Name of the Religion: Hinduism and Islam (2/2)

After we talked about the name of Hindu religion in first part of this article, we will talk in this part about the name of Islam: Is the name of Islam a divine revelation and inspiration from Allah the Almighty or the name just came from the imagination of humans? Does the name Islam belongs to a person or country? All of these questions would be answered in detail with with evidence and proofs.

Islam A Miraculous Name

The religion that was brought by the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is called “Islam”.  With the title “Islam” this religion is famous in the world since the dawn of the Islamic revolution. Even in the East and West, non-Muslims know this religion with this name. There was never any dispute  on this name between Muslims or non-Muslims. It is the name revealed from God for this religion, and there is no truer name than this name for the message of Islam. and the designation of Islam with this name in terms of its depth, its comprehensiveness, its uniqueness, its distinction, its rarity and its goodness. The name itself represents a miracle for the Messenger of Allah. (may peace of Allah and His blessings be upon him.

What is Mohammedan?

Is “Mohammedan” name acceptable to Muslims for their religion? Some Christian missionaries tried to call Islam Muhammaddan as we find a common phenomenon in the writings of orientalists in India during the colonial times. They tried to attribute Islam to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) instead of Allah. It was with a bad intention to give Islam an impression of, humanity instead of divinity, personality instead of generality,  like their Christian religion. However, Islam is Islam, it never became Mohammedanism.

The Name Islam in Qur’an

The name of Islam is not limited to the religion that was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) rather it is the name of the religion that was revealed to all the Prophets, but Allah the Almighty has honored this nation by calling the companions of the Prophet Muhammad and his followers, Muslims.  Muslim is a name for the followers of Islam selected by Allah the Almighty. The word Islam and Muslim as name has been mentioned in the Glorious Qur’an. The religion of the previous prophets and Messengers has been always Islam and their followers were Muslims. The Glorious Qur’an says: Indeed, the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam.(Ali ‘Imran 3:19)

In the same Surah, Allah the Almighty says:

And whoever desires other than Islam as religion – never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers. (Ali ‘Imran 3: 85)

In both references, the religion of Muslims has been called Islam. And in other Ayah, followers of Islam have been called “Muslims”. The Glorious Qur’an says:

He has chosen you and has not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty. [It is] the religion of your father, Abraham. Allah named you “Muslims” before [in former scriptures] and in this [revelation] that the Messenger may be a witness over you and you may be witnesses over the people. (Al-Haj 22: 87)

This Ayah clearly says that Allah the Almighty has named you as “Muslims”. Perhaps, you will ask: What is the meaning of Islam and what is the meaning of Muslim in Arabic language?

What is Islam and What is Muslim?

Islam is the name of the religion and who practice Islam are called Muslims, just like those who practice Christianity are called Christians. The literal meaning of Islam is submission. Islam comes from the root Arabic letters  س-ل-م  s-l-m which are the same root letters the word peace (salam) comes from.

‘Islam’ not ‘Izlam’:

In addition, it is pronounced, ‘Islam’ not ‘Izlam.’ The ‘s’ in Islam does not sound like the ‘s’ in ‘is’ but as in ‘school’ and ‘bus.’ Izlam means to make something dark or lightless.

Islam in Arabic Language:

In Arabic, the root word for Islam is ‘salam which means ‘peace’. Generally, ‘salam’ is defined as peace, and its derivatives can mean the following:سَلِمَ (salema)to escape (danger); to be safe, secure; to be sound, unimpaired, or unharmed; to be free (from fault), faultless, or flawless, and سَلَّمَ (Sallama) to hand over; to submit; to save, rescue, to protect, preserve, safeguard, or keep (from harm, injury); اِسْتَلَمَ (Istalama)  تَسَلَّمَ (Tasallama) to accept or approve of; to give consent or agree; and to acknowledge, allow, or concede. If we select any one of the numerous meanings of ‘salam’ and relate it to what is inherent in Islam, we see direct parallels. ‘Islam’ is concurrent with its innermost meaning: peace. Since ‘salam’ means peace, someone can ask if Islam, as a religion, really brings peace. We will consider this question in the following section, Different Categories of Peace. Islam is also defined as peace, treaty, truce, concord, protection, quarter, safety, security, immunity, mercy, and grace. It also means obedience, reverence, worship, homage, and much more.

Islam is Submission to Allah:

In a religious context, Islam technically means to establish the deen exclusively for Allah , i.e., to resign to the will of Allah , the submission of one’s will to the will of Allah , complete submission from the deepest part of one’s heart, and paying homage to Allah . Moreover, Islam is the way of life prescribed by Allah , beginning with the teachings of the first man and prophet, Adam and concluding with the teachings of Allah’s final and most beloved prophet, Muhammad of Arabia, the son of Abdullah. (See: Mohammad Masood Ahmed, Would You Like to Know Something about Islam? Crescent Books Inc.; First edition (December 1, 2011), P.53.)

After looking at the different derivatives of the word, it became clear that the word Islam is totally free from the meaning of personalization, in terms of person, in terms of location, in terms of race, in terms of language, in terms of people, in terms of time, the word Islam is a name of a general and comprehensive nature.

The Names of the Major Religions of the World

The religions of the world are in general named after the names of a particular person, specific nation, a country in which it originated. One of the oldest religions of the world originated in India, Jainism was named after a religious reformer Mahavira Jain, and Buddhism also derives its name from its founder’s name Buddha. in Judaism is attributed to Judah, the fourth son of Jacob. Christianity is related Christ or Nasaara نَصَارَى belongs to the town of Nazareth نَاصِرَةَ Palestine, the country of Christ-peace be upon him- Zoroastrianism took its name from its founder’s name, Zoroaster.

It is evident that those name are humane and not divine, because it is the habits of human being to name things after place or person who had specific relation to those things. But only Islam is unique in this regard, it is not exaggeration to say that this could not be invented by a human mind so the name of Islam itself is miracle for the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Conclusion:

First: The name Islam came from Allah the Almighty, so, it is divine and not human. However, this is not with the Hinduism.

Second: The name of Islam is general and comprehensive, but the name of Hinduism is personal and particular.

Third: The name of Islam is agreed upon and there is no difference around it, unlike Hinduism’s name.

Fourth: The name of Islam beautiful and pleasant compatible with its content, its significance and its good message. On the other hand,  it has been said in the meaning of Hindu هندو that it means black and thief.

Fifth: All Muslims are happy and proud of the name of their religion Islam, and this is not the case in Hinduism.

Sixth: The name Hinduism is based on a foreign language, which is Persian, not Sanskrit or Hindi while Islam is originally from a pure Arabic language.

Seventh: Some Hindus claim that Sanatan सनातन but no one proved it from Hindu authentic and holy scriptures that means it is a human selection and not divine.

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