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How to understand the types of 'islam' in modern societies

The word 'islam' manifests as different things amongst people. Here we unpick it, ordering its manifestation into three simple categories:

1. Small “i” islฤm which is simply an Arabic transliteration of the verbal noun 'subservience/submission', and denotes subservience to God according to the religion of Abraham. Another word God uses in the final ancient Arabic message alongside small “m” muslim, is hanif. It is God's code to live by that is coherent, consistent and appeals to common sense reasoning.

2. Big “i” Islam which is a proper name and denotes the modern religious phenomenon popularly called Islam. It’s often a mix of folk religion, dogma, ritualism, a mystical outlook, and some ethno-religious leaders use it as a mechanism for social control.

3. Cultural Islam which is an ethnicity and advocates ethno-cultural norms. Highly secular, in the western political/public space it manifests as multiculturalism or a post-colonial identity, habitually concerned with BAME rights.

Here we advocate the first category, the religion of Abraham, and the law revealed to him and his descendants, with the final amendments revealed to the last of God’s messengers, Muhammad, descending from Ishmael, the son of Abraham.

It is not about foreign terms but substance, and whatever semitic language we use be it Arabic, Aramaic, Hebrew or Akkadian, is inconsequential. The story neither started nor was defined by either Jesus Christ nor Muhammad, but with their forefather, Abraham - the friend of God. All semitic religions come from one point: That we serve the One True God Almighty according to the understanding of Abraham and His descendants.

As has been the case for thousands of years, the Prophets taught that practical subservience to God is built on declaring one’s allegiance to God, offering ‘prayer’, paying taxes, fasting and pilgrimage to the ancient sanctuaries. Beyond these, true believers have always sought to uphold Abrahamic law and morality.


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