What is Islam?
Islam means to achieve peace – peace with God, peace within oneself, and peace with the creations of Allah – through wholly submitting oneself to God and accepting His guidance.
The term Islam derives from the three-letter Arabic root, S (س)- L (ل)- M (م), which generates words with interrelated meanings, including “surrender”, “submission”, “commitment” and “peace”. Commonly, Islam refers to the monotheistic religion revealed to Muhammad ibn (son of) Abdullah between 610 and 632 of the Common Era.
The name Islam was instituted by the Qur’an, the sacred scripture revealed to Muhammad(PBUH). For believers, Islam is not a new religion. Rather, it represents the last reiteration of the primordial message of Allah’s Oneness, a theme found in earlier monotheistic religious traditions.
Though Islam can be described as a religion, it is viewed by its adherents – a fifth of the world’s population – in much broader terms. Beyond belief in specific doctrines and performance of important ritual acts, Islam is practiced as a complete and natural way of life, designed to bring God into the center of one’s consciousness, and thus one’s life. Essentially, by definition, Islam is a world view focused on belief in the One God and commitment to His commandments.
What is the Essence of Islam?
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)mentioned in a narrative the best summary of the core of Islam as follows:
“Submission means that you should bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s messenger, that you should perform the ritual prayer, pay the zakat, fast during Ramadan, and make the pilgrimage to the House if you are able to go there.”
“Faith means that you have faith in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, and the Last Day and that you have faith in the measuring out, both it’s good and it’s evil.”
“Doing what is beautiful means that you should worship Allah as if you see Him, for even if you do not see Him, He sees you.”