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Takbīr in Islamic culture

7. When the Holy Prophet () was born, the first sentence he was able to utter was “Mubārakahu Allāhu akbar” [Blessed is He; Allah is greater].[1]

8. When Mecca fell into the hands of the Muslims, the Prophet () entered the Masjid al-arām, pointed to the ajar al-Aswad [Black Stone], and recited the takbīr. The Muslims also recited the same takbīr which brought fear into the hearts of the polytheists.[2]

9. We read in the traditions: “Whenever a certain thing astonishes you, recite the takbīr.”[3]

10. During the Battle of Uud, one of the leading warriors amog the infidels asked for a challenger. Hadrat ‘Alī (‘a) came forward and he dealt the enemy such a heavy blow that the Prophet () and the Muslims recited the takbīr with a loud voice.[4]

11. The Holy Prophet () said to Hadrat ‘Alī (‘a): “Whenever you look at the crescent [hilāl] or the mirror, or you encounter a problem, say takbīr three times.”[5]

12. “Allāhu akbar” was the slogan of Zayd, son of Imām as-Sajjād (‘a), who revolted against the ‘Umayyad rule.[6]

13. During the Battle of Badr, the Prophet () was awaiting the news of the death of Nawfal, one of the enemy chiefs. When he () was informed that Hadrat ‘Alī (‘a) had slain Nawfal, the Prophet () recited the takbīr.[7]

14. When Hadrat ‘Alī (‘a) came to propose for Hadrat Zahrā (‘a), the Prophet () said: “You wait. I have to refer the matter to my daughter Fātimah. But when she was consulted, Hadrat Zahrā (‘a) remained silent and did not say anything. The Prophet said: “.اقرارها سكوتها اكبر، الله” “Allāhu akbar! Sukūtuhā iqrāruhā” [Allah is greater! Her silence is her approval].[8]

15. During the battle against the Khawārij (Kharijites), when their commander perished, Hadrat ‘Alī (‘a) recited takbīr and performed prostration, and all the people recited takbīr.[9]

16. A group of Jews embraced Islam and they said to the Prophet (): “The previous prophets had successors. Who is the executor of your will [waī]?” At this juncture, the following Verse of Guardianship [āyah al-wilāyah] was revealed:


الّذينَ آمَنُوا الّذينَ وَ رَسُولُهُ وَ اللهُ وَلِيُّكُمُ اِنَّما ﴿

﴾ راكِعُونَ هُمْ وَ الزَّكوةَ يُؤْتُونَ وَ الصَّلَوةَ يُقِيمُونَ


Your guardian is only Allah, His Apostle, and the faithful who maintain the prayer and give the zakāt while bowing down.”[10]

[1] Biār al-Anwār, vol. 15, p. 273.

[2] Tafsīr-e Nemūneh, vol. 27, p. 307.

[3] Biār al-Anwār, vol. 92, p. 127.

[4] Biār al-Anwār, vol. 20, p. 126.

[5] Biār al-Anwār, vol. 92, p. 145.

[6] Zayd ibn ‘Alī, p. 186.

[7] Biār al-Anwār, vol. 19, p. 281.

[8] Biār al-Anwār, vol. 43, p. 93.

[9] Biār al-Anwār, vol. 41, p. 341.

[10] Sūrah al-Mā’idah 5:55.

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