Unity – Ummah

Now for, in my opinion, a very interesting subject in islam: the ummah. Before I had started my course in Middle East culture at the University of Leiden, I had never heard of this term. As we have not discussed this intensively in class, I will try to give a brief explanation and later on try to post a blog by a guestwriter about this.

The term ummah means community. In the context of Pan-Arabism, it is used to mean the whole Arab world. (Click here for more about what ”Arab world” means) It is also used as a synonym of nation. (Al-Umam Al-Muttahida = United Nations In the context of Islam, however, one uses it to refer to the diaspora of muslims, i.e. the whole muslim community. To give an example: the phrase umma wahida is used in the Qu’ran and refers to all the Islamic world unified. In that context, the word is used a lot when talking about the Middle East and Islam.

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