For many Muslims this post is probably just a quick review. However, Inshallah (God-Willing) non-Muslims or even Muslims who are just starting to learn about their beautiful religion will find this post to be quite informative.
The Word Islam comes from the Arabic root “SLM” (Silm) which has several different meanings. Some of the meanings are peace, purity, submission and obedience. In the religious sense, Islam means submission to the Will of Allah and obedience to His Law. It is important to mention that the word Allah is simply the Arabic word for the One Eternal God, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. There is a strong and significant connection between the original Arabic meaning of the word Islam and its religious meaning. It is only through complete submission to the Will of Allah that one can achieve true inner peace.
Followers of Islam are called Muslims because a Muslim is anyone who believes in Allah, submits to the Will of Allah, and rejects worshipping the creation of Allah. For a true Muslim, the total submission to the Will of Allah and obedience of His Law results in peace with one’s self, with other people, with nature, and with their Lord and Creator. Today more than one billion people from various races, nationalities, and cultures across the globe are submitters to the Will of Allah because the Law of Allah means justice for all people regardless of nationality, color, gender, or social status.
A true Muslim believes in Allah, His messengers, the divine revelations, the angels, and the Day of Judgment.
· A Muslim believes in Allah, the Supreme and Eternal, Merciful, and Compassionate Lord and Creator. The true Muslim believes in Allah by submitting to His Will. This requires complete trust and hope in Allah and reliance on His aid.
· A Muslim believes in all of the Prophets and Messengers of God, with Adam (a.s.) being the very first Prophet and Muhammad (s.a.w.s) being the last and final Prophet and Messenger. Muslims believe that Allah, in His infinite mercy sent at least one prophet or messenger to every nation. These prophets and messengers were sent to deliver the Divine message by calling their people to worship Allah alone and to lead a righteous life. The prophets and messengers were exemplary human beings with the highest morals and manners. The Holy Quran mentions the names of 25 of them and the true Muslim believes in all of them without discriminating between them.
· The true Muslim believes in all of the Holy Scriptures and Divine revelations sent down by God. Muslims believe that at the time of their revelation all of these books were the guiding light sent to guide their respective peoples towards the right path. However, with the passage of time some of these revelations were lost or changed by human beings. Although, in principle, Muslims do believe in the previous revelations they believe that the Holy Quran is the only authentic divine revelation that is in existence today. For Muslims, the Holy Quran is the criterion by which all other books are judged. Anything that is in agreement with the Quran is accepted and anything that goes against the teachings of the Quran is rejected.
· The true Muslim believes in the angels of God. Angels are purely spiritual beings who do not require any food, drink, or sleep. Angels have neither physical desires nor material needs. They spend their entire lives in the service of their Lord and Creator. Since we cannot see the angels with our naked eyes the belief in them comes from the Islamic principle that knowledge and truth are not always limited to an individual’s sensory perception.
· The true Muslim believes in the Day of Judgment. Eventually, this world will come to an end. On the Day of Judgment the dead will rise to be judged by the Almighty, All-Knowing, Merciful, Lord and Creator in a fair trial. Each human being will be held accountable for everything that they did in this world. Those who have wronged their souls and their bad deeds outweigh their good deeds will be punished with eternal damnation in the fires of Hell. However, those whose good deeds outweigh their bad deeds will be rewarded with eternal bliss in Heaven.