Islamic Student's Association at Clausthal University of Technology


Introduction to Islam

What is Islam?
The name of the religion is Islam, which comes from an Arabic root word meaning "peace" and "submission." Islam teaches that one can only find peace in one's life by submitting to Almighty God (Allah) in heart, soul and deed. The same Arabic root word gives us "Salaam alaykum," ("Peace be with you"), the universal Muslim greeting.

Who is a Muslim?
A person who believes in and consciously follows Islam is called a Muslim, also from the same root word. So, the religion is called Islam, and a person who follows it is a Muslim.

How Many and Where?
Islam is a major world religion, with over 1 billion followers worldwide (1/5 of the world population). It is considered one of the Abrahamic, monotheistic faiths, along with Judaism and Christianity. Although usually associated with the Arabs of the Middle East, less than 10% of Muslims are in fact Arab. Muslims are found all over the world, of every nation, color and race. Muslim majorities are found throughout the Middle East, North Africa, East Asia and the Pacific Islands. Large numbers are also found in Western Europe, the former Soviet Union, and North America.

Who is Allah?
Allah is the proper name for Almighty God, and is often translated merely as "God." Allah has other names that are used to describe His characteristics: the Creator, the Sustainer, the Merciful, the Compassionate, the Judge, the Governor, the Eternal, etc. Allah is without beginning, without end, and He alone sees and knows all things. Allah is transcendent, yet close to mankind. "...He knows what enters within the earth and what comes forth out of it, what comes down from heaven and what mounts up to it. And He is with you wheresoever you may be. And Allah sees well all that you do" (Qur'an 57:4). Since Allah alone is the Creator, it is He alone that deserves our devout love and worship. Anything other than Him is simply His creation. "That is Allah, your Lord! There is no god but He, the Creator of all things; then worship Him, and He has power to dispose of all affairs. No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision; He is the Sublime, Well-Aware" (Qur'an 6:102-103). Islam holds to a strict monotheism - Allah has no partners and is not divided into a trinity. "Say: He is Allah, the One; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute. He begets not, nor is He begotten, and there is none like unto Him" (Qur'an 112:1-4). Any worship and prayers directed at saints, prophets, other human beings or nature is considered idolatry






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