What is Authentic?


Checking out a dictionary for the word ‘Authentic’ and you will probably find an answer like this:


  1. Of undisputed origin; genuine.
  2. Made or done in the traditional or original way.


genuine – true – real – veritable – original


And if we delve to discover the English word’s etymology, we find:

“mid-14c. meaning “authoritative,” from Old French autentique  meaning“authentic; canonical.” (The sense of “entitled to acceptance as factual” was there then too.)

The Old French  word autentique was taken directly from Medieval Latin authenticus, from Greek authentikos, meaning “original, genuine, principal,” from authentes ”one acting on one’s own authority.”

Authentes consists of the Ancient Greek words autos  “self” + hentes  “doer, being”. And  hentes  comes from the Proto-Indo-European word: sene- ”to accomplish, achieve.”

Interestingly, the word for ‘authentic’ in Arabic is أصلية (pronounced ‘Asliyyah’) and this word is directly related to الأصول (pronounced ‘(al) Usool’), meaning ‘fundamentals’ or ‘principles’.

The common denominator between the two is that this word carries the notion that what is genuine, real and original is not only what one strives to do and be when acting on one’s own authority, but is the set of principles that should guide our volition, the consequences of which take root and grow. This word signifies what we base ourselves upon – our very foundations, which in a sense, is – or ought to be, authoritative.

So how does this word apply to civilisation? We must see…

(To be continued)


1 Comment

Filed under Arif uz Zaman: Article

One response to “What is Authentic?

  1. Pingback: Seeking an Authentic Way | Diary of a Prophet Seeker

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