What Does “Islam” Mean? The word “Islam” itself means “Submission to Allah. ” The religion of Islam is not named after a person as in the case of “Christianity” which was named after Jesus Christ, “Buddhism” after Gutama Buddha , “Marxism” after Karl Marx, and “Confucianism” after Confucius. Similarly, Islam is not named after a tribe like “Judaism” after the tribe of Judah and “Hinduism” after the Hindus. The Arabic word “Islam” means the submission or surrender of one’s will to the will of the only true god worthy of worship, “Allah” (known as God “the Father” in Christianity).
Anyone who does indeed submit to the will of Allah as required by Islam is termed a “Muslim,” which means one who has submitted to the will of Allah. Many people in the West have developed the sad misinformed trend of calling Islam “Muhammadenism” and it’s followers “Muhammadins. ” This is a totally foreign word to Muslims and unrecognized by them. No Muslim has ever called his religion “Muhammadenism” or called himself a “Muhammadin. ” What Is The Basic Concept of Islam? Islam teaches us that this life is a life of worship.
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We are placed on this earth in order to worship Allah and obey His command. During this earthly life we are subjected to a series of trials. We have the option of enduring these trials and conforming to certain laws, and our reward will be great in the next life, or we may decline to endure these trials and choose to not conform to the law, then we will be made to regret it in the next life. Each person will be solely and completely responsible for their own final reward. We are also told that God has designed these laws to make this life a better, safer, and more tolerable one for us.
If we elect to conform to them then we will see the result in this life even before moving on to the next. We are told that the earthly life is a life of faith and work, and the next life is one of reward and no work. We have been placed on this earth to worship God, fast, pray, be industrious, good, kind, respectful, and a source of uprightness and morality. We are told that God has no need of our worship. Our worship can not increase the kingdom of God nor add to His power, however, it is in our best interests both in this life and the next that we do.
Unlike some other religions which claim that God entered in a covenant with a certain group of people and that this group is genetically better than all other human beings, or closer to God, Islam on the other hand teaches that no color, race, tribe, or lineage is better than any other. Islam teaches that all humans are equal in the sight of Allah and that the only thing that can distinguish them in His sight is their piety and worship. “O humankind! Verily! We have created you from a male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that you may know one another.
Verily! the noblest among you in the sight of Allah is the most God-fearing. Verily! Allah is The Knower, The Aware. ” The noble Qur’an, Al-Hujrat(49):13. Levels of Islam Islam consists of three levels, each building upon the lower ones. They are: 1) Islam: Testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah Establish the daily prayers Pay Zakat (Obligatory charity due the poor) Observe the fast of Ramadan Perform pilgrimage to the Ka’aba (in Makkah ) once in your life if you are able 2) Faith (Iman): To believe in Allah
To believe in His angels To believe in His Books (Scriptures) To believe in His Messengers To believe in the Day of Judgment To believe in the Divine Decree (Divine fate) whether good or evil 3) Excellence/Goodness (Ihsan ) What Are The Pillars of Islam? Islam is built upon five major pillars. A Muslim is taught that anyone who dies observing these five basic pillars will enter heaven. As mentioned, they are: (1) To bear witness that there is no entity worthy of worship except Allah(God) alone, and that Muhammad (pbuh) was His messenger.
This establishes obedience to God Almighty alone. (2) To perform five prescribed prayers to God every day according to a specific prescribed method and at specific prescribed times. This continually reminds us to bear God in mind in all actions, either before or after any given prayer. (3) To pay two and a half percent (2. 5%) of ones wealth to charity every year if their savings exceed a certain minimum level which is considered above the poverty level. (This is the basic concept, the actual calculation is a little more complex). 4) To fast the month of Ramadhan (from the Islamic Lunar calendar) every year from sun rise until sunset. This involves not eating, drinking, or having marital relations, from sun rise until sun set. (5) To perform a pilgrimage to Makkah (in the Arabian Peninsula) once in a Muslim’s lifetime if it is financially possible and their health permits. During this period, Muslims come from all over the world to join together for six days in a prescribed set of acts of worship. All Muslim men are mandated to wear the same garment which was designed to be very plain, simple, and cheap to obtain.