The Meaning of Islam Revealed
Many people have heard about Islam in many different ways. Whether it be surfing the web, working on a school project, mainstream media or just out of curiosity. The main question that arises is what does Islam mean?
The word Islam originates from a three letter word in Arabic, which are (Seen, Laam, and Meem). When you put together these three letters it becomes “Salam”. At times it is difficult to translate the beauty of another language. The closest word to define “Salam” would be peace. If we take this a step further, you could say Islam is Submitting one’s will to the obedience of God, sincerely for his pleasure, and to earn peace in this life and the hereafter.
What does it mean to surrender sincerely? You may think, if I’m following all the rules and doing what I’m supposed to, my job is done. That’s only half the part. The other part is your sincerity. The essence of all actions lie at your intention. To sincerely surrender yourself to the will of God, you will have to break free from your own self. At times you will have to fight your vain desires which can be very difficult. However, if the vision is clear and you know the purpose is to be genuine, it makes things a little easier. That is where sincerity plays its role. For instance, if you do good to someone who reciprocates with harm you then check your intention. If you lose your cool that means there was another hidden reason for the deed you performed. On the other hand, if your intentions of doing that act was for the pleasure of God, their negative reaction will not affect you and this is sincerity. By surrendering to God Almighty you can taste the sweetness of faith and earn the pleasure of the Creator.
When you surrender yourself to God, in return you earn great pleasure and a great reward, which is Paradise. This leads to a higher status and gives you a purpose for life which is to obey and worship God. You will be filled with inner peace and the destination that waits ahead will be peaceful as well. Hence it will fulfill the aim of the word Islam, because a derivative of Islam means peace.
Obey The One And Only
Islam is a belief that has been present since the beginning of creation. Throughout time God choose Prophets to reveal and convey His guidance. The message being, God is One, the only deity worthy of worship and we are created to submit and obey Him. Followers of Islam obey God, take his commands seriously and act on them in their daily lives. Many people go through trials and tribulations in an attempt to practice Islam, however their faith is not shaken. That is a great conviction and true submission. There is one example in the Quran God speaks about Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) saying,
“When his Lord said to him, “submit! (be a Muslim)” He said, “I have submitted myself (as a Muslim) to the Lord of all that exists.” [Noble Quran 2:131]
Guidance For Everyone
Of course to carry out any kind of act you must have guidelines. God has given us guidance through His books and His Messengers. What you have to do is simply obey them. Obedience to God is to uphold His laws above everything and anything else. In other words Islam is adhering to the commandments of God and to obey God’s rules no matter what it takes. An obedience which stems from a balance of love for God and fear of His punishment. When you develop love of God, naturally you will want to please Him. What better way to please God than the way He wants us to, as shown through His books and His Messengers. God has said in the Quran,
“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.” [Noble Quran 3:85]
Does that mean anyone can be a Muslim? The answer is definitely! If you surrender to God and follow His guidance then you are a Muslim. It’s that simple.
Fulfill Your Purpose
The question is, what is stopping you from the greatest gift from God? God has created you for a purpose and laid out guidance through His books and His Messengers on how to live that purpose. He is waiting to see which of his slaves are willing to accept the truth for themselves. The most significant reason for your being is to worship God. You being alive today should have a meaning. Take this purpose seriously for time is ticking away and cannot be brought back or replaced.
By Umm Muadh