Dear good Christian and Muslim friends, there is great confusion on matters of faith and what it means. Much of it has become jumbled, and the simple and unadulterated message of God is sullied by conflations and mischaracterisation.
Allow me to unpick it for you:
1. Small “i” islām which is simply an Arabic transliteration (because the final messenger was Arabian) of the word subservience/submission, and denotes subservience to God according to the religion of Abraham. Another word God uses in the final ancient Arabic message alongside small “m” muslim, is hanif. It is coherent, consistent and appeals to common sense reasoning.
2. Big “i” Islam which is a proper noun and denotes the modern religious phenomenon popularly called Islam. It’s a mix of folk religion, intellectually reductive debates, ritualism, Mohamedenism, a superstitious outlook, and often an insipid mechanism for social control.
3. Cultural Islam which is an ethnicity and advocates ethno-cultural norms. Highly secular, in the western political/public space it either advocates multiculturalism or post-colonialism, and is habitually concerned with BAME. rights.
Also, please let me be clear: I advocate the only true religion (number 1), the religion of Abraham, and the law revealed to him and his descendants, with the final amendments revealed to the last of God’s messengers, Muhammad, descending from the tribe of Kedar, the second son of Ishmael and the grandson of Abraham.
I do not care for foreign terms but substance, and whether we use Arabic, Aramaic, Hebrew or Abraham’s Sumerian or Akkadian to name it, is inconsequential. However, since I write in the Anglophone realm, English is the natural go-to.
I do not call my big ‘m’ Muslim friends, nor my Christians friends to modern and cultural Islam which has become another sect of Abraham’s religion (alongside Judaism and Christianity). The story neither started nor was defined by either Jesus Christ nor Muhammad, but with their forefather, Abraham the friend of God.
I welcome a conversation about what we all equally claim:
That we serve the One True God Almighty according to the understanding of Abraham and His descendants.
I don’t believe any sincere Muslim or Christian disagrees with this and once it’s explained as to where things went wrong along time, I’ve never witnessed a person not take the basic but pure path, whether scholar or layman.
As has been the case for thousands of years, the Prophets taught that practical subservience to God is built on declaring one’s allegiance to God, offering ‘prayer’, the giving of tithes, fasting and pilgrimage to the ancient sanctuaries. Beyond these, true believers have always sought to uphold Abrahamic law and morality.
And as Brits, I believe we all ought to celebrate Britain’s rich and old connection with Abraham’s faith and seek to revitalise it (accurately) in this great land of ours once again.