What is a Muslim?

Discussion in 'Introductory Articles About Islam' started by Mabsoot, Oct 5, 2006.

  1. Mabsoot
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    Mabsoot Amir Staff Member

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    [imgleft]http://www.turntoislam.com/images/tti/shahada.jpg[/imgleft] What is a Muslim?
    A Muslim is someone who submits to Allah's will. A person upon true monotheism, who worships God alone without associating any partners with him. A Muslim is someone who Bears witness that None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. A Muslim can be of any background, race, country and gender.

    The Declaration of Faith in Islam. There is no Deity worthy of Worship except Allah and Muhammad is his Messenger. This is a video about the Declaration of faith, the Shahada.

    [vgs]3040960369651000240[/vgs]

    Islam is not a new message, it is indeed an old one. It is a message from Allah that was revealed to many Prophets before Prophet Muhammad:saw: . All the Prophets were ordered by God to submit to him and worship him alone. A message of "Tawheed", to single him out for worship and not associate any partners with him. So, all the Prophets, from Adam through to Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad were all followers of Islam. They are all Muslims.

    What Religion did Abraham Follow ? All the Prophet's Sent by God had the same Message. The Message of Islam, to worship One God without associating any partners with him. Watch this Video to see why Abraham was a Muslim.

    What Religion did Abraham Follow ?

    Therefore:

    Muslims are the followers of Abraham.

    The belief of a Muslim is summarised in the declaration of faith known as the kalimah (meaning: a word) and this is:

    Laa ilaaha illAllaaha Muhammadur-Rasoolullaah


    The meaning of this: 'There is nothing which has the right to be worshipped except Allaah[1] (alone) and Muhammad is His Messenger."

    Muslims believe that this Universe, by necessity, has a Creator. It is hard for a person's common sense to encompass that the Universe with all its order and regulation is a product of mere chance. One of the scholars of Islaam, known as Abu Haneefah (d. 150H) once debated some atheists. He asked them: "What do you say about someone who tells you that he had seen a loaded ship without a captain and a crew amidst a strong storm, but sailing well towards a safe harbour [ thereby saving itself]? Do you intelligently accept this?" They said: "Our reasoning cannot accept this". Abu Haneefah then commented: "If your reasoning does not accept the story of a ship without a leading crew, then how do you accept a whole universe with all its varied conditions and complex nature running without a Creator in full charge?" So the atheists were dumbfounded and came to believe in Allaah. Allaah says in the Qur'aan:

    Verily, in the creation of the Heavens and the Earth, and in the alternation of the night and day, and the ships that sail through the sea with that which is of benefit to human-kind, and the rain which Allaah sends down from the sky and makes the earth alive therewith after its death, and the moving (living) creatures of all kinds that He scatters therein, and in the changes in the direction of the winds, and the clouds which are held between the sky and the earth, are indeed Aayaat (proofs, signs, evidences) for a people of understanding [Baqarah 2:164]

    Thus, Muslims believe in the existence of Allaah, that He is the Originator and Creator of the Universe. And it follows therefore, that Muslims hold that the universe and everything within it has a definite purpose. As Allaah has said:

    I have not created Men and Jinn except that they may worship Me [Dhaariyaat 51:56]

    In this one short sentence, Allaah has explained clearly to human-kind the purpose of their existence, something, for which philosophers, scientists and intellectuals have never been able, in the duration of human-kind's existence, to provide a conclusive and unanimous answer. Worship, here, is a comprehensive term, covering every single aspect of life, whether related to one's personal life, or related to the others.

