Islam is religion as revealed by God to mankind since man’s inception on this earth. It is about the fundamental truth concerning man’s purpose: that there is only one God who created mankind to worship and serve Him and thereby attain true fulfillment and eternal bliss. The revelation started with the first man and prophet, Adam and ended with the final prophet, Muhammad (peace be upon them all). The Quran is the book that contains the final message which was lived and taught by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It is the culmination of all revealed scripture and is guidance for all God-fearing people. All human beings are now morally responsible, before God, to accept and follow the final revelation and the final Prophet (peace be upon him).
Muhammad (peace be upon him)
Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the last of God’s prophets sent to mankind. He lived in the seventh century in Arabia where he was a merchant. He was not schooled in reading and writing but became, by God’s choosing, the greatest of teachers. He had never accepted the idolatry and injustices of Arabian society at the time and was given to retreating to some hills in meditation and prayer. On one fateful occasion when he was secluded in a cave at a mountain called Hira he was spoken to, commanded. He was commanded by one he would later come to know was the archangel Gabriel to recite in the name of his Lord. Initially he thought it an instruction to read (in Arabic read and recite are one word) and so he responded by saying “I am not literate”. But then it became apparent that the angel was instructing him to repeat his words, which he did, before being left in a state of dread and awe. That was the first revelation of what would later become known as the Quran. God’s decree regarding Muhammad’s being a prophet and messenger was manifest and done. His life would never be the same and neither would the holy lands nor the world! May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him and all the prophets.
The Quran is the scripture that was revealed, through the archangel Gabriel, to the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon them both). It is the final revelation that confirms the truth contained in previous scriptures, but also it confirms that those scriptures were tampered with. Perhaps the best thing to do is to let the Quran speak for itself. The first chapter is a short supplication. At the beginning of the second chapter God speaks about the book itself in the following terms:
This is the Book, wherein is no doubt, guidance to the godfearing [2:2] who believe in the Unseen, and perform the prayer, and expend of that We have provided them; [2:3] who believe in what has been sent down to thee and what has been sent down before thee, and have faith in the Hereafter; [2:4] those are upon guidance from their Lord, those are the ones who prosper. [2:5] As for the unbelievers, alike it is to them whether thou hast warned them or hast not warned them, they do not believe. [2:6] God has set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing, and on their eyes is a covering, and there awaits them a mighty chastisement. [2:7]
Later in the same chapter God speaks about the Quran and the reality of the message it conveys:
Those to whom We have given the Book and who recite it with true recitation, they believe in it; and whoso disbelieves in it, they shall be the losers. [2:121] Children of Israel, remember My blessing wherewith I blessed you, and that I have preferred you above all beings; [2:122] and beware a day when no soul for another shall give satisfaction, and no counterpoise shall be accepted from it, nor any intercession shall be profitable to it, neither shall they be helped. [2:123] And when his Lord tested Abraham with certain words, and he fulfilled them. He said, ’Behold, I make you a leader for the people.’ Said he, ’And of my seed?’ He said ’My covenant shall not reach the evildoers.’ [2:124]... Who therefore shrinks from the religion of Abraham, except he be foolish-minded? Indeed, We chose him in the present world, and in the world to come he shall be among the righteous. [2:130] When his Lord said to him, ’Surrender,’ he said, ’I have surrendered me to the Lord of all Being.’ [2:131]
Is Allah the Same as God?
Yes. As is evident from the passages quoted in the question about the Quran, the same, one and only God who revealed the Hebrew Bible, and the Gospel revealed the Quran. In the Arabic language, which is the language the Quran was revealed in, the word for god or deity is ilah, the proper name used for the One True God is Allah. So Arab Jews and Christians also call God Allah. For those who would like to insist otherwise, here is a video of a Yemeni Jew and another of a prominent American Rabbi that explain that Allah is simply the One true God and that Islam, according to Jewish Law, is not at all about idol worship. Allah is the same God worshiped by Abraham and Moses.
Where Can I Learn More?
I recommend getting a copy of the Quran and reading it. Then just ask someone who has knowledge. Here is The Koran Interpreted, a translation of the Quran (that of A. J. Arberry) in e-book format, a hard-copy can be purchased here. Knowledge of Religion is only in seeking so seek and you shall, with Allah’s permission, find. Feel free to ask questions on this website as well, I’m here to help as much as possible.