What is Islam?
Islam, the religion of over 1.2 billion in the world, provides humankind with a unified view about the purpose of our creation and existence, our ultimate destiny and our place among other creatures. It is a way of life that is in complete conformance with nature, and with reason, logic and science. The Arabic word Islam means voluntary “Submission” or “Surrender” to the Will of God, Allah. It derives from the root word “salam”, meaning peace. ‘Allah’ is the Arabic word that Muslims use for God. A person who freely and consciously accepts the Islamic way of life and sincerely practices it is called a ‘Muslim’.
Islam is a natural way of life that encourages one to give due attention to their relationship with God and His creation. Islam teaches that it is through the doing of good deeds and seeking the pleasure of God that souls find true happiness and peace. It is in this context that the word Islam derives from the root word “Salam,” or peace.
Islam places great importance in the belief that the soul gives life to a human body. Likewise, in its absence, the human body dies and disintegrates. However, the soul is eternal and will be reunited with the body on the Day of Resurrection, when God will raise everyone to answer for their deeds on earth. Islam encourages the individual to focus on keeping the soul healthy, through the remembrance, obedience and worship of God. There should be a correct balance in strengthening the soul and not over-indulging with the pleasures of the body.
The most essential principle in Islam is the purely monotheistic belief in one God. God is the Creator of everything in the universe and is unique from His creation. Muslims are encouraged to develop a direct and personal relationship with God without any intermediaries. Muslims often refer to God as “Allah”, which simply means “God” in the Arabic language. Arabic-speaking Jews and Christians also refer to God as Allah.