God, Exalted Above and Beyond anything we can imagine, created and possesses total power over everything including space and time.
“Say: God is One; eternal and absolute. Everything derives its existence and sustenance through Him while He is no need of any of His creation. He does not reproduce nor is He the product of reproduction. There is no other with His likeness.”(Quran 112:1-4)
Scripture tells us that all creation was designed and inspired by its Lord with an innate functional purpose. All creations whether it be solar systems, plants, animals, the human body, etc… are innately submitting to the will of it’s Creator who has designed all things for a specific purpose. This is why the energy of the universe is arranged by atomic strong and weak force, gravity and electro-magnetism. Then each seemingly separate thing is designed and inspired for function and purpose. This is abundantly apparent in living beings, but also observed in the rest of creation. God said,
“Do they desire a way other than submission to God, while everything in the Heavens and Earth submits to Him willingly or not. In the end it is to Him that they will all return.” (3:83)
In another verse we are warned not to be taken by the awe of the great creations and to focus our appreciation of their beauty and function toward the Creator.
“Among His signs is the night and day, the sun and moon. Do not worship the sun or moon, rather worship God who created them.” (41:37)
“Islam” is an Arabic word which literally means to abandon, surrender, submit or commit one’s self.
By academic definition, Islam is a philosophy of life based on a set of beliefs revealed by God to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of God be with him) through the angel Gabriel.
Obviously our body is in submission to God’s plan without us being aware of it. The function of our body is something amazing for those who study the science and ponder over its probability as a haphazard function versus a divinely arranged plan. Islam as a spiritual concept is the decision to live in gratitude for the blessing of life and consciousness and choosing to put His will over our personal desires. He has shown us His guidance through a means that we can trust in its reliability. He sent prophets performing miraculous signs that proved indeed these are not just men claiming a religion without proof, but that the One who controls the laws of nature has sent them with revelations (Scriptures) through which He gives us the laws of behavior.
According to the Quran, all prophets taught their followers Islam as the divinely ordained religious philosophy with which they were sent.
“Remember when God commanded Abraham to submit to Him and he responded. I have submitted myself to the Lord of the Universe. Then Abraham taught his children as did Jacob, ‘Indeed God has chosen for you to carry the religion so don’t die except as those who submit to God.” (2:131-132)
The term Judaism refers to the religion of Judah’s descendants. Their Scripture is the Torah and they were commanded to submit to God’s teachings therein. This is according to perhaps the most prominent Jewish theologian of our time, Jacob Neusner, (A Short History of Judaism pg. 3).
“We (majestic plural) revealed the Torah filled with guidance and light. The Prophets judged by it submitting to God…” (5:44)
While Jews adhere to a religion nominally associated with their ancestor, Christians follow a religion named after their teacher. Christ (peace be upon him) and his disciples practiced Islam.
“When Jesus felt disbelief from the people he asked, ‘Who will be my helpers for God’s cause.’ The disciples replied, ‘We are God’s supporters. We believe in God so witness that we are those who have submitted.” (3:52)
In the New Testament, Christ (peace be upon him) identifies Islam by description as the key to salvation!
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)
Islam is the essence of religion.
“Indeed the way with God is submission to His will…” (3:19)
The Quran’s concept of belief transcends religious categorization. The following verse encourages faith in the universal monotheism of all the prophets sent by God with miracles and revelation.
“Say we believe in God and that which was revealed to us as well as what was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, other prophets from their lineage. We believe in what was given to Moses and Jesus and all other prophets and we do not distinguish between them and to God we submit.” (3:84)
The Quran emphasizes following the religion of our forefather Abraham (PBUH) for three reasons; He is the forefather of Muhammad who came to seal the covenant, he is not known to be a founder or part of a divisive categorized religion and he was never involved the worship of other than God.
“They say be a Jew or Christian. Rather, follow the pure monotheistic path of Abraham who was never a polytheist.” (2:135)
Islam was the way God inspired thousands of other prophets with throughout history across the globe.
“Surely We have sent to each nation a messenger saying, ‘Serve God and avoid evil and oppression.” (16:36)
(All unspecified quotes are taken from the English translation of the Quran.)