religion with Allah is Islam." (The Holy Quran
1. What is the name
of our religion?
The name of our religion is
ISLAM. This word is pronounced as:
IS - as in the word this (not
the sound of z like in the word is).
LAM - la as in the word large.
A follower of Islam is known as a
MUSLIM, pronounced as:
MUS - u as in pull, and a
2. What do these
The word Islam means 'entering
into peace' and also 'submission to God'. Muslim, therefore,
means one who has made peace, with God as well as with man,
through submission to God.
3. Who gave these
names to this religion?
These names are to be found in
the Holy Quran, the sacred Book of the Muslims. For
instance, God says:
"I have chosen for you (O
mankind) Islam as a religion." (chapter 5, verse 3, or
5:3 for short.)
"He (God) has named you as
4. What is the
basic teaching of Islam?
It is to make peace with God,
which means to submit to and obey God completely. And also
to make peace with man, which means to do good to people
around us. This basic teaching is summed up in the Holy
Quran as follows:
"Whoever submits himself
completely to Allah, and does good to others, he shall
have his reward from his Lord." (2:112)
(Note that the word "he" in such
places in the Quran does not mean a man only, but any human
being, male or female).
5. How did Islam
come into the world?
The religion of Islam in its
present form came to us through the teachings of the Holy
Prophet Muhammad, who lived and preached in Arabia some 1400
years ago (born 571 C.E., died 632 C.E.). However, the Holy
Prophet taught that he was not bringing a completely new
religion into the world, because the basic principles of
Islam had also been preached by all the great founders of
the various religions before him. Islam, therefore, did not
begin with the Holy Prophet Muhammad, but was also the
religion of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, and
every other prophet of God.
6. Why is this
religion not named after Muhammad, the Holy Prophet?
Because, properly speaking,
the Holy Prophet Muhammad was not the Founder of Islam, but
was himself a Muslim - a follower of Islam. Prophets before
him too are called Muslims in the Holy Quran. Our religion
was not named after the Holy Prophet Muhammad in order to
stress that it teaches the same basic principles that were
originally taught by all the prophets who appeared before
him in various parts of the world.
7. Are there any
special reasons why our religion is called Islam?
Yes. Because it teaches that,
just as the universe around us obeys the laws God has
established for it, man too should submit to the guidance
the Almighty has revealed through His Prophet. It teaches
that Islam or 'submission to God' is a hall-mark of the
physical world and of human nature. Every human child at
birth is a 'Muslim' in the sense that he (or she) behaves
according to true human nature.
8. If previous
prophets had also taught the same basic 'Islam', what was
new about the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad?
The original teachings given
to the different nations of the world by the prophets who
appeared in them, had gradually become lost, altered and
obscured. God then sent the Holy Prophet Muhammad
1. re-establish those
2. preach other truths which had
not been preached before, but were necessary now because
mankind had advanced,
3.to collect together the best of
every religion into one faith.
So the Holy Prophet Muhammad appeared
as the Last Prophet to give to the whole world one, perfect
and ever-lasting, religion - Islam.
9. What does one
have to do in order to become a Muslim?
A person becomes a Muslim by
declaring in public an oath known as the Kalima Shahada.
Ash-hadu an la ilaha
(I bear witness that there is no
god except Allah)
Wa ash-hadu anna Muhammad-an
(and I bear witness that Muhammad
is the Messenger of Allah).
The Kalima contains the two basic
points a Muslim has to believe: that there is only one God -
Allah, and that the Holy Prophet Muhammad is Allah's
Messenger to mankind.
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