That is a question many people are asking today And really Islam is the topic of many discussions, yet very often people don’t really have
the essence of the meaning even Muslims themselves are not really sure how to translate it.
The word Islam is the only word not translated from the Quran when they bring it to the English
language. And there is a reason for that when we go
to the Arabic dictionary, we find that it takes a series of words to represent the concept
of what “aslama” means. ASLAMA is the verb for the noun Islam. It
carries a meaning of surrender, submission, obedience, sincerity and peace.
We understand about surrender to give in, submit to go along with something. To obey
the commandments and to be sincere and we can stop right there for a moment and think
about it. If it requires sincerity then there is no possible
way that you would be forced on anyway. Because if anyone was forced to do anything, then
it would no longer be sincerity. Thus we realize the concept of Islam spread
by sword or any type of force is impossible, because Islam requires sincerity.
Finally the word peace, this is the peace that a person has in their heart, after they
have done the other four. Meaning that they have surrendered, submitted
in obedience and sincerity and now they are going to be in peace in whatever transpires
or comes out of it. There is another word related to it, “Muslim”
for you and I we might not think the word Muslim would be read Islam, but that is because
you use in Arabic prefix “MU” before a verb to denote the one performing the action
where as in English we use “er” the letters E R as a suffix in the end of the word to
represent the one who does the action, like walk walk-er , talk talk-er, think-er, and
then in Arabic you put the “MU” ahead of it adhan, Mu’adhin one who calls the
prayer . Salli, Musalli the one who prays. Safar, musaafir the one who travels.
This helps us to understand that word Islam. But what does Islam imply? We talked about
the meaning the etymology of the word, but what does it really imply? And what is it
about? What does Islam have to do with Allah? Is Allah “God”? Is there a purpose behind
all of this? Who is this God? Who is the ILLAH? And in fact in Islam the most important subject
is Allah. Allah does not exactly translate into the
word God and that is because the word God in English only has one form “God” where
as in Arabic the word “Allah” comes from illah, and illah is anything worshipped, anything
can be a rock, a stick, a stone, a bone, things made with the hand, things that u can put
out on a shelf or carry a long with you and worship, could be the stars, the moon, the
universe, whatever a person worships that is there “illah” even their position in
life, who they are, their degrees, their job, their wealth, their position as a human being,
all of these things are illaha “gods”. But in English you don’t have a proper noun
for the one in only God, so what they do is take the word God and make a big G out of
it and say this is the proper noun, where as in Arabic, you can take illah and then
you have Allah and it doesn’t just mean The God because that would be al illah, but
Allah is the actual name of the one and only God and you don’t have to worry about capital
letters in Arabic, because there aren’t any, u can heart it clearly ALLAH, the one
and only to be worshipped. Now is this the God of the Arabs. As Muslims,
YES. What about Arab Christians? Did you know there are Arab Christians, Arab Jews?
They use the exact same word, in fact in the Arabic bible, which by the way is much older
than the English bible you find the word Allah on page of genesis 17 TIMES, that is right.
And in the new testament you will find it very easily in almost every hotel or motel
u go it because when you pull open the little drawer by the bed, you will notice that there
is a book in there the bible, you turn a few pages and you see examples of the translations
of bible into different languages. And the second language is Arabic and the phrase is
taken from john 3:16 ” For God so loved the world…” and the word for God there
is used is ALLAH. Now what about the belief in Mohammad (my
God exalt his mention), Is that something that is similar to Christianity or Judaism?
Well for Christians who believe in Abraham (peace be upon him) as Jews believe in Abraham
as being the first or the progenitor of this monotheistic belief, the belief in One God
then the answer would be Yes, because this is what Mohammad (my God exalt his mention)
taught in fact many people don’t know this but Mohammad (my God exalt his mention) he
is a direct descendent from Abraham (peace be upon him), Yes by the way of his son Ishmael.
So Ismail is well known to be the father of the many Arabs today and it is from him through
Abraham Ismail that we find others who come all the way down to Mohammad (my God exalt
his mention). What about the other prophets that came by
way of Isaac, from the other branch of Abraham well we know Moses (peace be upon him) don’t
we? And David (peace be upon him) and Solomon (peace be upon him) and of course Jesus (peace
be upon him) and we say peace be upon them all, this is very important for Muslims to
always say that Peace Be Upon Them. What was it that Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon,
Jesus has in common with Mohammad (my God exalt his mention), peace be upon All of them?
Do you know what it was? It was the message that they brought to their people, Abraham
(peace be upon him) taught the people to worship God directly and be involved in false worship
or pagan worship. Moses (peace be upon him) My Gosh that is
very clear isn’t it? When we look to the 10 commandments we find immediately the very
first commandment is that you shall not have any other worship except for the one God.
