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What is a Muslim?

Updated on September 12, 2015

What is a Muslim?

A Muslim is anyone who follows the religion of Muhammad (pbuh). Similarly, a Jew is anyone who follows the religion of Musa (Moses [as]). Likewise, a Christian is anyone who follows the religion of Isa (Jesus [as]). Thus, anyone you follows the religion of Muhammad (pbuh) is considered a Muslim. Notwithstanding, according to Sunni theological belief, all the Prophets of God shared the same religion,[1] however, mankind split into different religions and sects thus today we have various faiths; and each creed believes itself to be the ultimate path towards God.

…The Prophets are brothers; their mothers are different but their religion is one…


Is there an Alternative Definition of a Muslim?

An alternative definition of a Muslim is a person who accepts Islam as his or her way of life and is ‘one who submits to God’.[2]

What does submitting to God mean?

I think submission to God is achieved through Taqwa.

What is Taqwa?

Taqwa is God-consciousness that all Muslims aspire to achieve or maintain.[3] A more detailed explaination of God-consciousness and Taqwa can be found here.

What was the religion of Muhammad (pbuh)?

The religion of Muhammad (pbuh) was Islam, Iman and Ihsan. In essence, everything in the religion, including rituals, beliefs and character stems from Islam, Iman and/or Ihsan. The evidence I have cited in support of this view can be found in Sahih Muslim, [93] 1 – [8] whereby Jibra'il (Archangel Gabriel) visited Muhammad (pbuh) publically in the presence of Muhammad’s (pbuh) companions. Together both Jibra'il (Archangel Gabriel) and Muhammad (pbuh) were able to concisely summarise the entire religion in a short and brief open discussion.

The religion of Muhammad (pbuh) is a simple religion to grasp if the crux of the doctrine is believed to be merely the three components that is: Islam, Iman & Ihsan. As stated, every other aspect of the faith stems from and can be categorized within Islam, Iman and/or Ihsan.

What is Islam?

Islam is the five Pillars:[4]

  1. Shahadah,
  2. Salah,
  3. Zakat,
  4. Fasting in the month of Ramadan; and
  5. Hajj

...The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Islam means to bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and that Muhammad (pbuh) is the Messenger of Allah; to establish the Salat, to pay the Zakat, to fast (the month of) Ramadan and to perform pilgrimage to the House (the Kabah), if you have the means...


What is Iman?

Iman is to believe in the six articles of faith:[5]

  1. Allah
  2. His Angels,
  3. His Books,
  4. His Messengers,
  5. Judgement Day; and
  6. Al-Qadar

...'It is to believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day, and to believe in Al-Qadar (the divine will and decree), both the good and bad of it...


What is Ihsan?

Ihsan is to worship Allah as though you can see Him, for although you cannot see Him, He indeed sees you.[6]

... It is to worship Allah as though you can see Him, for although you cannot see Him, He indeed sees you.’ …



A Muslim is one who follows the religion of Muhammad (pbuh); alternatively a Muslim is 'one who submits to God'. The religion of Muhammad (pbuh) was Islam, Iman and Ihsan; and every other aspect of the religion stems from Islam, Iman and/or Ihsan.

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  1. [1] AL-HAJJAJ, Imam Abul Hussain Muslim Ibn (2007). In: ZAI, Hafiz Abu Tahir Zubair Ali, KHALIYL, Abu and AL-KHATTAB, Nasiruddin (eds.). English Translation Of Sahih Muslim. First ed., Riyadh, Maktaba Dar-us-Salam, p.212, Vol.6.
  2. [2] ASHATH, Imam Hafiz Abu Dawud Sulaiman bin (2008). Sunan Abu Dawud. In: ZAI, Hafiz Abu Tahir Zubair, et al. (eds.). English Translation of Sunan Abu Dawud. First ed., Riyadh, Maktaba Dar-us-Salam, p558, Vol.5
  3. [3] Ibid., p588, Vol.5
  4. [4] (Sahih Muslim p.95, Vol.1) op cite., note 1,
  5. [5] Ibid.,
  6. [6] Ibid.,


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    • peachpurple profile image


      3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      I understand that all muslim boys had to go through circumcision when they are young but why do cats have to do the same?

