New to Islam? Islam? What's this?

New to Islam?

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Islam, a major world religion, founded in Arabia and based on the teachings of Mohammed (SAW), who is the Prophet.

The Arabic word Islam literally means "to surrender," but as a religious term in the Holy Qur'aan, it means "to surrender to the will or law of God." One who practices Islam is a Muslim. According to the Holy Qur'aan, Islam is the primordial and universal religion, and even nature itself is Muslim, because it automatically obeys the laws God has ingrained in it.

For human beings, who possess free will, practising Islam does not involve automatically obeying but rather freely accepting God's commandments. A Muslim is a follower of the revelation (the Noble Qur'aan) brought by Mohammed (SAW) and thus is a member of the Islamic community. Because the name Muslim is given in the Noble Qur'aan itself to the followers of Mohammed (SAW).

And strive in His cause as ye ought to strive (with sincerity and under discipline): He has chosen you and has imposed no difficulties on you in religion; it is the cult of your father Abraham. It is He Who has named you Muslims both before and in this (Revelation); that the Apostle may be a witness for you and ye be witnesses for mankind! So establish regular Prayer give regular Charity and hold fast to Allah! He is your Protector the Best to protect and the Best to help! (22:78).

Although exact statistics are not available, the Muslim world population is estimated at more than 1300 million. Islam has flourished in very diverse climatic, cultural, and ethnic regions. The major ethnic groups composing the world community of Islam include the Arabs (North Africa and the Middle East); Turks and Turkic peoples (Turkey, parts of the former USSR, and Central Asia); Iranians; Afghans; the Indo-Muslims (Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh); Southeast Asians (Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines); and a small percentage of Chinese. In Europe, Islam is the second largest religion after Christianity.

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