Questions and Answers on issues of Islamic belief and Muslim practices. Based on interpretations of the Quran and how they are understood. A range of opinions, discussions and matters of research amongst Muslims as well as non Muslims.
What is Islam?
The Arabic word Islam means to submit or surrender and is derived from another word meaning peace. This subission or surrender means to testify and bear witness or acknowledge the existence of the source of creation, being Allah (God), and to adopt a lifestyle in accordance with the will of Allah based on the teachings of the Quran as revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. Islam is often called a religion but it is actually more than the narrow meaning often given to describe it.
Islam is not a new way of life, the core elements of Islam were in existence even before the birth of the Prophet Muhammad though not in its complete form. Islam is not the creation of Muhammad. Muhammad was a follower of the way of Islam.
The core Islamic concepts that were in existence prior to the birth of Muhammad are namely Tawheed (Uniqueness of Allah), Justice, Mercy, Forgiveness, Love, Prophethood, The day of judgement, Charity, Fasting, Law and more.
Islam is not the preserve of any nation or group, therefore it is not an Asian religion or an Arab religion or an Iranian religion or an African religion etc, it is universal. The Prophet Muhammad has said that no Arab has superiority over a non Arab except by the level of morality and being careful and concious of ones duty. Therefore place of birth/nationality, language, colour or tribe are not to be the first consideration when deciding the real value and worth of a human being.
The word Islam is mentioned in the Quran many times for example; 3:19, here God has approved a way of life for His creation and called it Islam. It is clear from the Quran what the name of the lifestyle or way of life, that Muslims live, is called.