|Islam is a word which comes from an Arabic root word meaning "submission." The religion teaches that one can only find peace in one's life by submitting to Almighty God (Allah) in heart, soul and deed. The same Arabic root word gives us "Salaam alaykum," ("Peace be with you"), the universal Muslim greeting. So, the religion is called "Islam and a person who believes in and consciously follows Islam is called a Muslim, also from the same root word.|
In Islam, faith and good works go hand-in-hand. A mere verbal
declaration of faith is not enough, for belief in Allah makes
obedience to him a duty. The Muslim concept of
worship is very broad. Muslims consider everything they do in life
to be an act of worship, if it is done according to Allah's
guidance. There are also five formal acts of worship which help
strengthen a Muslim's faith and obedience. They are often called the
called the "Five Pillars of Islam."
♦ Testimony of faith (Kalima)
♦ Prayer (Salat)
♦ Almsgiving (Zadak)
♦ Fasting (Sawm)
♦ Pilgrimage (Hajj)
Islam dates back to seventh century Arabia. The Prophet Muhammad, an aristocratic Arabian born and raised an orphan in the city of Mecca, a city sacred to all religions, experienced a revelation in his fortieth year in which the Quran was revealed from God through the archangel Gabriel. Then the Prophet orally transmitted the Quran to others, as he could not read or write.. He began to preach to his own people, most of whom initially persecuted him. After thirteen years of suffering with patience and endurance, he escaped to the nearby city of Medina. A few years later, with an army he had raised, the Prophet raided Mecca and destroyed all elements of any other religion. For over twenty-three years, beginning in 610 AD. , Muslims believe. In it, a cosmology, a theology, and an elaborate eschatology are described. By the end of the Prophet's life in 632 AD., due to the efforts of his raiding armies, almost the entire Arabian Peninsula had converted from paganism to Islam, and within a hundred years, its followers stretched from France to China.