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  1. #1

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    Islam means submission or peace?

    This article claims that the meaning of Islam is "submission".:
    Misconception 1

    Islam is `the religion of peace' because:

    o the Arabic word Islam is derived from the Arabic word "Al-Salaam" which means peace.

    It might seem strange to think of this as a misconception, but in fact it is. The root word of Islam is "al-silm" which means "submission" or "surrender." It is understood to mean "submission to Allah." In spite of whatever noble intention has caused many a Muslim to claim that Islam is derived primarily from peace, this is not true. Allah says in the Qur'an (translated):

    [2:136] Say (O Muslims): We believe in Allah and that which is revealed to us and that which was revealed to Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have surrendered. [Arabic "Muslimoon"]

    A secondary root of Islam may be "Al-Salaam" (peace), however the text of the Qur'an makes it clear that Allah has clearly intended the focus of this way of life to be submission to Him. This entails submission to Him at all times, in times of peace, war, ease, or difficulty.
    A friend of mine claims the word means "peace". Here is an email he sent to me:
    This is false. The root of islam is "Siin-Lam-Miim". Submission/surrender is one about 20 possible meanings for the term. But the only meaning that fits in context throughout the text is "peaceful".
    Regarding another link that claimed Islam means submission, he wrote this:
    Your second link tells us that just because salam(peace) and islam(peaceful) share the same roots, they do not mean the same thing. Yet there are no examples of other words that share identical roots yet have completely different meanings in the qur'an. The fact is, salam, islam, and muslim share the same roots because they share the same root meaning. That's the way the arabic language originated. Isn't that more reasonable?
    What's the straight dope?

    Also, is the claim, "Yet there are no examples of other words that share identical roots yet have completely different meanings in the qur'an." true?

    I find that hard to believe as even in English there are words that share root words yet have vastly different meanings.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Agent of Chaos Wolfn's Avatar
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    Re: Islam means submission or peace?

    "Submission to God" and "Peace" are what Islam translates to.
    Dreams feel real while we're in them. It's only when we wake up do we realize something was actually strange.

  3. #3
    穆斯林-姐妹 PiElle2's Avatar
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    Re: Islam means submission or peace?

    izzit like "when you submit, you get peace...?"
    "There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path." - Morpheus, The Matrix.

    "It would not be reasonable in me if I did not serve Him Who created me, and to Whom ye shall (all) be brought back." Surah 36:22. Ya Sin (Yusuf Ali Translation)

  4. #4
    *bıɟɐɹɯıɯɐʇpɐʎızɯɯn* .: Anna :.'s Avatar
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    Re: Islam means submission or peace?

    There is one root to the word only. It is not like what is written in the first thing that the root is silm, then the root is salaam...
    The root is seen, lam, meem (s-l-m). The above words are other words which share the same root, just like Islam, and Muslim have this root.
    Also you have to look at the form. Islam is what you call a "masdar" from form 4 (it means verbal noun). This verb aslama means to submit, and also nowadays it means to become a Muslim/accepting the religion of Islam.
    Because of the root system, you can say there is an association between all of these words. Within the same root you see different words that have been derived but sharing some connection and commonality, and you can see it with the example that you brought. You can find a theme between these ideas, Islam, submission to Allah's will, peace... it goes together. But you don't literally say Islam means Peace, they have got a same root but Islaam and Salaam are two different words. If the meaning is identical they would need only one word.
    As for same root and dif meaning.. there are actually but there may be a connection. However even sometimes the same one word can mean something and also mean the opposite. Its a special category of word and you do see examples within Quran.
    .: Rufaida :.
    .:Fa Firroo Ila-llaah:.

    “People praise you for what they suppose is in you,
    but you must blame your soul for what you know is in you.”
    ~ Ibn Atallah


  5. #5
    pariah *asiya*'s Avatar
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    Re: Islam means submission or peace?

    i would sum it up as, islam means submission, one who submits is a muslim, and submission to Allah will bring peace to your heart insha Allah
    "O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you swerve, and if you distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do." [An-Nisa 4:135]

    The Prophet said:

    "Whosoever leaves off obedience and separates from the Jamaa'ah and dies, he dies a death of jaahiliyyah. Whoever fights under the banner of the blind, becoming angry for 'asabiyyah (nationalism/tribalism/partisanship) or calling to 'asabiyyah, or assisting 'asabiyyah, then dies, he dies a death of jaahiliyyah."

    muslim

    Narrated 'Abdullah:

    The Prophet, said, "Abusing a Muslim is Fusuq (evil doing) and killing him is Kufr (disbelief)." sahih bukhari


    "Creeping upon you is the diseases of those people before you: envy and hatred. And hatred is the thing that shaves. I do not say it shaves the hair but it shaves the religion!

    By the One in whose Hand is my soul, you will not enter paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Certainly, let me inform you of that which may establish such things: spread the greetings and peace among yourselves."

