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Does "Islam mean peace?"

Reader comment on item: Hating Valentine's Day
in response to reader comment: Lactantius Jr "Do Islam's most authoritative documents say Muhammad was a terrorist?"

Submitted by Lactantius Jr (United Kingdom), May 6, 2008 at 17:35

To Abdul

In response to your posting of 17th.January at http://www.danielpipes.org/comments/118413 I respond to some of Dr Zakir Naik's assertions your posting contained, and in order to keep my responses of manageable length, do so in separate postings, starting with Dr Naik's assertion that "Islam means peace," followed by responses to Dr Naik's claims that Islam was not spread by the sword, to his claims for Surah 2:256 and to his claim about Islam being "the fastest growing religion in America and Europe."

My first posting challenges Dr Naik's assertion that "Islam means peace," and in contesting his assertion, take as my authority a University Senior Lecturer in Arabic and Qur'anic studies, whose first language is Arabic, and who has the following academic qualifications, BA English language & Literature, MA in general theoretical European linguistics, Postgraduate Diploma in translation and interpreting, PhD specializing in Arabic and Qur'anic linguistics, and whose current research interests are Arabic linguistics, Qur'anic linguistics and exegesis, Qur'anic studies, Qur'anic text analysis and textuality, Arabic stylistics, Arabic rhetoric, and translation studies.

In a personal communication to me, he said this of the word "Islam."

"The word Islam means total submission to the 'will' of Allah i.e., to submit totally to Him with regards to His commands and the complete obedience to His law.

The Arabic term salaam, however, means peace, or more precisely: safety, security. An abbreviated version of the Islamic greeting being as-salaamu 'alaykum (peace be upon you)," and here are the comments of Muslim scholar Qadi 'Iyad on the meaning of the Islamic greeting : There are three possibilities contained by the expression, As-Salamu 'alaykum (‘Peace be upon you'):

1) It means safety (salama) for you and with you - taking the word salaam (peace) as a verbal noun.

2) As-Salam means your protection, being guarded and your preservation - in this case it is As-Salam as the name of Allah.

3) As-Salam in the meaning of musalama (reconciliation) and submission to him in the words of Allah, "No, by your Lord, they will not believe until they ask you to judge between them regarding what they disagree about. Then they will not find any impediment in themselves about your decision and will submit to you completely." Surah 4:65 Muhammad Messenger of Allah (Ash-Shifa of Qadi 'Iyad), Qadi 'Iyad Musa al-Yahsubi, translated by Aisha Abdarrahman Bewley [Madinah Press, Inverness, Scotland, U.K. 1991; third reprint, paperback], pp. 250-251)

On the authority of the aforementioned University Senior Lecturer, I assert that the word "Islam" means "submission" or "submission to the will of Allah," and that Dr Naik's assertion that it means "peace" is wrong.

With kind regards and best wishes

Lactantius Jr

Submitting....

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