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Alternative forms[edit]


From the earlier form Mahometanism; equivalent to Muhammadan +‎ -ism; compare Muhammadism, coined in the 17th century after French mahométisme.

Proper noun[edit]

Mohammedanism (uncountable)

  1. (now largely obsolete and offensive) The religion introduced by Muhammad: Islam.

Usage notes[edit]

The terms Mohammedan and Mohammedanism have been largely replaced by Muslim and Islam since the 1950s, and are now sometimes considered offensive, though some authors continue to use Mohammedanism as a technical term for the religious system (of Islam) as opposed to the theological concept of اسلام(islam, submission) that exists within that system. The terms are sometimes said to be offensive because they suggest that a human being is central to Muslims' religion, and/or because they parallel the formation Christian, Christianity and thus supposedly equate Muhammad and Christ.[1]


Related terms[edit]


  1. ^ Kenneth G. Wilson, The Columbia Guide to Standard American English →ISBN, page 291: Muhammadan and Mohammedan are based on the name of the prophet Mohammed, and both are considered offensive.