Learn English – the difference between ‘Muslim” and ‘Islamic’


I have seen 'Muslim' and 'Islamic' both used as adjectives to describe things relating to Islam. Is there a nuanced difference between the two words?

I know that 'Muslim' can also be used as a noun, as in:

Muslims as the people who practice Islam.

But, are the following sentences both correct? Are they equivalent?

The Quran is the Muslim holy book.

The Quran is the Islamic holy book.

Now that I have written this question, and tried to think of examples, perhaps Islamic is only an adverb?

Would both of these sentences be correct?

Islamic people practice Islam.

Muslim people practice Islam.

Best Answer

Muslim or Moslem is always referring to a man, meaning "one who submits", with a female form Muslima, while Islamic denotes "belonging to Islam".

Therefore, instead of saying

Muslim people practice Islam.

one can also say

Muslims practice Islam.

but not

Islamics practice Islam.

and it would be more correct to say

The Quran is the Muslim's holy book.

In Arabic, Muslim is the participle of the verb with the infinitive Islam.

Muslim - male Muslima - female Islamic person/people - plural non gender