What is Islam and Who are Muslims?
Based on its linguistic
origin, the Arabic word 'Islam' means to achieve peace--peace with God,
peace within oneself, and peace with the creations of God through
submission to God and commitment to His guidance.
Islam is not a new religion but the final culmination and fulfillment of
the same basic truth that God revealed through all His prophets to every
people. For a fifth of the world's population, Islam is not just a
personal religion but a complete way of living.
Over a billion people
from all races, nationalities and cultures across the globe are
Muslim-from the rice farms of Indonesia to the deserts in the heart of
Africa; from the skyscrapers of New York to the Bedouin tents in Arabia.
Only 18% of Muslims live in the Arab world; a fifth are found in
Sub-Saharan Africa; and the world's largest Muslim community is in
Substantial parts of
Asia are Muslim, while significant minorities are to be found in the
Central Asian republics, India, China, North and South America, Eastern
and Western Europe.
What do Muslims believe in?
Muslims believe in the
One, Unique, Incomparable, Merciful God--the Sole Creator, Sustainer and
Cherisher of the Universe; in the Angels created by Him; in the Prophets
through whom His revelations were brought to humankind; in the Day of
Judgment and in individual accountability for actions; in God's complete
authority over destiny, be it good or bad; and in life after death.
Muslims believe that God sent his messengers and prophets to all people
beginning with Adam (Adam) and including Noah (Nuh), Abraham (Ibrahim),
Lot (Lut), Ishmael (Isma'il), Isaac (Ishaq), Jacob (Ya'qub), Joseph (Yusuf),
Job (Ayb), Moses (Musa), Aaron (Harun), David (Dawud), Solomon (Sulayman),
Elias (Ilyas), Jonah (Yunus), John the Baptist (Yahya), and Jesus ('Isa);
peace be upon them all.
God's final message to humanity, a reconfirmation of the eternal message
and a summing up of all that has gone before, was revealed to the Last
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) through the Archangel Gabriel.
One becomes a Muslim by
believing and proclaiming that "There is none worthy of worship except
God, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God." By this declaration the
believer announces his or her faith in all God's messengers, and the
Scriptures (in their pristine original form) that these messengers
Do Islam, Christianity And Judaism
Have Different Origins?
No. The original,
unchanged revelations given to Abrahamic and other prophets reaching
back to Adam all came from the One True God. This common origin explains
their similarities in many beliefs and values.
Abraham is mentioned in the Qur'an as one of the great Prophets and was
honored with the title, "Friend of God." Abraham and his eldest son,
Ishmael, were commanded by God to build a place of worship, the Ka'bah,
in what is today the city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia.