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AKBARU vs AL KABIR

Updated: May 30

MIKE STEWARD·THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2019·READING TIME: 9 MINUTES53 Reads

I have often wondered about the tasfir “Allahu Akbar”. What does it mean? Where did it come from? Why is it such a prominent thing practiced and promoted in the Deen? Is it in the Quran? In my research I came to a very interesting conclusion: First the root word, be advised that both Akbar and Kabir are both derivatives of the same root:

Kaf-Ba-Ra To be hard, be grievous, grow up, be great/large/big, to attain to puberty, grow in estimation or rank or dignity, to make a thing great, dispute/contend with someone for superiority in greatness, to self-magnify, behave proudly/haughtily/insolently, consider oneself excellent, to exceed the actions of others, to boast, endeavor or seek to become great, disdain a thing, turn away from a thing with disdain, to hold oneself above a thing. Kabira/Yakburu To be exceed anyone in age, become stout and tall, grow big, become great, illustrious, become momentous (affair).

 

It became blatantly clear through the Arabic and English translations as well, that the word Akbar means greater as demonstrated in the multiple verses using this word presented below. This is not a complete list, this is just a demonstration using randome verses that utilize the word Akbaru, Please have a look...

 

Verses using the word AKBARU. 43:48 وَمَا نُرِيهِمْ مِنْ آيَة ٍ إِلاَّ هِيَ أَكْبَرُ مِنْ أُخْتِهَا وَأَخَذْنَاهُمْ بِالْعَذَابِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ Wa Mā Nurīhim Min 'Āyatin 'Illā Hiya 'Akbaru Min 'Ukhtihā Wa 'Akhadhnāhum Bil-`Adhābi La`allahum Yarji`ūna And every sign We showed them was greater than the one before it, and We seized them with the torment, perhaps they would return. 40:57 لَخَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ أَكْبَرُ مِنْ خَلْقِ النَّاسِ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ Lakhalqu As-Samāwāti Wa Al-'ArĐi 'Akbaru Min Khalqi An-Nāsi Wa Lakinna 'Akthara An-Nāsi Lā Ya`lamūna The creation of the heavens and the earth is greater than the creation of the people, but most of the people do not know. 40:10 إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا يُنَادَوْنَ لَمَقْتُ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ مِنْ مَقْتِكُمْ أَنْفُسَكُمْ إِذْ تُدْعَوْنَ إِلَى الإِيمَانِ فَتَكْفُرُونَ 'Inna Al-Ladhīna Kafarū Yunādawna Lamaqtu Allāhi 'Akbaru Min Maqtikum 'Anfusakum 'Idh Tud`awna 'Ilá Al-'Īmāni Fatakfurūna Those who had rejected will be told: The abhorrence of God towards you is greater than your abhorrence of yourselves, for you were invited to believe, but you chose to reject. 39:26 فَأَذَاقَهُمُ اللَّهُ الْخِزْيَ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَلَعَذَابُ الآخِرَةِ أَكْبَرُ لَوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُونَ Fa'adhāqahumu Allāhu Al-Khizya Fī Al-Ĥayāati Ad-Dunyā Wa La`adhābu Al-'Ākhirati 'Akbaru Law Kānū Ya`lamūna So God made them taste the humiliation in this worldly life, but the retribution in the Hereafter is far greater, if only they knew. 34:3 وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لاَ تَأْتِينَا السَّاعَةُ قُلْ بَلَى وَرَبِّي لَتَأْتِيَنَّكُمْ عَالِمِ الْغَيْبِ لاَ يَعْزُبُ عَنْهُ مِثْقَالُ ذَرَّة ٍ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَلاَ فِي الأَرْضِ وَلاَ أَصْغَرُ مِنْ ذَلِكَ وَلاَ أَكْبَرُ إِلاَّ فِي كِتَاب ٍ مُبِين ٍ Wa Qāla Al-Ladhīna Kafarū Lā Ta'tīnā As-Sā`atu Qul Balá Wa Rabbī Lata'tiyannakum `Ālimi Al-Ghaybi Lā Ya`zubu `Anhu Mithqālu Dharratin Fī As-Samāwāti Wa Lā Fī Al-'ArĐi Wa Lā 'Aşgharu Min Dhālika Wa Lā 'Akbaru 'Illā Fī Kitābin Mubīnin And those who rejected said: The Hour will not come to us! Say: Yes, by my Lord, it will come to you. He is the Knower of the unseen; not even the weight of an atom or less than that or greater can be hidden from Him, be it in the heavens or the earth. All are in a clear record. 