Imam W. Deen Muhammad
QUESTION: What is the correct pronunciation of the name of the religion?
—St. Louis, Mo.
IMAM: We don't want to confuse ourselves or confuse the term. When the world says "Islam," they are saying "Al-Islam."
In the Quran, the term is given “AI-Islam" to designate or name the religion. When addressing or referring to one's individual religion, it says "Islam," not "Al-Islam."
If I would say "your Islam," I wouldn't say “A1-" - I would just leave it "Islam."
But when we're talking about the religion proper, we are to say "Al-Islam."
I thought I would bring out this distinction so that Muslims would be better prepared for the study of the Quran. When they read the Quran in Arabic and it says "Al-Islam," they will understand.
I think it's a good habit. We encourage American people to refer to the religion by that name — "Al-Islam."
We used to hear Americans refer to the Prophet (PBUH) as "Mu-ham-mad," but now they say "Muhammad.” That's because the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and Muhammad Ali, made the name, the correct pronunciation popular.
Now we are saying "masjid"; "mosque" is the English term and sometimes I say mosque, especially when I'm addressing non-Muslims. I know, perhaps they don't know what masjid is so I'll just say mosque. Mosques are all over the world, so I say "mosque" so people are aware that we are talking about the same buildings they have all over the world.