Islam is the complete and universal version of a faith that was revealed many times before through Prophets including Adam, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus (peace be upon them). Revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) over fourteen hundred years ago, Islam continues to bring contentment to the nearly two billion followers (called Muslims) that are present across the globe. The term “Islam” refers to “peace” as Muslims attain inner contentment and outer peace by worshiping one God, who is magnificent and unique in every way.
Muslims believe in one God, who is Merciful and Forgiving and who created the Universe and all it contains. God has guided mankind through prophets, revealed scripture, and the natural signs surrounding us. The Islamic term for God is Allah (the Exalted).
Allah (the Exalted) sent many messengers including Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad (peace be upon them). These messengers belonged to one spiritual family and brought a similar message to humanity – namely, to worship only one God, to avoid evil, to enjoin justice, and to do good deeds. Each messenger also told of a life after death in which one is held accountable for their deeds, bringing purpose to the life of this world.
The primary scripture of Islam is called the Quran. Revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), it represents the final unaltered revelation of God for all of humanity. The Quran establishes the tenets of Islam, while also providing accounts of the prior Prophets (e.g., Adam, Noah, Moses, and Jesus) and the books revealed to them (e.g., the Torah and the Gospel). Muslims across the globe learn and recite the Quran in the Arabic language in order to maintain the revealed text in its original form. However, translations of the Quran are present in most languages of the world.
Islam rests on a foundation of five pillars of worship – each described by the tabs below.
Islam begins with testifying that there is only one God, Allah, and that Muhammad is a messenger of God. This declaration brings our soul into harmony with the rest of God’s universe, leading to lasting peace.
Prayer is offered for a few minutes, five times a day. These prayers reconnect us with our Lord, maintaining our inner peace and energizing us to do good and to avoid evil. The Islamic term for prayer is salah (pronounced sa-lah).
Fasting from food, drink, and marital relations for one month during daylight hours purifies the heart and reduces base desires, in turn, elevating the soul. The Islamic month of fasting is called Ramadan (pronounced ra-ma-dan).
A small amount from our excess wealth is shared with the poor and the needy. This purifies our wealth and shows thanks for our abundance.
A journey to the house of worship built by Abraham in Mecca reconnects the soul with the Prophets before us and re-energizes us to worship our Lord. This pilgrimage is undertaken once during a lifetime for those who are healthy and who can afford the costs of the journey. The Islamic term for this journey is Hajj.
Submission to Allah (the Exalted) brings the soul into harmony with others as well as with the natural universe that surrounds us, leading to peace, contentment, and wellness in this life along with happiness in the hereafter.