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Why the word Islam does not simply mean 'peace'

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Be it ignorance or the deliberate misrepresenting of the word Islam, Mr. Lloyd-Moffett’s quote in the April 27 New Times article “Islamic neighbors” is completely wrong. He says: “The word Islam simply means peace, and in this case, it’s the peace that’s achieved when someone realized that God is the creator and he has a will for each individual.”

The Arabic root of the word Islam is “aslama,” which means submit, and from that we get the word Islam, which can be literally translated to submission. To clear the record, Salaam is the Arabic word for peace.

According to Islamic scholars the word Islam does not “simply” mean anything. In Sahih Al-Bukhari translated by Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Kahn the glossary given in volume 9 is as follows:

Islam: Its meaning encompasses the concepts of peace, greeting, salutation, surrender, obedience, loyalty, allegiance, and commitment. Literally means “submission to the will of Allah,” and refers commonly to an individual’s surrender and commitment to God the creator through adherence to the religion by the same name.

The English translation of Sahih Muslim by Nasiruddin al-Khattab has the exact same definition of the word Islam. As well as Sunan Abu Dawud translated by Nasiruddin al-Khattab, Jami At-Tirmidhi translated by Abu Khaliyl, Sunan An-Nasa’i translated by Nasiruddin al-Khattab, and Sunan Ibn Majah translated by Nasiruddin al-Khattab.

For those of you keeping track, all six accepted Hadiths translated into English agree that the word Islam does not simply mean “peace.”

-- Abdullah Ibn Sarh - San Luis Obispo

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