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Islam is the last of the heavenly religions revealed by Allah Almighty through His prophets. It is a universal religion addressed to all mankind, and suitable for all times and places. Islam treats all humans equally; no one has superiority over others because of race, nationality or ethnic background. The main message of Islam is the same basic message in all revealed religions, as they are all are from the same source. The word “Islam”, in Arabic, is derived from the word “Salam”, which means “peace”. No wonder, it is a religion of peace, mercy, tolerance, forgiveness love, as well as justice.  It is not just a religion; rather it is a comprehensive lifestyle.

 

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is the last of Allah's messengers who was sent to spread this religion among both mankind and jinn. He is not divine in any way, He was only a man chosen by Allah to teach people Islam. He was known for his truthfulness, generosity and sincerity. He is the best example of good character. His sayings and teachings are also preserved in what is called “hadeeth” which considered the second source of the Islamic legislation.  Simply, he was sent as a mercy to humankind. Allah Almighty says:

 

"وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَالَمِينَ" (الأنبياء: 107)

 

Interpretation:  "And we have sent you O Muhammad, not but as a mercy for humankind and all that exists."  (Quran 21:107)

Qur'an is the holy book of Islam. It is the perfect words of Allah revealed through His angel Gabriel to the prophet Muhammad over a period of 23 years as his most important miracle, a proof of his prophethood, and a basic legislative source of Islam. Unlike other sacred scriptures, the Quran has been perfectly preserved in both its words and meaning in a living language. Allah Almighty says in the Qur'an:

 

" إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ" (الحجر: 9)

 

Interpretation: "Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur'an and indeed, we will be its guardian" (15:9)

 

Islam is based on five (pillars), which are the obligatory acts of worship:

 

- Testifying (by saying) that there is no true god except Allah and that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is His slave and Messenger.

 

-Performing of Salat (prayer) five times per a day.

 

- The payment of Zakat. i.e. an obligatory form of alms-giving.

 

- Performing Hajj (pilgrimage) to the House [of Allah (Ka'bah)]: the place of worship which Allah commanded Abraham and Ismael - peace be upon them- to build over four thousand years ago in Makkah. It is also the Qibla (direction) towards which Muslims perform prayer.

 

- Fasting the month of Ramadan.

 

Being a Muslim means that to believe in Allah (as the One, Unique and Incomparable God), His angels, His Books, His Messengers, life after death, the Last Day (the Day of Judgment and individual accountability for actions), the Paradise as a reward for believers and the Hellfire as a punishment for disbelievers, as well as the pre-determined destiny, i.e. all the Divine Decrees, the good of them and the bad of them, the sweet of them and the bitter of them.

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