Islam has roots in the faith of Abraham, who called people to worship One God and is often referred to as one of the ‘Abrahamic’ (monotheistic) faiths, together with Judaism and Christianity. Like the Bible, the Qur’an mentions prophets, angels, (see: Six Articles of Faith) miracles, good and bad deeds, reward and punishment, repentance and forgiveness, Heaven and Hell, Adam and Eve, the Torah and the Gospel and many other things that are familiar to the Western tradition.
The word ‘Islam’ comes from the Arabic word ‘aslama’, meaning ‘peace’ and ‘submission’. The essence of Islam is that one should acknowledge the Creator and submit to His guidance (see: Pillars of Islam), which leads to peace and fulfillment in this world and the Next.
Muslims believe that Divine guidance has been sent to all peoples on earth at one time or another. God’s guidance has been carefully preserved for the benefit of people today in the Qur’an, and the Sunnah of the final Prophet, Muhammad ﷺ (peace and blessings be upon him).
The word Muslim means anyone or anything that surrenders itself to the true will of God. This is done by declaring that “there is no god except one God and Muhammad is the messenger of God.” In a broader sense, anyone who willingly submits to the will of God is a Muslim. One cannot judge Islam by looking at those individuals who have a Muslim name but in their actions, they are not living or behaving as Muslims.
“Allah” is not the “Muslim God”. Allah is the Arabic word for God, used by Muslims and Arabic speaking Christians long before Islam existed (the name Allah was used). It is a unique term since it has no gender and no plural forms. He has 99 names, which describe His attributes. Allah is unlike anyone or anything imaginable. No one has the right to be invoked, supplicated, prayed to, or shown any act of worship, but God alone.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the final messenger in a long line of messengers sent by God—including Adam, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus (peace be upon them). He was born in Makkah in the year 571 A.D. As he grew up, he became known for his truthfulness, generosity, and sincerity so much that he was sought after for his ability to arbitrate in disputes. Muhammad is a human and a messenger of God, he is never to be worshiped, worship is reserved exclusively to the creator.
Yes, we do. In Islam, Jesus “Isa” (peace be upon him) is a prophet. The Quran tells us that Jesus was born of a miraculous birth without a father. “Lo! The likeness of Jesus with Allah is the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, and then He said unto him: Be and he is” (Quran 3.59). Muslims revere Jesus as a messenger God, but we do not worship him.
The Quran is a record of the exact words revealed by God through the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It was memorized by Muhammad (peace be upon him) and then dictated to his companions, and written down by scribes, who cross-checked it during his lifetime. The Qur’an has been preserved in the original language of revelation, and it is taught and recited all over the Muslim world.
Actually, they don’t. Islam, Judaism, and Christianity go back to the prophet and patriarch Abraham (Ibrahim), and their prophets are directly descended from his sons – Muhammad from the eldest son, Ishmael, and Moses and Jesus from Isaac. Abraham established the settlement that today is the city of Makkah (Mecca) and built a cubed-shaped building called the Kaa’ba, which Muslims turn towards daily when they pray.
Sharia is the comprehensive Muslim law derived from two sources, a) the Quran b) the Sunnah or traditions of Prophet Muhammad (P). It covers every aspect of daily individual and collective living such as; family, business, crime, politics, Judicial matters and etc. Sharia law is derived by scholars through interpretations of Islam’s canonical texts, the Qur’an and Hadith (sayings and actions of Muhammad).
The term Jihad is often mistranslated as “holy war“. It literally means, “struggle”, and it takes many forms: a spiritual struggle against one’s self, a personal struggle to make one’s environment better, a community’s non-violent struggle against injustice, and a nation’s military or diplomatic struggle against oppression.