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Islam is the religion decreed for mankind by God*, Who revealed it to His prophets; and they in turn, taught it to the people around them. The word, Islam means ‘Peace’ and also ‘Submission to the Will of God’. From the beginning of mankind on the face of the earth, revelations came to God’s chosen prophets; and the first prophet was the first man, Adam and the last Prophet was Prophet Muhammad, (peace be upon him), through whom the Religion of God was perfected. And in between, thousands of prophets came to the peoples who inhabited different lands in different periods of history. The Holy Qur’an, the Scripture of Muslims, mentions by name only twenty five of these prophets, of whom the most important are Abraham (Ibraheem [pbuh]), Moses (Moosa [pbuh]), David (Dawood [pbuh]), Jesus (Eesa [pbuh]) and Muhammad [pbuh].

All these prophets of God taught basically the same message of Islam to their people.

The word “Islam” today is mostly used to refer to the final form of the Religion of God taught by the last prophet, Muhammad (pbuh). It is often counted as the latest of the three monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In this sense, Islam emerged in the Arabian peninsula, which we know today as Saudi Arabia, in 612 C.E. through Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Judaism is believed to be based on the teachings and the laws of Prophet Moses, while Christianity is said to take its social and moral codes from the teachings of Prophet Jesus. All three religions are believed to have their roots in the teachings of the patriarch Abraham, who also was a great Prophet of God.

The Holy Qur’an states in Chapter 2 (verses, 124-130), that God appointed Abraham an Imam or leader to the people. But when he prayed to God to bless his children too, God answered that He would bless only the good among them and not the evil doers. And God took a covenant from Abraham and his son Ishmael (Isma’eel [pbuh]) to sanctify the House of God (that is Ka’aba) at Makkah, for those who come to pray there and compass it around. And Abraham prayed again to make his children Muslims or people obedient to God; and also to send among them a Messenger who would rehearse God’s signs to them and instruct them in scripture and wisdom and purify them.

In answer to this prayer of Abraham, God sent a Messenger to the Land of Ka’ba from among Abraham’s own children, and he was the Last Prophet of God, Muhammad (Peace be on him).

And it was through Muhammad (peace be upon him), that the Guidance of God for mankind was completed and perfected. Muhammad (peace be on him) taught the people, the Book of God called the Qur’an, and instructed them as to how they should lead a life in Submission to God. The details of the Guidance of God exemplified in the life of the Prophet, are called the Sunnah or the Example of the Prophet. The Qur’an and the Sunnah together form the foundation of Islam; and it is on this foundation that the Great House of Islam stands.