Recently, we have seen and heard people define Islam thus, “Islam means peace”. It is important to say that this is not the proper definition of Islam and what it encompasses.
The definition of “Islam means peace” is an apologetic definition. A mental submission to the anthem “Muslims are terrorists” brought about this definition. Islam as a religion teaches peace but peace does not wholly define Islam. Clarifications like this need to be made so terms are better understood linguistically and scripturally not an apologetic definition we were mentally forced to develop.
Linguistically, the root word Islam is أسلم (aslama), meaning: to surrender, to submit. إسلم (Islam) means total submission. Religiously, Islam simply means total and unconditional submission to the will of almighty Allah. In another simple term, Islam means doing the will of Allah. Hence, anyone that try to fulfil this is referred as Muslim………understood?
Now, Allah says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ
O you who believe! Fear Allah (by doing all that He has ordered and by abstaining from all that He has forbidden) as He should be feared. [Obey Him, be thankful to Him, and remember Him always], and die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims) with complete submission to Allah. (Aali Imran 3:102)
From this verse, Allah command us that we should not die except in a state of DOING HIS WILL…..
In another verse, Allah says
وَمَنْ يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الْإِسْلَامِ دِينًا فَلَنْ يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ
And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, ( I.e doing the will of Allah) it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers. (Aali Imran 3:85)….
Indisputably, all the prophets of Allah preached the same message of Islam; submitting to the will of Allah including the Father of faith, Abraham.
Apart from prophet Muhammad.(S.A.W) Jesus Christ(PBH) was another important prophet of Allah that preached the same message of Islam. His statements on Islam (submitting to the will of Allah) in the Bible are numerous.
John 6:38-40 – For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
Mat 12:50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father (Islam)which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father (Islam) which is in heaven.
Mat 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven….. Islam will be done on earth
John 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him (Islam) that sent me.
And even more…
Ephesians 5:17 – Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord [Islam]
1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 – For this is the will of God, [even] your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication
Romans 12:2 – And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.(Islam)
Finally, all these facts are testified in The Holy Qur’an thus:
وَأَنَّا مِنَّا الْمُسْلِمُونَ وَمِنَّا الْقَاسِطُونَ ۖ فَمَنْ أَسْلَمَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ تَحَرَّوْا رَشَدًا
‘And of us some are Muslims (who have submitted to Allah, after listening to this Qur’an), and of us some are Al-Qasitun (disbelievers those who have deviated from the Right Path)’. And whosoever has embraced Islam (i.e. has become a Muslim by submitting to Allah), then such have sought the Right Path.\ (Al-Jinn 72:14)”
Conclusively, Islam TEACHES peace but the MEANING of Islam is not peace. There are times for peace, as well as for war so far it is not of injustice. Dear brothers and sisters, when defining Islam, define it properly but that Islam TEACHES peace, Yes!
– Inspired by a question and answer session at a lecture delivered by Ustaadh Kabir Al-asfar
– Adapted from an article on the definition of Islam
– Gathered by Bashir Lucas Samson Lukman