Islam is an Arabic word that denotes submission and obedience to Allah. It also means “peace,” for it brings a peace of mind as well as peace onto the individual and the social levels.
Mankind and the universe were not created by accident or chance, but were created according to the plan of the Creator, who is known as Allah (lit: the one God) in Islam. The Quran states that it is the duty of all individuals to learn about Allah and to live according to His will. As we cannot accomplish this by ourselves, Allah has sent messengers and prophets to guide humanity. All of these chosen individuals have brought the same message and have served as examples to their people of how Allah desires all human beings to live. Through the prophets, we have been told why mankind was created, what will happen to us after death, and what Allah expects of us. But most importantly, we have been told that Allah is unique-He has no partners, no sons or daughters, and no competitors, as so many other man-made religious systems have postulated.
Muhammad (peace be upon him), the last of Allah’s prophets, was sent to present Allah’s revelation in its final form and for the last time. This was necessary because the message delivered by the previous prophets and messengers had been corrupted or distorted by their followers. They had been mixed with philosophical speculations, superstitions, myths, and neglect. Therefore, Islam is not a new religion-it is a restatement of the original religion of Allah in its purest form and is designed to provide humanity with the uncorrupted message of Allah.
The Five Pillars of Islam
In Islam, the term “worship” covers any action that one does in accordance with the will of Allah. It can be mental, physical, spoken, or otherwise. All such actions will be rewarded.
Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), relates that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), said: “Islam is based on five pillars: