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I am learning Arabic, and I was wondering if there is a difference.

  • Where did you find the first phrase? I never heard of it before. – Atata Mar 10 '16 at 17:50
  • I made a connection between that phrase, as a possibility, and the phrase: "Allah ul-'Alim". Which, if I am not mistaken, means: "Allah (s.w.t.) knows best". – user16047 Mar 11 '16 at 13:54
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    "Allah u-A'lam" without the L means "Allah knows best" – Atata Mar 11 '16 at 14:18
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    Allah-u a'lam(u) اللهُ أَعْلَمُ (Allah knows best) or Allah-ul A'leem(u) اللهُ الْعَلِيمُ (Allah is the all knowing) or even Allah-(u) a'leem(un) (Allah has more knowledge) are different expressions! I've wrote in parenthesis tones that might or might not be pronounced in Arabic according the position in a sentence and the emphasize you want to give to the words! – Medi1Saif Nov 10 '16 at 15:12
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I think they don't. When you say "Allahu Al-Akbar" this means that there is another Allah and this is unacceptable, because "Allah" is only one. But when you say "Allah Akbar" this means that Allah is greater than anyone or anything else and this is acceptable.

  • Allah Akbar means "Allah is the greatest". That's correct.

  • Allahu Al-Akbar means "Allah, who is great". That's wrong.

  • @Medi1Saif Thank you! I've removed it. I've copied it, at first, from a comment of him. You're right. – Mahmud Muhammad Naguib Nov 10 '16 at 18:47
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Maybe this would be a good Question for the Arabic SE proposal!
I'm no expert but to give you a short answer yes both would have at first sight the same meaning, but Allahu al-Akbar or Allah ul-Akbar الله الاكبر includes some kind of shirk because it's a comparisons as if you said Allah is greater then... so the listener would expect a deity/something/somebody with whom Allah would be compared in his greatness. But as is this "statement" wouldn't really make sense because something is missing! So it would be wrong as!
While Allahu Akbar الله اكبر is clearly saying: Allah is greater, and this is the most safe (from shirk) and only used expression in Islam.

And Allah knows best!

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    The first phrase does NOT have a meaning by itself, unless there is a noun preceding Allah, for example, when you say The Greatest Name of Allah اسمُ اللهِ الأعظم – Atata Mar 11 '16 at 12:38
  • Well that is what i refer to by saying the listener would except something/somebody ... – Medi1Saif Mar 11 '16 at 12:41
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Yes, they are the same. It's just a matter of easing the wording for the English reader. The more correct wording is the second one Allahu Akbar, since it demonstrates that the Arabic word for Allah has a dhama at the end while Akbar has a sukun. The first wording "Allahu ul-Akbar" is almost incorrect since it implies that "ul" or the dhama is connected to Akbar rather than Allah.

I hope that makes sense, and Allah (SWT) knows best.

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    I beg to differ. They are not the same at all. الله أكبر vs الله الاكبر.. Usually, they ad -ul to indicate that the second word begins with همزة الوصل and the sound should be Damma, like Laylat ul-Israa (ليلةُ الإسراء) – Atata Mar 11 '16 at 12:32
  • The wording الله الاكبر is rarely ever used and would imply that Allah is being compared to something else. Even then, the English reading of it should be: AllahU AL-Akbar, not Allah UL-Akbar. On the other hand, Allahu Akbar is the usual and common terminology. – Shadi Mar 11 '16 at 22:40

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