Thou shalt not have any other Gods beside me is the way God ordered to Moses to write
it down isn’t it? And David (as) with his psalms and Solomon
(as) of course they were on the exact same thinking, their belief were just not similar
they were identical. And then Jesus peace be upon him, many people
would tell you that Jesus said this or he said that but when we look to the bible you
know what we find, we find that it wasn’t Jesus who had these different opinions and
ideas it was actually Paul. The quotes from Jesus in the Gospel are so
identical to prophets before you can’t help but notice it. For instance in Mathew 5:
17, when Jesus says, “Think not that I came to destroy the law, or the prophets, I came
not to destroy but to fulfill.” And not until all things are accomplished shall a
single dot or jot or iota or tittle being any wise lessened. So we see right away that
he was saying I am holding up there Torah the law from before. Then when we look further into the book of
Mark we see what is the greatest of all commandments. That is in 12:29, the book of Mark and look
what it says when somebody is asking him what is the greatest commandment? According to
English translation I have it says that Jesus responded it is to know ” O Israel; The
Lord our God is one Lord: And you have to love him with all your heart and your mind
and your strength. So, obviously we know now that this message was very important. Worshipping
God alone without any partners. And that is exactly what Mohammad (peace be
upon him) was trying to do with his people at his time in Mecca. Because they had strayed
far away from their great ancestor Abraham (peace be upon him). They still performed
some of the rituals, but without the proper belief. They still made a circumambulation
around the very place that Abraham had build along with his son Ismail. Or Ishmael in English.
And do you know and this is an amazing thing, think about it, these people were actually
thinking they were doing exactly the same as their ancestors, but their ancestors had
strayed so far away that all they had was the physical representation without any of
the proper beliefs not in their worship and certainly not the way they treated each other.
These people had become alcoholics, they had become womanizers, they had become very bad
in their business. They were bad we will leave it at that, because we want to come to something
next you know our subject what’s Islam? What about this book called the Quran? What
is that all about? In the very beginning of the Quran itself it demands that the believers
who believe in the Quran must also believe in the previous revelations, to believe what
is send to Mohammad (peace be upon him) and what was sent before and then the Quran goes
on to tell us about the Torah the Zaboor and the Injeel, Torah is The Law or the Old Testament
the Zaboor is this is the Psalms you know about the Psalms and the Injeel this means
the Gospel the New Testament. So whoever would not belief that God was the
originator of those what God is the one who sent those down, if they wouldn’t believe
that then their belief in the Quran by itself is not enough, because the Quran says that
to believe in what was sent down before. And what does Quran exactly mean? In simple
English. Well it doesn’t mean book, the word bible literally means book “biblios”
from Greek but the word Quran is Arabic and it means recitation that which is being recited
and that is how the Quran comes to us today, because did you know that the prophet Mohammad
(peace be upon him), He used to recite it just as he heard it, he heard it from the
angel Gabriel (peace be upon him) the way that it was to be recited to him and that
he used to pass it on, now I am going to take a little break here and we going to come right
back and pick up where we left off talking about these books
Stay right there we will be right back. What’s Islam? Again we come back to the
very same question. What does all of this have to do with Islam? Well we talked about
what the word meant and then we talked about what the word Muslim meant, We talked about
the word Allah we found that Allah meant the name of the only God to worship we talked
about the prophets of Almighty God and we even talked about their message. Teaching
people to worship only one God. We got into the subjects of the book; we mentioned Torah,
Zaboor, Injil and Quran. All of these came from the same God Allah. And all of these
carried the same message that your worship is more than just your belief you have to
put it into practice. But why is all of this together? What are we talking about here?
Well this is to help us solve a bigger problem. The Purpose Of Life. A human being regardless
of who they are or where they are or what they do will have this curiosity that want
to know why am I here? How did I get here? And do I have a purpose if so then what is
it? The only one who would really be able to answer that question would be the creator
himself, if there is a creator it would be up to him to tell us why we were created?
And what expects from us? And what this life is really about?
Allah has shown the people from the time of Adam (peace be upon him) until right now has
shown the people what he wants from them and it is a very simple thing. And that is that
Worship be for him alone without any partners. In fact we know this life to be a test from
Almighty God. That is why we are born and that is why we die, because there has to be
a beginning and an end for us to be tested on.
The next life after this life no one will ever die again.
A bad person or a good person both are brought back and they continue to live in the next
life either in good shape or in not so good shape depending on how they did on the test.
So we are going to be talking about test based on worship.
The worship of the God of Abraham that was what was taught by these prophets and that
the person who is doing this is a servant, a worshipper a slave.
