Showing posts with label Who is a Muslim. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Who is a Muslim. Show all posts

Thursday 6 May 2021

Who is a Muslim

It is generally understood that Muslims are the believers who follow the religion of Islam. However, the actual understanding of the word Islam and Muslims is quite different and even some Muslims are unaware of it.

Let us start from the word Islam: The word Islam in Arabic means “submission to the will of God.” Here it however needs to be understood that the concept of God or Allah as in Arabic language hinges around the concept of monotheism. Which means that there is no gods but One God / Allah and that He has no associates or offspring as is the understanding of God in Christianity, where the concept of Trinity equates with God the Jesus Christ (Prophet Eesa, may peace be upon him) being the son of God and the holy spirit. 

Thus anyone who submits to will of One True God / Allah is called a Muslim - that is the submitter.

Since Qur'an is a Divine scripture, revealed unto Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, it becomes as The Book that Muslims read and follow. Since the life of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was lived exactly as directed by Allah in the Qur'an, Muslims also follow his way of life called Sunnah.

Now coming back to the concept of Islam, which is total submission to Allah, and Muslim being the total submitter to the will of Allah. It must be borne in mind that all Divine Religions earlier than Islam, that is from Adam, and specially from Prophet Nuh (Noah, peace be upon him) and the followers of Psalms (on Prophet Dawood - David peace be upon him), Torah (on Prophet Musa - Moses peace be upon him) and Bible (on Prophet Eesa - Christ peace be upon him) all taught submission to One True God and their followers have been addressed as Muslims (the submitters) in the Qur'an. Take a look at some of the verses from Qur'an:

وَجَاهِدُوۡا فِى اللّٰهِ حَقَّ جِهَادِهٖ​ؕ هُوَ اجۡتَبٰٮكُمۡ وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ فِى الدِّيۡنِ مِنۡ حَرَجٍ​ؕ مِلَّةَ اَبِيۡكُمۡ اِبۡرٰهِيۡمَ​ؕ هُوَ سَمّٰٮكُمُ الۡمُسۡلِمِيۡنَ ۙ مِنۡ قَبۡلُ وَفِىۡ هٰذَا لِيَكُوۡنَ الرَّسُوۡلُ شَهِيۡدًا عَلَيۡكُمۡ وَتَكُوۡنُوۡا شُهَدَآءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ​ ​ۖۚ فَاَقِيۡمُوا الصَّلٰوةَ وَاٰتُوا الزَّكٰوةَ وَاعۡتَصِمُوۡا بِاللّٰهِؕ هُوَ مَوۡلٰٮكُمۡ​ۚ فَنِعۡمَ الۡمَوۡلٰى وَنِعۡمَ النَّصِيۡرُ‏  
(22:78) Strive in the cause of Allah in a manner worthy of that striving. He has chosen you (for His task), and He has not laid upon you any hardship in religion. Keep to the faith of your father Abraham. Allah named you Muslims earlier and even in this (Book), that the Messenger may be a witness over you, and that you may be witnesses over all mankind. So establish Prayer, and pay Zakah, and hold fast to Allah. He is your Protector. What an excellent Protector; what an excellent Helper!

وَقَالَ مُوۡسٰى يٰقَوۡمِ اِنۡ كُنۡتُمۡ اٰمَنۡتُمۡ بِاللّٰهِ فَعَلَيۡهِ تَوَكَّلُوۡاۤ اِنۡ كُنۡتُمۡ مُّسۡلِمِيۡنَ‏ 
(10:84) Moses said: 'My people! If you believe in Allah and are truly Muslims, then place your reliance on Him alone.'

The fact that Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) in his address called his people “Muslims” shows that all the people of the community of Israel were Muslims; otherwise he could not say to them, “if you are Muslims”. He meant to urge them to be brave, saying: If you are true Muslims, as you profess to be, do not fear the might of Pharaoh but put your trust in the might of Allah.

وَ اِذۡ اَوۡحَيۡتُ اِلَى الۡحَـوَارِيّٖنَ اَنۡ اٰمِنُوۡا بِىۡ وَبِرَسُوۡلِىۡ​ۚ قَالُوۡۤا اٰمَنَّا وَاشۡهَدۡ بِاَنَّـنَا مُسۡلِمُوۡنَ‏ 
(5:111) And recall when I revealed to the disciples to believe in Me and in My Messenger, they said: "We do believe, and we bear witness that we indeed are the ones who submit to Allah"

Prophet Eesa (Jesus peace be upon him)) is being told that the faith of the disciples in him was also the result of God's grace and succour, for he, himself, did not have the power to produce even one man of faith in that land of disbelief. It is also made clear that the true religion of the disciples of Jesus was Islam.