32:21 وَلَنُذِيقَنَّهُمْ مِنَ الْعَذَابِ الأَدْنَى دُونَ الْعَذَابِ الأَكْبَرِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ Wa Lanudhīqannahum Mina Al-`Adhābi Al-'Adná Dūna Al-`Adhābi Al-'Akbari La`allahum Yarji`ūna And We will let them taste the worldly retribution before the greater retribution, perhaps they will return. انظُرْ كَيْفَ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْض ٍ وَلَلآخِرَةُ أَكْبَرُ دَرَجَات ٍ وَأَكْبَرُ تَفْضِيلا ً Anžur Kayfa FaĐĐalnā Ba`Đahum `Alá Ba`Đin Wa Lal'ākhiratu 'Akbaru Darajātin Wa 'Akbaru TafĐīlāan See how We have preferred some of them over the others; and in the Hereafter are greater levels, and greater preference. 16:41 وَالَّذِينَ هَاجَرُوا فِي اللَّهِ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا ظُلِمُوا لَنُبَوِّئَنَّهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَة ً وَلَأَجْرُ الآخِرَةِ أَكْبَرُ لَوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُونَ Wa Al-Ladhīna Hājarū Fī Allāhi Min Ba`di Mā žulimū Lanubawwi'annahum Fī Ad-Dunyā Ĥasanatan Wa La'ajru Al-'Ākhirati 'Akbaru Law Kānū Ya`lamūna And those who have emigrated for God, after they were oppressed, We will grant them good in the world, and the reward of the Hereafter will be greater, if only they knew. 10:61 وَمَا تَكُونُ فِي شَأْن ٍ وَمَا تَتْلُوا مِنْهُ مِنْ قُرْآن ٍ وَلاَ تَعْمَلُونَ مِنْ عَمَل ٍ إِلاَّ كُنَّا عَلَيْكُمْ شُهُودا ً إِذْ تُفِيضُونَ فِيه ِِ وَمَا يَعْزُبُ عَنْ رَبِّكَ مِنْ مِثْقَالِ ذَرَّة ٍ فِي الأَرْضِ وَلاَ فِي السَّمَاءِ وَلاَ أَصْغَرَ مِنْ ذَلِكَ وَلاَ أَكْبَرَ إِلاَّ فِي كِتَاب ٍ مُبِين ٍ Wa Mā Takūnu Fī Sha'nin Wa Mā Tatlū Minhu Min Qur'ānin Wa Lā Ta`malūna Min `Amalin 'Illā Kunnā `Alaykum Shuhūdāan 'Idh TufīĐūna Fīhi Wa Mā Ya`zubu `An Rabbika Min Mithqāli Dharratin Fī Al-'ArĐi Wa Lā Fī As-Samā'i Wa Lā 'Aşghara Min Dhālika Wa Lā 'Akbara 'Illā Fī Kitābin Mubīnin And any matter you are in, or any reciting you do of the Qur'an, or any work you do; We are witnesses over you when you undertake it. Nothing is hidden from your Lord, not even the weight of an atom on the earth or in the heavens, nor smaller than that nor larger, except it is in a clear record. 9:72 وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ جَنَّات ٍ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا وَمَسَاكِنَ طَيِّبَة ً فِي جَنَّاتِ عَدْن ٍ وَرِضْوَان ٌ مِنَ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ ذَلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ Wa`ada Allāhu Al-Mu'uminīna Wa Al-Mu'umināti Jannātin Tajrī Min Taĥtihā Al-'Anhāru Khālidīna Fīhā Wa Masākina Ţayyibatan Fī Jannāti `Adnin Wa RiĐwānun Mina Allāhi 'Akbaru Dhālika Huwa Al-Fawzu Al-`Ažīmu Allah has promised the believing men and the believing women Gardens, flow from underneath it the rivers (will) abide forever in it and dwellings blessed in Gardens (of) everlasting bliss. But the pleasure of Allah (is) greater. That, it (is) the supreme. 6:78 فَلَمَّا رَأَى الشَّمْسَ بَازِغَة ً قَالَ هَذَا رَبِّي هَذَا أَكْبَرُ فَلَمَّا أَفَلَتْ قَالَ يَاقَوْمِ إِنِّي بَرِيء ٌ مِمَّا تُشْرِكُونَ Falammā Ra'á Ash-Shamsa Bāzighatan Qāla Hādhā Rabbī Hādhā 'Akbaru Falammā 'Afalat Qāla Yā Qawmi 'Innī Barī'un Mimmā Tushrikūna So when he saw the sun rising, he said: "This is my Lord, this is bigger." But when it disappeared he said: "My people, I am innocent of what you have set up." ----------------------------------------- The following verse is the only one I found so far that has Allah and Akbar together, it is vitally important to notice it is not saying God is greater, but the “ REMBERANCE ” of God is greater. 