HOME BLOG QURANIC HADITH FIQH tGFH English CONTACT hamburger menubar icon

The Meaning of dīn in Islam

Quotes from 'The Humble I' a.o.

Edited OmarKN

Tweet #omarkn


The meaning of dīn is also that of a worldview, of how to 'see' or comprehend existence by the guidance of The Existence-Giver, who is none other than Allah, (may His Majesty be exalted) and His blessed Prophet Muhammad (the blessings and peace of Allah upon him) and acting upon this guidance.

The Meaning of dīn in Islam


dīn | diːn |: دين
Often translated as ‘religion’, though many Muslims feel that this is a rather inadequate rendering of the word, and that ‘way of life’ or the ‘way-to-be-followed’[3] would be more in keeping with the inclusiveness the word implies.

Islam is the religion of the fitra, which is the primordial, natural disposition (of man).[4]

Islam as a dīn, therefore, also means obedience (taʿah) and humility (dhillah) - i.e. to obey Allah and to submit to Him in humility.

The origin or etymology of dīn relates to dayn – ‘debt’. In this reading, dīn is something we owe God by way of worship and loving submission that is due to Him from us.

Also the dīn of Islam does not separate the sacred from the secular; ones that claim a right; the duty, even, to order their affairs so that the teachings of faith are reflected in every aspect of life.

Also: judgment, custom, and religion

In the West after the blight of Reformation and 'Enlightenment' religion was relegated to the private sphere. This privatisation of faith is now the default assumption when we moderns, at least here in Western Europe, usually speak of religion. Previously, religious expression had been a total one. The Enlightenment’s vision of spheres outside the provenance of religion led to confining religion to a tighter space than it had ever occupied,[1] with the negative consequences of anti-tradition and counter- tradition.[2]

In many hadith, the dīn has been described as a midway lifestyle:

Narrated Abu Huraira, the Prophet ﷺ said,
"Religion (dīn) is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not be extremists, but try to be near to perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded; and gain strength by worshipping in the mornings, (and in) the nights."
— Sahih al-Bukhari, 1:2:38



Related texts
link-in Ad-Diin, The Unchanging Religion; Imam Ahmad Valsan

  1. * Quotes from thehumblei.com

  2. Regarding tradition, anti-tradition and counter- tradition, see: Tradition And Islamic Tradition

  3. Quoted from Dīn (Arabic) - Wikipedia

  4. Islam is the religion of the fitra, which is the primordial, natural disposition of man.
    See/ listen @ ≈ 47:25 Are We Heading Towards Extinction? – Abdal Hakim Murad


* Living Islam – Islamic Tradition *