It means ' May Peace be upon you with the Mercy and Blessings of Allah!'.
This is the universal greetings of us who are Muslims upon meeting or exchanging communications with one another whether by direct contact, through the email, phone call or messaging systems?
Okay, now that we have cleared that initial greeting which all Muslims starting with Our Father, the Blessed Prophet Adam Alaihis Salam ( may peace be upon him) used to greet his wife, Our Mother Saiyidatina Hawwa Radhiallahu Anha ( may Allah be pleased with her).
Let us start with the basics of Islamic knowledge.
If someone were to ask us as to what is the meaning of the word or term of 'Islam'?
Islam means 'peace' in the Arabic word.
I for one have come up with an in depth acronym of the word I.S.L.A.M. to stand for ' International System of Living for All Mankind'.
Why do I say that?
Well, Islam is as I have come to learn and understand about it to be the only international system of living suitable to be put to practice by practically each and every human being on Earth!
The faith of Islam is not man made. This system of living has been revealed to us by none other than Almighty Allah Himself.
It is up to us to learn more about our faith and to help others who want to know about it to come to understand clearly as to it's principles.
Let me now move on to sharing with you the foundation of Islam which is based upon acknowledging Allah Almighty to be the One True God and Creator of us all.
This acknowledgment is known as 'Tauhid' or 'Islamic Monotheism'.
'Mono' means one or single. Theism is the belief in one or more deities.
Islam is based upon the firm belief that there is only one God and He is Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala.
After confirming the understanding above to be the basis of each and every Muslim, male and female in attesting that bedrock of faith in Allah Ar Rahman Ar Raheem, we now move on to the Pillars of Islam.
The Final and Greatest Messenger of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala, Muhammad ibni Abdullah, the Glorious Seal of the Prophets and Mercy of Allah to all Mankind stated that Islam is based on 5 deeds or actions.
- Whomsoever wishes to be a Muslim, he or she needs to Testify without the slightest doubt in his or her heart the following Declaration of Faith or Kalimah Shahadah:
"Ash har doo Allah ila ha ill lall Laah! Wa ash har doo anna Muhammad dar Rasulullah!" meaning ' I declare (testify) that 'There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah!'.
- To perform the 5 daily prayers in congregation if possible, dutifully and perfectly sincerely. A Muslim, male and female who has attained puberty and is of sound mind, knowledgeable and understands the reasons and significance of each prayer movement is obliged to carry out the compulsory prayers without fail from the moment he or she becomes aware of one's responsibilities towards Allah?
- To fast during the month of Ramadan from before the fajr prayers until the sunset prayers with the intention to abstain from food and drinks plus every other act that will nullify or invalidates the fast.
- To pay the Zakat if one has the means to do so? The Zakat is a mandatory act of charity. When a Muslim comes to own at least 85 grams of gold or it's equivalent value in cash for a period of a year, then he or she is obliged to pay a Zakat worth 2.5% of the value of such gold or cash to the Baitulmal or appointed Amils ( Tithes Collector).
- To go perform the Hajj or Pilgrimage to the Holy Ka'abah @ House of Allah in Makkah al Mukarramah and Ziarah to Madinah Al Munawwarah if one can afford to at least once in one's lifetime?
- To believe in Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala. (in His Existence, His Oneness in His Attributes, His deserving to be worshipped, supplicated to and His Right to legislate).
- To believe in His Malaikats @ Angels (Special Beings created from Light for obeying and carrying out Allah's Orders and Will).
- To believe in His Books @ Holy Scriptures (the Taurat @ Torah sent to Musa Alaihis Salam, the Injeel @ Gospel of Eesa Alaihis Salam, the Zabur @ Psalms of Daud Alaihis Salam and the Holy Al Qur'an Al Kareem which was revealed to Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam which abrogates all the earlier revelations and is the Final and Complete Guidance of Allah to all Mankind).
- To believe in His Messengers ( the first being the Prophet Nuh @ Noah Alaihis Salam, the second being the Prophet Ibrahim @ Abraham Alaihis Salam, the third being Prophet Musa @ Moses Alaihis Salam, fourth being the Prophet Eesa @ Jesus Alaihis Salam and the Greatest and Final Messenger of Allah, Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam).
- To believe in the Yaum al Qiyamat @ The Last Day ( The Day of Resurrection for the reckoning of all Mankind according to their deeds and their appropriate rewards or punishment!).
- To believe in the Qada' and Qadr' ( Divine Preordainment) that all that happens whether good or bad is by Almighty Allah's Divine Decree.
Insya Allah, I will add videos to this article to help you understand better these most basic important aspects of any true Muslim's faith in Allah and Amals that he or she must carry out as a true Muslim?
Till we meet again, here's wishing you the best in Iman and Amals.
Wabillahi Taufik Wal Hidayah.
Wassalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.