قُلۡ يٰۤـاَهۡلَ الۡكِتٰبِ تَعَالَوۡا اِلٰى كَلِمَةٍ سَوَآءٍۢ بَيۡنَـنَا وَبَيۡنَكُمۡ اَلَّا نَـعۡبُدَ اِلَّا اللّٰهَ وَلَا نُشۡرِكَ بِهٖ شَيۡـئًا وَّلَا يَتَّخِذَ بَعۡضُنَا بَعۡضًا اَرۡبَابًا مِّنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰهِ​ؕ فَاِنۡ تَوَلَّوۡا فَقُوۡلُوا اشۡهَدُوۡا بِاَنَّا مُسۡلِمُوۡنَ‏ 
(3:64) Say: 'People of the Book! Come to a word common between us and you: that we shall serve none but Allah and shall associate none with Him in His divinity and that some of us will not take others as lords beside Allah.' And if they turn their backs (from accepting this call), tell them: 'Bear witness that we are the ones who have submitted ourselves exclusively to Allah.'

وَمَنۡ اَحۡسَنُ قَوۡلًا مِّمَّنۡ دَعَاۤ اِلَى اللّٰهِ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا وَّقَالَ اِنَّنِىۡ مِنَ الۡمُسۡلِمِيۡنَ‏ 
(41:33) And who is fairer in speech than he who calls to Allah and acts righteously and says: “I am a Muslim”?

The thing which wins man the highest place of honor is that he should do good deeds himself and should invite others to the service of Allah, and even in the environment of severe antagonism where to proclaim Islam is tantamount to inviting hardships for oneself, one should firmly say that one is a Muslim. To understand the full significance of these words, one should keep in view the conditions in which they were said. The conditions were that anyone who proclaimed to be a Muslim would feel as if he had stepped into a jungle of beasts, where everyone was rushing at him to tear him into pieces. More than that, if anyone opened his mouth to preach Islam he would feel as if he had called on the beasts to come and devour him. Such were the conditions when it was said: A person’s believing in Allah as his Lord and adopting the right way and standing steadfast on it is indeed a great and fundamental good, but the greatest good is that man should boldly say that he is a Muslim and should invite others towards Allah’s service, fearless of the consequences, and while performing this duty should remain so pure and pious in conduct and character that no one should have a cause to find fault with Islam and with those who uphold it.
Although the word “Submitter” is the English equivalent of the Arabic word “Muslim,” and the word “Submission” is the English equivalent of the Arabic word “Islam,” the underlying implication of these words is very profound, and far from the superficial meanings that are traditionally understood or used.
Thus, a Submitter or a Muslim can be defined as a person who submits to the will of God. The state of Submission, which can only take place between the person and God Almighty, is considered to be the only acceptable form of worship by God. (see Qur’an 3:19, 85):

اِنَّ الدِّيۡنَ عِنۡدَ اللّٰهِ الۡاِسۡلَامُ وَمَا اخۡتَلَفَ الَّذِيۡنَ اُوۡتُوا الۡكِتٰبَ اِلَّا مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ مَا جَآءَهُمُ الۡعِلۡمُ بَغۡيًا ۢ بَيۡنَهُمۡ​ؕ وَمَنۡ يَّكۡفُرۡ بِاٰيٰتِ اللّٰهِ فَاِنَّ اللّٰهَ سَرِيۡعُ الۡحِسَابِ‏ 
"The true religion with Allah is Islam. The People of the Book adopted many different ways rather than follow the true way of Islam even after the knowledge of truth had reached them, and this merely to commit excesses against one another. Let him who refuses to follow the ordinances and directives of Allah know that Allah is swift in His reckoning.
All Abrahamic faiths proximate toward a similar structure in terms of their beliefs and practices. An observant ‘Muslim’ should, therefore, feel no antipathy toward any in the Abrahamic faiths:
‘If Allah were not to repel some through others, monasteries and churches and synagogues82 and mosques wherein the name of Allah is much mentioned, would certainly have been pulled down.83 Allah will most certainly help those who will help Him. Verily Allah is Immensely Strong, Overwhelmingly Mighty.’ (Quran 22:40).
Now the question arises that while Jews and Christians also believe in One True God, why there is a dividing line between them and followers of Islam? It is because unlike the Jews who restrict them to Torah or the Old Testament and nothing beyond that followed after that and the Christians who restrict themselves to Bible / New Testament and nothing that came after it, that is Qur'an, a Muslim believes in all the Angels, Prophets and Divine Scripture that came before the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and the Qur'an for all these have been a continuation of the Divine Guideline that is submission to One True God Only and all that has been revealed by God to His chosen prophets and messengers. That completes the religion of Islam that commenced from Prophet Adam and ended with revelation of Qur'an to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.

Those non Muslims who have understood the above said philosophy are now reverting to Islam and their numbers are increasing day by day. For all those who believe in all above are true Muslims !!

May Allah helps us understand Islam better by pondering over the verses of the Qur'an and acting upon the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. Aameen

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