Islam is a religion of excellence. Excellence acheived through iman aor faith in ALLAH. Iman is like a switch in the heart of muslim that constantly makes contact with the Most High that is ALLAH. When this contact is made it kindles a light in the heart which become brigther as time goes on until it is able to illuminate the whole life of this Muslim. This light wil enable a Muslim to see the truth, make the right decisions, possess the right attitude and strive diligently in order to achieve excellence in this world and the hereafter. This is the vertical concept of excellence propounded by Islam. It starts with a vertical contact with The Most High.
After this contact is made and the heart becomes illuminate by the truth, path becomes visible. This is the Straight Path. It will be treaded by Muslim in this everday life in the quest to achieve excellence. This way of life and the word Islam is derived from arabic which mean "peace" and "submission" or surrender of one's will to only true God, that is Allah. One who submits his will to God is termed a Muslim, in arabic. Submission to the will of God means that one is obliged to follow the principles of Islam including its rules and regulations in every aspect of life, as being ordained by Allah through the Quran and the authentic traditions of Prophet Muhammad.
The authentic traditions of Prophet Muhammad are sometimes called teh Sunnah. Once man attained. Among the obligations that Muslim has to abide is, to service his spiritual and physical being by praying five times a day, fasting in the month of Ramadhan, paying alms to the poor and attending the global congregation of Muslims by performing the pilgrimage in Mecca. Through these acts of worship, a Muslim achieves closeness to God, mankind and nature.
(Original Idea : Dr Danial Zainal Abidin)