[NH] The Religion of Islam

The Religion of Islam

The first thing that one should know and clearly understand about
Islam is what the word "Islam" itself means. The religion of Islam is
not named after a person as in the case of Christianity which was
named after Jesus Christ, Buddhism after Gotama Buddha, Confucianism
after Confucius, and Marxism after Karl Marx. Nor was it named after a
tribe like Judaism after the tribe of Judah and Hinduism after the
Hindus. Islam is the true religion of "Allah" and as such, its name
represents the central principle of Allah's "God's" religion; the
total submission to the will of Allah "God".
The Arabic word "Islam" means the submission or surrender of one's
will to the only true god worthy of worship "Allah" and anyone who
does so is termed a "Muslim", The word also implies "peace" which is
the natural consequence of total submission to the will of Allah.
Hence, it was not a new religion brought by Prophet Muhammad (peace be
upon him) I in Arabia in the seventh century, but only the true
religion of Allah re-expressed in its final form.
Islam is the religion which was given to Adam, the first man and the
first prophet of Allah, and it was the religion of all the prophets
sent by Allah to mankind. The name of God's religion Islam was not
decided upon by later generations of man. It was chosen by Allah
Himself and clearly mentioned in His final revelation to man. In the
final book of divine revelation, the Qur'an, Allah states the
"This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favor
upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion". (Qur'an
"If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah
(God) never will It be accepted of Him" (Qur'an 3:85)
"Abraham was not a Jew nor Christian; but an upright Muslim." (Qur'an
Since the total submission of one's will to Allah represents the
essence of worship, the basic message of Allah's divine religion,
Islam is the worship of Allah alone and the avoidance of worship
directed to any person, place or thing other than Allah. Since
everything other than Allah, the Creator of all things is Allah's
creation; it may be said that Islam, in essence calls man away from
the worship of creation and invites him to worship only its Creator.
He is the only one deserving man's worship as it is only by His will
that prayers are answered.
"You alone do we worship and from you alone do we seek help". (Qur'an
Elsewhere, in the final book of revelation, the Qur'an, Allah also
"And your Lord says:"Call on Me and I will answer your
(prayer)." (Qur'an 40:60)
It is worth noting that the basic message of Islam is that Allah and
His creation are distinctly different entities. Neither is Allah His
creation or a part of it, nor is His creation Him or a part of Him.
This might seem obvious, but, man's worship of creation instead of the
Creator is to a large degree based on ignorance of this concept. It is
the belief that the essence of Allah is everywhere in His creation or
that His divine being is or was present in some aspects of His
creation, which has provided justification for the worship of creation
though such worship maybe called the worship of Allah through his
creation. However, the message of Islam as brought by the prophets of
Allah is to worship only Allah and to avoid the worship of his
creation either directly or indirectly. In the Qur'an Allah clearly
"For We assuredly sent amongst every people a prophet,(with the
command) worship me and avoid false gods " (Qur'an 16:36)
Within the central principle of Islam and in its definition, (the
surrender of one's will to God) lies the roots of Islam's
universality. Whenever man comes to the realization that Allah is one
and distinct from His creation, and submits himself to Allah, he
becomes a Muslim in body and spirit and is eligible for paradise.
Thus, anyone at anytime in the most remote region of the world can
become a Muslim, a follower of God's religion, Islam, by merely
rejecting the worship of creation and by turning to Allah (God) alone.
It should be noted however, that the recognition of and submission to
Allah requires that one chooses between right and wrong and such a
choice implies accountability. Man will be held responsible for his
choices, and, as such, he should try his utmost to do good and avoid
evil. The ultimate good being the worship of Allah alone and the
ultimate evil being the worship of His creation along with or instead
of Allah. This fact is expressed in the final revelation as follows:
"Verily those who believe, those who follow the Jewish (Scriptures),
the Christians and the Sabians any who believe In Allah and the last
day, and work righteousness *hall have their reward with their Lord;
They will not be overcome by fear nor grief (Qur'an 2:62).
If only they had stood by the law, the Gospel, and all the revelation
that was sent to them from their Lord, they would have enjoyed
happiness from every side. There Is from among them a party on the
right course; but many of them follow a course that is evil". (Qur'an

The question which arises here is, "How can all people be expected to
believe in Allah given their varying- backgrounds, societies and
cultures? For people to be responsible for worshipping Allah they all
have to have access to knowledge of Allah. The final revelation
teaches that all mankind have the recognition of Allah imprinted on
their souls, a part of their very nature with which they are created.
In the Qur'an 172-173; Allah explained that when He created Adam, He
caused all of Adam's descendants to come into existence and took a
pledge from them saying, Am I not your Lord? To which they all
replied, " Yes, we testify to It:'
Allah then explained why He had all of mankind bear witness that He is
their creator and only true God worthy of worship. He said, "That was
In case you (mankind) should say on the day of Resurrection, "Verily
we were unaware of all this." That is to say, we had no idea that You
Allah, were our God. No one told us that we were only supposed to
worship You alone. Allah went on to explain that it was also In case
you should say, "Certainly It was our ancestors who made partners
(With Allah) and we are only their descendants; will You then destroy
us for what those liars did?" Thus, every child is born with a natural
belief in Allah and an inborn inclination to worship Him alone called
in Arabic the "Fitrah".
Prophets were sent, as was earlier mentioned, to every nation and
tribe to support man's natural belief in Allah and man's inborn
inclination to worship Him as well as to reinforce the divine truth in
the daily signs revealed by Allah. Although, in most cases, much of
the prophets' teachings became distorted, portions remained which
point out right and wrong. Consequently, every soul will be held to
account for its belief in Allah and its acceptance of the religion of
Islam; the total submission to the will of Allah.
We pray to Allah, the exalted, to keep us on the right path to which
He has guided us, and to bestow on us a blessing from Him, He is
indeed the Most Merciful. Praise and gratitude be to Allah, the Lord
of the worlds, and peace and blessings be on prophet Muhammad, his
Family, his companions, and those who rightly follow them.

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