Is Islam a new religion?

Islam, along with Christianity and Judaism is considered to be one of the three Abrahamic traditions.  Abraham had two sons - Isaac and Ishmael. Prophets Moses and Jesus were from the lineage of Isaac. Prophet Muhammad was from the lineage of Ishmael.

To Muslims, Islam is not a new religion, but the way of life taught by all the prophets of God - Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them).

The Quran mentions the names of twenty-five prophets of God, and commands Muslims to accept and respect all of them.  It further describes them and their followers (in their respective eras) as Muslims.

On accepting and living Islam one therefore accepts all the prophets of the past, recognizing that God's religion is one and historically connected.  All prophets got their guidance from the same God, and each invited to the same way of life - ISLAM.

When Muslim parents teach their children the stories from the lives of the prophets, they not only teach about the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), who Muslims believe was the last prophet from God, but also about:

(a)  The miraculous birth of Jesus (peace be upon him), as well as the fact he was able to perform miracles by God's permission.

(b) The story of Moses (peace be upon him) and the Children of Israel.   Moses’s upbringing and his eventual confrontation of Pharaoh’s oppression.

(c)  Abraham's (peace be upon him) search for God.  His destruction of the idols of his people and God's cooling of the fire when his people tried to burn him for his act of rebellion.

(d)  The lives of Noah, Joseph, Solomon, Jonah, and other prophets (peace be upon them).

All these and other prophets' stories are in the Quran, God's final revelation to mankind.  The Quran teaches:

“Say, we believe in God, and that which was revealed unto us, and that which was revealed unto Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob, and the Tribes, and in (the books) given to Moses and Jesus, and the Prophets from their Lord; We make no distinction between one and another among them, and to God do we bow our will (in Islam).”  (Quran 3:84)

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What is Islam and who is a Muslim?

Islam is a divinely inspired way of life.  It is a way of life that is a continuation and confirmation of the same way of life taught by prophets Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon all of them). Muslims worship the same God that Jews and Christians worship and the same angel (Gabriel) that brought revelation to Moses and Jesus, brought revelation to Muhammad (peace be upon all of them).

Islam is not a religion in the way most people follow religion, but a way of life with spiritual, moral, social, political, economic and intellectual guidance. It invites and encourages people to examine and scrutinize its teachings. Only if it appeals to their reasoning and intellect they may choose to follow it. Islam teaches there is  compulsion in religion.

The word Islam means peace, submission, and obedience.  In the religious sense, Islam means - the way to peace and salvation through submission to the will and laws of God. A person who chooses this path is called a Muslim.

A common mistake is to refer to Muslims as Moslems.  To call a Muslim a Moslem is to insult that person, as the two words mean different things in the Arabic language.

The word “Moslem” has its origin in the Arabic word Zulm.  The word Zulm means to be unfair or unjust.  To call someone a Moslem would therefore mean that person is unfair or unjust.  The correct pronunciation is Muslim.

Anyone can become a Muslim, despite their religious background and does not have to be born a Muslim. When one decides to become a Muslim all his past sins are forgiven and he makes a fresh start.  Islam gives no importance to a person’s color, nationality, culture or race. Rather the emphasis is on a person’s character and piety.

Islam holds answers to life's important questions.  What is the purpose of life?  How should life be lived?  Who is God?  Who are the prophets and what are their roles?  What should one look for in a spouse?  How should one raise children?  What happens after death?  These are all questions addressed in the Quran and Hadith (the sayings and practices of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him). When practiced as a total way of life it develops well-balanced individuals, and families. This then leads to peace and stability in society. Today it is challenged within and without. Yet, it is still the fastest growing way of life!

To find out more read What’s Up With Those Crazy Muslims?

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When will the destruction of the world take place?

The time as to when this will happen is known only to God.  God says in the Quran:

“They ask you about the (final) Hour - when will be its appointed time? Say: ‘The knowledge thereof is with my Lord (alone): none but He can reveal as to when it will occur. Heavy were its burden through the heavens and the earth. Only, all of a sudden will it come to you.’ They ask you as if you were eager in search thereof: say: ‘the knowledge thereof is with God (alone), but mostly men know not.” (Quran 7:187)

To get the whole picture read my book WHAT HAPPENS AFTER WE DIE?


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How large is the Muslim population?

The Quran enlightens and guides over one billion people from  around the world.  One in every five persons is a Muslim.

The Muslim population is not confined to the Middle East.  Only about 18% of Muslims live in the Arab world.  The largest Muslim population in any one country is in Indonesia (over 150 million).  There are Muslims living in many places in Asia.  Most of Africa's population is Muslim.  There are also large Muslim minorities living in China, the former Soviet Union, Europe, South  and North America.  In India, where Muslims number close to 150 million, they are a minority!

Muslims therefore should not be confused with Arabs.  Muslims may be Arabs, Africans, Americans, Canadians, Chinese, Pakistanis, Malaysians, or other nationalities.  On the other hand an Arab could be a Jew, Christian, Muslim, an atheist or something else.

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