    It is also possible for there to exist other 'gods' because the definition of a 'god' in Islaam, is something that is adored or worshipped or given obedience, or which is the centre of people's emotions - such as love, fear, hope, reliance, trust etc. Therefore, many things can become 'gods' and can be made into 'gods' by people. Such things include: money, status, power, leaders, parents, idols, music, pop-stars, drugs and other created things. People make these things into 'gods' because they believe that these things can give them whatever they want, that they can find true satisfaction in these things, as well as honour and power. So once they have decided that their goal in life is money, or drugs, or status - they have made it their 'god' i.e. that thing they believe can provide them with satisfaction and freedom from anxiety. And all the actions that they perform in order to get these things or which will lead them to these things is their form of 'worship' of these 'gods'. Allaah has said:

    And they have taken (for worship), besides Allaah, other gods, that they might give them honour, power and glory [Maryam 19:81]

    This is why Allaah has forbidden the worship of other things since in that lies the greatest humiliation and subjugation: The enslavement and worship of man (or material things), by man. One of the generals of the Muslim army, in the earliest times of Islaam, in approaching a certain district said to its people: "We have come to liberate whomsoever Allaah wills from among His Servants, from the worship of men by men to the worship of the Lord of all Men."

    Muslims believe that Allaah - the One True God - alone has control over life and death, that He alone sends the rain and bestows sustenance, that He alone can save people when in distress and in trouble, that He alone controls and owns whatever is upon the Earth and in the Universe and may direct it in whichever way He wills. And hence, for true satisfaction and peace or ease of mind, He alone should be made the object of people's yearning and desire, and He alone, turned to for the things that people seek and need. From this perspective the worship of other things besides Allaah, can be seen to be futile and useless and this is why the worshipping of saints, prophets, angels, idols and other created, material things is considered the worst evil a human can commit.

    Allaah mentions many times that when people are in distress they know deep inside that there is one thing alone that can save them or remove the harm from them, and that is Allaah. Even an atheist, when his life is in danger and there is no other way out will have a hope in his heart that something can save him. This 'something' he has a hope in is actually Allaah, since the hearts have an instinctive belief in and acknowledgement of a Supreme Creator and this is one of the proofs that Allaah exists. Allaah explains this reality many times in the Qur'aan:

    It is He who enables you to travel through the land and sea, till when you are in the ships and they (the ships) sail with them (the people) while there is a favourable wind, they are glad due to it. Then comes a stormy wind and the waves come to them from all sides and they think that they will be engulfed by them - then - they call upon Allaah, making their faith purely for Him alone, saying:

    "If you deliver us from this, we shall truly be amongst the grateful." But when he delivers them, behold they rebel (disobey Allaah) in the earth wrongfully. [Yoonus 10:22-23]

    So in times of dire hardship and need people return to the only thing they know can help and deliver them and that is the One True God - Allaah.

    This, then is the meaning of: "None has the right to be worshipped except Allaah (alone)", the first part of a Muslim's declaration of his faith - that no created thing is deserving of, or has the right to subservience and worship. Rather, Allaah alone, by virtue of His being the Originator, Owner and Controller of the Universe has this sole right.

    The second part of a Muslim's declaration is: "Muhammad is His Messenger". Muslim's believe that from time to time Allaah sent Prophets to convey His Message - in order to inform human-kind about the purpose of their existence and how to fulfil that purpose. Thus, he sent Abraham, Noah, Moses, Jesus and also Muhammad (peace be upon them all), as well as all the other Prophets sent throughout history. Allaah said:

    And We have raised in every community a Messenger (proclaiming): "Worship Allaah alone, and avoid false gods." [Nahl 16:36]

    Muslim's believe that the Message of all the Prophets is one and the same, namely, the call to the worship of the One True God alone, and avoiding the worship of other things besides Him, as has been explained above.

    The role of the Prophet's is to exemplify to human-kind how they are supposed to fulfil their duty to their Lord and Creator, Allaah - the One True God and how they are to worship Him alone - without associating or setting up partners with Him.

    Thus every Prophet had with him a code, an example or a 'model of behaviour'. Muslim's believe that the example of Prophet Muhammad who is the last of the Prophet's sent by Allaah to human-kind is the practical and physical way to perform one's worship of Allaah - and therefore, the way to live a meaningful and purposeful life upon this earth.

