Islam is a word taken from an Arabic term, which means, "peace". However, specialists call the meaning of the word as "submission", which indicates towards the eternal submission in Allah's holy feet. The Islam religion finds it's origin in South Arabia and dates back to 7th Century, which is later to any other major religion existing in the world.
Despite it's more recent origin, the followers of Islam constitute of the second largest population in the world after Christians.
It was Prophet Muhammad who initiated disseminating the teachings of Islam. He was born and brought up in the holy place Mecca. Although, he married a young widow, yet he was never too much indulged in the mundane world. He started giving sermons, which were so inspiring that many people got attracted to his teachings. While he made so many followers, there were many who were against him. Thus, he moved to Medina, then known as Yathrib.
This is considered as the beginning of Islamic calendar and marks the origin of Islam. Till his death, Muhammad converted a majority of Arab population into Islam. The religion expanded as Arabs conquered countries like Syria, Iran, Egypt and later when they shifted to other countries.
Muslims eventually got divided into two groups: Shia and Sunni right after the death of Prophet Muhammad. Shia Muslims wanted somebody from Muhammad should take mantle of Muhammad, whereas, Sunni Muslims wanted the first Caliph to be their mentor.Ali, the Muhammad's son-in-law was made the leaders of Shia group, who was called as 'Imam'. the fundamental beliefs of both the groups are same, yet the difference is huge and profound. In fact, there are many Muslims who like to be called as simply 'Muslims'.
As the last prophet of Muslims said,
"Islam is to testify that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, to perform the prayers, to pay the zakat, to fast in Ramadan, and to make the pilgrimage to the House if you are able to do so."
Thus, we can call Islam as a monotheistic religion. They believe that all men on this earth acquire equal privilege from Allah and no one is superior to another. That is why they have no caste system in their religion. Islamic religion has five pillars that define the rules of the religion. These pillars are: 'Prayers' (Namaz), 'The Pilgrimage' (Hajj), 'Faith', 'The Fast' and 'The Zakat'
There are six fundamental beliefs in the religion Islam which are mentioned as below:
1. God is one and that is Allah.
2. Angels of God.
3. The messenger of God, who bring along them the Almighty's teachings.
4. The religious scriptures and Quran is supreme among all.
5. A day is set for all when they would be judged according to their deeds.
6. God's will is supreme of all.
Islam is perhaps the only religion, which protects the rights of it's followers, be it that of liberty, security, against exploitation and others. It teaches peace, brotherhood and love. While we all celebrate different festivals being the followers of Islam, it becomes very important to understand the essence of it.