After all consider the word Islam, what does it mean? Surrender Submission Obedience Sincerity
Peace, that is definitely a servant, one who really worships. Now along the way we find
that they are going to be some test based on what is called rights and limits. There
are rights. God has the first right of all. The right to be worshipped alone without any
partners. The rights of the prophets to be obeyed by
their followers. But then there are limits that none should transgress just as you have
rights, I have rights, women have rights, children have rights, but nobodies rights
would exceed the rights of other to the extent that it would infringe or oppress others.
And a very important part of Islam is to know that no one can go beyond their limits, their
limits they must stay within otherwise they are an oppressor and look at what Allah had
said about that he tells us that he forbids himself to ever oppress and he forbids us
to oppress. So whoever is an oppressor is a bad guy a very bad word in Arabic language
he is one who does “dhulm” or oppression. Now let us think for a minute we are talking
about the one God, The Creator. This is the same creator the one that we know of from
the bible that in six days he created all the heavens and the earth and this is recorded
and the old the new testament very well known to Jews and Christians.
Similar for the Muslims except there is an exception he says that he is the one who created
the heavens and earth ” fi sittati ayyaam” which means in six days, But he didn’t rest
on the seventh day, in fact there is no mention of a seventh day he just said he rose above
his throne and there he positioned himself until this very day and will remain there.
Now what about Adam and eve? Is there somebody named Adam in the bible? Yes Did you know
that it is the exact pronunciation of the very first person according to Arabic language,
his name is also Adam, his wife “Hawa” or Eve as we call her in English language
and they were both in paradise and they had one simple test, their test was enjoy whatever
you like in the paradise, enjoy as you like. Drink what you like, eat what you like except
one don’t eat from this tree one particular tree don’t eat from this tree.
So now that became their test. Now as we know from the bible the old and new testament and
of course in the Quran the same Adam and Eve were in the paradise and they were told don’t
eat from this tree then who came along? Maybe you call him the devil or Lucifer, Shaitan,
Satan a Demon or in Arabic a jinn, there is difference here though for the Muslims, because
this guy is not a fallen angel No because angel are made from light and they always
obey. In this case he was from the people that were made before humans they were made
from something called a smokeless fire, you don’t see them but they see you and they
exist today. They are called jinn. Our word “genie”
like the genie in the bottle is coming from this Arabic word.
You don’t really see them but they are there. Now the angels always obey but the jinn
had the very first of all to do as they chose, because they have free choice. Jinn have free
choice, but angels don’t. Now when God created Adam, God said this is my best creation I
ordered the angels to bow down the angels bowed down but the jinn didn’t because he
didn’t have to bow he didn’t want to, he could choose to disobey and that is exactly
what he did. He disobeyed God and that is what put him
in the bad way because of his pride and arrogance he refused to bow down and that became his
problem. And he then wants to challenge all human beings and try to tempt them to go his
way to disobey God. If they come to that if they go for that then they wound up in hell
with him because that is his last and final destination. So now we have a little bit
idea behind the temptation of the devil and what he is all about? So he goes to Adam and
Eve and tempts them to eat from the tree, they both ate according to the bible according
to the Quran, they both ate. But in the Quran it is a little different, because we know
that they both repented and nobody is blaming one or the other. There is no guilt being
thrown on the woman extra than the man. Adam did what he did, Eve did what she did. But
the man does not blame her nor does she have a curse on her or her descendants so the women
are not guilty by the fact that Eve did anything, nor are the children born in guilt, that
means babies are not born in an original sin, they are born innocent.
Innocent as a newborn baby. So what is the purpose of life? If again it is a test. What
is the worldly life? According to Islam the devil tempts us. Lets take a look at the oldest
of the books in the bible according to some of the scholars it is the book of “Job?”
we find Job is also in the Quran in Arabic his name is Ayub, whether you are a Jew Christian
or a Muslim if you speak Arabic you will call Job Ayyub. Now he lost his wealth he lost
his health he lost his family he had very serious trials and tribulations now I want
you to think about it. What did he do? He was tempted, he was tempted very much Just
curse God and die that is what the bible says. Somebody told him just curse God and die you
give up, but he was patient and he persevered. In fact we use that impression today the patience
of Job ” Ayyub” and so he had that patience we find that in Islam as well. It is a lesson
to teach us here is a great prophet and he was so patient. And what did he do? Persevered
and as a result he came out much better in this life and the next life, the same is for
you and I. If we will be patient very good example.
