Monday, August 15, 2011

The Meaning of Islam

The first thing that one should know and clearly understand about Islam is what the word "Islam" itself means. The religion of Islam is not named after a person nor was it named after a tribe. Islam is the religion of "Allah" and as such, its name represents the central principle of Allah's "God's" religion; the total submission to the will of Allah "God". The Arabic word "Islam" means the submission or surrender of one's will to the only true God worthy of worship "Allah" and anyone who does so is termed a "Muslim", The word also implies "peace" which is the natural consequence of total submission to the will of Allah. Hence, it was not a new religion brought by Prophet Muhammad in Arabia in the seventh century, but only the true religion of Allah re-expressed in its final form.

Islam is the religion which was given to Adam, the first man and the first prophet of Allah, and it was the religion of all the prophets sent by Allah to mankind. The name of God's religion Islam was not decided upon by later generations of man. It was chosen by Allah Himself and clearly mentioned in His final revelation to man. In the final book of divine revelation, the Qur'an, Allah states the following:

The same religion has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah--that which We have sent by inspiration to thee--and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: namely, that ye should remain steadfast in Religion, and make no divisions therein: … Qur’an 42:13

"This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion". (Quran 5:3)

"If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah (God) never will It be accepted of Him" (Quran 3:85)

" Abraham was not a Jew, nor yet a Christian; but he was an upright man who had surrendered (to Allah), and he was not of the idolaters.” (Quran 3:67)

Indeed, the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam. (submission to His Will): … (Quran 3:19)

If we study the Holy Books (Old Testament, New Testament and Qur’an) we will see that the essence of our religion is THE SUBMISSION OR SURRENDER OF ONE’S WILL TO THE ONLY TRUE GOD WORTHY OF WORSHIP.

 Submission to the will of the One True God

What does ‘submission’ mean here? It means total obedience, loving and willing. In the Biblical terminology, it means ‘keeping the commandments’, or ‘doing the will of God’. We find these phrases in many places in the Bible, both in the Old Testament and New Testament. The following are few examples.

In the Old Testament, we read about what God requires of his people:

“Now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the LORD’S commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good? (Deuteronomy 10:12-13)

These verses clearly state that God requires the following:
1.       to fear Him
2.       to walk in all His ways
3.       to love Him
4.       to serve Him with heart and soul
5.       to keep His commandments

One phrase encompassing all the above points is: “Total, loving, and willing submission to Him.” The Arabic term, ‘Islam’, has just this meaning.

In the New Testament, we find Jesus teaching to keep the commandments, and to do the will of God, i.e., to submit to the will of God.


  • Eternal life through submission to God’s commands:
And someone came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” (Matthew 19:16-17)

  • The Kingdom of heaven through submission to the will of God:
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. (Matthew 7:21)

  • Even the word ‘submit’ is used:
Submit therefore to God. … (James 4:7)

  • Jesus declared his ‘Islamic’ mission!
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work. (John 4:34)

  • Jesus showed his submission to God!
“I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. (John 5:30)

  • Jesus recognized Muslim as his brothers and sisters:
“For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:50)

The fully commitment and the submission that we see in Jesus to His Heavenly Father in life and death actually it's the perfect example for Islam. Jesus is the shining example of a perfect Muslim.

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