by Iqbal Ahmad

Al-Ahmadiyya, February 1979 Issue (Vol. 1, No. 2, p. 9)

Islam does not claim to be a new religion. It teaches that the same eternal truths have been taught by the exponents of all great religions. The differences that one notices among them now are due to human interpretations given to the original teachings of the masters. The followers of Islam are required not only to believe in the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be upon him) but also in the prophets of other religions.

Islam means peace or submission to the will of God, without which inner peace can never be attained. 

The followers of Islam are called Muslims. (They do not like to be called Mohammadans.)

Islam teaches that the Creator of the whole of mankind is One.

The Prophet Muhammad, in his last sermon, said:

“No Arab should think he is superior to a non-Arab. Every man is a descendant of Adam, and Adam was created from dust.”

Islam is therefore against distinctions between man and man on the basis of race, colour, creed or sex. 

The Prophet Muhammad once said:

“Truly I am the brother of every pious man, even if he is a slave from Abyssinia; and opposed to every villain, even if he is a noble Quraishi.

(The Quraish was an Arab tribe to which the Prophet belonged.)

The Quran is the sacred scripture of Islam in Arabic which Muslims accept to be the Word of God revealed to Muhammad. It teaches the Unity of God and the unity of mankind.

In this Book there are numerous references where men and women are mentioned together. One comes across references such as “believing men” and “believing women,” “pious men” and “pious women,” and that men and women will be rewarded or punished for their acts equally.

Briefly, Islam teaches that there is One God, referred to as Allah in the Quran. In spite of linguistic, cultural and ethnic differences, the whole mankind is one. Revealed messages have come to mankind, ever since the beginning of human creation through various spiritually-inspired people and they must all be respected alike.