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An Error in Translation

Reader comment on item: Trouble in Londonistan
in response to reader comment: Islam means "submission" and not "peace"!

Submitted by Sister (United Kingdom), Dec 17, 2008 at 21:58

I have been surprised by the recent trend in claiming that Islam means 'submission' not 'peace', because allegedly, the root word for Islam is Al-Silm and not Al-Salaam.

First of all, I'd like to clarify that there is only one root word from which all words are derived, it is Silm (not Al-Silm - because the Al would mean it's a noun, and not a root word).

Silm is the root word for many words in classical arabic including:

Salaam Greeting (peace be upon you) / also Peaceful in some contexts

Istislaam Surrender / Submission

Silm Peace

Salamah Safety / Peaceful

Islam The religion of The Prophet Muhammad, originally named by the Prophet Abraham.

I hope it's clear from the above that the root word gives rise to a range of words with a closely related theme: that of "peaceful submission". The idea in islamic philosophy is that when someone understands something or becomes enlightened (e.g. the meaning of life, etc.) all internal conflicts within that person dissolve & disappear. As such, the concept of submission and peace become one and the same.

It is indeed very linguistically (and philosophically) inaccurate, and even dangerous (enemies of Islam would love to say that it's a religion stripped of any peace!), to claim that Islam has erroneously been linked with peace. Anyone who reads the Quran can see that it is a light which brings peace, and from this peace..submission becomes an inevitable and pleasurable consequence.

Submitting....

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