Islam, an Arabic term signifying submission, surrender, and obedience, is a comprehensive ideology centered on complete submission to Allah. The very word “Islam” also carries the literal meaning of “peace,” emphasizing that genuine tranquility of body and mind can only be attained through unwavering submission to Allah. This adherence to obedience not only brings inner peace but also fosters harmony within society.
The core tenet, echoed by all the Prophets of Allah, asserts that true contentment is found in the remembrance of Allah. Those who believe and act righteously are promised joy and a blissful abode. However, despite the repeated guidance from the prophets, humanity often strayed from the righteous path, leading to the distortion or loss of the divine code.
To rectify this, successive prophets were sent to reaffirm the original message and guide humanity back to the right path. The final messenger, Muhammad, presented Allah’s guidance in its ultimate form, preserving it for posterity in the Qur’an and the Prophet’s life-example (Sunnah).
At the core of Islam is the belief that Allah, the creator of the universe, sustains and governs it. Each individual is allotted a predetermined lifespan on Earth, and Allah has prescribed a specific code of life for mankind. However, He has also granted humans the freedom to choose whether to adopt this code. Embracing this divine guidance makes one a Muslim (believer), while rejecting it leads to one being labeled a kafir (disbeliever).
Initiation into Islam involves a sincere belief in and profession of faith in the oneness of Allah and the prophethood of Muhammad. This belief is encapsulated in the kalimah:
La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammad Rasul Allah. (There is no deity except Allah; Muhammad is His Messenger.)
The first part of the kalimah underscores tawhid (the oneness of Allah), while the second part affirms the prophethood of Muhammad. In essence, Islam encapsulates the fundamental principles of submission, peace, and obedience to Allah’s guidance, as exemplified by the Prophet Muhammad.