    [Recorded by Imam Ahmad and Al-Tirmidhi]


  6. #6
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    Re: Islam means submission or peace?

    I have been surprised by the recent trend in claiming that Islam means 'submission' not 'peace', because allegedly, the root word for Islam is Al-Silm and not Al-Salaam.

    First of all, I'd like to clarify that there is only one root word from which both words are derived, it is Silm (not Al-Silm - because the Al would mean it's a noun, and not a root word).

    Silm is the root word for many words in classical arabic including:

    Salaam

    Greeting (peace be upon you) / also Peaceful in some contexts

    Istislaam

    Surrender / Submission

    Silm

    Peace

    Salamah

    Safety / Well-being

    Islam

    The religion of The Prophet Muhammad, originally named by the Prophet Abraham.

    I hope it's clear from the above that the root word gives rise to a range of words with a closely related theme: that of "peaceful submission". The idea in islamic philosophy is that when someone understands something or becomes enlightened (e.g. the meaning of life, etc.) all internal conflicts within that person dissolve & disappear. As such, the concept of submission and peace become one and the same.

    It is indeed very linguistically (and philosophically) inaccurate, and even dangerous (enemies of Islam would love to say that it's a religion stripped of any peace!), to claim that Islam has erroneously been linked with peace. Anyone who reads the Quran can see that it is a light which brings peace, and from this peace..submission becomes an inevitable and pleasurable consequence.
    Last edited by Sister42; 18-12-08 at 03:16 AM.

  7. #7
    Odan
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    Re: Islam means submission or peace?

    The idea in islamic philosophy is that when someone understands something or becomes enlightened (e.g. the meaning of life, etc.) all internal conflicts within that person dissolve & disappear. As such, the concept of submission and peace become one and the same.
    And another way to look at it is

    "When a person completely surrenders to God by obeing all His Commandements, he finds peace (i.e a state of internal harmony) and when he does not submit, he is faced with a disrupted internal state. Using this is a basis, many have infered, and correctly so, that sin leads to depression for depression is a state of internal disruption, and sin is the 'not submitting' to God."

  8. #8
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    Re: Islam means submission or peace?

    And another way to look at it is

    "When a person completely surrenders to God by obeing all His Commandements, he finds peace (i.e a state of internal harmony) and when he does not submit, he is faced with a disrupted internal state. Using this is a basis, many have infered, and correctly so, that sin leads to depression for depression is a state of internal disruption, and sin is the 'not submitting' to God."
    My point is that 'understanding' and 'conviction' must come before ability to obey. Look, for example, how differently we use the words 'obey' and 'submit' in ordinary language. You can obey a civic law, but not understand why it is there, and why it has been implemented by the authorities. Here, you obey simply because your are afraid of being punished by the authorities (you may be begrudge the actual fact that you are obeying this law, yet still carry on obeying it). So there is an internal/external conflict: a voice within you may be shouting 'why on earth do we have to do this?' or 'I don't want to be doing this, but seem not to have any choice', whilst externally your actions are obedient according to what that civic law demands of you. This type of conflict, and obedience, is not one which results from 'understanding' and 'conviction'. Given the chance, many would break these sort of laws, so long as they think they won't get caught. This law has a weak hold on their minds and actions.

    The sort of 'obedience' to God that I think you're referring to is not the same as the one above.

    When the Prophet (pbuh) first started teaching Islam to his followers, the Quranic verses were being descended upon him by Gabriel gradually over the years. There is also an ayah in the Quran to this effect saying that if Knowledge had been descended upon you all at once, your heart would not have been able to bear, so we descended the Truth to you gradually. What this implies to me is that both the Prophet (pbuh) and the Muslim had to be gradually prepared over a period of 20 years. The more they learnt from the Quran which was being disclosed to them in intervals, the more they understood there is no point fighting against what God has ordained.

    Children learn about the world when they are young: 'what's hot', 'what's cold', 'what burns', 'if you jump from high up, you get hurt, etc.'. These are lessons about 'Physical Laws'. Likewise, we too learn, as you say, through practicing charity, prayer, etc. what exactly these things mean. Through this, we understand the 'meaning' of the spiritual and ethical laws that Islam brings with it - we understand that there is no conflict between something that divine law has forbidden or permitted, and between that which is good for us and that which is bad for us. It is this sort of understanding that cannot be shaken-off at the face of difficulty, not mere obedience without understanding.

    We obey God because, first and formost, we acknowledged and understood, that he is God, that he is the greatest, and that he knows what's best for us. A person who does not acknowledge and understand will outwardly obey, and be an empty shell within. But I agree with you that practicing prayer, charity, etc. does help is strengthening our understanding and conviction, and hence strengthening our submission.

  9. #9
    Odan
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    Re: Islam means submission or peace?

    Islam does NOT mean peace. It means total submission to Allah (s.w.). Sis Anna explained the linguistic part of it but in religion, when one says Islam, it exclusively means submission to Allah (s.w.).


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