The Arabic word "Islam" simply means "submission", and is derived from a word meaning "peace" and a life focused on peace, mercy, and forgiveness. In a religious context it means complete submission to the will of God. "Mohammedanism" is thus a misnomer because it suggests that Muslims worship Muhammad, peace be upon him, rather than God. "Allah" is the Arabic name for God, which is used by Arab Muslims and Christians.
Evangelized by the Prophet Muhammed in the 600's AD, Islam is a religion celebrated by over one billion people around the globe. One fifth of the world's population from a vast range of cultures, nationalities, and races embrace Islam as both a religion and a way of life. In Turkey, approximately 98% of the citizens are Muslims.
Muhammed was born in Mecca in 571 AD. He preached that there is only one God and that he, Muhammed, was God's messenger. Those that accept him as such are called Muslims, which means "one who submits to God.". The Koran (Kuran, Qur'an) is the Islamic Bible, believed to be an exact record of the words revealed by God through the Angel Gabriel to Prophet Muhammed. Its basic theme is the relationship between God and his creations, yet at the same time it provides guidelines for a just society, proper human conduct, and an equitable economic system.
As far as Islam is concerned, faith without action and practice is a dead end. The "Five Pillars" of Islam are considered the framework of the Muslim life and has to be obeyed by every practicer. Daily prayers, fasting during Ramadan, the Pilgrimage are some of the rules of these Five Pillars.
Muslims must respect other religions and in no way harm any one who is practicing his/her religion peacefully, especially when it comes to Christianity and Judaism since these religions are from Allah too. In fact Islam always stresses the fact that Islam is nothing but the final reform of the previous messages. The last thing Islam asks for is violence (the meaning of Islam in English is Peace or Submission). The most valuable thing in a Moslems life after Islam is the soul which Allah have pleased a human with it till he/she dies. A Muslim should work in this life for his/her optimum goal which is being pleased with entering Heaven and stay as far as one can from the acts which could lead to hell fire.
Islam, a major world religion, is customarily defined in non-Islamic sources as the religion of those who follow the Prophet Muhammed. The prophet, who lived in Arabia in the early 7th century, initiated a religious movement that was carried by the Arabs throughout the Middle East, then by the Turks to the Balkans. Today, Islam has adherents not only in the Middle East, where it is the dominant religion in all countries (Arab and non-Arab), but also in other parts of Asia, Africa and, to a certain extent, in Europe and in the United States and Canada.
The Name and Its Meaning
The Arabic word al-Islam means the act of committing oneself unreservedly to God, and a Muslim is a person who makes this commitment. Widely used translations such as "resignation", "surrender" and "submission" fail to do justice to the positive aspects of the total commitment for which al-Islam stands, a commitment in faith, obedience, and trust to the one and only God. All of these elements are implied in the name of this religion, which is characteristically described in the Koran (Arabic, Qur'an; the sacred book of Islam) as "the religion of Abraham." In the Koran, Abraham is the patriarch who turned away from idolatry, who "came to his Lord with an undivided heart" (verse 37:84), who responded to God in total obedience when challenged to sacrifice his son, and who served God uncompromisingly. For Muslims, therefore, the proper name of their religion expresses the Koranic insistence that no one but God is to be worshiped. Hence, many Muslims, while recognizing the significance of the Prophet Muhammad, have objected to the terms Mohammedanism and Mohammedans designations used widely in the West until recently, since they detect in them the suggestion of a worship of Muhammad parallel to the worship of Jesus Christ by Christians.
The total population of the Muslims around the world is estimated to be approximately 1.7 billion as of 2015-2016, which is about 24% of the world population. The Muslim population is increasing by 1,70% per year. Thus, a 300-million increase is anticipated for the decade 2010-2020. This significant expansion, due primarily but not entirely to the general population growth and high birth rate in Asia and Africa, is gradually reducing the numerical difference between Christians and Muslims, whose combined totals make up almost 55 percent of the world's population. If current trends continue, it's predicted by the year 2070 Muslim population will equal the Christian population and by the year 2100 Muslims will outnumber Christians. The highest number of Muslims in the world live in Indonesia; around 205 million. It's followed by Pakistan (178 million) and India (172 million). In the United States the population of Muslims estimates as 3,3 million and in Europe around 19 million.
The dietary laws of Islam
The dietary laws of Islam are based in the Koran, verse Al-Baqarah 2:173. They forbid eating dead animals, blood, pork, and food sacrificed or offered to idols. Islamic practice departs from Jewish practice in that alcohol is forbidden.
- Halal (or Helal) is a Quranic term which means allowed or lawful. Halal food and drinks are permitted for consumption. Eating Halal is obligatory for every Muslim.
- Haram is Quranic term which means absolutely prohibited or unlawful. Haram foods and drinks are prohibited. Eating Haram is forbidden for every Muslim.
- Mushbooh is a term which mean suspected. If one does not know the status of particular food or drink, such a food or drink is forbidden.