Islam is derived from an Arabic stem that carries the meanings of peace. Islam establishes the greeting of peace for its adherents as an invocation of peace, mercy, and blessing of Allah, the Almighty God, to be exchanged whenever they meet. We often hear “assalaamu ‘alaikum warahmatullaahi wabarakaatuh”. That is the greeting of Islam. So basically Islam is a peace religion and does not like wars nor terrorism

According to https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/religion-by-country , Islam is the second largest religion in the world with almost 2 billion followers in 2024. The largest ones is Christianity which diversified into numerous denominations such as Catholicism, Protestantism, Orthodoxy, and many more with around 2.4 billion followers.

The start of Islam is marked in the year 610, following the first revelation to the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) at the age of 40. Prophet Muhammad pbuh and his followers spread the teachings of Islam throughout the Arabian Peninsula. It was 6 centuries after the birth of Prophet Isa Al Masih or Jesus pbuh or the Christianity know him as Jesus Christ. Muslims regard Jesus pbuh as one of the great prophets who brought divine guidance to humanity before Prophet Muhammad pbuh. His name is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an twenty-five times, often in the form ‘Isa ibn Maryam, meaning “Jesus, son of Mary”. It is the distinct difference between Islam and Christianity. In Islam, Prophet Muhammad pbuh is the last messenger sent by God, Allah. He is the son of Abdullah and his wife Siti Aminah.

Islam is a monotheistic religion with the one and only God, Allah. As mentioned in Surah Al Ikhlas: 1 - 3 in the Al Quran: Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “He is Allah—One ˹and Indivisible˺. Allah—the Sustainer ˹needed by all˺. He has never had offspring, nor was He born. And there is none comparable to Him.”

Islam is for all. Moreover, the Glorious Qur’an describes our Prophet Muhammad pbuh saying: “We have not sent you but as a mercy to the worlds.” [Surah Al Anbiya’: 107]. Also in Surah Yunus: 25, Allah says: And Allah invites ˹all˺ to the Home of Peace and guides whoever He wills to the Straight Path (Islam).

Islam guides us from the moment we are in our mother's womb until we die. It turns out that humans have a contract with Allah before being born. Let’s see Surah Al A’raf: 172-173, Allah says: And ˹remember˺ when your Lord brought forth from the loins of the children of Adam their descendants and had them testify regarding themselves. ˹Allah asked,˺ “Am I not your Lord?” They replied, “Yes, You are! We testify.” ˹He cautioned,˺ “Now you have no right to say on Judgment Day, ‘We were not aware of this.’ Nor say, ‘It was our forefathers who had associated others ˹with Allah in worship˺ and we, as their descendants, followed in their footsteps. Will you then destroy us for the falsehood they invented?’”

Islam teaches how to build relationship with Allah, the Almighty God. Islam teaches how to build relationship with other people such as in the way to treat people, the way to maintain health, the way of trading with others, until the burial when die. Islam also teaches how to treat other creatures such as animals and plants including how to keep the environment well and how to develop science and technology.

For example see how Al Quran says the planets rotate in their orbits more than 1400 years ago. Let’s see Surah Al Anbiya: 33, And He is the One Who created the day and the night, the sun and the moon—each travelling in an orbit. Meanwhile, Johannes Kepler, who was a mathematician and astronomer, published his book entitled 'Astronomia Nova' in 1609. Kepler said that the planets circulating in the solar system revolved around the sun according to their elliptical orbits.

That is a brief introduction to what Islam is. Insya Allah in the next article we will share about the five pillars of Islam. I hope you all like it and gain more understanding about Islam.


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