Islam Explained

In the Name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful

ALLAH - for Muslims the greatest and most inclusive of the Names of God, an Arabic word of rich and varied meaning, denoting the one who is adored in worship, who creates all that exists, who has priority over all creation, who is lofty and hidden, who confounds all human understanding. It is exactly the same word as, in Hebrew, the Jews use for God (eloh), the word which Jesus Christ used in Aramaic when he prayed to God. God has an identical name in Judaism, Christianity and Islam; Allah is the same God worshipped by Muslims, Christians and Jews.

" He is God, the One God,
Independent and Sought by all;
He begets not, nor is He begotten,
and there is none like unto Him."
(The Holy Quran, Chapter of Sincerity of Faith)

Islam teaches that all faiths have, in essence, one common message:
the existence of a Supreme Being, the one and only God, whose sovereignty is to be acknowledged in worship and in the pledge to obey His teaching and commandments, conveyed through His messengers and prophets who were sent at various times and in many places throughout history.

Islam, An Arabic word, is rich in meaning. one important dimension is the " commitment to submit and surrender to God so that one could live in peace" ; peace ( salam ) is achieved through active obedience to the revealed Commandments of God, for God is the Source of all Peace. Commitment to Islam entails striving for peace through a struggle for justice, equality of opportunity, mutual caring and consideration for others' rights, and continuous research and acquisition of knowledge for the better protection and utilization of the resources of the universe.

Islam teaches that the objective of the Commandments of God is that peace should be established in the human societies of this world, in preparation for a further dimension of human existence in the world to come, the Afterlife. Islam's vision of peace is therefore truly universal; it transcends time and belongs to the order of God's eternity.

Islam does not regard itself to be a new teaching, different or separate from that of other world religions. It is the reaffirmation of the ancient yet living truth of all religions which can be expressed in the following beliefs:
the Uniqueness of the one and only God who is Sovereign of the universe;
the Revelation of the teaching and commandments of God through Angels in heaven to Prophets on earth, and written in sacred writings which all have the same transcendent source; these contain the will of God which marks the way of peace for the whole universe and all of humankind;
the Day of Judgement which inaugurates the Afterlife in which God rewards and punishes with respect to human obedience to His will.

Islam affirms these simple beliefs as the basis of the decent civilized society for which it strives. Its vision of society is, in essence, no different from that upheld by all monotheistic religions. This is particularly true of Judaism and Christianity which share with Islam the direct spiritual lineage of the Prophet Abraham. Islam affirms the divinely-ordained missions of the Prophet Moses, through whom God revealed the sacred scripture called the Torah, and of the Prophet Jesus, through whom God revealed the scripture known as the Gospel. The message of Islam is in essence the same as that which God revealed to all his prophets and messengers. 'Me Prophet Muhammad (the peace and blessing of God be upon him) was commanded to recite in the Holy Quran:
" Say. we believe in God, and that which was revealed unto us, and that which was revealed unto Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which was vouchsafed unto Moses and Jesus and the prophets from their Lord; We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered."
The Holy Quran 3:84
The success of civilizations and cultures is directly related to the extent of their practice of the righteous way of life revealed in the teaching and commandments of God, and set forth in the monotheistic religions which are confirmed by Islam. God's revelation enshrines the highest values of humankind, and the divine commandments are essentially no different from the values which human beings have cherished and striven to maintain throughout history, irrespective of cultural, racial, linguistic and socioeconomic differences. Success in this life is directly related to the practice of these values.

Islam teaches that human diversity is a sign of the richness of God's mercy, and that God Wills human beings to compete with each other in goodness in order to test who is the finest in action: this is, according to Islam, the reason for the creation of the universe. To strive for peace in the societies of this world is to compete in the fulfillment of human destiny in preparation for the ultimate Abode of Peace in a further, renewed dimension of human existence in the Afterlife. The irreducible minimum of faith is to believe in God as the sole sovereign Lord of this world and of the next and to believe in the reality of the Afterlife for which human beings are to prepare by living righteously in this world God alone is the Judge of human righteousness, and it is God alone who rewards and punishes in this life and in the life hereafter.

Righteousness does not mean for you to turn your faces towards the East and West but righteousness means one should believe in God (Alone), the Last Day, angels, the Book and prophets; and no matter how he loves it, to give his wealth away to near relatives, orphans, the needy, the wayfarer and beggars, and towards freeing captives; and to keep up prayer and pay the welfare tax; and those who keep their word whenever they promise anything, and are patient under suffering and hardship and in time of peril (stress), Those are the ones who act loyal and perform their duty.

A Muslim is one who is committed to peace by continuously striving to follow the way of righteousness and justice revealed by God; the Arabic word muslim refers to a man, muslima to a woman. In either case the literal meaning is " one who submits to God's teachings and commandments which leads to peace"

Muslims have three distinct advantages to help them in the practice of Islam as their way of life:

Muslims are enjoined to organize their lives on basis of a series of ritual acts of worship which ordained in the Qur'an as ways which discipline human beings to remember God constantly, accepting His Sovereignty and pledging to obey His commandments:

Each of these prescribed acts of worship bring Muslims daily and repeatedly before God Almighty as the Creator, Sustainer and Judge of all humanity.

Through these acts of worship God helps Muslims to fulfil the obligation of striving which He has ordained for this life: the striving actively and freely to surrender one's own will in obedience to the Will of God, inwardly in intention and outwardly in word and deed, individually in personal conduct and collectively in the improvement of society; the striving for peace in the world through the announcement of true faith, and its defense against all that threatens it.

Islam presents human beings with a simple twofold invitation: to witness that there is no god but God Almighty; to witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of God.

This declaration is the door to a life of service, and to participation in a community of believers whose highest duty is to call humanity to embrace what is righteous and good, and to reject what is evil and degrading. Muslims are sisters and brothers of all people of true faith, and wish to strive with them for peace in this world.

The intention in producing this pamphlet has been explain clearly the fundamental principles of Islam,

Many current references to Islamic fundamentalism particularly as they appear in public media, seem ignore these principles and treat Islam as nothing more than a political phenomenon,

For additional Information contact may be made with:
The Islamic Teaching Center
Post Office Box 38
Plainfield, IN 46168 USA
Tel: (317) 839-8157

The Islamic Circle of North America
Post Office Box 3174 Jamaica, NY 11432
USA Tel: (718) 658-1199.

The Institute of Islamic Info and Education
Post Office Box 41129 Chicago, ILL 60641
Tel: (312) 777-7443

The Islamic Foundation
233 London Road
Leicester LE2 IZE

Tel (0533) 700 725