The Religion of Islam:The Qur’an’s Essential Notion of Din

Document Type: Research Paper

Author

Professwor, University of Tehran

Abstract

The overall aim of this paper is to highlight a transcendental usage of the Religion of Islamin the Qur’an. I will show that the notion of Islamas a unitary Religion is used in the Qur’an as a genus for religions (adyan) which have appeared throughout human history. This usage will show that there is a sense of Religion which guarantees the essential unity of all religions and prepares us to understand the apparent plurality and conflicting diversity of world religions; however, it is essentially different from the sense which has emerged within the modern discipline of religious studies in Western scholarship which interprets religion as a cultural phenomenon and considers the myriad variety of religions to be mere socio-historical events. In this paper, I will first briefly provide a background on the difficulty faced within this modern Western concept of religion, then I will progress to the Islamic concept of Religion to illustrate a model for understanding the plurality and the diversity of religions, which apparently have their own individual boundaries, yet at the same time enjoy a unitary reality.

Keywords