___ Submission to the Will of God, does not take away or curtail individual freedom. On the contrary, it gives freedom of a high degree, in abundant measures. It frees the mind from superstitions by filling it with the truth. It frees the soul from sin and wrong and quickens it with goodness and purity. It frees the self from vanity and greed, from envy and tension, from fear and insecurity. It frees man from subjugation to false deities and low desires, and unfolds before him beautiful horizons of goodness and excellence.
___ "Muhammadanism" is a misnomer for Islam and offends its very spirit, since the Prophet Muhammad was a messenger of God, and not a divine being worshipped by Muslims.
___ Muslims use the
word "Allah" for the English word "God". The understanding of Deity
in Islam differs from some of the connotations in the English word, God.
___ A Muslim is one who freely and willingly accepts the supreme power of God and strives to organize his life in total accord with the teachings of God. He also works for building social institutions which reflect the guidance of God. There are no formal induction ceremonies into Islam. To formally become a Muslim, one has to bear witness to the statement of faith (discussed in the following section titled: One God) by saying it. To become a true Muslim, one has to confirm the belief in that statement by heart, tongue and actions.
___ There are over 1.2 billion Muslims world wide out of which about 20% are Arabs (according to the World Almanac, 1997). The rest reside in all countries of the world. Unfortunately, many people think that Islam is a form of a cult, and Muslims are violent, blood-thirsty Arabs that are out to destroy the surrounding society. But Islam has begun to unfold its genuineness to the modern scholars whose bold and objective observations on Islam belie all the charges leveled against it.
In his book "Islam at the Crossroads", De Lacy O'Leary
"History makes it clear however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever repeated." --De Lacy O'Leary, ISLAM AT THE CROSSROADS, London, 1923, p. 8.
Also, H.R. Gibb wrote:
"No other society has such a record of success uniting in an equality of status, of opportunity, and of endeavors so many and so various races of mankind . . . Islam has still the power to reconcile apparently irreconcilable elements of race and tradition. If ever the opposition of the great societies of East and West is to be replaced by cooperation, the mediation of Islam is an indispensable condition." --H.A.R. Gibb, WHITHER ISLAM, London, 1932, p. 379.
Continuity of The Message
___ Islam is not a new
religion. It is, in essence, the same message and guidance which God revealed
to all His previous messengers.
Universality of The Message
___ Islam is a universal
message to all mankind. Although it started from Arabia, it is not a message
sent specifically to the Arabs, for the Arabs. This is explicitly mentioned
in the Quran.