Quora Answer: Does Saying Takbir, “Allahu Akbar”, Make You a Terrorist?

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is my answer to a Quora question: “Does saying the takbir, ‘Allahu Akbar’ make you an ISIS terrorist? 

The takbir is the name of the phrase “Allahu Akbar”, meaning literally, “God is Greater”, implying that He is Greater than anything.  It is said by all Muslims in a variety of conditions, including in ritual prayer, in other acts of worship, as a rallying cry, as a slogan and so forth. 

That terrorists say it before engaging in atrocities does not change the reality of the takbir.  As William Shakespeare wrote, in “The Merchant of Venice”: 

“The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.

An evil soul producing holy witness

Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,

A goodly apple rotten at the heart.

O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!” 

The takbir does not justify their acts.


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