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.
It is the religion of every prophet of Allah from Adam to Muhammad, and is as old as humanity. In fact, every child that is born, is a Muslim. It is the parents that make him a Jew, Christian or Hindu, etc.
Allah has sent numerous prophets to all the nations and races. As the human race progressed, the prophets were sent with laws that suited the requirements of that time. Each new prophet, brought a new Divine Law (shari`ah), which abrogated or cancelled the previous law. Muhammad is the Last Prophet of Allah and he has brought the last and the most perfect law, in the Holy Qur'an. History shows us, that this law has suited the requirements of the people for the last 1400 years and shall continue to do so, till the Day of Resurrection.
Islam is a way of life. It is a simple and uncomplicated religion, giving one maximum freedom without encroaching on the freedom of others. It enjoins one to believe in One God, and do good; to keep up prayers and pay the poor-rate; to fast during the month of Ramadan; 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 Apostolic Imams. 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” (Surah al-Baqarah 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 colour, rank or riches. He taught: The most honourable 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)