Islam is not a new religion, but the same truth that Allah revealed through all His prophets for all of mankind. One fifth of the world's population are Muslims and Islam is both a religion and a complete way of life. Muslims follow a religion of peace, mercy, and forgiveness, and the majority have nothing to do with grave events which have come to be associated with their faith.
Who are muslims?
1.7 billion people from a vast range of races, nationalities and cultures across the globe - from the southern Philippines to Nigeria - are united by their common Islamic faith. About 18% live in the Arab world; the world's largest Muslim community is in Indonesia; substantial parts of Asia and most of Africa are Muslim, while significant minorities are to be found in former Soviet republics, China, North and South America, and Europe.
Misconception: All Muslims are Arab Truth: About 18% of Muslims are Arab
what do muslims believe?
Muslims believe in the following six basic articles of faith. They are:
1. Allah who is the One, Unique, Incomparable Creator. People sometimes say God but the more appropriate name for God is Allah who is the Lord of all that exists. 2. The angels who were created by Allah. 3. The prophets and messengers through whom Allah's revelations were brought forth to mankind. 4. All of the Holy Books which are listed below.
Torah - sent with Prophet Musa (Moses - peace be upon him)
Zaboor also known as the Psalms - sent with Prophet Dawood (David - peace be upon him)
Injeel also known as the Gospel - sent with Prophet Issa (Jesus - peace be upon him)
Quran - sent with Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)
5. The last and final day which known as the Day of Judgement where individuals will be held accountable for their actions. 6. Predestination which is Allah's decree over human destiny and life after death.
Muslims believe in a chain of prophets starting with Adam and including Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Moses, Aaron, David, Solomon. Elias, Jonah, John the Baptist, and Jesus peace be upon them all. Allah's final message to man, a reconfirmation of the eternal message and a summing up of all that has occurred before was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) through Angel Jibreel (Gabriel).
How does someone become muslim?
One becomes Muslim by taking The Shahada which is the Declaration of Faith.
It reads (right to left in Arabic):
لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا ٱلله مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ ٱلله
It is pronounced lā ʾilāha ʾillā llāh muḥammadun rasūlu llāh
In English it means "There is no God but Allah, and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the final messenger of Allah."
what does "islam" mean?
The Arabic word "Islam" simply means submission to Allah. Thus, a Muslim is one who acquires peace by submission to Allah. In a religious context it means complete submission to the will of Allah which is the Arabic word for God.
why does islam often seem strange?
Islam may seem exotic or even extreme in the modern world. Perhaps this is because religion does not dominate everyday life in the West today, whereas Muslims religion always uppermost in their minds, and make no division between secular and sacred. They believe that the Divine Law, the Shari'a, should be taken very seriously, which is why issues related to religion are still so important.
do islam and christianity have different origins?
No. Together with Judaism, they go back to the prophet and patriarch Abraham, and their three prophets are directly descended from his sons - Muhammad (peace be upon him) from the eldest, Ishmael, and Moses and Jesus (peace be upon them all) from Isaac. Abraham established the settlement which today is the city of Makkah, and built Ka'ba towards which all Muslims turn when they pray.
who is muhammad?
Muhammad (peace be upon him) was born in Makkah in the year 570, at a time when Christianity was not fully established in Europe. Since his father died before his birth, and his mother shortly afterwards, he was raised by his uncle from the respected tribe of Quraysh. As he grew up, he became known for his truthfulness, generosity and sincerity, so that he was sought after for his ability to arbitrate in disputes. The historians describe him as calm and meditative. Muhammad (peace be upon him) was of a deeply religious nature, and had long detested the decadence of his society. It became his habit to meditate from time to time in the Cave of Hira near the summit of Jabal al-Nur, the 'Mountain of Light' near Makkah.
how did he become a prophet and a messenger of god?
At the age of 40, while engaged in a meditative retreat, Muhammad (peace be upon him) received his first revelation from God through the Angel Gabriel, and to preach the truth which God had revealed to him, he and his small group of followers suffered bitter persecution, which grew so fierce that in the year 622 God gave them the command to emigrate. This event, the Hijra, 'migration', in which they left Makkah for the city of Madinah some 260 miles to the north, marks the beginning of the Muslims calendar.
After several years, the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his followers were able to return to Makkah, where they forgave their enemies and established Islam definitively. Before the Prophet (peace be upon him) died at the age of 63, the greater part of Arabia was Muslim, and within a century of his death Islam had spread to Spain in the West and as far East as China.
Quran - guidance for humanity
"This (Quran) is a plain statement for mankind, a guidance and instruction to those who are pious." - (Quran 3:138)
Have you ever wondered why even the most advanced societies continue to suffer from problems like crime, poverty, racism, drug abuse broken families, corruption, and war?
All countries have laws to govern their citizens and maintain order, so why are such damaging issues still present? The fact is that man-made laws cannot that fill the spiritual void that leads so many people astray..
Herein comes the Quran, a book revealed 1400 years ago to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), as a gift from God to humanity. It is a guide for humanity to follow in both times of distress and prosperity. The Quran is the only book that has been memorized in its entirety by people of all ages; thus, it has remained pure since its revelation.
Codes of ethics mentioned in the Quran provide clear solutions for the problems facing this world as well as show us how to build societies that are a book of knowledge, relating scientific facts about embryology, medicine, oceanography and the creation of the universe. These facts guide humanity into the 21st century and beyond.
Significant figures such as Prophet Abraham, Moses and Jesus are mentioned with great honor and respect in the Quran. Their struggles, teachings and piety proclaim the oneness of God.
The Quran also places high emphasis on the sanctity of all human life along with the utmost respect toward parents, tolerance and peaceful coexistence among people of all backgrounds and foremost, invites humanity to submit to the Creator alone in worship and from Him seek guidance.
By following the Quran's timeless guidance, humanity can prosper spiritually, eliminate social problems. find peace and contentment in this world and eternal paradise in the hereafter.