Quran 3:85 states:

وَمَن يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الْإِسْلَامِ دِينًا فَلَن يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ

This translates into:

And whoever desires other than Islam as religion - never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers

This raises the question:

Why did people call Islam 'Muhammadanism' when it clearly states in the Qu'ran that Islam is the name of the religion?

( I don't know whether or not this is on topic. Please inform me if you think it is off topic and justify why)

  • Probably for the same reasons followers of Christ were called Christians, they might have followed the same naming convention, as you could tell this is an opinion
    – Aboudi
    Commented Jun 17, 2017 at 21:10

1 Answer 1


I think this would fit better in history.SE, but anyway in Wikipedia it is said that the word comes from something meaning a "follower of Mohammad"

The Oxford English Dictionary cites 1663 as the first recorded usage of the English term; the older spelling Mahometan dates back to at least 1529. The English word is derived from New Latin Mahometanus, from Medieval Latin Mahometus, Muhammad. It meant simply a follower of Mohammad.[5]

It might also be relevant, as quoted in wikipedia, that Christians mistakenly thought Muhammad was worshiped by Muslims:

In Western Europe, down to the 13th century or so, Christians had a mistaken belief that Muhammad had either been a heretical Christian or that he was a god worshipped by Muslims

Mohammedan is more the synonym of "Muslim" while Mohammedism is the synonym of "Islam". This is quoted here:

The terms Mohammedan'' and ''Mohammedanism'' have been largely replaced by ''Muslim'' and ''Islam' since the 1950s

Source: Mohammedan, Mohammedism

  • It was a helpful/interesting statement as you remarked :...Christians mistakenly thought Muhammad was worshiped by Muslims. Even, I personally assume it might have been a kind of partial/spiteful calling to pretend (and prompting) that as if Muslims are worshiping a human (instead of Allah), but Alhamdolellah currently everyone knows that Muslims worship Allah. God bless you for mentioning that. Commented Jul 27, 2017 at 8:10

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