Every religion of the world has been named either after the name of its founder or after the community and nation in which that religion took its birth. For instance, Christianity takes its appellation from the name of its prophet Jesus Christ; Zoroastrians from its founder zoroaster; and Judaism, the religion of the Jews, from the name of the tribe Judah (of the country of judea) wherein it took its birth. Similar is the case with other religions. But not so with Islam. This religion enjoys the unique distinction of having no such association with any particular person or people. The word ‘Islam’ does not confer any such relationship-for it does not belong to any particular person, people, or country. It is neither the product of any human mind nor is it confined to any particular community. It is a universal religion and its objective is to create and cultivate in man the quality and attitude of Islam. Islam, as a matter of fact, is an attributive title. Whosoever possesses this attributive, may he belong to any race, community, country, or clan, is a Muslim. According to the Qur’an (the Holy Book of the Muslims), among every people and in all ages there have been good and righteous people who possessed this attribute of them were and are Muslims.
Source: Towards Understanding Islam by Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi