What is Islam and who is a Muslim
Lexical meaning of Islam
If you refer to Arabic language dictionaries, you will find that the meaning of the word Islam is: “submission, humbling oneself, and obeying commands and heeding prohibitions without objection, sincerely worshipping Allah alone, believing what He tells us and having faith in Him”.
And merely submission as wrongly translated by meaning. I ask, when you say submission, submission to what? To Paul? A president? Do you mean if I submit to my leader in crime then I’m practicing Islam? No
The word Islam has become the name of the religion which was brought by Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
Why this religion is called Islam
All the religions on earth are called by various names, either the name of a specific man or a specific nation. So, Christianity takes its name from Christ; Buddhism takes its name from its founder, the Buddha; the Zoroastrians became well known by this name because their founder and standard-bearer was Zoroaster.
Similarly, Judaism took its name from a tribe known as Yehuda (Judah), so it became known as Judaism. And so on.
Except for Islam; for it is not attributed to any specific man or to any specific nation, rather its name refers to the meaning of the word Islam. What this name indicates is that the establishment and founding of this religion was not the work of one particular man and that it is not only for one particular nation to the exclusion of all others.
Rather its aim is to give the attribute implied by the word Islam to all the peoples of the earth. So, everyone who acquires this attribute, whether he is from the past or the present, is a Muslim, and everyone who acquires this attribute in the future will also be a Muslim.
Islam means submitting to Allah, worshipping Him alone and obeying Him, and shunning shirk (polytheism, associating others with Allah) and those who believe in that. This is the religion which Allah approves for His slaves. Allah says:
“Truly, the religion with Allah is Islam” Quran [Al- ‘Imran 3:19]
“And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers” Quran [Al ‘Imran 3:85]
Who’s a Muslim?
The person who enters this religion is called a Muslim (one who submits himself solely to Allah), because he has submitted (aslama) to all the rulings that have come from Allah and from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Allah says:
“And who turns away from the religion of Ibrahim (Abraham) (i.e., Islamic Monotheism) except him who befools himself? Truly, we chose him in this world and verily, in the Hereafter he will be among the righteous.
When his Lord said to him, ‘Submit (i.e., be a Muslim)!’ He said, ‘I have submitted myself (as a Muslim) to the Lord of the ‘Aalameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists).’” Quran [al-Baqarah 2:130-131]
“Yes, but whoever submits his face (himself) to Allah (i.e., follows Allah’s religion of Islamic Monotheism) and he is a Muhsin (a doer of good who does good deeds solely for the sake of Allah) then his reward is with his Lord (Allah), on such shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve” Quran [al-Baqarah 2:112].
Allah knows Best
يعقوب هارون الكاميرونى