The name: Islam
Any religion has its "given name". By this name it is recognized and identified. It might be interesting to try to find out; who gave the religion its name?
You might already know that many religions were named after a person or a place, as in the case of Buddhism after Gotama Buddha, Confucianism after Confucius and Hinduism after the valley of Indus, in the Indian continent.
Many of us also know that foreigners to the Israelite tribes gave the name "Judaism or Jews", at the time when "Judah" represented the entire Israelites, after the fall of the Northern Kingdom. Judah was the forefather of one of the tribes and one of Israel's (Jacobís) sons. Which simply means that "Jews" was a "given name" to the Israelites before Moses's (pbuh) time. So, what was the name of the religion Moses (pbuh) ORIGINALLY taught his followers?
Also, it is known as well that the name Christian was a "given name", first by the people of Antioch, which was at a time later than the time of Jesus Christ (pbuh), and that all the other names (Catholic etc.) were introduced much later for one reason or another. Since the names Christian, Catholic etc. were given names after the time of Jesus (pbuh) and that -for years- Jesus (pbuh) taught his followers valuable teachings about right and wrong and obeying the commandments of God, then, what was the name of the religion he ORIGINALLY taught his followers?
As for the name Islam -and being a submitter (a Muslim), in this verse (40:66) Allah has commanded Muhammad (pbuh), and all those who believe in the Quran to:
"Say: ĎI have been forbidden to worship those whom you worship beside Allah, since there have come to me clear signs from my Lord. And I am commanded to submit (be in submission - Islam, in Arabic) to the Lord of the Worlds".
From the above verse -and many others- we can clearly see "who" named this religion "submission".
In order to answer this Question; what did all the Messengers (pbut) before Muhammad (pbuh) ORIGINALLY teach? We need to learn about the history as told by Islam.
From the known story that "first law" was given to Moses (pbuh) long time after man first came to earth. It is only reasonable to think that those people, who came to life and died before Moses (pbuh) "first law", did not have a fair chance to go to Heaven. What will happen to them? Will they all go to Heaven, since there was no laws to go by? Will that be fair for those who were required to accept a certain belief and to undertake grate challenges to make it to Heaven as in the story of the followers of Moses (pbuh)? Would those who never received a Messenger with a Message from God end up in hellfire since they never followed the well of God? Would God leave people wondering around for thousands of years, without any guidance, then decide later to give them for the first time the "first law"?
This part of history as told in the Quran is different, let us see together how the Quran tells this part of the history.
Would the idea of Allah sending a Messenger to every isolated group of people at a certain time, be an acceptable explanation? The Quran presents the answer, by telling us that Allah has never left any group of isolated people, civilization or a nation without a Messenger from Him. As we see in this verse (16:36):
"For We assuredly sent amongst every people a Messenger, (with a command) serve Allah and eschew (avoid) Evil"
Knowing now that according to the Quran, every group of people have had a Messenger, that will explain how ancient civilizations were made aware of Godís laws about right and wrong. That also will explain why some prophecies of ancient civilizations such as the Aztecs and the Mayans were true prophecies. According to the Quran, Allah has told them through their Messengers these prophecies sometime in the past.
How about the time when man first came to earth? Can you imagine Adam (pbuh) going through his long life on earth knowing he is not forgiven, without any guidance? And as the only growing up man, for the children he had later, what did he have to teach them? Will it be reasonable to say that first man must have had some kind of guidance or a law too?
The Quran teaches that out of God's mercy towards mankind, He did not leave Adam (pbuh) without any kind of forgiveness or guidance. So He gives Adam (pbuh) what we may call "first law" (2:37): "Then learnt Adam from his Lord certain words, and his Lord pardoned him". Thus Islam teaches that Adam (pbuh) was given first word or first law, for guidance and for forgiveness. Thus Islam teaches that starting with first generation on Earth, Adam (pbuh) had a law about right and wrong -not to kill and so on, and learnt how to repent, and Allah forgave him.
According to the Quran, some of the previous messengers have received Books or Scriptures. For example, before the Book (Scriptures) of Moses (pbuh), Abraham (pbuh) did have Scriptures (87:19).
Knowing now that God sent a Messenger to every corner of the earth -At a certain time, is it possible that He sent them with different "Messages"?
The Quran gives the answer clearly, but first, let us think about it, will it be possible for the One God to send different Messengers to teach totally different Messages? Could one of them bring a set of laws to mankind, which is supposed to improve our lives, and teach that the way to go to Heaven is by following God's commandments and laws as humanly as possible. Then another Messenger teaches to follow a totally different law?
I can only hope for your agreement that it can't be that way, if Allah sends a Messenger to some people to teach them how to worship God and what is right and what is wrong. Then another Messenger who is sent by the same God will have to teach exactly the same Message.
The Quran teaches that all the Messengers have taught the same "Message":
"The same religion has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah - that which We have sent by inspiration to thee. And that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and JesusÖ" (42:13)
According to the Quran, from the above verse and others as well, all the teachings "originally" were "The same"! Which will explain why we may find in other references, beside the Quran and the Hadith, that all of the messengers (like Abraham, Moses and Jesus pbut), and those who followed them. When it came to worshipping and praying to God, every one of them did "fall on his face and worshipped". Also, we can find that they washed their hands and faces before worshipping. The same exact way Muslims do in their prayers today.
Please ask the person who gave you this paper for your copy of: "why do Muslims pray that way", to see more of the similarity between Islam and the original teachings of other prophets. And to find out where did the word "Mosque" (Muslims worshipping place) come from.
Will "The same religion" which Allah "sent amongst every people a Messenger" to teach, explain the similarity in religions we see around us today, including those with no-known scriptures?
Will it make sense to you, that what they all have "originally" taught was exactly "The same religion"?
About right, and wrong? About the way to worship God? As this is the way to heaven, And being obedient to His "commandments" as humanly as possible in Ö "Submission"? Meaning in Islam?
Will it be possible that all Godís Messengers taught their followers to be in Submission? Meaning to be Muslims?
It is not only what Islam teaches, it is also the only logical conclusion. The same God had sent messengers to every people from the beginning. All the people have had the same fair chance to go to Heaven (while alive, not after their death). Since the beginning there has never been a need to change the way to go to Heaven. And all the messengers taught "The same religion", as in (42:13) above.