in Islam, the formulaic pronouncement labbaykah allahummah labbaykah ("at your service, O Lord, at your service"), recited especially during a pilgrimage when pious Muslims perform the tawaf-i.e., walk around the sacred shrine of the Ka'bah. The question whether the talbiyah is obligatory or merely a commendable tradition has been much discussed, but Muslim theologians have reached no consensus. All Muslim sects and theological schools within Islam thus continue to use the talbiyah during pilgrimages and on other religious occasions. There are several longer versions of talbiyah that have been attributed to certain prominent Muslims, particularly to Muhammad and the Companions, and even to such pious figures from the past as Adam and Noah.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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