Introduction to Islam, by M.A. Shakir
The word islam means, submission to the will of Allah, and a muslim is he who submits to the will of Allah.
Islam is a religion, which can be followed easily by everyone, everywhere, in a day to day life.
Islam is a way of life. It is a simple and uncomplicated religion, giving one maximum freedom without encroachment on the freedom of others. It enjoins one to believe in One God, and do good; to keep up prayers and pay the poor-tax; to fast during the month of Ramadhan; to perform the Hajj and to fight for the sake of Allah, whenever necessary; to believe in the Justice of Allah, in the life after death, in the Prophethood of Muhammad and the teachings of the twelve Imams (Leaders). Islam forbids evil and tyranny, prohibits intoxicants and games of chance, adultery and indecencies, and blood and flesh of swine and dead animals.
There is no compulsion in religion (2:256); and there is no harsh and hard rituals or unreasonable dogmas in Islam.
Among many reforms, which the Holy Prophet of Islam, gave to the world, he taught, that all human beings whether brown, black, red, white or yellow, are sons of Adam, and no man has any superiority over another man, because of his color, rank or riches. He taught:
The most honorable man, in the sight of Allah, is he, who is most careful of his duty to Allah and that man has rights only to the extent of the duties, he performs.(Shakir, M.A.: Islamic History)