4. Who is Muhammad?
The last and final prophet that God sent to humanity was the Prophet Muhammad. Muhammad explained, interpreted and lived the teachings of Islaam. The Prophet Muhammad is the greatest of all prophets for many reasons, but mainly because the results of his mission have brought more people into the pure belief in One God than any other prophet. Even though other religious communities claimed to believe in One God, over time they had corrupted their beliefs by taking their prophets and saints as intercessors with Almighty God. Some religions believe their prophets to be manifestations of God, "God Incarnate" or the "Son of God". All of these false ideas lead to the creature being worshipped instead of the Creator, which contributed to the idolatrous practice of believing that Almighty God can be approached through intermediaries. In order to guard against these falsehoods, the Prophet Muhammad always emphasised that he was only a human-being tasked with the preaching of God's message. He taught Muslims to refer to him as "the Messenger of God and His Slave". To Muslims, Muhammad is the supreme example for all people - he was the exemplary prophet, statesman, military leader, ruler, teacher, neighbour, husband, father and friend. Unlike other prophets and messengers, the Prophet Muhammad lived in the full light of history. Muslims don't need to have "faith" that he existed and that his teachings are preserved - they know it to be a fact. Even when his followers only numbered a few dozen, Almighty God informed Muhammad that he had be sent as a mercy to all of mankind. Because people had distorted or forgotten God's messages, God took it upon Himself to protect the message revealed to Muhammad. This was because Almighty God promised not to send another messenger after him. Since all of God's messengers have preached the message of Islaam - i.e. submission to the will of God and the worship of God alone - Muhammad is actually the last prophet of Islaam, not the first.
5. What are the Teachings of Islaam?
The foundation of the Islaamic faith is belief in the Unity of God. This means to believe that there is only one Creator and Sustainer of everything in the Universe, and that nothing is divine or worthy of being worshipped except for Him. Truly believing in the Unity of God means much more than simply believing that there is "One God" - as opposed to two, three or four. There are a number of religions that claim belief in "One God" and believe that ultimately there is only one Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. Islaam, however, not only insists on this, but also rejects using such words as "Lord" and "Saviour" for anyone besides Almighty God. Islaam also rejects the use of all intermediaries between God and Man, and insists that people approach God directly and reserve all worship for Him alone. Muslims believe that Almighty God is Compassionate, Loving and Merciful.
The essence of falsehood is the claim that God cannot deal with and forgive His creatures directly. By over-emphasising the burden of sin, as well as claiming that God cannot forgive you directly, false religions seek to get people to despair of the Mercy of God. Once they are convinced that they cannot approach God directly, people can be mislead into turning to false gods for help. These "false gods" can take various forms, such as saints, angels, or someone who is believed to be the "Son of God" or "God Incarnate". In almost all cases, people who worship, pray to or seek help from a false god don't consider it to be, or call it, a "god". They claim belief in One Supreme God, but claim that they pray to and worship others beside God only to get closer to Him. In Islaam, there is a clear distinction between the Creator and the created. There is no ambiguity in divinity - anything that is created is not deserving of worship and only the Creator is worthy of being worshipped. Some religions falsely believe that God has become part of His creation, and this has led people to believe that they can worship something created in order to reach their Creator.