MEANING OF ISLAM:
Islam means to submit freely to The Commandments and Will of The One and Only God ( Allah ). This submission should come from within, from sound belief in and conviction to Allah, with no doubt. It should also come from love, trust, and affection.
Allah is not a special god for Muslims, but Allah is The Creator of all creatures, including mankind.
The Prophet Muhammad (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) is the Messenger of Allah. The Prophet Muhammad (May Peace & Blessings of Allah be upon him) received The Word of Allah (revelation), through the archangel Gabriel (The Holy Spirit). This revelation comprises the Religion of Islam.
The Qur’an is the authentic collection of this revelation recorded in book form. It is the exact, unchanged Word of Allah to all mankind.
A Muslim is any male or female person who believes in Allah and the Prophet Muhammad (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) as His Messenger who then testifies to that belief to witnesses announcing his/her acceptance of Islam as his/her religion. ‘Muslim’ should not be confused with “Arab”; A Muslim is a person who follows the religion of Islam and she/he can be of any race while Arab refers to a race of people. An Arab can choose to be of any religion or belief system be it Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, atheism, or any faith. Arabs make up less than 18% of the Muslim population of the world today, which is estimated to be over one-fifth of the world’s population, or more than a billion people.
Islam is a simple and practical religion. It has established, clear, and easily understandable beliefs and laws that any follower or student of the religion can easily understand. Islam affirms belief in a decent, civilized society. Islam also does not demand impossible goodness of its followers, but it recognizes that all human beings make mistakes and sin. No one is exempt.
“Islam preaches peace, mercy, justice, tolerance, equality, love, truth, forgiveness, patience, morality, sincerity and righteousness.”
Islam is the religion that preaches the Oneness of God, the Oneness of mankind and the Oneness of the Message.
BASIC BELIEFS IN ISLAM:
Oneness of God: “Tawheed”
Muslims believe that there is ONLY One supreme God (Allah). In Islam to believe in Allah is not only to believe in Allah’s existence but also to believe in all Allah’s attributions, to worship Allah alone, and to obey all Allah’s commands. Tawheed includes the oneness of the Lordship, oneness of Worship and oneness of Names and Attributes:
A) Oneness of Lordship: To believe that Allah is The ONLY Creator, Provider, and The Commander.
B) Oneness of Worship: To believe that Allah is the ONLY God who should be worshipped, and obeyed as Allah prescribed.
C) Oneness of Allah’s Names and Attributes: To believe that Allah Is Perfect and His Names and Attributes are Perfect according to what Allah tells us about Himself in the Quran, believing that those Names and Attributes, in their perfection, belong only to Allah.
◊ Muslims believe that NO one shares Allah’s divinity that is neither angel nor human. Allah says:
“And Allah makes none to share in His decision and His rule.”
(Holy Quran 18:26)
◊ Muslims do not believe that Allah sleeps, gets tired, or dies. Those attributes are only for Allah’s creations. Allah has neither Weakness nor Weariness.
◊ Muslims do not believe that human beings are created in the image of Allah.
◊ Muslims believe that there is no intermediary who will take any one nearer to Allah or plead on anyone’s behalf. They believe that any individual can directly supplicate to Allah and ask for anything he/she wants.
ONENESS OF MANKIND:
◊ People are created equal in the sight of Allah. There is no superiority of one over another for any reason except piety and righteousness. Muslims are required to respect the dignity of mankind, regardless of religion, race, nationality, or place of birth, all of mankind are honored.
◊ People are not to be judged on factors that they had no choice over, such as gender, color, size, race, health, etc. Islam teaches that human diversity is a sign of the richness of Allah’s mercy and the beauty of His creation. Prophet Muhammad (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said:
“Surely Allah does not look at your faces or your bodies, but looks at your hearts and your deeds”.
◊ In Islam there are no priests, priesthood or holy men, and no one has special access to sacraments, there are however, scholars who are knowledgeable of Islam, and their duty is to truthfully explain Islam to others. THEY ARE JUST ADVISORS.
◊ Islam teaches people to be moderate in their life. Muslims should not give up totally this life for the hereafter, nor give up the work for the hereafter totally for this life only.
ONENESS OF THE MESSAGE:
Muslims believe that Allah Sent Messengers to each nation throughout the history of humankind. Messengers came with the same message: to worship the One Supreme God and to obey His Commands.
Innocence of mankind at Birth. Muslims believe that people are born free of any sin and bear no responsibility for other’s faults and sins. It is only after they reach the age of puberty, and they knowingly commit sins that they will be held responsible for their actions in this life and the hereafter.
There is no original sin in Islam. Muslims believe that both Adam and Eve were equally tempted, both sinned, and were both responsible for disobedying Allah. Both were remorseful and repented, and Allah forgave both of them.
Muslims believe that no soul is responsible for the sins and faults of others , even if they are their parents, children, wives or husbands.
Muslims believe that forgiveness is always available through repentance. Muslims pray for repentance directly to Allah, without any intermediary.
Salvation in Islam is only through belief and practice. Both go together, side-by-side, to be granted salvation.