I have been wondering about this on and off for some time now. What is the difference between what Religion and Deen mean now and what they meant in 7th century Arabia? Now, as I understand, the meaning of Deen itself has not changed (perhaps because it never really entered colloquial use?). But it seems to me that what Religion means now and what it meant for 7th century Arabians are two different things. Or perhaps the difference is simply attributable to a difference between cultures? It almost seems that the difference can be expressed in English by whether you type religion, or Religion; where Religion seems to have a meaning closer to what Deen is.
This reasoning is partly sourced from contemporary texts that argue that Islam is a challenge to religion. This is some what confusing when considering the following verses from QXP that clearly imply that Islam is not just a Deen but also a Religion:
2:120 Yet, never will the Jews be pleased with you, nor will the
Christians, unless you follow their form of religion. Say, “Surely, God’s
guidance is the only true guidance.” And if you follow their wishes and
errant views after all the knowledge that has come to you, then you will
find no ally or helper from God.
5:57 O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Do not take for
allies, some of the people who were given the scripture before you, and
the rejecters who mock and ridicule your Religion. Be mindful of God if
you are true believers.
Thanks in advance for any feedback!