29:45 اتْلُ مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَأَقِمُ الصَّلاَةَ إِنَّ الصَّلاَةَ تَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنْكَرِ وَلَذِكْرُ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ Atlu Mā 'Ūĥiya 'Ilayka Mina Al-Kitābi Wa 'Aqimu Aş-Şalāata 'Inna Aş-Şalāata Tanhá `Ani Al-Faĥshā'i Wa Al-Munkari Wa Ladhikru Allāhi 'Akbaru Wa Allāhu Ya`lamu Mā Taşna`ūna Recite what is inspired to you of the Book, and establish following closely, for the following closely prohibits immorality and vice; and surely (the) remembrance (of) Allah (is) greater. And Allah knows what you do . ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The folllowing are verses using the word KABIRU. 42:22 تَرَى الظَّالِمِينَ مُشْفِقِينَ مِمَّا كَسَبُوا وَهُوَ وَاقِع ٌ بِهِمْ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ فِي رَوْضَاتِ الْجَنَّاتِ لَهُمْ مَا يَشَاءُونَ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ ذَلِكَ هُوَ الْفَضْلُ الكَبِيرُ Tará Až-žālimīna Mushfiqīna Mimmā Kasabū Wa Huwa Wāqi`un Bihim Wa Al-Ladhīna 'Āmanū Wa `Amilū Aş-Şāliĥāti Fī RawĐāti Al-Jannāti Lahum Mā Yashā'ūna `Inda Rabbihim Dhālika Huwa Al-FaĐlu Al-Kabīru You see the transgressors worried because of what they had done; and it will come back at them. As for those who believed and do good works, they will be in gardens of bliss. They will have what they wish from their Lord. This is the great blessing. 35:7 الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَهُمْ عَذَاب ٌ شَدِيد ٌ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَهُمْ مَغْفِرَة ٌ وَأَجْر ٌ كَبِير ٌ Al-Ladhīna Kafarū Lahum `Adhābun Shadīdun Wa Al-Ladhīna 'Āmanū Wa `Amilū Aş-Şāliĥāti Lahum Maghfiratun Wa 'Ajrun Kabīrun Those who reject will have a painful retribution, and those who believe and do good works they will have a forgiveness and a great reward. 35:32 ثُمَّ أَوْرَثْنَا الْكِتَابَ الَّذِينَ اصْطَفَيْنَا مِنْ عِبَادِنَا فَمِنْهُمْ ظَالِم ٌ لِنَفْسِه ِِ وَمِنْهُمْ مُقْتَصِد ٌ وَمِنْهُمْ سَابِق ٌ بِالْخَيْرَاتِ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ ذَلِكَ هُوَ الْفَضْلُ الْكَبِيرُ Thumma 'Awrathnā Al-Kitāba Al-Ladhīna Aşţafaynā Min `Ibādinā Faminhum žālimun Linafsihi Wa Minhum Muqtaşidun Wa Minhum Sābiqun Bil-Khayrāti Bi'idhni Allāhi Dhālika Huwa Al-FaĐlu Al-Kabīru Then We caused to inherit the Book those whom We have chosen of Our slaves; and among them (is he) who wrongs himself, and among them (is he who is) moderate, and among them (is he who is) foremost in good deeds by permission (of) Allah. That is the Bounty the great. 25:52 فَلاَ تُطِعِ الْكَافِرِينَ وَجَاهِدْهُمْ بِه ِِ جِهَادا ً كَبِيرا ً Falā Tuţi`i Al-Kāfirīna Wa Jāhid/hum Bihi Jihādāan Kabīrāan So do not obey the rejecters, and strive against them with it in a great striving. 25:21 وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ لاَ يَرْجُونَ لِقَاءَنَا لَوْلاَ أُنزِلَ عَلَيْنَا الْمَلاَئِكَةُ أَوْ نَرَى رَبَّنَا لَقَدِ اسْتَكْبَرُوا فِي أَنفُسِهِمْ وَعَتَوْا عُتُوّا ً كَبِيرا ً Wa Qāla Al-Ladhīna Lā Yarjūna Liqā'anā Lawlā 'Unzila `Alaynā Al-Malā'ikatu 'Aw Nará Rabbanā Laqadi Astakbarū Fī 'Anfusihim Wa `Ataw `Utūwāan Kabīrāan And those who do not expect to meet Us said: "If only the angels were sent down upon us, or that we see our Lord." They have become arrogant in their souls, and they have produced a great blasphemy! 13:9 عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ الْكَبِيرُ الْمُتَعَالِي `Ālimu Al-Ghaybi Wa Ash-Shahādati Al-Kabīru Al-Muta`ālī The Knower of the unseen and the seen, the Great, the Most High. 22:62 ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْحَقُّ وَأَنَّ مَا يَدْعُونَ مِنْ دُونِه ِِ هُوَ الْبَاطِلُ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْكَبِيرُ Dhālika Bi'anna Allāha Huwa Al-Ĥaqqu Wa 'Anna Mā Yad`ūna Min Dūnihi Huwa Al-Bāţilu Wa 'Anna Allāha Huwa Al-`Alīyu Al-Kabīru That is because God is the truth, and what they call on besides Him is falsehood. And God is the Most High, the Great. 