Islam is a comprehensive global religion, and its full-fledged realization demands a civilizational framework (as the largest system for human relations), which can supply such a large-scale social unit. Because of its conceptual and cultural accumulations in the West, the term, “civilization,” has come to have a secular essence, which might lead to reservations and cautions as to its use in our context. Thus, we need to pinpoint an alternative term within the Islamic culture. In this paper, we employ a descriptive method and concept analysis, in order to recover Quranic terms that might serve as candidates for such a socially wide concept. Of the five terms discussed in this paper, which have a socially wide connotation, it seems that terms, “balad” (city), “qarya” (village), “madīna” (polis), and “mulk” (territory), do not qualify as alternatives to “civilization.” However, the general word, “Umma,” provides the widest and most comprehensive system of human relations, which, with its meta-civilizational additions, might picture the most appropriate bedrock for human perfection in order to provide universal material and spiritual needs of the individual and the society. With added notions such as peacefulness, hasting in good things, domestic monitoring, as well as elements such as unity and typical sovereignty of humans, comprehensiveness, width, systematicity, balance, and purposefulness, “Umma” is characteristically of a larger scale and is more comprehensive than other Quranic terms, as well as “civilization.”
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