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Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology



Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World
Brown University
Box 1837 / 60 George Street
Providence, RI 02912
Telephone: (401) 863-3188
Fax: (401) 863-9423

Valerie:  Umma (also ummah) is that Arabic term for "nation". In reference to Islam, ummah refers to the whole Muslim world, or the community of believers. As a theological concept, the ummah is meant to transcend national, racial, and class divisions to unite all Muslims. The concept of the ummah dates to the time of the Prophet Muhammad and stresses the importance of the organization of society along ethical (and Islamic) lines. Converts are part of the ummah, and sometimes even dhimmi are considered part of the ummah. Membership in the ummah is dependent on the threefold consensus of all its members: consensus of the mind (all perceive the world similarly), consensus of the heart (all share the same core values), and consensus of arms (all act accordingly to actualize the values they share).

Posted at Dec 06/2010 08:54PM:
ian: A concept linked to notions of identity and challenges whether it is in tension with, supplemental to or supersedes and identification that is place specific -- i.e. that one is Egyptian.

Posted at Dec 15/2010 04:46PM:
cbahamon: also consider the mawla who were practicing Muslims not of Arab descent (and sometimes not even considered part of the umma)