WHAT IS ISLAM?

The word Islam, linguistically, means 'peace through the submission to God', and is derived from the word 'salam', which means 'peace' in the Arabic language. Islam is not only the fastest growing religion in the world, it is essentially a comprehensive way of life that provides clear and direct guidelines as to how we should conduct ourselves in this life if we want to win the ultimate reward in the next one, paradise.

Islam is a universal religion revealed to
prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) in 610 C.E. Allah, which means 'God' in the Arabic language and is used by Arabic-speaking Jews, Chrisians and Muslims alike, created it as a timeless religion designed to be easy for all of us to adhere to, no matter what era we are in and where we live. That is not to say that Muslims, the devout followers of Islam, have not and will not continue to face calamities in choosing to adhere to their faith, especially during current times. This life is, essentially, a test that we need to pass in order to gain the ultimate reward in the next one and just like any test, it poses challenges and hurdles that we need to overcome in order to pass. Therefore, any trials and tribulations we face are ultimately a chance to advance one step further in our faith and our commitment to our relation and The Creator of all creations.

The most fundamental principal in Islam is the fact that there is only one Creator and that He is the one who created everything in the universe. He has no sons and neither was He born himself. Allah has no resemblance to any of His creations. Surat Al-Ikhlas, in the Holy Qu'ran, decrees that clearly.

Islam is, essentially, the seal on all prior prophetic religions. Each and every religion sent down by Allah has been an extension to the ones preceding it. With prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) being the final prophet,
the Holy Qu'ran being the final book and the direct word of God and Islam being the final religion, Allah has declared Islam to be perfect. In Surat Al-Ma'idah (5:3), He declares, "Today, I have perfected for you your religion, and have completed My favor unto you, and am well pleased with Islam as your religion".

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©2015 by Hebatallah Azmy for The Foundation for Islamic Education.

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