Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Who is a Muslim???

Who is a Muslim? Can anyone who considers him or herself a Muslim call himself a Muslim? Or are there certain criteria to respect?

There are people who would probably consider themselves Muslim, even though they are not practicing Muslims. The association comes more from being from a Muslim family, so they inherited the title, in a sense. And their family being Muslims *is* part of their identity, even if they don't practice the religion. A lot of people wouldn't consider them Muslims. Or would add "by name" at the end of the title. But really, we don't know what they believe inside.

Is a Muslim defined by their beliefs then? For example, a person who believes in One God who authored the Qur'an. They may or may not practice in all aspects (or any), whether it's because of lack of knowledge, lack of discipline or plain laziness (if you don't think about God, you don't realize how much you believe in Him). Are they the ones who can be called "Muslims"?

Or does a Muslim become a Muslim based on his actions? Praying, fasting, going to mosque, wearing hijab, having a beard, etc. The outward things that people can see about you that makes the association to "Muslim", although whether or not you actually believe in what you're doing inside or you're doing it because of pressure from family, etc, is unknown.

A Muslim is one who follows Islam and Islam is submission through belief in God (his messengers, revelations, day of judgement, etc.). And no one can know if you are submitting well or have the best intention to, except God. So in reality, we could say that only God can answer that question. I think most would agree that only God can answer "Who is a Muslim?"

But for the sake of labels, something we cannot go without as humans, who do YOU agree should get the priviledge of using the "Muslim" label?

3 Comentários:

أم ترافيس said...
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أم ترافيس said...

Quite simply, whoever says "La illah ila Allah Muhamad Rasoolullah" is a Muslim. And his having said the shahada should be known in the muslim community. Also, a person who does NOT pray is also not considered a Muslim. Or if he commits an act of kufr or shirk which nullifies his shahada. (ie worshipping idols/ calling on saints as some sufi sects do, etc)

Candice said...

I don't feel it's that simple at all! But of course that's obvious by all I wrote in my post.
About the praying though, I have to comment that some people believe they should be praying, but they don't, for various reasons (often laziness, sometimes committments, etc.). No one is perfect in religion and in their case, that is one of the short-comings.

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