Introduction to Islam
Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world today with over 1.8 billion followers worldwide.
Islam (Arabic: الإسلام ; al-‘islām ; pronounced: [Es.læ.m]) is a monotheistic Abrahamic faith, which means it is based on the belief in one God, and was revealed through the holy Qur’an, the sacred scripture.
The word Islam can be interpreted as ‘submission’, or the total surrender of oneself to God (in Arabic الله , ‘Allāh ‘) the One and Only God of the Universe. However, there are other interpretations of the word Islam, relating to concepts such as peace, obedience and purity.
An adherent of Islam is known as a Muslim, meaning “one who submits (to God).” One in every four people in the world is Muslim, making Islam the second largest religion in the world, after Christianity.
Muslims believe mankind should live according to the commandments of Almighty God without adding to or subtracting from the basic principles revealed by Him.
Muslims believe that God revealed the Qur’an, the scripture of the Islamic faith, to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), God’s final Prophet, and regard the Qur’an and the Sunnah (words and deeds of Prophet (pbuh)) as the fundamental sources of Islam.
Muslims do not regard Prophet Muhammad as the founder of a new religion, rather as the restorer of the original monotheistic faith of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and all the other prophets. Muslims, therefore, unlike other religions that take their name from their religious leaders, are not referred to as ‘Mohammedans’. The name of the religion, ‘Islam’ was chosen by God Himself, as stated in the Qur’an:
“This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favour upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.” Qur’an – Chapter 5: Verse 3
Islam includes a number of rituals and practices. Muslims observe the Five Pillars of Islam, believe in the Six Pillars of Faith and adhere to the rulings of Islamic Law, known as the Shari’ah in Arabic, details of which can be found through the links provided.