Ummah (Arabic: أمة) is an Arabic word meaning "nation" or "community". It is distinguished from Sha'b (Arabic: شعب) which means a nation with common ancestry or geography. Thus, it can be said to be a supra-national community with a common history.
It is a synonym for ummat al-Islamiyah (Arabic: الأمة الإسلامية) (the Islamic Nation), and it is commonly used to mean the collective community of Islamic peoples. In the context of Pan-Islamism and politics, the word Ummah can be used to mean the concept of a Commonwealth of the Believers (أمة المؤمنين ummat al-muʼminīn).
General usage 
The word 'Ummah ' refers to "the people" in Arabic, more specifically to Muslim people with a common ideology and culture. "Ummah" is also used by Allah in the Quran referring to Muslims. It is more commonly used in Islamic countries. Muslim Ummah absolutely refers to the unity of muslims all over the world. It is a communal word which divides people into two classes: one of them is muslim and the other is non muslim. Non-Muslims are viewed as brothers and sisters in terms of all being children of Adam. The Muslim Ummah is responsible for upholding the religion and therefore benefiting the community regardless whether the community is Muslim or non-Muslim.
Islamic usage and origin 
The phrase Ummah Wāhidah in the Quran (أمة واحدة, "One Community") refers to all of the Islamic world as it existed at the time. The Quran says: “You [Muslims] are the best nation brought out for Mankind, commanding what is righteous (معروف Maʻrūf, lit. "recognized [as good]") and forbidding what is wrong (منكر Munkar, lit. "unrecognized [as good]")…” [3:110].
The usage is further clarified by the Constitution of Medina, an early document said to have been negotiated by Muhammad in AD 622 with the leading clans of Medina, explicitly refers to Jewish and pagan citizens of Medina as members of the Ummah.
Hebrew equivalent 
See also 
- Organisation of Islamic Cooperation
- Divisions of the world in Islam
- Islamic missionary activity
- Muslim population growth
- List of countries by Muslim population
- Firestone, Reuven (1999). Jihād: the Origin of Holy War in Islam. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 118. ISBN 0195125800.
- "Muhammad". Encyclopedia of Islam Online.
- Watt, W. Montgomery (1956). Muhammad at Medina. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
- Serjeant, R. B. (1964). "The Constitution of Medina". Islamic Quarterly 8: 4.
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