31:30 ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْحَقُّ وَأَنَّ مَا يَدْعُونَ مِنْ دُونِهِ الْبَاطِلُ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْكَبِيرُ Dhālika Bi'anna Allāha Huwa Al-Ĥaqqu Wa 'Anna Mā Yad`ūna Min Dūnihi Al-Bāţilu Wa 'Anna Allāha Huwa Al-`Alīyu Al-Kabīru That is because God is the truth, and that which they call on besides Him is falsehood, and that Godis the Most High, the Great. 34:23 وَلاَ تَنفَعُ الشَّفَاعَةُ عِنْدَهُ~ُ إِلاَّ لِمَنْ أَذِنَ لَه ُُ حَتَّى إِذَا فُزِّعَ عَنْ قُلُوبِهِمْ قَالُوا مَاذَا قَالَ رَبُّكُمْ قَالُوا الْحَقَّ وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْكَبِيرُ Wa Lā Tanfa`u Ash-Shafā`atu `Indahu 'Illā Liman 'Adhina Lahu Ĥattá 'Idhā Fuzzi`a `An Qulūbihim Qālū Mādhā Qāla Rabbukum Qālū Al-Ĥaqqa Wa Huwa Al-`Alīyu Al-Kabīru Nor will intercession be of any help with Him, except for whom He has already given leave. Until when the fear has subsided from their hearts, they ask: What did your Lord say? They will say: The truth! And He is the Most High, the Great. 40:12 ذَلِكُمْ بِأَنَّهُ~ُ إِذَا دُعِيَ اللَّهُ وَحْدَه ُُ كَفَرْتُمْ وَإِنْ يُشْرَكْ بِه ِِ تُؤْمِنُوا فَالْحُكْمُ لِلَّهِ الْعَلِيِّ الْكَبِيرِ Dhālikum Bi'annahu 'Idhā Du`iya Allāhu Waĥdahu Kafartum Wa 'In Yushrak Bihi Tu'uminū Fālĥukmu Lillāhi Al-`Alīyi Al-Kabīri This is because when God alone was mentioned, you rejected, but when partners were set up with Him, you believed. Therefore, the judgment is for God, the Most High, the Great. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- How about both words in the same verse demonstrating them different in meaning? Lets see a verse with both words applied in the same verse: 2:219 يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ قُلْ فِيهِمَا إِثْم ٌ كَبِير ٌ وَمَنَافِعُ لِلنَّاسِ وَإِثْمُهُمَا أَكْبَرُ مِنْ نَفْعِهِمَا وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ مَاذَا يُنفِقُونَ قُلِ الْعَفْوَ كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمُ الآيَاتِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَفَكَّرُونَ Yas'alūnaka `Ani Al-Khamri Wa Al-Maysiri Qul Fīhimā 'Ithmun Kabīrun Wa Manāfi`u Lilnnāsi Wa 'Ithmuhumā 'Akbaru Min Naf`ihimā Wa Yas'alūnaka Mādhā Yunfiqūna Quli Al-`Afwa Kadhālika Yubayyinu Allāhu Lakumu Al-'Āyāti La`allakum Tatafakkarūna They ask you about intoxicants and gambling. Say: "In them is great harm, and a benefit for the people; but their harm is greater than their benefit." And they ask you how much they are to give, say: "The excess." It is thus that God clarifies for you the revelations that you may think. Why am i bringing this up? why is this important to discuss? First, It is very clear by the verses and the numerous examples given in the Quran that: Akbar = greater a comparative word And Kabir = Great a singular and difinitive word What we learn from the Quran is the understanding that God cannot be compared to anything! God is omnipotent God is one God is incomparable to anything These criteria alone negates any acceptability to associate God as Greater than something as it directly becomes a comparrison to something of a lesser thing. To state that “God is greater” equals comparing God to something, and it implys that God is greater than this something. Nowhere in the Quran is there any such Tasfir, or verse with said tasfir mentioned or demonstrated as it is used today. It is very important to recognize this distinction as the Quran speaks against comparison of God to anything which is why it is missing as an example. So, I have changed my Tasfir when ever said, even though not mentioned in the Quran to perform or practice it to saying Alahu Al-Kabirun. Do your own research and see if i am incorrect. as always all feed back and discussion welcome. Peace and Blessings to All.

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