The Meaning of the Term ‘Islam’

The Meaning of the Term ‘Islam’

A glance of the work of the majority of Muslim scholars and intellectuals might lead one to conclude that a consensus has been reached on the meaning of the word ‘Islam’. That is, the word ‘Islam’ must be translated as ‘submission’, and thus Islam means ‘Submission to God’. Islam defined not by its connection to any tribe but by an act of faith, by an attitude towards God.

In a literary sense the Arabic root of the word ‘Islam’ is (sa-la-ma, س ل م) which means ‘peace’; one of its variants refers to the notion of ‘giving oneself up’ or making a ‘gift to oneself’. These definitions provide a more complete and profound idea of the notion of ‘Islam’; the human being’s act of faith consists of, consciously and voluntarily, a gift to oneself to reach peace (with God and with that self).

Islam can be best understood as the act of faith by which human being sets out on a quest for peace; that peace to which God has invited humanity by praying to Him and loving Hi


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