The word "Islam" means peace and submission. Peace means to be at peace with yourself and your surroundings and submission means submission to the will of God. A broader meaning of the word "Islam" is to achieve peace by submitting to the will of God. This is a unique religion with a name which signifies a moral attitude and a way of life. Judaism takes its name from the tribe of Judah; Christianity from Jesus Christ; Buddhism from Goutam Buddha; and Hinduism from Indus River. So all of these religions take their names from the created instead of the creator. However, Muslims derive their identity from the message of Islam, rather than the person of Prophet Muhammed PBUH, thus should not be called "Muhammadans".
Islam is a complete way of life that gives a Muslim, which is a follower of the religion of Islam guidance. It prescribes what we should eat; how to pray; how to make supplications; to give charity; to help others; as well as our day to day life. The guidance that one achieves upon becoming Muslim will take someone, even the worst of people, and transform them into a good person. Nobody is perfect, that is why our creator, Allah swt, sent us messengers and prophets in order to guide us to become better people and to have success in this life and the next.
Of course not everyone that claims to be Muslim is actually following the religion. Do not blame the religion but actually the follower of the religion. If a teacher teaches something and the student knows the material but does not use it, is it the teacher's fault or the students? Many people commit atrocities in the name of Islam, just like adherents of any other religion. Islam teaches that we should have mercy for all of mankind and if we do not have mercy for others then Allah swt will not have mercy for us. We should all learn to love our fellow man and try to make the world a better place and to improve it for future generations. This includes being a good person but also being a good steward of the planet. In other words we should care about issues such as Sustainability and Environmental Issues.
We were all born for a purpose, and this purpose is to worship our creator in everything that we do. This entails educating ourselves. Not only in religion but secular knowledge as well. The study of science and mathematics are acts of worship in Islam. We are even commanded as Muslims to seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave, even if we must travel to China. This commandment is for all Muslims, not just men.
Islam is the fastest growing religion in the USA, Europe, and the rest of the world. In a time where Christianity, Hinduism, and Judaism is shrinking, Islam is growing by 270%. This is partly due to the birthrate, but there is also a high conversion rate to Islam from other religions. When one learns about the true teachings of Islam and not what has been spoon fed by the media they learn that Islam is a system that not only improves the self but society and the planet as a whole.
If you are not a Muslim but you are interested in becoming a Muslim I recommend going to a local mosque. If you have any questions or do not know where a mosque is, please feel free to message us.