    This code, termed the Sunnah (meaning: a way), is comprehensive. It includes such things as how to eat, how to dress, how to do business, how to pray, how to maintain a family, how to be an upright, decent and moral person, how to behave with other humans, how to behave with nature, how to govern a country or state. It includes every facet of life. And thus we can understand the saying of Allaah:

    He it is Who sent among the unlettered ones a Messenger (Muhammad) from among themselves, reciting to them His Verses, purifying them (from the filth of disbelief and polytheism), and teaching them the Book (this Qur'aan,) and the Wisdom (meaning the Sunnah: legal ways, orders, acts of worship, etc. of Prophet Muhammad). And verily, they had been before in manifest error. [Jumu'ah 62:2]

    There is in the Messenger of Allaah, a beautiful pattern of conduct for whoever hopes in (Meeting with) Allaah and the Last Day and remembers Allaah much. [Ahzaab 33:21]

    To a Muslim therefore, the religion of Islaam is a complete and perfect way of life and hence the saying of Allaah in the Qur'aan:
    This day have I perfected for you, your religion, completed My favour upon you and have chosen for you, Islaam as your religion. [Maa'idah 5:3]

    This is what ties more than a billion Muslims - world-wide - together. This declaration of faith: "Laa ilaaha illAllaaha Muhammadur-Rasoolullaah (There is nothing that has the right to be worshipped except Allaah alone, and Muhammad is His Messenger)", which consists of just a few words but has a comprehensive meaning, touching upon every single aspect of a human's life.


    Footnotes
    1 The word Allaah is comprised of two words: Al - which is the definite article and Ilaah - which means something that is worshipped. Thus, Allaah (a combination of these two words) means: The true object of worship. Allaah is the same 'God' that Jews and Christians believe in and it is wrong to assume that Allaah is the Muslim 'God'. In fact, the Hebrew word for 'God' is 'Eloh' which is similar to 'Ilaah' in Arabic.

  2. Andalusian
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    Andalusian Peace

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    Who are the Muslims?

    One and a half billion people (more than one fifth of the world's population) from a vast range of nationalities and cultures across the globe - from the southern Philippines to the western coast of Africa - are united by the common Islamic faith. Of these, about eighteen percent live in the Arab world. The world's largest Muslim community is in Indonesia, and substantial parts of Asia and much of Africa are Muslim, while significant minorities are to be found in what used to be called the Soviet Union, as well as China, North and South America, Europe and Oceania. For Muslims, Islam is both a religion and a complete way of life.


    What Do Muslims Believe?

    Muslims believe in one, unique, incomparable God, in the angels created by Him, in the prophets through whom His revelations were brought to mankind, in the Day of judgement and individual accountability for actions, in God's complete authority over human destiny, and in life after death.

    Islam teaches that human diversity is a sign of the richness of God's mercy. God has willed that human beings compete with each other in righteousness in order to test who is the best in deeds, and this is the reason for the creation of the universe. God alone is the judge of human righteousness, and it is God alone who rewards and punishes in this life and in the Hereafter.

    God (whose name is "Allah" in Arabic) is the creator and sustainer of this universe, Since man cannot know his Creator through the physical senses, God has revealed Himself through a series of messengers or prophets. We are familiar with some of them through earlier scriptures such as the Torah and the [Injeel] Gospel. Every people on earth was at some time sent a messenger from God, but with the passing of generations men tended to deviate from the true religion, often replacing it with alien ideas and practices. Each prophet was sent to reform his people and turn them back to the worship of God alone. The last of these prophets was Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him), through whom God's message was completed. God promised that this final message would be preserved for all mankind. And the words revealed by God through the Angel Gabriel (pbuh) to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) have indeed been passed down to us in their original Arabic text, unchanged since the time of revelation. This scripture is called the Qur'an.