Lets take another example. From the prophets you have a book of Jonah in the bible in the
Old Testament. Jonah is also in the Quran his name in Arabic is Yunus. Now what about
blaming, this is a good example about blaming other people of course we had the example
about Adam and Eve. They could have blamed each other, they could have blamed the devil,
but they didn’t they accepted they were wrong and they repented but what about Jonah”
Yunus (peace be upon him)”? He left his position in Nineveh in Iraq, he went out to
the sea in a boat. The storm came up they threw him over board he went into a well and
he went to the bottom of the sea. Now according to the bible he stayed there for a period
of time three days and three nights and he came out but it doesn’t tell us the lesson,
the real lesson comes when we read the Quran we find that he would have stayed in that
well until the day of judgment had he not repented and blamed himself instead of anyone
else. Because he had been blaming people where he lived because they wouldn’t accept the
message of worshipping one God. So that is why he left. But now he realized that it was
his own mistake and look what he said in the Arabic language. ” La illaha illa ant Subhaanaka
ini kuntu min adhalimin.” There is no God worthy of worship except you Allah The Glory
and majesty is to you And for sure I did the “dhulm” wrongdoing oppression to my self,
I went beyond the limits and I am wrong and I repent to that I am sorry in other words.
So look at that another good lesson. Lets come to some of the other prophets in
fact I want to go to immediately to Jesus right now.
Jesus peace be upon him as according to the Quran, He is the messih or the messiah, he
is the chosen he is the Christ or Christos if we know the Greek he was Christos, which
become Christ. He is the ” logos” the word, he is the virgin birth the immaculate
conception. He cured sick healed the lame even gave sight to the blind. And even brought
a dead man back to life. This is in the Quran. And it tells us he did all of this by the
permission of Allah to show the people that he was in fact the very one that they have
been looking for, he was the messiah and he was the chosen, he was the Christ to them.
Why didn’t they accept him? And many of them rejected him. And only a few really followed
him, but he was according to the Quran the very person they should have been watching
for. Now where is Jesus Now According to Islam he is with God, God pulled him up and he is
with God now. And he is coming back in the last day, how? Alive. He left the earth Alive.
He is with God Alive and he will return alive. Similar to the way that Jonah went in to the
well alive stayed in the well for a while alive and came out alive. That is one of the
signs that we know by. Now lets come to the next prophet, prophet
Mohammad (peace be upon him). We know that Jesus is coming back in the last day, but
lets talk about the last messenger after Jesus peace be upon him, there is on other final
messenger who came from the other branch of the Abrahamic faith the last of the ones from
the Isaac is Jesus (peace be upon him) and the last form Ismael is Mohammad (peace be
upon him). And what did he teach us? He was first of all a normal man a normal birth,
lived and died. He had excellent character no bad habits. He was not drinker and he wasn’t
a “stinker” and you what I mean. And the time when those people all had these horrible
habits. He did not have any of that so much so they called him things like The Truthful
one, The Honest one, The one the kept a trust, he had many beautiful nicknames that they
give him because he was so ” Odd ball ” to them What we say Square, he was so odd to
them because he didn’t pre-take of their mischief and madness.
So the worship of the God of Abraham is exactly what we were being told to do by Mohammad
(peace be upon him), the same message that came with the other prophets. Worship the
God of Abraham One God with no partners, and to believe in all of these messengers and
believe in the books which they were sent and especially you have to believe that Jesus
is virgin birth did the miracles of God and carried that same message. The message of
there is no God to worship except The God of Abraham and Jesus will return to the earth
and he will bring peace when he comes. He also warned us about Gog and Magog ya’juj
wa ma’juj and mentioned they be in the very last days in the world watch out for that
also that the Antichrist in fact several imposters would come claiming to be Jesus or the Christ
back on earth, but don’t buy it don’t go for that. This is not real.
The temptations of the devil will continue to the very end of life. That devil is not
going to give up. He thinks he is goddess and he will keep trying so we have to keep
working and doing what believing in one God doing righteous deeds, and repenting when
we make mistakes. That is it. There is a couple other little things I could mentioned and
that is that since those days 1400 years ago till now, we have been surprised to find out
how many scientific proves there are. By taking what is being taught in the Quran and the
teachings of Mohammad (peace be upon him), many of the things that could not be explained
at that time are clearly now. Science improves that the Quran could only have been from the
creator of heavens and earth, The proves about the universe it self and how it works and
how the earth is turning and how it is round, Proves about the human beings how they are
conceived inside of the mother and how they develop in the different stages and trimesters,
things that were only known maybe in the last 50 to 60 years are mentioned in the Quran.
And I would like to also mention there are six beliefs, which Muslims have to have. Belief
in God, his angels, his books, his prophets, the day of Resurrection and the destiny of
Almighty God. And five actions these actions must be there
or it is not complete. To bear witness to your belief in the God and the prophet Mohammad
(peace be upon him), to perform the worship or Salah five times a day, Fast the month
of Ramadan, Pay the charity or poor due and to perform the pilgrimage or Hajj. That sums
up what’s Islam.. For more visit our website: www.whatsislam.com