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 Dictionary entry overview: What does Islam mean? 

ISLAM (noun)
  The noun ISLAM has 2 senses:

1. the civilization of Muslims collectively which is governed by the Muslim religion
2. the monotheistic religious system of Muslims founded in Arabia in the 7th century and based on the teachings of Muhammad as laid down in the Koran

  Familiarity information: ISLAM used as a noun is rare.

 Dictionary entry details 

ISLAM (noun)

Sense 1Islam [BACK TO TOP]


The civilization of Muslims collectively which is governed by the Muslim religion

Classified under:

Nouns denoting groupings of people or objects


Islam; Muslimism

Context example:

Islam is predominant in northern Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan, and Indonesia

Hypernyms ("Islam" is a kind of...):

civilisation; civilization (a society in an advanced state of social development (e.g., with complex legal and political and religious organizations))

Meronyms (members of "Islam"):

Islamist (an orthodox Muslim)

Moslem; Muslim (a believer in or follower of Islam)

Sunni; Sunni Islam (one of the two main branches of orthodox Islam)

Shia; Shiah; Shiah Islam (one of the two main branches of orthodox Islam; mainly in Iran)

Domain member category:

fatwah ((Islam) a legal opinion or ruling issued by an Islamic scholar)

sigeh (a Shiite tradition of temporary marriage permitted in Iran that allows a couple to specify the terms of their relationship; can last from a few minutes to 99 years)

Sense 2Islam [BACK TO TOP]


The monotheistic religious system of Muslims founded in Arabia in the 7th century and based on the teachings of Muhammad as laid down in the Koran

Classified under:

Nouns denoting cognitive processes and contents


Mohammedanism; Muhammadanism; Islam; Islamism; Muslimism

Context examples:

Islam is a complete way of life, not a Sunday religion / the term Muhammadanism is offensive to Muslims who believe that Allah, not Muhammad, founded their religion

Hypernyms ("Islam" is a kind of...):

monotheism (belief in a single God)

Domain member category:

hadith; Sunna; Sunnah ((Islam) the way of life prescribed as normative for Muslims on the basis of the teachings and practices of Muhammad and interpretations of the Koran)

Islam Nation; Islamic Ummah; Muslim Ummah; Umma; Ummah (the Muslim community or people, considered to extend from Mauritania to Pakistan)

Beelzebub; Devil; Lucifer; Old Nick; Prince of Darkness; Satan; the Tempter ((Judeo-Christian and Islamic religions) chief spirit of evil and adversary of God; tempter of mankind; master of Hell)

djinni; djinny; genie; jinnee; jinni ((Islam) an invisible spirit mentioned in the Koran and believed by Muslims to inhabit the earth and influence mankind by appearing in the form of humans or animals)

shaitan; shaytan ((Islam) a rebellious jinni who leads men astray)

eblis ((Islam) the principal evil jinni in Islamic mythology)

houri ((Islam) one of the dark-eyed virgins of perfect beauty believed to live with the blessed in Paradise)

paynim (a heathen; a person who is not a Christian (especially a Muslim))

imam; imaum ((Islam) the man who leads prayers in a mosque; for Shiites an imam is a recognized authority on Islamic theology and law and a spiritual guide)

Mahdi ((Islam) a messianic leader who (according to popular Muslim belief) will appear before the end of the world and restore justice and religion)

halal (conforming to dietary laws)

halal ((Islam) meat from animals that have been slaughtered in the prescribed way according to the shariah)

kismat; kismet ((Islam) the will of Allah)

Ta'ziyeh ((Islam) a form of Iranian musical pageant that is the theatrical expression of religious passion; based on the Battle of Kerbala and performed annually (in Farsi))

Had crime ((Islam) serious crimes committed by Muslims and punishable by punishments established in the Koran)

Tazir crime ((Islam) minor crimes committed by Muslims; crimes that are not mentioned in the Koran so judges are free to punish the offender in any appropriate way)

Ramadan ((Islam) a fast (held from sunrise to sunset) that is carried out during the Islamic month of Ramadan)

Caaba; Kaaba ((Islam) a black stone building in Mecca that is shaped like a cube and that is the most sacred Muslim pilgrim shrine; believed to have been given by Gabriel to Abraham; Muslims turn in its direction when praying)

masjid; musjid ((Islam) a Muslim place of worship)

mihrab ((Islam) a niche in the wall of a mosque that indicates the direction of Mecca)

mihrab ((Islam) a design in the shape of niche in a Muslim prayer rug; during worship the niche must be pointed toward Mecca)

mosque ((Islam) a Muslim place of worship that usually has a minaret)

Hadith ((Islam) a tradition based on reports of the sayings and activities of Muhammad and his companions)

pillar of Islam ((Islam) one of the five religious obligations accepted by all Muslims)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "Islam"):

Mahdism (belief in the appearance of the Mahdi; devotion to a Mahdi)

Salafi movement; Salafism (a militant group of extremist Sunnis who believe themselves the only correct interpreters of the Koran and consider moderate Muslims to be infidels; seek to convert all Muslims and to insure that its own fundamentalist version of Islam will dominate the world)

Shiism (the branch of Islam that regards Ali as the legitimate successor to Mohammed and rejects the first three caliphs)

Wahabism; Wahhabism (a conservative and intolerant form of Islam that is practiced in Saudi Arabia)

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