Literally Islam means peace, obedience, purity, surrender and complete way of life
Technically, it is the total submission to the will of Allah (God) (believe in the Unity of God, observance of Islamic prayer, payment of compulsory charity (zakat), fasting the holy month of Ramadan and pilgrimage to the holly house in Mecca (kaabah)
History has it that all prophets right from Adam to the last prophet Muhammad peace be upon him (P.B.U.H) had the same mission on earth but these were commissioned to different nations, generations and designations.
The foundation of Islam is built on unity which is the belief in the Islam Dogma of monotheism and it’s the cornerstone upon which other pillars do stand. For example belief and actions thus fundamental principles in the Islamic faith
Critics of Islam brand Islam as a religion that breeds terrorism yet even the jihads( religious holy wars) that were fought during the life time prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) were defensive not offensive which is strictly allowed in Islam
Further still on the issue of fundamentalism, due to strictness of Islam on observance of Islamic rituals/norms, that this is not ideal in the modern world, wrongly they think adoption of the western culture and abandoning the Islamic ideology is the right way to go.
Islam stresses moral etiquettes like the dressing code, eating habits and the institution of hijab (dressing code for Muslim ladies) thus stimulates self-respect, role model to the young generation, protection of an individual from social hazards such as vain talk, harassment, rape and defilement. It also exhibits natural beauty. This gesture does not reflect barbaric, torture and backwards as lamented by anti-Islamic movements.
The sense of Islamic brotherhood and the co-existence in peace with people of other faith (Christian) Islam institutionalized the institution of zakat alm giving by the rich to the poor thus the rich feel the sense of social belonging and develop the heart of being charitable, poor develop affection and passion and the would be tension between the two parties is killed.
In a nut shell, Islam puts much emphasis on moral excellence which is geared and molded towards the perfection of an individual for material advancement for the ultimate reality if you strictly adhere to the principles. Therefore for one to judge Islam, he/she should base on the teachings of the holy Quran, the Sunnah of the prophet P.B.U.H and other authentic sources.
By Tumukunde Swaib
Gayaza Mixed Islamic Sec.Sch.