What is Islam?
Islam is to submit to Allah in His Oneness (Monotheism) to be subservient to Him in obedience, and to shun associating any partners, rivals, and intercessors with Him. It is a religion of tolerance and ease.
Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship.(2:185)
Islam is a religion through which one would be spiritually contented and would have peace of heart.
Those who believe, and whose hearts find their rest in the remembrance of Allah - for, verily, in the remembrance of Allah hearts do find their rest. (13:28)
Islam is a religion of mercy and compassion. The Messenger of Allah said:
"The All-Merciful shows mercy to those who show mercy. Show mercy to those on Earth, and you will be shown mercy by the One above the heavens." (Tirmidhi)
Islam is a religion of love and loving good for others. The Messenger of Allah said:
"The most beloved of people to Allah are those who are most beneficial to others." (Tabaraani)
Islam is a religion which has no confusion or ambiguity associated with it. Allah says:
"And We sent not before you except men to whom We revealed [Our message]. So ask the people of the message [i.e. former scriptures] if you do not know." (16:43)
Islam is a religion for all, for it is a call directed to mankind at large, not to a specific race or people. Allah says:
And We have not sent you except to all of humanity, as a herald of glad tidings and a warner. But most of the people do not know. (34:28)
Islam is a religion which effaces all previous sins. The Prophet said:
"Islam effaces all (sins) committed before it." (Muslim)
Islam is a complete and perfect religion which abrogated all revelations, and it is the last religion. Allah says:
The Door of the 'Kabah'. It is made from pure gold in reverence of the Kabah. It is only opened once a year, when it is washed before Hajj, and when it is covered with a new 'Kiswah' (covering)
This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. (5:3)
Islam comprises a number of acts of worship, among which are verbal, physical and creedal acts of worship.
These acts of worship play an important role in refining one's manners, purifying one's soul, reforming an individual, and maintaining the integrity and unity of Muslim society.
'Prejudice is only one of the difficulties to be met by the European or American student of Islam. As soon as he begins to describe Islam as 'the religion of the Quran', or 'the religion of the four hundred million Muslims of today', he introduces a category which does not fit, the category of 'religion'.
For what does 'religion' now mean to the occidental? At best, for the ordinary man, it means a way of spending an hour or so on Sundays in practices which give him some support and strength in dealing with the problems of daily life, and which encourages him to be friendly towards other persons and to maintain the standards of sexual propriety; it has little or nothing to do with commerce or economics or politics or industrial relationships. At worst it fosters an attitude of complacency in the more prosperous individuals and breeds smugness.
The European may even look at religion as an opiate developed by exploiters of the common people in order to keep them in subjection. How different from the connotations to the Muslim of the verse (3:19): 'the true religion with God is Islam!' The word translated as 'religion' is Deen, which, in Arabic, commonly refers to a whole way of life.
It is not a private matter for individuals, touching only the periphery of their lives, but something which is both private and public, something which permeates the whole fabric of society in a way of which men are conscious. It is all in one theological dogma, forms of worship, political theory, and a detailed code of conduct, including even matters which the European would classify as hygiene or etiquette.