Tuesday January 22, 2019
Is it really believable that uttering out a dear Islamic phrase, also known as Takbir, can cause trouble for an ordinary man? Yes, saying “Allah hu Akbar” resulted in some heavy outflow of cash and you definitely would not want to miss out on what happened recently.
A young Muslim man had been forced to hand over 210 Swiss francs, or £170, for saying ‘Allahu Akbar’ in a public place just to express shock at seeing his friend. The outcome was something none of us would ever imagine but well, in this time of a heavy Islamophobic wind blowing across regions; nothing is certain.
As reported by Daily Mail, As Orhan E., of the age 22, made the exclamation; police in the city of Schaffhausen in Switzerland stopped and charged him with causing a public nuisance. This news was also covered by a local newspaper, Schaffhauser Nachrichten. The victim told 20 Minuten:
“Suddenly the police officer called me over, and she asked what I meant by that phrase.”
Orhan explained he meant nothing sinister, saying:
‘We use “Allahu Akbar” as a greeting and almost in every other sentence.
Well of course, Allahu Akbar simply means ‘Allah (SWT) is the Greatest’. However, the police charged him anyway. He handed the fine of 150 Swiss francs and ordered to pay another 60 in costs, adding up to a total of 210 francs (£170). He also added:
“I was threatened with prison if I didn’t pay the fine. I was born here and I’ve never experienced anything like it.”
Then Police defended their actions, saying they would have reacted the same way if someone had been running around swearing. A police spokesman said:
“At the time there was a possibility that people could be scared and terrified.”
Then, another police officer said that it was the manner of expression that led to the fine, adding:
“If someone’s running around the square swearing, we’ll bring them under control then too.”
According to the Federal Statistical Office (FSO), some 362,973 Muslims live in Switzerland, representing about 5.1% of the total population. The hijack of the term ‘Allahu Akbar’ by some terrorists unfortunately has now coaxed many Muslim activists and scholars to defend their faith and the term itself, which majority of Muslims use in their everyday life.
In 2017, Imam Omar Suleiman, the Founder and President of the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research, also wrote an opinion article published on CNN to defend the term. He stated:
“Contrary to what many people seem to think, the phrase ‘Allahu Akbar’ simply means ‘God is Greatest.’ It is a powerful declaration used by Muslims on many occasions and in many prayers.”
Imam Suleiman’s concern was shared by the journalist, writer, and lawyer Wahajat Ali, who wrote an opinion article for the New York Times under the headline, “I Want ‘Allahu Akbar’ Back.”
See also: Duas for Protection and help from Allah (SWT)
May Allah (SWT) assist Muslims worldwide and make their lives easy, especially for those who live in Non-Muslim countries. May Allah (SWT) save us from experiencing such incidents and becoming the victims out of nowhere. Let others know about such struggles our fellow Muslims encounter in foreign countries.