There are many paths traveled by people to spiritually connect to the Ineffable, to which they may allude by different appellations such as God, the Lord, the Creator, Allah, HaShem, the Supreme Reality, or the Infinite Essence of Existence.
Islam is the third and youngest path among the three major monotheistic religions. Islam started out in 7th Century Arabia with Muhammad’s message of monotheism and the subsequent dissemination of the Qur’ān. Unfortunately, Islam has received a bad reputation due to its appearance being hijacked by violent extremists. While zealotry comes in different manifestations and may emerge within every religion and ideology, certainly, violent and intolerant currents must be countered, not matter where and when they raise their head. But there is another side to Islam as well, one of philosophy, mysticism, tranquility, and beauty. I look at Islam as a brother who embodies respect and awe of God as no other. For me, Islam signifies dedication to the Almighty, attention to details in rituals and beautification, and a legacy of visual art, poetry, philosophy, grammar and science.