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Using Islamiyyah instead of Islamic?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Answered by: Moulana Tahsin Alam


Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah!

I have a question about incorporating the word ‘Islamic’ in our Muslim vocabulary.

In my short write up below I tried to explain why I want to avoid using the word ‘Islamic’. There is no English dictionary meaning for the word ‘Islamic’,  it is shown as an adjective of Islam.

Is there really an adjective of Islam?  I do not know of any epistemological basis for the word ‘Islamic’.  It is added to the English language by the West, which separates the acts of Muslims from their loving submission to the will of Allah.  This difference is huge as it loses the spiritual contexts of Islam.

Yes, there could be ontological arguments for its use, as it is now commonly used (since 1817) as a matter of convenience by non-Muslims and Muslims (unwittingly) alike. I hope we remember, some have started to pronounce the word Muslim as Mozlem and also called Muslims as  Mohammedans.

In the word ‘Islamic’ I see no respect for the culture of our Deen and the word ‘Islam’- this is the word Allah Ta’aala has chosen to call  His Deen. How dare we change it! Perhaps, I am afraid to say, (if it is OK) one can use the word  Al- Islamiah instead of Islamic. If we accept Islamic as the adjective for Islam, can we accept the adjective of Imanic for Iman,  and Ehsanic for Ehsan. This is an absurd idea.

I think these are heavenly words and their meanings are deep and spiritual, which transcend duniya and Akhira. Allah Ta’alaa knows the best. Moreover, the word Islamic is indiscriminately used by Muslim-haters even in the demeaning sense like ‘Islamic terrorism’.  To run a so-called ‘Islamic’ organization or to perform ‘Islamic’ acts, one does not necessarily have to be a Muslim.  So, perhaps (if it is acceptable), I propose that ‘ICNE’, ‘ISBCC’, ‘ISB’ and ‘BIS’ should redesignate ‘I’ as ‘Islamiyah’ and not ‘Islamic’ so that the Muslim vocabulary of our future generation becomes rich with  Arabic terms from Al-Quran.

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.


Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuh,

The word Islāmiyah in ʿArabic is translated as Islāmic today. Although it is preferred to use the ʿArabic term when possible, there is no harm in using its English counterpart, especially when conversing with non-Muslims. The usage of the word by Islamophobes does not render it prohibited to use.

Only Allah knows best

Written by Moulana Tahsin Alam

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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