    The essence of God's message through all of the prophets was: "O mankind, worship God. You have no other deity but Him."[Qur'an: Surah al-A'raf 7:59, 65, 73, 85; Surah Hud 11:50, 61, 84; and Surah al-Muminun 23:23, 32]. Nothing is worthy of worship except Him who created you - not stone idols or fire, not heavenly bodies such as the sun and moon, not animals, not angels, and not other men (including prophets) - for all of these are His creations.

    Allah says in the Qur'an Sourate N°2 The Cow (al-Baqqara) verse n° 285
    'THE APOSTLE ( Muhammed :saw: ), and the believers with him, believe in what has been bestowed upon him from on high by his Sustainer: they all believe in God, and His angels, and His revelations, and His apostles, making no distinction between any of His apostles; and they say: "We have heard, and we pay heed. Grant us Thy forgiveness, O our Sustainer, for with Thee is all journeys' end!'

    God is one. His unity is evident in the order, arrangement and symmetry of the universe. He is all-knowing and all- powerful. He is completely just and merciful. God has revealed certain names and descriptions of Himself so that we may have a limited understanding of His qualities and therefore love, and at the same time, fear Him.

    This universe was not formed by chance, nor is it left to chance. God created it for a purpose and subjected it to physical laws for an appointed period of time. Man was created for a purpose as well - to serve God on earth and live according to His law. This is the essence of Islam, <Peace>, a word which means literally: submission to the will of God. It is God alone (who created us and knows us better than we know ourselves) who has the right to govern our lives. And His law means justice for all people regardless of nationality, color or social status. Human beings are judged only on the basis of righteousness.

    Man has been given a free will and has been left the choice of whether or not he will follow the way of God. Furthermore, he has been given a mind with which he is able to reason and choose wisely. One may, by his own efforts, gain knowledge that enables him to recognize the evidence of God in His creation. By contemplation one may weigh, measure and learn from all situations. And finally, because the human mind and experience is limited, God has revealed the guidance we need through prophets.

    After making available the information necessary for one to choose His way, God informs us in the Qur'an that after passing through a temporary stage of death man will bear the consequences of his choice in a greater life to come. Every individual is personally responsible for his own deeds - both good and evil. No one else can carry the burden of his sins.

    On the other hand, God is always prepared to accept and forgive any servant who has gone astray and then repents and turns back to Him. The compensation for evil will be exact justice, but the compensation for good will be much greater - complete satisfaction and happiness.

    This last message revealed by God to mankind through Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the final and complete religion and legal code for mankind. Just as a new revised law supersedes and invalidates what came before it, Islam now nullifies all former religions on earth. It corrects the deviations that had crept into religion previously, in the realm of both belief and practice. The text of the Qur'an has been preserved by God in order that humanity may no longer have an excuse to deviate and that there may always be men who keep the true religion.

    The final prophet sent by the Creator to mankind was an example to be followed and obeyed. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) patterned his life on the teachings of the Qur'an, which were revealed to him by God. True Muslims try to follow this noble example. A high moral standard is clearly the goal of Islam. It is the duty of every Muslim to learn and put into practice all that he can of his religion in order to earn the pleasure of God before returning to Him.

    Muslims have two distinct advantages to help them in the practice of Islam as their way of life:

    The sacred scripture, the Qur'an, which was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in the seventh century, still remains authentic in its original Arabic text. This language is used and understood by millions of people in the world today. The Qur'an contains God's guidance in teachings and commandments, which are valid for all times and places and which encompass all spheres of human life.

    The example of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) lives on as well. There is a complete and authentic record showing how he exemplified the teachings and commandments of God and elaborated the principles laid down in the Qur'an - all in order to provide sure guidance for their interpretation and application for all later times and societies.

    source :cyberistan.org
  3. Abu Sarah
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    Abu Sarah Allahu Akbar Staff Member

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    As-Salam Alaykum..

    :ma: :ma: :ma: :ma: :ma:

    what ! a great two posts which i see it..

    الله أكبر وجزاكم الله خيراً

    May Allah reward All us paradise and All us meet there..

