Islam (or Islaam) is the name of the religion, or more properly the ‘way of life’, which God (Allaah) has revealed and which was practiced by all of the Prophets and Messengers of Allaah that He sent to mankind. Even the name stands out unique among other religions in that it means a state of being; it does not refer to any particular person, such as Christianity, Buddhism or Zoroastrianism; a tribe like Judaism; or a nation like Hinduism. The root Arabic word from which Islam is derived implies peace, safety, salutation, protection, blamelessness, wholesomeness, submission, acceptance, surrender, and salvation. Islam specifically means being in the state of submission to Allaah, worshipping Him Alone, and reverently accepting and obeying His Law. Through this submission, the peace, security, and wholesome well-being implied in its literal meaning is achieved. Hence, a Muslim or Muslimah is a person (male or female) in that state of submission. A person’s Islam weakens through sins, ignorance, and wrong-doing, and becomes nullified in totality by associating partners with Allaah or disbelieving in Him.
2. What are Muslims?
The Arabic word “Muslim” literally means “someone who is in a state of Islaam (submission to the will and law of Allaah)”. The message of Islaam is meant for the entire world, and anyone who accepts this message becomes a Muslim. Some people mistakenly believe that Islaam is just a religion for Arabs, but nothing could be further from the truth. In actuality, over 80% of the world's Muslims are not Arabs! Even though most Arabs are Muslims, there are Arabs who are Christians, Jews and atheists. If one just takes a look at the various peoples who live in the Muslim World - from Nigeria to Bosnia and from Morocco to Indonesia - it is easy enough to see that Muslims come from all different races, ethnic groups, cultures and nationalities. Islaam has always been a universal message for all people. This can be seen in the fact that some of the early companions of the Prophet Muhammad were not only Arabs, but also Persians, Africans and Byzantine Romans. Being a Muslim entails complete acceptance and active obedience to the revealed teachings and laws of Allaah the Exalted. A Muslim is a person who freely accepts basing his beliefs, values and faith on the will of Almighty God. In the past, even though you do not see it as much today, the word “Mohammedans” was often used as a label for Muslims. This label is a misnomer, and is the result of either willful distortion or sheer ignorance. One of the reasons for the misconception is that Europeans were taught for centuries that Muslims worshipped the Prophet Muhammad in the same way that Christians worship Jesus. This is absolutely not true, since one is not considered a Muslim if he worships anyone or anything besides Allaah the Exalted.
3. Who is Allaah?
Often one hears the Arabic word “Allaah” being used in discussions regarding Islaam. The word “Allaah” is simply the Arabic word for Almighty God, and is the same word used by Arabic speaking Christians and Jews. As a matter of fact, the word Allaah was in use far before the word God ever came into existence, since English is a relatively new language. If one were to pick up an Arabic translation of the Bible, one would see the word “Allaah” being use where the word “God” is used in English. For instance, Arabic speaking Christians say that Jesus is, according to their canon belief, the Son of Allaah. In addition, the Arabic word for Almighty God, “Allaah”, is quite similar to the word for God in other Semitic languages. For example, the Hebrew word for God is “Elah”. For various reasons, some non-Muslims mistakenly believe that Muslims worship a different God than the God of Moses and Abraham and Jesus. This is certainly not the case, since the Pure Monotheism of Islaam calls all people to the worship of the God of Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and all the other prophets, peace be upon them.
What they say about Islam, the Qur'an and Muhammad The religion of Islam is growing faster than any other religion in the world.” - Mike Wallace, 60 Minutes "Islam is the fastest-growing religion in America, a guide and pillar of stability for many of our people..." HILLARY CLINTON, Los Angeles Times, May 31, 1996, p.3
Already more than a billion-people strong, Islam is the world’s fastest-growing religion. ABCNEWS, Abcnews.com
"Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the country." NEWSDAY, March 7, 1989, p.4
"Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the United States..." NEW YORK TIMES, Feb 21, 1989, p.1
"Moslems are the world's fastest-growing group..." USA TODAY, The population referance bureau, Feb. 17, 1989, p.4A
"Muhammed is the most successful of all Prophets and religious personalities. " Encyclopedia Britannica
"There are more Muslims in North America then Jews Now." Dan Rathers, ABCNEWS
MUSLIMS ARE FUNDAMENTALISTS AND TERRORISTS Question: Why are most of the Muslims fundamentalists and terrorists?
Answer: This question is often hurled at Muslims, either directly or indirectly, during any discussion on religion or world affairs. Muslim stereotypes are perpetuated in every form of the media accompanied by gross misinformation about Islam and Muslims. In fact, such misinformation and false propaganda often leads to discrimination and acts of violence against Muslims. A case in point is the anti-Muslim campaign in the American media following the Oklahoma bomb blast, where the press was quick to declare a ‘Middle Eastern conspiracy’ behind the attack. The culprit was later identified as a soldier from the American Armed Forces.
Let us analyze this allegation of ‘fundamentalism’ and ‘terrorism’: