Introduction to Islam

What is Islam? What are the five pillars of Islam? What do 1.8 Billion Muslims Believe? Why is Islam the fastest Growing Religion in the world? This essay attempts to answer those questions.
                    By Ehteshaam Gulam

Islam is the second biggest religion in the world. There are about 1.3 to 1.8 billion Muslims around the World. It's also considered the fastest growing religion in the world as well. Islam is an Arabic word which literally means "submission to the will of Allah (God). Islam implies a total submission of the heart, mind and body to God. This type of submission is found in the Torah (Old Testament):

Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:5 New International Version)

Jesus said the same thing in Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30 and Luke 10:27.

A Muslim literally means "One who submits himself to God". There are many Muslims around the world from different ethnicities, men and women. Islam doesn't discriminate against anyone, rather Islam sees everyone as equals regardless whether they are white, black, brown, Asian, Arab, Jewish, etc.

The Articles of Faith

Muslims live by the five pillars of Islam. The first pillar is the most important.
1.) There is No God but Allah and Muhammad is the final prophet of Allah.
First let’s take a look at the first part of the Shadah (the profession): There is No God But Allah………
Muslims believe in One God and many different prophets and messengers of God. Prophets such as Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joesph, Moses, David, Solomon, Job, John the Baptist, Jesus and Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon all of them) came to restore Monotheism--- the worship of One God. The Bible clearly tells readers that God is one:
Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. (Deuteronomy 4:39 New International Version)
"You shall have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:3 New International Version)
"You are my witnesses," declares the LORD,  "and my servant whom I have chosen,
  so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed,  nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior. (Isaiah 43:10-11 New International Version)
So that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other. (1 Kings 8:60 New International Version)
Jesus himself called to the worship of only one God as this verse from the New Testamentindicates:
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" "The most important one” answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. (Mark 12:29New International Version )
Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Worship the Lord your God and serve him only. (Luke 4:8 New International Version)
You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. (James 2:19 NIV)
Paul tells the same thing in 1 Corinthians:
So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. (1 Corinthians 8:4 New International Version)
Allah is the God of everyone (Quran 1:2, 73:9, 23:51). Allah is alone and by himself, above the seven heavens none of his creation has ever seen him. The only person who came close to seeing Allah was Prophet Muhammad during his ascensions to the heavens.  There is only One God, Allah, and he has no Son, Daughters, Wife, or partners (Quran72:3, 112:1-4) and knows all in the heavens and the earth (Quran 58:7) and the secerts in peoples hearts (Quran 3:154).Allah is the first, the last, (Quran 57:3) the creator of the heavens and the earth (Quran 35:1) and the master of the day of judgement (Quran 1:4). He is also responsible for breathing some what of his spirt into every person and fashioning him in the womb (Quran 15:29, 22:5, 32:9) and takes care of everyone of his creatures whether believing men/women or animal (Quran  29:60) and is merifcul and forgiving (Quran 15:49, 11:90 and 85:14) and tests human beings during their time on. Allah is more powerful than Yahweh (The Biblical God) (*).
For more on Allah, refer to my section on Allah.
…….Muhammad is the Prophet of God

Salvation in Islam
Ehteshaam documents and proves that ALL Muslims are promised salvation according to the hadith and the Quranic teachings.

Introduction to the Hadith
Ehteshaam explains what the hadith are and why Muslims trust them.

Answering Oreintalist Claims
Ehteshaam explains oreinatlism and it's misrepresentations of Islam.