Most often, the name of an object represents its qualities. Choosing a name is an important and creative process, and many times the success or failure of a product or a business entity depends on it. When naming, people try to choose a name that truly represents the object’s quality and/or its use. The more comprehensive the name of a product, service, system, ideology or what have you, the faster it is publicised. Sometimes, Individuals or companies seek the services of professionals when choosing names. The more expertise is utilized, the better chances for a befitting name.
Islam is the name given to the most complete way of life on Earth for human beings. No man chose this name; the Lord, the Almighty Allah chose it Himself. Now, since the Creator, the All-Knower, chose it Himself, it must mean a lot. It must completely explain Islam as the system of life and refer to its qualities, and the name must be befitting of what it actually claims to be. If we can comprehend the befitting of what it actually claims to be. If we can comprehend the various meanings of the word Islam, we can easily understand the various meanings of the word Islam, we can easily understand the meaning and purpose of the Islamic system, ideology, definition of worship, inner philosophy, and the complete way of life it represents.
Only then can we recognize that only the Lord Himself could reveal such a befitting name.
It is pronounced, ‘Islam’ not ‘Izlam’. The ‘s’ in Islam does not sound like the ‘s’ in ‘is’ but as in ‘school’ and ‘bus’. In Arabic the root word for Islam is ‘Salam’ which means ‘peace’ for one to have a complete idea, it is interesting to note the various meaning of the root word ‘salam; when used differently, prior to explaining the meaning of the word Islam.
Generally, ‘Salam’ is defined as peace, and its derivatives can mean the following: to escape (Danger); to be safe, secure; to be sound, intact, unimpaired, or unharmed; to be free (from fault), faultless, or flawless, to hand over’ to turn over; to turn in ; to submit; to save, rescue, or deliver; to protect, preserve, safeguard, or keep (from harm, injury); to accept or approve of ; to give consent or area; 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. In a religious context, Islam technically means to establish the deen (Faith) exclusively for Allah i.e., to resign 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.
Most frequently, people refer to Islam as peace and nothing but peace. Some people do not fully understand the association of ‘Islam’ with ‘peace’. They ask if Islam is the peace that is the antonym of ‘war’ or if it refers to other types of peace.
Upon embracing Islam, an individual enters into state of total protection. Islam is like a divine umbrella. When held onto tightly, it provides a shade of mercy and brings forth every kind of peace: peace of the heart, mind, soul and body; peace in the family, society, and world; peace from all harm; and peace in the Hereafter. Every kind of peace is attainable under the umbrella of Islam. I am not implying that one cannot find many of these kinds of peace elsewhere; however, I am saying that one cannot find all of the necessary types of peace under one roof, unless that roof is Islam.
What I have discussed so far certainly reflects that Islam, through its various definitions, is the befitting name of the complete way of life, of which no man could have conceived. Further explanations in this series will prove this point and make the matter clearer.
This post is in series of many to come on the topic of Islam from a Sufi Perspective. More articles are to follow. Please follow in the Category : Islam as a Sufi Perspective.