What is islam?
The word "Islam" itself means "Submission to Allah." The religion of Islam is not named after a person as in the case of "Christianity" which was named after Jesus Christ, "Buddhism" after Gutama Buddha , "Marxism" after Karl Marx, and "Confucianism" after Confucius.
Similarly, Islam is not named after a tribe like "Judaism" after the tribe of Judah and "Hinduism" after the Hindus. The Arabic word "Islam" means the submission or surrender of one's will to the will of the only true god worthy of worship, "Allah" (known as God "the Father" in Christianity).
Anyone who does indeed submit to the will of Allah as required by Islam is termed a "Muslim," which means one who has submitted to the will of Allah. Many people in the West have developed the sad misinformed trend of calling Islam "Muhammadenism" and it's followers "Muhammadins." This is a totally foreign word to Muslims and unrecognized by them. No Muslim has ever called his religion "Muhammadenism" or called himself a "Muhammadin."
Understanding Islam and the Muslims
What do Muslims believe?
Muslims believe in One, Unique, Incomparable God; in the Angels created by Him; in the prophets through whom His revelations were brought to mankind; in the Day of Judgement and individual accountability for actions; in God's complete authority over human destiny and in life after death. Muslims believe in a chain of prophets starting with Adam and including Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Moses, Aaron, David, Solomon, Elias, Jonah, John the Baptist, and Jesus, peace be upon them and His final messanger Muhammad(peace and mercy be upon him).
Islam is the religion which agrees with the natural disposition of man. It urges Muslims and calls them to ask about things that are incomprehensible to them, through the consultation of
competent and knowledgeable authorities. In Islam there are no obscure or mysterious things; it allows us to ask about
everything. Allah (SW) says:
"So ask the people of the knowledge if you know not."
By nature, humans have many questions in their minds that require logical and clear answers, and the Qur'an provides such answers. Some of these basic queries are as follows:
a. What is the origin of humanity?
The answer to this can be found in the words of Allah:
"And indeed We created man (Adam) out of an extract of clay. Thereafter We placed him as (a drop of) sperm in a place of rest firmly fixed. Then We made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood; then of that clot We made a (fetus) lump; then We made out of that lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh; then We developed out of it another creature. So blessed be Allah, the Best of Creators." [23:12-14]
b. What is the status of rank of humans in the universe?
Allah (SW) says:
"And indeed We have honored the children of Adam, and We have carried them on land and sea and have provided them with good and pure things, and have preferred them above many of those whom We have created with a marked preference."[17:70]
c. Why did Allah create humans? Allah (SW) says:
"And I (God) have only created the Jinn and humanity that they may worship Me (alone). No sustenance do I require of them nor do I require that they should feed Me. Indeed Allah is the only Giver of (all) sustenance,
Lord of Power, the Most Strong." [51:56-8]
He (SW) also says:
"Did you then think that We had created you in jest and that you would not be brought back to us (for account)?
So Exalted is Allah, the True King: There is none who is worshipped in truth but He, the Lord of the Throne of Honor!" [23:115-6]
d. Who is the Creator?
He is the only One worthy of being worshippedâ€¦Allah (SW) says:
"He is Allah, other than whom there is no God, Knower of the unseen and seen. He is the Most Merciful, the Most Beneficent. He is Allah, other than whom there is no God, the Sovereign, the Pure, the Perfection, the Bestower of Faith, the Overseer, the Exalted in Might, the Compeller, and the Superior. Exalted is Allah above whatever they associate with Him. He is Allah the Creator, the Inventor, the Fashioner; to Him belong the best names. Whatever is in the heavens and earth is exalting Him. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise."
e. What should our behavior be towards those things Allah created in this universe?
Allah (SW) says:
"O you who believe! Eat of the lawful things that We have provided for you, and be grateful to Allah, if it is indeed Him you worship." [2:172]
f. What is the true religion, which one should embrace, and what is the path that leads to happiness in the Hereafter?
Allah (SW) says:
"And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers."[3:85]
g. What is the path which leads to peace of mind and heart and mental stability?
"Those who believed and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah. Indeed in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest." [13:28]
h. How about those who do not believe in Allah and His revelations?
"But whosoever turns away from My reminder (i.e. My Message), verily for him is a life of hardship, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection." [20:124]
i. What is our final end in this life ¦Allah (SW) says:
"Every soul shall taste death. And only on the Day of Resurrection shall you be paid your wages in full.
Whosoever is removed from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, they are indeed successful. The life of this world is nothing but a comfort of illusion." [3:185]
j. Is it possible that we be recreated? Allah (SW) says:
"And he put forth for Us a similitude, and forgot the fact of his creation, saying: 'Who will revive these bones when they have rotted away?' Say: 'He will revive them Who produced them the first time, for He is All-Knower of every creation'." [36:78-79]
He (SW) also says:
"O humankind! If you are in doubt concerning the Resurrection, then Lo! We have created you from dust, then from a drop of seed, then from a clot, then from a little lump of flesh, some formed and some unformed (miscarriage), that We may make (it) clear for you. And
We cause what We will to remain in the wombs for an appointed time, and afterward We bring you forth as infants." [22:5]
k. What happens after death?
Allah (SW) says:
"Lo! Those who disbelieve among the People of the Scripture and the idolaters will abide in the Fire of Hell.
They are the worst of created beings. And Lo! Those who believe and do good works are the best of created beings.
Their reward is with their Lord; Gardens of Eden underneath which rivers flow, wherein they dwell forever. Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased
with Him. This is (in store) for him who fears his Lord."
Dear reader I reaffirm to you that Islam has all the solutions to problems that face the world today. The world has implemented many doctrines to solve some of its greatest problems, but over and over, these doctrines prove unsuitable and incapable of resolving themâ€¦ so why do people at large not implement the laws of Islam in their life to seek the betterment of human life?