What Islam Is All About

The word Islam is an Arabic word that means peace, security, and surrender. A person who believes in and follows the faith of Islam is called a Muslim. Muslims believe that by practicing their faith through submission to God alone, they can achieve peace and security in their lives.

All words in Arabic are based on a three-letter root word. The words “Islam” and “Muslim” originate from the same root word: S-L-M. Variations of the same root are the Arabic words for peace, surrender, health, safety, and commitment. All of these shades of meaning are present in the name of the faith: Islam.

Muslims believe there is One Almighty God, who sends prophets to communicate His message to mankind. In fact, Muslims accept all of the biblical prophets, including Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. Muslims believe that their faith is a confirmation of the message that these prophets brought: to believe in One Almighty God and to follow (submit to) His guidance. The Qur'an, the holy book of Islam, instructs Muslims, “We believe in God, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to all prophets from their Lord. We make no difference between one and another of them, and we submit to God” (Qur'an 2:136).

There are more than 1.2 billion Muslims in the world today — nearly one-fifth of the world's population — making Islam the second-largest faith community (Christianity is the world's largest). Muslims are to be found among virtually all ethnic groups, nationalities, and countries. Although often associated with the Arab world, fewer than 15 percent of Muslims are Arab.

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