ISLAM Etymology and meaning: S-L-M

ISLAM Etymology and meaning: S-L-M




ShalomSalamPeaceIsraelisPalestinians.pngP        E        A        C        E

Trilingual peace graphic _

(Hebrew Shalom שלום [in blue], –

Arabic Salam/Salaam السلام [in green]).

“Shalom” (in blue) and “Salām” (in green) mean “peace” in Hebrew and Arabic respectively and often represent a peace symbol.

SinLamMim (Hebrew: שלם Š-L-M, Arabic: س ل م S-L-M) is the triconsonantal root of many Semitic words, and many of those words are used as names. The root itself translates as “whole, safe, intact”.

In Arabic:

  • Taslim — “receiving SLM” — to receive a salutation or becoming submitted
  • Mostaslim — “wanting to receive SLM” — no longer seeking opposition/conflict, the one who is submitted
  • alem — “subject of SLM” — its SLM, “the vase is SLM”, “the vase is whole/unbroken”
  • Musalam — “undisputed”

In Hebrew:

  • shalem (שלם) — whole, complete
  • lehashlim (להשלים) — to complete, fill in
  • mushlam (מושלם) — perfect
  • leshallem (לשלם) — to pay
  • tashlum (תשלום) — payment
  • shillumim (שילומים) — reparations
  • lehishtallem (להשתלם) — to be worth it, to “pay”

 Salam “peace”

šlama in Aramaic.

Arabic Salām ( سلام ), Hebrew Shalom ( שלום), Ge’ez śalām (ሠላም), Syriac šlama ( ܫܠܡܐ) are cognate Semitic terms for “peace”, deriving from a Proto-Semitic *šalām. The word salām is used in a variety of expressions and contexts in Arabic and Islamic speech and writing. Al-Salam is one of the 99 names of God in the Qur’an, and also a male given name in conjunction with abd. Abd Al-Salam translates to Slave of Al-Salaam (i.e. Slave of Allah.)

In Hebrew, the equivalent of the word is Shalom. It is also the root word of the names Solomon (Süleyman), Selim, etc.

The Koine Greek New Testament text uses eirēnē (εἰρήνη) for ‘peace’,[1] which perhaps[citation needed] represents Jesus saying ‘šlama’; this Greek form became the Western feminine name Irene. In the Epistles, it often occurs alongside the usual Greek greeting chairein (χαίρειν) in the phrase ‘grace and peace’. However, comparison of the Greek Septuagint and Hebrew Masoretic Old Testament texts shows some instances where shalom was translated instead as soteria (σωτηρια, meaning “salvation”).

Arabic, Hebrew and Aramaic have cognate expressions meaning “peace be upon you” used as a greeting:

  • Arabic As-Salamu ʿAlaykum (السلام عليكم), this expression is used to greet others and is an Arabic equivalent of “hello”. The appropriate response to such a greeting is “and upon you be peace” (wa `alaykum as-salām).
  • Hebrew shalom aleichem.
  • Neo-Aramaic ܫܠܡܐ ܥܠܘܟ šlama ‘loukh, classically ܫܠܡܐ ܥܠܝܟ, šlāmâ ‘laik.

Islam “piety, faith”

The word Islām is a verbal noun derived from s-l-m, meaning “submission” (i.e. entrusting one’s wholeness to another) [2]

The word is given a number of meanings in the Qur’an. In some verses (ayat), the quality of Islam as an internal conviction is stressed: “Whomsoever God desires to guide, He expands his breast to Islam.”[3] Other verses connect islām and dīn (usually translated as “religion”): “Today, I have perfected your religion (dīn) for you; I have completed My blessing upon you; I have approved Islam for your religion.”[4] Still others describe Islam as an action of returning to God—more than just a verbal affirmation of faith.[5]

 Given names

Further information: Arabic name


  1. ^ Lk 24:36; Jn 20:19,26; vide NA27 per sy.
  2. ^ American Heritage Dictionary: Semitic Roots
  3. ^ Qur’an 6:125, Qur’an 61:7, Qur’an 39:22
  4. ^ Qur’an 5:3, Qur’an 3:19, Qur’an 3:83
  5. ^ See:

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