Belief in Allah

Facts About Islam

“Islam” means “surrender” or “submission”. “Salam” (which means “peace”) is the root word of “Islam”. In a religious context, the word “Islam” means “the surrendering of one’s will (without compulsion) to the true will of God in an effort to achieve peace”. Islam is the name of the religion that Muslims follow. Islam is named after the action of submitting to God’s commands and will and not a person. Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُونُوا قَوَّامِينَ لِلَّهِ شُهَدَاءَ بِالْقِسْطِ ۖ وَلَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ عَلَىٰ أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا ۚ اعْدِلُوا هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَىٰ

“O you who have faith, stand firm for Allah as witnesses in equity (qist), and let not the hatred of people cause you to not be just. Be just (‘idlu), for that is nearer to righteousness.” (Surat al-Ma’idah 5:8)

Muslims believe in God the Creator of the universe. The Arabic term for God is Allah. Sometimes Muslims prefer to use the name Allah over God because Allah linguistically does not have a gender and cannot be made plural. The English name God could become a goddess or gods. The main message of the Qurʾān is that God is one. He has no partner, child, or helper. Allah says:

الرِّجَالُ قَوَّامُونَ عَلَى النِّسَاءِ بِمَا فَضَّلَ اللَّهُ بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ وَبِمَا أَنفَقُوا مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ

“Men are guardians over women by what Allah has favoured some over others and by what they spend of their wealth.” (Surat al-Nisa 4:34)

“Muslim” means “anyone or anything that surrenders itself to the true will of God”. By this definition, everything in nature (trees, animals, planets, etc.) are “Muslims” because they are in a state of surrender to God’s will. In other words, they are fulfilling the purpose for which God created them.

Islam is built upon five pillars: 

These practices must be undertaken with the best of effort in order to be considered a true Muslim:

  1. The Declaration of Faith: (Shahadah)
  2. Establishing regular prayers: (Salah)
  3. Paying Charity: (Zakah)
  4. Fasting the (lunar) month of Ramadan: (Sawm)
  5. Pilgrimage: (Hajj)

There are six articles of faith in Islam

These are the basic beliefs that one must have in order to be considered a true Muslim. They are believe in

  1. Belief in Allah
  2. Belief in the Angels
  3. Belief in the Holy Books
  4. Belief in the Prophets and Messengers
  5. Belief in the Day of Judgement
  6. Belief in the Will of Allah

If you’re looking for facts about Islam, it might also be good to know some glossary.

  • Halal = lawful, permitted, good, beneficial, praiseworthy, honourable
  • Haram = Forbidden
  • Sūrah = Chapter in the Quran
  • Allah = God
  • Quran = The Holy Book

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَجَعَلَ الظُّلُمَاتِ وَالنُّورَ ۖ ثُمَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِرَبِّهِمْ يَعْدِلُونَ

“All praise is due to Allah, who created the heavens and the earth and made darkness and light. Yet those who disbelieve claim equals (ya’dilun) with their Lord.” (Surat al-An’am 6:1)

Muslims believe that God has revealed 99 of His names, or attributes, in the Qur’an. It is through these names that one can come to know the Creator. A few of these names are the All-Merciful, the All-Knower, the Protector, the Provider, the Near, the First, the Last, the Hidden and the Source of All Peace. Allah says:

فَاسْتَجَابَ لَهُمْ رَبُّهُمْ أَنِّي لَا أُضِيعُ عَمَلَ عَامِلٍ مِّنكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنثَىٰ ۖ بَعْضُكُم مِّن بَعْضٍ

“Their Lord responded to them: Never will I cause to be lost the deeds of any among you, whether male or female; you are of one another.” (Surat Ali Imran 3:195)

Muslims follow the subsequent, final and preserved revelation of God, the Qur’an. The Qur’an was not authored by Muhammad. It was authored by God, revealed to Muhammad (through angel Gabriel) and written into physical form by his companions. The original Arabic text of the Qur’an contains no flaws or contradictions and has not been altered since its revelation. Allah says:

وَعِبَادُ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ هَوْنًا وَإِذَا خَاطَبَهُمُ الْجَاهِلُونَ قَالُوا سَلَامًا

“The servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say words of peace.” (Surat al-Furqan 25:63)

Here are some interesting facts about Islam:

