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Islam is a Deen- Sociopolitical system not a Religion

Updated: Sep 3, 2022

To most people, Islam is considered a religion but in essence, it is more a sociopolitical ideology where the tenets of the religion support and reinforce a way of life for both its believers and non-believers under Islamic rule under shariah. Unlike, the Christian faith, there is no separation of the state and religion.

The word ‘deen’ is used in several meanings. The first is sovereignty, power, lordship, kingship, or rulership. The second is the opposite of this, i.e. submission, obedience, service or slavery. The third is to bring to account, to judge, or to dispense reward and punishment for actions. All those three uses are found in the Qur’an.

Quote from Islamic source:

Allah says: The only (true) Deen in the sight of God is (man’s) self-surrender (to Him). (Q 3:19)

Here, deen is that way of life in which we recognize Allah alone as the possessor of all power and majesty and surrender ourselves to Him. We must not abase or humble ourselves before anybody save Him. We must regard only Allah as Master, Lord, and Sovereign, and must not be slaves or servants to anybody but Him. We must accept only Allah as the Lord of reward and punishment. We should covet no reward, fear no punishment, except His. Islam is the name of this deen."

However, as Islam does not only cover the religious aspect but the complete way of life encompassing all aspects of socio-political issues, deen becomes a totalitarian ideological system in practice codified in the Shariah which is the Islamic canonical law based on the teachings of the Koran and the traditions of the Prophet (Hadith and Sunna), prescribing both religious and civil duties and sometimes retributive penalties for lawbreaking.

The video below explains the meaning of "deen" in the Islamic context.

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