GainPeace – To educate general public about Islam
- Do you have questions about Islam?
- Want to talk live to a Muslim?
- Like to receive a free Quran translation and literature?
- Want to know how to embrace Islam?
Call: 800-662-ISLAM (1-800-662-4752)
This service is to obtain information about the teachings of Islam only.
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Muslims are people who have professed belief in Islam. As believers, they worship the One God and revere Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him (pbuh), as the last messenger of God. Additionally, they also believe in all the prophets which preceded Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the holy books which they brought, such as the Psalms, Torah, and the Gospel. A fundamental article of faith in Islam is belief in the Day of Judgement, when all humanity will be recompensed for their deeds in this world. Muslims believe in angels, as well as in predestination.
After Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), the very first Muslims were people from his own circle of family and friends as well as the poor and needy in Mecca more than 1400 years ago. During the life of Muhammad (pbuh), this small band of followers grew by tens of thousands. As centuries passed, Muslims have only grown in number. Today, Muslims account for about one quarter of the entire world population.
There are between 1.2 and 1.6 billion Muslims across the world. Most of the Muslims are concentrated in Muslim-majority countries, such as Azerbaijan and Albania in Europe, Mali and Tunisia in Africa, Saudi Arabia and Jordan in the Middle East, Pakistan and Bangladesh in southeast Asia, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan in central Asia, and Indonesia and Malaysia in Asia Pacific. At the same time, a growing Muslim diaspora has taken root in many areas as well, such as China, Australia, Europe, America and Canada, Latin America, and parts of western, central, and southern Africa. It is estimated that there are around 7 million Muslims in the United States.
The common belief that most Muslims are Arabs is a misconception. In fact, the majority of Muslims in the world are non-Arabs.
Islam and Muslims
Islam cannot be judged based on the actions of Muslims. Islam, the perfected religion of God, is entirely separate from the imperfect humans who call themselves Muslims.
As in other religious bodies, there are practicing and non-practicing Muslims, liberal and conservative Muslims, tolerant and extremist Muslims. However, their individual actions should not be used to scrutinize or label Islam.
In fact, it must be mentioned here that the media stereotype of Muslims is far from reality. The vast majority of the Muslims in the world are indeed peace-loving human beings with many of them striving hard to live up to the great ideals of Islam.
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The word Islam means voluntary “Submission” or “Surrender” to the Will of God. It derives from the root word “salam, ” meaning peace.
In the Quran, God defines that the only purpose for which He created mankind is to Worship Him. Islam recognizes that humankind has free choice in whether to obey or disobey God, but ultimately we will be held accountable to God in the next life for the choices that we make in this life.
God sent Prophets to teach mankind how to worship Him; starting with Adam, including Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and the last of the messengers, Muhammad (peace be upon them all). The Islamic position is that all of these prophets came with the same message, that there is no deity worthy of worship except the One True God, known in Arabic as Allah.
Islam recognizes the close relationship between the body and soul. Whereas the body originates from the earth and has a defined period of life on this earth, the soul originates from God and does not die. Islam encourages the individual to focus on keeping the soul healthy, through the remembrance, obedience and worship of God. There should be a correct balance in strengthening the soul and not over-indulging with the pleasures of the body.
Islam is a natural way of life that encourages one to give due attention to their relationship with God and His creation. Islam teaches that it is through the doing of good deeds and seeking the pleasure of God that souls find true happiness and peace. It is in this context that the word Islam derives from the root word “salam, ” or peace.
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