  1. Islam in Arabic means “peace,” “security,” and “surrender.”
  2. Islam means submission, obedience, peace, and purity
  3. Islam in its true form grants women many rights
  4. Islam regards human beings are pure and good
  5. Islam is not a particular nation, colour or race
  6. Islam is the world’s fastest-growing religion 
  7. Islam in its originality is a religion of peace
  8. Islam stresses being kind to one’s parents
  9. Islam teaches one should not harm others
  10. Islam allows a person to truly God’s love
  11. Islam is to develop a peaceful society
  12. Islam is a complete way of life
  13. Islam is a truly global faith
  14. Islam governs all facts of life
  15. Islam is built upon five pillars
  16. Islam is a religion based on clear proof
  17. Islam teaches a true living an Islamic life
  18. Islam’s  five daily prayers enrich the soul
  19. Islam emphasizes both evidence and faith
  20. Islam teaches that God is the Most Justice
  21. Islam accepts personal morality and values
  22. Islam has a pure and clear Concept of God
  23. Islam is a practical and balanced way of life
  24. Islam always forbid to attack other religions
  25. Islam respects all human being’s innocence
  26. Islam has accountability and ultimate Justice
  27. Islam gives equal treatment to other religions
  28. Islam has a close relationship with the Creator
  29. Islam teaches us to live in peace and harmony
  30. Islam has tolerant of other religions and regards

فَاسْتَجَابَ لَهُمْ رَبُّهُمْ أَنِّي لَا أُضِيعُ عَمَلَ عَامِلٍ مِّنكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنثَىٰ ۖ بَعْضُكُم مِّن بَعْضٍ

“Their Lord responded to them: Never will I cause to be lost the deeds of any among you, whether male or female; you are of one another.” (Surah Ali Imran 3:195)

Anyone who condones or commits an act of terrorism in the name of Islam is simply not following Islam and is, in fact, violating its very tenets. These people are individuals with their own personal views and agendas. Fanatical Muslims are no more representative of the true teachings of Islam. Allah says:

مَّن كَانَ يُرِيدُ الْعَاجِلَةَ عَجَّلْنَا لَهُ فِيهَا مَا نَشَاءُ لِمَن نُّرِيدُ ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَا لَهُ جَهَنَّمَ يَصْلَاهَا مَذْمُومًا مَّدْحُورًا

“Whoever should desire the immediate life, We will hasten for him from it what We will to whom We intend. Then, We have made for him Hell in which he will enter to burn, censured and banished.” (Surah Al-Isra 17:18)

Allah Almighty says in The Holy Quran:

  • “And I am commanded to be the first of those who bow to Allah in Islam.” (Surah Az-Zumar, 12)
  • “But if ye turn back, (consider): no reward have I asked of you: my reward is only due from Allah, and I have been commanded to be of those who submit to Allah.s will (in Islam).” (Surah Yunus, 72)
  • “Nor canst thou lead back the blind from their straying: only those wilt thou make to hear, who believe in Our signs and submit (their wills in Islam).” (Surah Ar-Rum, 53)
  • “What has come to me by inspiration is that your Allah is One Allah. will ye, therefore, bow to His Will (in Islam)?” (Surah Al-Anbiya, 108)
  • “O ye who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam.” (Surah Al-Imran, 102)
  • “(Being) those who have believed in Our Signs and bowed (their wills to Ours) in Islam(Surah Az-Zukhruf, 69)

The Islamic concept of God is that He is loving, merciful and compassionate. Islam also teaches that He is all-knowing and the perfect judge of affairs, and will punish (or forgive) accordingly. However, Allah once said to Muhammad, “My mercy prevails over my wrath”. So Islam teaches a balance between fear and hope, protecting one from both complacency and despair. Allah says:

ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَاكَ عَلَىٰ شَرِيعَةٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْرِ فَاتَّبِعْهَا وَلَا تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءَ الَّذِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

“Thus, We have ordained a law (shari’ah) upon you in the matter, so follow it and do not follow the whims of those who know not.” (Surat al-Jathiyah 45:18)

If all Qur’ans in the world today were destroyed, the original Arabic would still remain. This is because millions of Muslims, called “Hafiz” (or “guardians”) have memorized the text letter for letter from beginning to end, every word, and every syllable. Also, chapters from the Qur’an are precisely recited from memory in each of the five formal prayers performed daily by hundreds of millions of Muslims throughout the world. Allah says:

وَأَمَّا مَنْ خَافَ مَقَامَ رَبِّهِ وَنَهَى النَّفْسَ عَنِ الْهَوَىٰ فَإِنَّ الْجَنَّةَ هِيَ الْمَأْوَىٰ

“As for him who feared to stand before his Lord and he restrained himself from his desires, then Paradise will be his refuge.” (Surah An-Naziat 79:40)

The Hajj is an annual pilgrimage to the Kaaba made by about 3 million Muslims from all corners of the Earth. It is performed to fulfil one of the pillars of Islam. The rituals of hajj commemorate the struggles of Abraham, his wife Hagar and their son Ishmael in surrendering their wills to God.