Islam: What does it Mean, and Who are the Muslims?
Islam literally means Surrender, Submission, that is, the complete handing over of one's self to another. Islam also means Peace.
Islam as a religion means an unconditional and complete submission to the All-Supreme and the Absolute Sovereign authority of the Lord of the Universe. In other words, the total submission of the individual will to the Universal will of the Lord. Whoever does this is a Muslim.
In fact, once one does this one's individual will ceases to operate and it becomes subject to the Universal will of the Lord. In relation to this state of submission, the Holy Qur'an declares:
Say: Verily my prayer and my sacrifice, my life and my death (are all, only) for God, the Lord of the worlds.
Verily the religion with God is ISLAM (submission to God's will); and those to whom the Book had been given did not differ, but after the knowledge (of the Truth) had come unto them... (3:18)
Yea! whosoever submitteth his self (entirely) to God and is a doer of good, for him there shall be his reward with the Lord, on such shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.
And who is better in religion than he who resigneth himself entirely unto God and is righteous, and followeth the creed of Abraham, the Upright One, And God took Abraham for a Friend. (4:125)
What is demanded of a human being, or that which is acceptable to God, is nothing short of Islam:
This day have I perfected for you your religion, and have completed My favour on you, and chosen for you ISLAM (to be) the Religion. (5:3) The following verse gives the last word on the choice of a religion for mankind:
And whosoever seeketh any religion other than Islam (total resignation unto God) never shall it be accepted from him, and in the next world he shall be among the losers. (3:84)