The purpose of this work is to present the authentic teachings of Islam. There isonly one Islam, and only one example of how it is to be lived - that of the ProphetMuhammad
(Peace be upon him)
Our intention is to provide a basic overview of the maintenets as given in the Qur’
n and by the example set by the Prophet. We also attemptto address some commonly asked questions about Islam.Despite the fact that over one-fifth of the world’s population is Muslim, Islam isoften misunderstood and misrepresented in contemporary Western society. It is hopedthat this work will help shed light on Islam, which was divinely communicated toMuhammad
(Peace be upon him),
and dispel any commonly held misconceptions that ignite prejudice and hatred.We write this in the hope that people of all faiths will join us in making this aworld of tolerance, kindness, understanding, and peace.
WHAT IS ISLAM?
The Arabic word “Islam” literally means
Islam, as a faith, meanstotal and sincere submission to God. Such submission to God brings peace andtranquility.The name Islam
is universal in its meaning. Islam is not named after a tribe of people or after an individual, as Judaism is named after the Tribe of Judah, Christianityis named after Christ, and Buddhism is named after Buddha. Islam was not a namechosen by human beings; it was divinely communicated from God. Islam is a completeway of life, implying a total submission to God. One who submits his or her will toGod, voluntarily,
is called a Muslim. It was not Muhammad but Adam
(Peace be uponthem)
who first brought Islam to humanity. Then, each Prophet and Messenger
(Peace beupon them)
came to exhort the people to clear understanding of God’s Commandmentand offered teachings pertinent to that time, until finally the Prophet Muhammad camewith the Last Testament.
is the proper Name of the One
True God who Created the heavens and theearth. It should be mentioned that Arabic-speaking Jews and Christians call God by the Name Allah.
The concept of monotheism (known as
in Arabic) is the single mostimportant concept in Islam. Monotheism is similar to the first of the TenCommandments, and everything in Islam is built upon it. Islam calls humanity to
. It is Islamic tradition to offer blessings of peace to all the Prophets and Messengers of God. Not to do so whenthey are named would be considered a withholding of respect.
. Some Muslims are uncomfortable calling Islam a “religion,” as Islam is not an institutionalized faith. In ArabicIslam is referred to as a
“Way of life.” This is the same as early Christians who also called their faith “TheWay.”
Voluntarily in this sense means more than not being coerced. It means submitting to God without ulterior motives or reservations, and with genuine wholeheartedness.
. The additional capitalization found throughout this text reflects respect for God and sets His Divine Attributesapart from all creation.