Islam is the formal name of the religion of nearly 1.3 billion people of diverse races, languages, and geographies of earth. It is often said that Islam began in the seventh century. This is true, but only partially so. Islam is also considered an ancient religion owing to the fact that all the Prophets and Messengers of God, since Adam and Eve, taught people to believe in and worship the one and only God--the Creator of the heavens, the earth, and the seen and unseen creatures that inhabit the universe. This was the essential message of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad. It is also the core tenet of Islam, its heart and soul.
Muslims (the followers of Islam) view their religion as comprehensive, often called “a way of life,” for in the Islamic paradigm, nothing falls outside the influence of religion--not personal spirituality, marriage, business transactions, education, profession, family matters, our relationship with nature, discovery, art, recreation, or neighborly relations. Each is regarded as part of the gift, responsibility, and grace of a life that is fully purposeful, blessed, and always touched by the Hand of God.
In this introduction, we will explain in unavoidably concise fashion the cardinal beliefs, pillars of worship, and world view of Islam, along with aspects of Muslim civilization and contemporary matters familiar to us all.