Welcome to F.I.E.L.D.- the First Ismaili Electronic Library and Database.


Encyclopaedia of Ismailism by Mumtaz Ali Tajddin

The word religion comes from Latin relegere or the French religiun meaning to bind or a state of life bound by holy orders or the pattern of belief. The Arabic word for religion is or milla or din, which is briefly defined as under:

Milla : It means dictate, occuring 15 times in the Koran. It has special reference to the prophet through whom the religion is revealed.

Din : In sum, the distinction between the three words is thus expressed: din in relation to God who reveals it, milla in relation to the prophet through whom it is revealed, and mazhab in relation to the mujtahid who expounds it. In other words, for din the word dinu'llah, for milla the word millatu Ibrahim and for mazhab the word mazhabu Abu Hanifa is used.

Mazhab: (pl. mazahib). It is a Persian word derived from the root zahaba, meaning he went, and mazhab signifies a way that one pursues in respect of doctrines and practice, or an opinion respecting religion.

Back to top