The word "Islam" is an Arabic word that means "submitting and surrendering your will to Almighty God". The word comes from the same root as the Arabic word "salam", which means peace. Unlike the names used for other religions, such as Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity, the name for the religion of Islam was both revealed by God and carries a deep spiritual meaning - only by submitting one's will to Almighty God can one obtain true peace both in this life and in the life hereafter. Islam teaches that all religions originally had the same essential message - which was to submit whole-heartedly to the will of God and to worship Him and Him alone. For this reason, Islam is not a new religion but is the same divinely revealed Ultimate Truth that God revealed to all prophets, including Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus. The word "Islam" means peace and submission. Peace means to be at peace with you and your surroundings and submission means submission to the will of God. A broader meaning of the word "Islam" is to achieve peace by submitting to the will of God. This is a unique religion with a name which signifies a moral attitude and a way of life. Judaism takes its name from the tribe of Juda, Christianity from Jesus Christ, Buddhism from Goutam Buddha and Hinduism from Indus River. However, Muslims derive their identity from the message of Islam, rather than the person of Muhammed (peace be upon him), thus should not be called "Muhammadans".
Who is Allaah?
Allaah is the One and Only God. He is the God of all creations, because He is their Creator and Sustainer.
Who is a Muslim?
A Muslim is the one who voluntarily submits to the Will of Allaah and belives in Muhammad as the last Messenger of Allaah. All the Prophets came with the Message of Islam.
Worship in Islam
Worship in Islam (prayer, fasting, charity, or pilgrimage) is a means to achieve God consciousness in thought and in action, and accordingly, the worshipper gains His bounties in this world and the Hereafter.
Pillars of Faith (Eman)
A Musim must believe in:
1) Allaah as One and Only God Who has no partner with Him,
2) Angels and their infallibility,
3) Divine Revelations (Scriptures, Psalms, Torah, Gospels and the Qur’an),
4) Prophets and Messengers (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon all of them),
5) Day of Judgment, the Heavens and the Fire,
6) and Divine Decree.
The Pillars of Islam
1) Testimony of Faith (There is no god but Allaah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah),
2) Five daily prayer,
3) Obligatory Charity (Zakah),
4) Pilgrimage to the Sacred House in Makkah,
5) and fasting during the Month of Ramadan.
Prophet Muhammad, the Last Messenger of Allaah
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was born in a noble tribe at Makkah in 570 CE. His ancestry goes back to Prophet Abraham (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). His father died shortly before his birth and his mother passed away when he was six years old. He did not attend school and was, thus, unable to read and write. As a young man, he was known as a righteous person, a trait that earned him the title of the Truthful and the trustworthy. At age 40, he was given the Prophethood when the Archangel, Gabriel, appeared to him in the cave of Hira' with Allaah's Command to invite people to the worship of Allaah. Muhammad did not bring a new message, but he revived the message of Islam which came with all the Prophets and Messengers before him. He brought it in its final comprehensive form.
Muslims do not worship Muhammad
Muslims do not worship Muhammad or any other person. Muslims believe in all Prophets, including but not limited to: Adam, Noah, Abraham, David, Solomon, Moses, and Jesus as Prophets and Messengers of Allaah. Muslims believe that Muhammad was the last Prophet who came with the most comprehensive message. They believe that Allaah is the One and Only God Who deserves to be worshiped.
Muslims' Belief in Jesus (PBUH)
Muslims hold Jesus and his honored mother, Mary in great esteem. The Qur'an says that Jesus is the outcome of a miraculous birth without a father. “Verily! The likeness of Jesus with Allaah is the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, and then He said unto him: Be and he is" (Qur'an 3.59). He was given many miracles as a Prophet, which includes speaking soon after his birth in defense of his mother's piety and chastity. He came to the Children of Israel with the Message of Islam to believe in Allaah as the One and Only God and to worship Him. The Qur'an establishes that he was neither killed nor crucified, but was raised to the Heavens and will come back again before the Day Judgment to invite the people to worship Allaah, the One and Only God.
The Qur’an was revealed in a period of 23 years and was compiled in the form of a book which is considered as the final and the last word of Allaah given to mankind. The Qur'an has been preserved in its original form and confirms the truth in the original Torah, the original Psalms, and the original Gospel. It is the most frequently read Book and has been memorized by millions Muslims. Its teachings cover all aspects of life, including but not limited to, belief, worship, past nations, attributes of Allaah, establishing good manners and condemning bad manners.
The dietry prohibitions in Islam
Muslims are not allowed to eat pork or any food which contains pork ingredients. Animals and chicken should be slaughtered properly in order to make them allowable for food. Intoxicants, drugs and alcohol are not permissible for Muslims. Being balanced in food and drink is an obligation.
Jihad means striving hard in the Cause of Allaah. Any struggle done in day-to-day life to please Allaah can be considered Jihad. The control of the self from wrongdoings is also a great Jihad. One of the forms of Jihad is to take up arms in defense of Islam or a Muslim country when attacked by the enemies. Such a Jihad has to be declared by the religious leadership or by a Muslim head of state who is following the Qur'an and Sunnah (the traditions and teachings of Prophet Muhammad).
Islam does not promote violence or terrorism
Islam emphacises on the sanctity of human life. Allaah, the Almighty, says: "whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land - it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one - it is as if he had saved mankind entirely.“ (Al-Ma'idah, 5: 32) Islam condemns all kinds of violence and terrorism.
Shari'ah is the comprehensive Muslim law derived form two sources: the Qur'an and the Sunnah (traditions and teachings) of Prophet Muhammad. It covers every aspect of individual and community life. The purpose of Islamic laws is the protection of the individuals and and community's fundamental rights to include right to life, property, political and religious freedom and to safeguard the rights of women and minorities.
Islam does not oppress women
Islam raised the status of women and honored them more than fourteen hundred years ago by giving them the right to divorce, the right to have financial independence and support and the right to be identified as dignified women when the rest of the world had no such rights at that time. Gender equity is one of the main principles
of Islam. Women should keep their maiden name after marriage. ِAccording to the teachings of the Prophet: "The best among you is the one who is best to his family."