Ummah: Unity and Diversity in the Islamic Community

common belief in a divine plan of salvation. This notion of “one nation” under Islam forms a fundamental aspect of the Islamic Ummah, also known as the Muslim Ummah. Although there are varying interpretations of the term among different Islamic sects, the concept of Ummah is intended to surpass national, racial, and class divisions to unite all Muslims.
Ummah in the Qur’an

The term “Ummah” appears 64 times in the Qur’an, where it primarily denotes a single

group holding common religious beliefs and focuses on a divine plan of salvation. The Constitution of Medina, a significant document in Islamic history, identifies Jews, Christians, and pagan citizens of Medina as constituents of the Ummah, demonstrating the inclusivity of this religious community.

Originally, the term Ummah referred to a collective religious community guided by a distinct prophet. However, after the Muslim takeover of Mecca, society was held together by the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad. The purpose of Muhammad’s community was to effect a transformation of the world through action, thus emphasizing the importance of unity and shared religious beliefs within the Ummah.
The Evolution of Ummah’s Meaning

The meaning of Ummah has evolved throughout Islamic histo