I slam is an Arabic word which means submission and surrender. Thus as a religion, Islam means complete surrender and submission to God and his laws. In Islamic texts the word Islam is used in three ways:
1) In its general sense, the whole universe is considered to be Muslim because it follows the laws that God has made for it. The sun, moon, earth, and all physical and biological entities follow the unalterable laws of God and do not make even the slightest deviation from this course.
A person who takes up the path of submission to God and follows his laws brings himself into harmony with the whole universe, but even if he denies God, biologically his own body follows the laws made by his lord. That is why unbelief in Islam is called Kufr (concealment), because by his Kufr the unbeliever tries to conceal what is inherent in his nature.
2) In its more specific sense, Islam implies the true revealed religion of God, which entails belief in God, in the prophets and in the hereafter. In this sense, Islam is the religion preached by all the Prophets, Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon them all:
Indeed the only true religion in the sight of Allah is Islam; those who had received the Books differed only after the knowledge came to them, due to their hearts’ envy;…
3) In its particular sense, Islam means the last and the most perfect religion and Shari’a (law) of God revealed through Prophet Muhammad (S). Islam is a universally attributable name, whoever takes on this attribute is a Muslim, irrespective of race, color, region, or country.
As mentioned, we believe that the true religion of God was the same from Adam to Muhammad peace be upon them, but that the Shari’a or detailed law of conduct has changed according to the requirements of different times and different communities. The process ended with the advent of Prophet Muhammad (S) who brought the final Shari’a and the religion in its most complete form, which was to apply to the whole of humanity for all time to come. All the previous religions and Shari’as stand abrogated, and it is the duty of all mankind to follow this religion.
Din (religion) consists of the following elements: the aqa’id (beliefs) and the shari’a (law). The fandamental beliefs are:
1) Belief in one God (tawhid),
2) Belief in the divine justice,
3) Belief in the institution of prophethood,
4) Belief in the institution of the divine leaders,
5) Belief in the hereafter (ma’ad),
The Shari’a consists of Akhlaq (ethics) and Ahkam (the legal precepts), the Ahkam includes the norm of personal behavior, the norms of social behavior, the precepts of the religious rites, and the precepts concerning worship.
1. إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِندَ اللَّـهِ الْإِسْلَامُ ۗ وَمَا اخْتَلَفَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ إِلَّا مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَهُمُ الْعِلْمُ بَغْيًا بَيْنَهُمْ
chapter.3, verse. 19.
2. A manual of Islamic beliefs and practice, v.1, p.1,