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What is Deen?

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  • What is Deen?

    I keep seeing this pop up and I'm not sure what it is? Are there levels of more 'advanced' Deen? Does it have to do with knowledge or your social status? Just trying to clarify.

    And no, I'm not a Muslim, though I've been reading the Quran and trying to learn as much as I can. Who knows, I may be soon enough.

  • #2
    What is Deen?

    Deen is an Arabic word that can roughly be translated as religion; roughly because it doesn't have all of the same connotations that the English word religion does.

    Deen is etymologically related to the word for debt (dayn). Religion or deen is our debt to God. Since we owe God not only certain things but our entire being, religion also embraces our entire lives, not just certain aspects of it. So deen/religion is a "complete way of life", not just a Sunday afternoon thing.

    I hope that answers your question.

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    • #3
      Re: What is Deen?

      So is it kind of like piety?

      Also, is it possible for someone to have more or stronger Deen?

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      • #4
        Re: What is Deen?

        Originally posted by RuckOver293 View Post
        So is it kind of like piety?

        Also, is it possible for someone to have more or stronger Deen?
        I think you're thinking of iman. Iman is personal faith.
        Deen is your religion. Like, when someone says their are "steady on the deen", they mean they are steady in Islam and following Islam properly.
        Here I use this site when I get confused. Some things are spelled differently (like deen is spelled din) but it's still really helpful: Glossary of Islam

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        • #5
          Re: What is Deen?

          Originally posted by RuckOver293 View Post
          So is it kind of like piety?

          Also, is it possible for someone to have more or stronger Deen?
          Welcome to the forum.
          Really good questions!
          I think Abdal Hakim answered that pretty well. Deen is pretty much 'religion' and the word we use for 'piety' is 'taqwa'.
          'iman' is more like 'faith'.
          Let us know if you have any more questions! :)

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          • #6
            Re: What is Deen?

            Originally posted by RuckOver293 View Post
            So is it kind of like piety?

            Also, is it possible for someone to have more or stronger Deen?
            "so-and so has a stronger deen" probably means that he is more religiously observant: i.e. he is more careful to pray on time and well, he fasts more days, he gives more in charity, etc.

            However, it is best to rephrase that sentence and say "so-and-so follows the Deen more diligently" because Deen ultimately doesn't belong to us. It belongs to God. We can't have the deen, the deen should have us.

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