The word Islam means voluntary “Submission” or “Surrender” to the Will of God. It derives from the root word “salam,” meaning peace.
In the Quran, God defines that the only purpose for which He created mankind is to Worship Him. Islam recognizes that humankind has free choice in whether to obey or disobey God, but ultimately we will be held accountable to God in the next life for the choices that we make in this life.
Islam is a natural way of life that encourages one to give due attention to their relationship with God and His creation. Islam teaches that it is through the doing of good deeds and seeking the pleasure of God that souls find true happiness and peace. It is in this context that the word Islam derives from the root word “salam,” or peace.
Islam means to achieve peace – peace with God, peace within oneself, and peace with the creations of God – through wholly submitting oneself to God and accepting His guidance.
The term Islam derives from the three-letter Arabic root, S (س)- L (ل)- M (م), which generates words with interrelated meanings, including “surrender”, “submission”, “commitment” and “peace”. Commonly, Islam refers to the monotheistic religion revealed to Muhammad ibn (son of) Abdullah between 610 and 632 of the Common Era.
The name Islam was instituted by the Qur’an, the sacred scripture revealed to Muhammad. For believers, Islam is not a new religion. Rather, it represents the last reiteration of the primordial message of God’s Oneness, a theme found in earlier monotheistic religious traditions.
Though Islam can be described as a religion, it is viewed by its adherents – a fifth of the world’s population – in much broader terms. Beyond belief in specific doctrines and performance of important ritual acts, Islam is practiced as a complete and natural way of life, designed to bring God into the center of one’s consciousness, and thus one’s life. Essentially, by definition Islam is a world view focused on belief in the One God and commitment to His commandments.