refer to musslimes as a religion, its more of a cult. The work of the devil, FOR SURE!!!

    • Lee Hauenstein

      Not so fast there!! Allah is not a deity at all. Allah is the moon god of ancient Arabia. Allah is Arab Mythology, like to Greek Mythology. When Muslims Worship Allah, they are Worshipping the MOON. Just like a pack of DOGS, THEY ARE BARKING AT THE MOON.

      • Dwight Hartmark

        Of course, Lee, allah is not God and Muslims do worship the moon, but in the common definition of a diety, there are over 2,500 deities history recognizes . They are worshipped by groups as their gods. None of them are Almighty God, except one, the Lord Jesus Christ.

        • Lee Hauenstein

          All Communists use their own definitions to support their arguments. God is the only Deity. God is Eternal and God is Living. That is what a Deity is and all of the other gods are not Deity’s at all. The Catholics worship Mother Mary because they, when I tell my wife it is wrong to worship Mother Mary, she does not understand. I tell her that Mother Mary is NOT A DEITY and she does not know Why Mother Mary is not a DEITY. That is a BIG PROBLEM WITH CHRISTIANITY, Most Christians do not read the BIBLE SO THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND What it means to Be a Christian. When the DEVIL USES SCRIPTURE TO DECEIVE CHRISTIANS, They do not know the scripture well enough to know that they are being DECEIVED. You have read the Bible many times to understand it well enough so that SATAN Does not DECEIVE YOU By ‘SPINNING THE SCRIPTURE TO MAKE HIS POINT. That is What COMMUNISTS(SATAN) does.

  • Joe Williams

    In the eyes of crazed Islamists, I am a non- believer, but the cited words do mot strike fear into me – they make me want to kill those truly infidels shouting it without mercy. In reality Allah is just another name for Satan, tbe greatest deceiver of all times. The deceitful doctrines of the Koran and the Hadith are more than proof for this undeniable fact. So, what the attacker shouts in reality is “Satan is the greatest” but this meaning got lost in politically correct translations spare the sensibilities of the “good” Satanists (also known as Muslimes). I believe firmly, we should call this vile and destructive cult by its real name from now on !

  • Estoban

    Jihad is the longest world war in history. Fourteen hundred years of “Allahu Akbar.”

  • RonyG

    I Am a Messianic Jew and I have been researching Ancient Scripture for over 50 years! The God that I pray to is YAHWEH Jehoovah who said there is no God before me! The is no other Righteous God by the Muslim Name of Allah, and the only scriptural reference is a Fallen god, of which some describe it as a “Moon god”! All Muslims are using the Koran as their so called Sharia Scripture which is a False Document promoting Idolatry, as it does not even have the 10 Commandments in it, which is the BASIC FOUNDATION OF COSMIC LAW given to us followers and Spiritual Believers including Jesus the Christ! Let is Pray for those who are not True Righteous Believers so that they might have the Blessings and Forgiveness of the True Father and Creator YAHWEH Jehoovah!

  • Sarge

    Regardless of the meaning the sole meaning is that these spineless, heartless , asswipes want to kill all non-muslum people.Every man, woman and child is on their list. And there is only one way to handle people like that.

  • Melody Martin

    they will get their 72 virgins when the die for Allah, what no one told them is these virgins are old maids of 1000 years old Lets put them where they belong, lying in a ditch covered with pigs blood

    • Chuck

      72 Virgins. Muslims, HA! They will be lucky to find 1, and if so, she will be under 10 years old.

  • Jorg37

    This Allah character they are so preoccupied with, is just made up. “He” used to be one of some twenty desert ghosts in charge of various things. Then Muhammad got the splendid idea to promote Allah to super ghost, in charge of all the other fictitious characters. Eventually, it was decided to equate Allah with the Christian “God”, another made-up, fictitious character. That’s the embarrassing history.

    • Ron

      Allah was the moon god, one of the arab pantheon, and Mohammed’s family god.

      • Jorg37

        After his “promotion” from just one of several desert ghosts, all made up.

  • Coastie407

    Interesting article, but sadly mostly wrong. Most times, it is impossible to translate a term or expression literally, and this case is no different. If we wanted to match up expressions, the closest to Allahu Akbar, following their mindset, we could translate this to “Glory to God in the highest” which by the way, is also a statement uttered by some Christians in the very same situations. It is, however, a bit too religious for the humanist types at CNN and NYT, so it gets thinned out to “God is great” and move on.

    Lastly, the term “jihad” does NOT mean war, or fighting per se. It means “struggle” and is further defined as the “greater jihad” which is the eternal, personal struggle against sin, and the “lesser jihad” which denotes defending ones faith. To a Muslim, even a kifir of non-believer (in Islam) can have a jihad, in the struggle against sin and temptation.

    It is important to know and understand these points, as our fight is NOT against Islam, but a fight against ideas. and this fight cannot be waged as a war (as killing each other changes no one mind, rather it entrenches both sides to their core beliefs). The only way to fight “bad” ideas is with “good” ones.

    Interestingly, this not just basic counter-terrorism, but also comes from Scripture. Our Lord and Savior did not teach us to kill the infidels, rather to love our neighbors and yes, our enemies. As HE is the ultimate “best idea” let us try to use His words to guide us, even in this conflict with those who believe differently.

    • Gary Belich


      • Coastie407

        Gary, it also says in the Old Testament we are to have slaves, several wives, and sacrifice animals as offerings. Christ separated us from the Old Testament through His teachings, so as his followers it would beoove us to do as much.

        However, it would be impossible for Go me yo order Joshua to “kill
        everything in an Islam villege” when Islam was created about six centuries after Christ.

        Nice try, though.

  • Bruce Kellar

    A good read and shows the error of our mainstream media and another cause for disbelief of their claims. Faith in your fellows learned honesty is probably not going to be well served.

  • Paul Barton

    Who gives a crap what the garbage they talk means – just terminate them all and you’ll get rid of the language altogether.

  • mike

    I found this article interesting and educational. Will do some research on my own. In the mean time I will keep my Sword sharp, and stay out of liberal cities who believe in “lone wolf” attacks.

  • Joseph Branscome

    They ( Muslims ) are the MOST SPIRITUALLY SICK group of people on earth . There are thousands of cults around the world , and many in America . But any group that is so MIND TWISSED , to believe they are going to heaven for murdering innocent people : caps them all . It is our CHRISTIAN DUTY to PRAY for their minds to be opened to JESUS CHRIST and HOLY SPIRIT .

  • Ricarrdo estavans


  • Michael Gregory

    It is time to engage the enemy that is Islamic terrorism and stop making excuses for their actions. It is not politically correct to KILL! Just because they are Muslims the fact remains they are murderers and cowards. They almost always attack undefended, civilian targets. Meanwhile the DNC encourages this behavior by disarming us! When are the libs going to wake up to the FACT that even Democrats are “infidels” as far as the Muslims are concerned and as such you are expendable and still the enemy of Islam?

  • rs1123

    Allah cannot be just their name for MY God, because MY God would never order us to ‘kill the infidels’. He commands that we teach them about him, not kill them. (Now I will wait for some clown to respond with ‘oh,yeah, but what about ‘Onward Christian Soldiers, huh?’)

  • Terry Butts

    They mistranslated it on purpose the media is still pushing the false narrative that the ALLAH worshiped in the islamic faith is the same God worshiped by Christians and Jews as if the quran is just a different translation of the same religious texts the Christian or Jewish religious texts came from when IRREFUTABLE historical documentation makes it clear that is not the case.