The word “Islam” is an Arabic word that means ‘surrender’. In essences this means to accept the power of Allah and follow His Commands. Happiness in this life and success in the life after death can only be obtained by obeying Allah. Islam therefore is “submitting and surrendering your will to Almighty God”. The word comes from the same root as the Arabic word “salaam”, which means to achieve peace – with God, within oneself and peace with the creations of God through willingly submission to God and accepting His guidance.
Unlike the names used for other religions, such as Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity, the name for the religion of Islam was both revealed by God and carries a deep spiritual meaning – only by submitting one’s will to Almighty God can one obtain true peace both in this life and in the life hereafter.
Islam teaches that all religions originally had the same essential message – which was to submit whole-heartedly to the will of God and to worship Him and Him alone. Islam is not only a religion, but a complete ‘way of life’. This means that is shows us how to live all aspects of our lives in the best possible way.
There are Five Pillars on which Islam stands. They are:
1. Firmly believe in the heart and declare: “There is no God by Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”
This is what is meant be the Arabic word – ‘Imaan‘ (Belief)
2. To pray five times a day.
3. To pay Zakah.
4. To fast during the month of Ramadhan.
5. To go on Hajj (pilgrimage) to Makkah once in a lifetime if one can afford it.
A person who accepts Islam is called a Muslim. It means ‘one who surrenders’. A Muslim is required to do all that Allah and His Messenger (Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) have asked to do and to keep away from doing things which Allah and His Messenger (Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) have told not to do.
Allah and His Messenger (Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) have told us to do good deeds such as being kind to our parents, to help others who are less fortunate and to be kind to animals.