What is Islam?

by James William Lovegrove (Habeeb-Ullah)

What is Islam? [Definition of Islam]

“The nature made by Allah, in which He has made men; there is no altering of Allah’s creation—that is the right religion” (The Holy Quran, 30:30).

“Islam” is the name given by Allah to that religion which was preached by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (on whom be eternal peace), who appeared in Arabia some thirteen hundred years ago, and it is the last of the great religions of the world.

The name “Islam” was not invented by those who professed it. This name is expressly given to this religion in the Holy Quran itself. It says:

“Surely the (true) religion with Allah is Islam” (The Holy Quran, 3:19);

and in another place:

“This day I have perfected for you your religion, and completed my favour on you, and chosen for you Islam as a religion” (The Holy Quran, 5:3).

The word “Islam” is very significant; it literally means “Peace,” as peace is the dominant idea in the whole system. It also means submission. The third meaning is the way to peace; and the teachings given under the name of Islam disclose all such ways as are sure to create peace in the world, if adhered to in daily life.

The follower of Islam is called a Muslim, which means peaceful, and submissive. He who has not made peace with God and his fellow-beings cannot be a Muslim.

To make peace with God is to submit to His Will and obey His Commandments. To make peace with man is to do good to others.

“The best of God’s obedient elect are those who, when seen, remind of God; and the worst of people are those who carry tales about, to do mischief and separate friends, and seek for the defects of the righteous” (saying of the Prophet).

“A Muslim is he,”

says the Prophet,

“from whose hand no harm goes to another.”

The whole idea has been covered by the following verse in the Quran:

“Yea! Whoever submits himself entirely to Allah, and he is the doer of good to others, he has his reward from his Lord, and there is no fear for him, nor shall he grieve” (The Holy Quran, 2:112).