Praise be to Allaah.
If you refer to Arabic
language dictionaries you will find out that the meaning of the word Islam
is: submission, humbling oneself, and obeying commands and heeding
prohibitions without objection, sincerely worshipping Allaah alone,
believing what He tells us and having faith in Him. The word Islam has
become the name of the religion which was brought by Muhammad (peace
and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
Why is this religion called Islam? For all the religions on
earth are called by various names, either the name of a specific man or a
specific nation. So Christianity takes its name from Christ; Buddhism takes
its name from its founder, the Buddha; the Zoroastrians became well known by
this name because their founder and standard-bearer was Zoroaster.
Similarly, Judaism took its name from a tribe known as Yehudah (Judah), so
it became known as Judaism. And so on. Except for Islam, for it is not
attributed to any specific man or to any specific nation, rather its name
refers to the meaning of the word Islam. What this name indicates is that
the establishment and founding of this religion was not the work of one
particular man and that it is not only for one particular nation to the
exclusion of all others. Rather its aim is give the attribute implied by the
word Islam to all the peoples of the earth. So everyone who acquires this
attribute, whether he is from the past or the present, is a Muslim, and
everyone who acquires this attribute in the future will also be a Muslim.
From Kitaab al-Islam Usooluhu wa Mabaadi’uhu by Dr. Muhammad ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Saalih al-Suhaym.