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In The Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

ISLAM is derived from the Arabic root "SALEMA": peace, purity, submission and obedience. In the religious sense, Islam means submission to the will of God and obedience to His law.

Everything and every phenomenon in the world, other than man is administered TOTALLY by God-made laws i.e. they are obedient to God and submissive to His laws i.e. they are in the STATE OF ISLAM. Man possesses the quality of intelligence and choice, thus he is invited to submit to the good will of God and obey His law ie. become a Muslim. Submission to the good will of God, together with obedience to His beneficial law, i.e. becoming a Muslim is the best safeguard for man's peace and harmony.

Islam dates back to the edge of Adam and its message has been conveyed to man by God's Prophets and Messengers including Abrahim, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. Islam's message has been restored and enforced in the last stage of the religious evolution by God's last Prophet and Messenger Muhammad.

The word Allah in the Arabic language means God, or more accurately The One and Only Eternal God, Creator of the Universe, Lord of all lords, King of all kings, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful. The word Allah to mean God is also used by Arabic speaking Jews and Christians.

Who are the Muslims? The common answer is the Arabs. This is a mistaken impression that is true only insofar as Islam arose among the Arabs, its Prophet and many of its adherents were and are Arabs, and its scripture, the Holy Quran, must be recited in original Arabic form. The Arabs comprise only 25 % of the present population of Islam. They form majority of the population in roughly thirty-six (36) countries and nearly half of the population in five others. The estimated strength of Islam is estimated to be one billion people, almost one fifth of world population. Islam is the worlds third largest religion, behind Christianity and Buddhism,and its present rate of growth and vitality rivals both traditions.

Muslims represent many races and socioeconomic settings. There have been however significant divisions of opinion within the umma (commonwealth of Islam or Islamic Community). Despite these differences, Islam brings unity by incorporating divergent interpretations of basic beliefs.
SUNNI: The recorded practice and teachings of Prophet Mohammed were early regarded as his Sunnah, meaning path or way. These traditions became powerful symbols for the Islamic religion, models of right belief and practice. The collection of Prophet Mohammed's sayings are called Hadith comprising Sunnah or authoritative examples. These required further interpretations and application to a variety of situations of everyday life.
Majority of Muslims following Sunnah of Prophet Mohammed are termed Sunnis. Islam developed four schools of jurisprudence whose functions were to decide upon the proper application of Holy Quran and Sunnah to virtually all aspects of life of the community. Each of the four schools takes its name from early jurist to whom later followers trace many of the schools distinctive opinions.

The four schools are:

1. Hanifis (after Abu Hanifa, d.767)
2. Malikis (after Malik ibn Anas, d.795)
3. Shafiis (after Muhammad al-Shafii d.819)
4. Hanbalis (after Ahmad ibn Hanbal d.855)

Acceptable differences of interpretation exist among the four schools, and a Sunni may seek to conform his or her practice of Islam to any one of them. Matters pertaining to marriage, divorce, inheritance, and proper government come under the jurisdiction of Islamic Law.
The learned scholars of law are called Ulema.They are highly respected for their learning in the religious sciences. Islam has no clergy or priesthood as such. The basic principles of Islamic Law are established by the following:

i)    The Holy Quran
ii)   The Prophets Sunnah
iii)  The learned consensus of Ulema
iv)  Reasoning by analogy from accepted interpretations of i) & ii) to new problems not directly addressed therein.

All of the four above form a concept of revelation of Gods will to the community of Islam. This concept is called, Sharia, it is more than scripture, it implies a composite source of teaching and practice involving the Holy Quran, the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad and authoritative human interpretation and application.

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