    <wasalam>
  4. sharaz
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    sharaz Fear Allah

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    ISLAM comes from the root "slm" or "salama". The word ISLAM in reference to the faith is understood in Arabic as the:



    ISLAM means = Surrender "Give up evil and lusts - give in to the Creator"
    Submission "Agree to the terms and conditions of being a servant of Almighty God"
    Obedience "Comply with His Commandments to the best of your ability"
    Sincerity "Do it all whether or not anyone else notices or cares."
    Peace "Accept what Almighty God gives you in this life in serenity."

    All of which come about only by giving up the Free Will of the nafs (self or ego) in favor of the Will of the Creator and Sustainer of All That Exists (ALLAH).

    This would be similar to the teaching in the Lord's Prayer for the Christians, when Jesus, peace be upon him, taught his followers a prayer asking for "God's Will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven." (Matt. 6)

    ISLAM is mention in the Quran as a "deen" or way of life of an individual. A complete way of living in balance with everything else in the creation of Almighty Allah. ISLAM provides inclusive instructions for everything including eating, sleeping, dealing in relationships, economics, politics, health, worship and even death. The entire universe is "IN ISLAM" because it is all a part of what has been created and is being sustained by Almighty Allah.

    Now let us consider the next logical question; "What does the term "Muslim" actually mean?"

    Again, we must keep in mind that it is an Arabic word and is of course subject to the rules of the Arabic language. Actually, it is derived from the word ISLAM. Whereas, you might think of ISLAM as the verb or action and MUSLIM as the noun, or the one performing the action. In English whenever we have a noun performing a verb, we add the two suffix letters; ER. But in the Arabic language many times you will find that the prefix letters of MU are used for the same purpose.

    A few examples may help to better understand. We will compare the verb of each language to the one who is reforming the verb:

    MU - prefix for the verb Preforming the verbs in ENGLISH Preforming the verbs in ARABIC
    Travel = TravelER Safar = MUsafar
    Call = CallER Adhan = MUadhan
    Pray = PrayER Salah = MUsalah
    Submit = Submit ER Islam = MUslim
    A "MUSLIM" is one who follows or practices the action of "ISLAM"

    In English, when we understand the "ISLAM" is an action, we might say that anyone who "Islams" is an "Islam-ER." Right? We see in the chart above, in Arabic the "mu" preceding a verb indicates the same thing. Therefore, we would understand that the one who is actively doing the verb of "Islam" [submission to God] is a "Mu"-Islam or "Muslim."

    Make sense?

    Now, we should ask, "How does a person become a MUSLIM?"

    Only when a person is willing to submit to the Commandments of the Higher Authority from Above, meaning to obey Allah on His terms as much as possible does he/she become a " MUSLIM."

    Allah Says in Quran, all of creation is in submission to Him (MUSLIM).
  5. Delyan
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    Delyan Junior Member

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    salam aaleykom

    salam aaleykom,

    Jazakom Allah alf kheer wel janna inshalah for every every words u ve allowed every one muslims and non muslims who look for truth, the real worship and righteousness

    sis delyan
    wa salam
  6. Zaynab123
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    Zaynab123 Subhana Allah!

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    :):salam2:

    jazak Allahu khayra for sharing

    :hijabi::wasalam:
  7. Proud_2b_Muslim
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    Proud_2b_Muslim Ahmad M. Al-Marshoud

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    :salam2:
    thanks for sharin , jazak Allah khayran
  8. dianne
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    dianne Senior Member

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    Assalamualaikum bro / sis
  9. blue&hope
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    blue&hope New Member

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    Islam is life and peace alhamdulillah.

    Jazakum Allahu Khairan for your sharing
  10. ckrof2ruth
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    ckrof2ruth New Member

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    3 very good and informative posts. It makes the meaning of Islam very clear and easy to understand.

    I am a new Muslim, and these posts, I believe, may work very well for Dawah or interfaith understanding about Islam and Muslims.
  11. sandra canada
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    sandra canada Laa ilaha illa Allah

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    jazakum Allah khayran

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