What is Islam ?
The word “Islam” is an Arabic word which means “submission to the will of God Almighty “. This word comes from the same root as the Arabic word “salam”, which means “peace”. As such, the religion of Islam teaches that in order to achieve true peace of mind and surety of heart, one must submit to God and live according to His Divinely revealed Law. The most important truth that God revealed to mankind is that there is nothing divine or worthy of being worshipped except for Almighty God, thus all human beings should submit to Him.
What do Muslims believe?
Muslims believe in One, Unique, Incomparable God; in the Angels created by Him; in the Prophets through whom His revelations were brought to mankind; in the Day of Judgement and individual accountability for actions; in God’s complete authority over human destiny and in 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. But God’s final message to man, a reconfirmation of the eternal message and a summing-up of all that has gone before was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad through Gabriel.The Qur’an
The Arabic word “Al-Qur’an” literally means “the recitation”. When used in regards to Islam, the word Qur’an means God’s final message to mankind that was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad(PBUH). The Qu’ran, sometimes spelled Koran, is the literal the word of God – as it clearly says time and time again. Unlike other sacred scriptures, the Qur’an has been perfectly preserved in both its words and meaning in a living language. The Qu’ran is a living miracle in the Arabic language; and is know to be inimitable in its style, form and spiritual impact. God’s final revelation to mankind, the Qur’an, was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad over a period of 23 years.
The Qur’an, in contrast to many other religious books, was always thought to be the Word of God by those who believed in it, i.e. it wasn’t something decreed by a religious council many years after being written. Also, the Qu’ran was recited publicly in front of both the Muslim and non-Muslim communities during the life of the Prophet Muhammad. The entire Qur’an was also completely written down in lifetime of the Prophet, and numerous companions of the Prophet memorized the entire Qur’an word-for-word as it was revealed. So unlike other scriptures, the Qur’an was always in the hands of the common believers, it was always thought to be God’s word and, due to wide-spread memorization, it was perfectly preserved. In regards to the teachings of the Qur’an – it is a universal scripture, and it is addressed to all of mankind, and not to a particular tribe or “chosen people”. The message that it brings is nothing new, but the same message of all of the prophets – submit to Almighty God and worship Him alone. As such, God’s revelation in the Qur’an focuses on teaching human beings the importance of believing in the Unity of God and framing their lives around the guidance which He has sent.
Additionally, the Qur’an contains the stories of the previous prophets, such as Abraham, Noah, Moses and Jesus; as well as many commands and prohibitions from God. In modern times in which so many people are caught up in doubt, spiritual despair and “political correctness”, the Qur’anic teachings offer solutions to the emptiness of our lives and the turmoil that is gripping the world today. In short, the Qur’an is the book of guidance par excellence.
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
Unlike the founders of many religious, the final prophet of Islam is a real documented and historical figure. He lived in the full light of history, and the most minute details of his life are known. Not only do Muslims have the complete text of God’s words that were revealed to Muhammad, but they have also preserved his saying and teachings in what is called “hadith” literature. This having been said, it should be understood that Muslims believe that the Prophet Muhammad was only a man chosen by God, and that he is not divine in any way. In order to avoid the misguided wish to deify him, the Prophet Muhammad taught Muslims to refer to him as “God’s Messenger and His Slave”. The mission of the last and final prophet of God was to simply teach that “there is nothing divine or worthy of being worshipped except for Almighty God”, as well as being a living example of God’s revelation.
In simple terms, God sent the revelation to Muhammad, who in turn taught it , preached it, lived it and put it into practice. In this way, Muhammad was more that just a “prophet” in the sense of many of the Biblical prophets, since he was also a statesman and ruler. He was a man who lived a humble life in the service of God, and established an all-encompassing religion and way of life by showing what it means to be an ideal friend, husband, teacher, ruler, warrior and judge. For this reason, Muslims follow him not for his own sake, but in obedience to God, because Muhammad not only showed us how to deal with our fellow human beings, but more importantly, he showed us how to relate to and worship God, worship Him in the only way pleasing to Him.
Like other prophets, Muhammad faced a great deal of opposition and persecution during his mission. However, he was always patient and just, and he treated his enemies well. The results of his mission were very successful, and even though his mission started in one of the most backward and remote places on earth. Within a hundred years of the death of Muhammad, Islam had spread from Spain to China. The Prophet Muhammad was the greatest of all of God’s prophets, not because he had new doctrines or greater miracles, but because the results of his mission have brought more human beings into the pure and proper belief in the One True God than any other prophet.
What Do Muslims Think About Jesus?
Muslims respect and revere Jesus. They consider him one of the greatest of God’s prophets and messengers to humankind. A Muslim never refers to him simply as “Jesus”, but always adds the phrase “upon him be peace.”