Although the phrase "Allahu Akbar" (الله أكبر) is a common phrase used by all Muslims in various situations, including the Salah (obligatory five prayers a day) and has even been used by some non-Muslims, as a show of support for the protesting Iranians; it is widely associated with the "radical" (fundamental) Muslims who shout it while engaged in Jihad - which usually entails the murder of innocent non-Muslims. Many 'moderates' and apologists claim it's simply the Arabic translation of a common English phrase meaning "God is great!"
However, this is untrue. "Allahu Akbar" does not mean "God is great" as claimed. It actually means "Allah is greater." Greater than what? You may ask. The fact that it's a 'war cry' for the Jihadis (more recently including Major Nidal Malik Hasan) should give you a clue to this. Let's examine the use of this phrase in scripture, and the use of these words in their original Arabic.
'Allah' is simply the Arab word for 'God.'
'God' in Arabic is translated 'ilah,' not 'Allah.'
Allah = الله (alif ا, lam ل, lam ل, ha ه)
ilah = اله (alif ا, lam ل, ha ه)
Transliteration: ašhadu ʾanla ilāha illal-Lāh, wa ʾašhadu ʾanna muḥammadan rasūlul-LāhLiteral: There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.
As you can see, even though many English speaking Muslims falsely claim it states "there is no god but God", this is clearly not the case. Muslims view the name Allah as a proper noun, as opposed to a common noun descriptive applicable to any deity. Allah is not the generic word for 'god' in Arabic, but the name of Islam's deity.
A Treatise on Maliki Fiqh (Including commentary from ath-Thamr ad-Dani by al-Azhari)(310/922 - 386/996)
Why Muslims and Apologists insist 'Allah' means 'God'
what christians call God Muslims call Allah, they believe God and Allah are the same. god has spoken to the world through jesus, the world was not yet ready to fully understand it. Muhammad is the final messenger according to muslims, so this time the word of Allah came AGAIN to man and this time it was the final word. that is why you can find so many contradictions in the bible but not one in the quran. because it is the same message from the same God/Allah, only the quran is the word sent down the final time
'Akbar' means 'great.'
'Akbar' in English is translated 'greater,' not 'great.'
كبير (kebir) = Great
أكبر (Akbar) = Greater
They are not interchangeable words. For evidence, we only need look to the Qur'an. Both kebir (great) and akbar (greater) are used in the following verse:
يسالونك عن الخمر والميسر قل فيها اثمتتفكرون كبير ومنافع للناس واثمهما اكبر من نفعهما ويسالونك ماذا ينفقون قل العفو كذلك يبين الله لكم الايات لعلكم
Yas-aloonaka AAani alkhamri waalmaysiriqul feehima ithmun kabeerun wamanafiAAu lilnnasiwa-ithmuhuma akbaru min nafAAihima wayas-aloonaka mathayunfiqoona quli alAAafwa kathalika yubayyinu Allahulakumu al-ayati laAAallakum tatafakkaroona
Yusuf Ali:They ask thee concerning wine and gambling. Say: "In them is great sin, and some profit, for men; but the sin is greater than the profit." They ask thee how much they are to spend; Say: "What is beyond your needs." Thus doth Allah Make clear to you His Signs: In order that ye may consider- 
Used in Context by Muhammad
One must also note that if the word "Allah" meant "God", why then would he be telling the Jews of Khaibar (who supposedly worship the same god) that Islam's Allah is greater?
Here are a few more quotes which use the phrase "Allahu Akbar".
Al-hamdu lillahi-lladhi hadana wa at amana wa saqana wa naamana. Allahu akbar. Allahumma'l fatna nimatik bi-kulli sharr. Fa asbahna minha wa amsayna bi-kulli khayr. Nasaluka tamamaha wa shukraha. La khayr illa khayruk. Wa la ilaha ghayruk. Ilaha'-saliheen wa rabba'l-alameen. Al-hamdu lillah. Wa la ilaha illa'llah. Ma sha'Allah. Wa la quwwata illa billah. Allahumma barik lana fima razaqtana. Waqina adhaba'n-na
'Allah' is not simply the Arabic word for 'God,' but the name of Islam's chosen deity (i.e. the pre-Islamic moon god located in the Ka'aba.) and 'Akbar' does not mean 'great,' but 'greater.' Greater than what? The answer is - Allah is greater...than whatever god you happen to believe in.
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- Allahu Akbar - Muslim Arabic speaker, commenting on this page, confirms "Allahu Akbar" means "Allah is greater" (not "God is great)"