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      3 years ago from San Diego California

      I found it very insightful indeed. You have concisely summarized the basic tenets of your faith here, and my most sincere hope is that all of those that are followers of your Prophet, or the teachings of Moses, or the teachings of Jesus, can get in touch with our common heritage and live in peace. Great hub.

    • peachpurple profile image


      3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      thanks for a short intro about your religion

    • abdussalaam profile imageAUTHOR

      Abdus Salaam 

      3 years ago from Luton

      That's a very interesting insight. Thank you.

    • profile image

      G Connors Lucas 

      3 years ago from El Paso, Texas

      When looking at world religions I always like took at the prophet who started that religion along with their God. When it comes to religion my philosophy is that I trust everyone, I just don't trust the devil inside of them. Mohammed has made some extraordinary claims about the religion he started which demands extraordinary proof that his religion is true. I always like to look at the history of any religion so how did the religion of Islam start?

      The religion of Islam, began with a man named Muhammad.Muhammad was born in 570 A.D. into a violent, pagan, and polytheistic culture in the city of Mecca, in modern day Saudi Arabia. One night, in 610 A.D., at the age of 40, while contemplating inside a cave on the outskirts of Mecca, Muhammad was supposedly visited by the angel Gabriel (the same angel that appeared to Daniel and the Virgin Mary in the Bible). According to Muhammad, that night began a series of angelic visitations and revelations that soon after became the teachings of Muhammad and ultimately the text of the Qur'an, the sacred book of Islam. By the end of the first decade of Muhammad's preaching, several hundred families were convinced that he was a prophet of God. Having converted to monotheism (belief in one God, Allah), Muhammad and his followers were a minority and persecuted by those who would not convert. To stamp out this newly invented religion, a plan was devised to assassinate Muhammad. So in 622, Muhammad and his followers fled from Mecca. They went 250 miles north to the friendlier city of Medina.

      Eight years later, after winning a series of military battles, in the year of 630, Muhammad and his army of 10,000 men went back to and conquered Mecca. Muhammad proceeded to the main sanctuary in Mecca, known as the Ka’bah, and ordered that all the idols be destroyed and that it be dedicated to Allah. In 632 Muhammad died a sudden but natural death at the age of 63 in the city of Medina.

      Islam was forced upon tens of millions by military conquest. This is an undeniable fact of history. And Islam maintains itself today in many countries today by threatening with death any Muslim who would convert to any other religion than Islam. Muhammad said “If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him." The Hadith, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 260 (Also, see Volume 9, Book 84, Number 64) And not only do Muslims lose their lives for converting, but so often do those who seek to evangelize Muslims.

      For months after the September 11th tragedy I heard numerous interviews with Muslim scholars on the news saying that Islam is a religion of peace, and they would quote verses from the Qur’an that seemed to say that violence and murder, were not part of Islam.

      Well, that was pretty confusing I think for a lot of folks, because, Christian teachers like Franklin Graham, Dave Hunt, and others on the radio were quoting verses from the Qur’an that seemed to say the exact opposite.

      So, what does the Qur’an teach? Does it advocate violence or peace? The answer is this: It teaches both. The earlier teachings of Muhammad [the Meccan Suras] have a moderate tone of peace and tolerance toward other religions. Listen to what the Qur’an says...Sura 2:190 “Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors.”Sura 29:46 “And dispute ye not with the People of the Book, [speaking of the Bible, a reference to Christians and Jews].”

      But in the later teachings of Muhammad, there was a shift, and the Qur’an advocates a more hostile attitude toward people of other faiths. For instance, listen to...Sura 9:5 “So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them” Sura 8:39 “Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God’s religion shall reign supreme” And there are others.

      The question remains, what kind of god would tell its followers to kill people simply because they did not believe in that religion or God. On the other hand the God of Christianity lets people make their own choice as to who they will follow. That does not by any means say that there have not been denominations like Catholics who have taken the sword to people in the name of God. I will always tell you the Crusades had nothing to do with God or religion and was pagan in nature.

      But the real issue here is what proofs can the nation of Islam show that their god, prophet and religious book is true? The fact remains there are not any fulfilled prophesies in the Qu'ran. Their religious book do not answer any of life's toughest questions. There is not one proof the religion of Islam can offer you. Not one.

      Because there is no proof it clearly follows that the religion of Islam is a false religion, their prophet Mohammed is a false prophet and their religious book the Qu'ran is a made up book by the fantasies of Mohammed.

      That is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me God.


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