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An Easy Definition Of A Muslim: Examining The Full Status Of Islam
 
 
Muslim Journals, Writings And Intellects
The Muslim Journals

Arab News & Information - By Adil Salehi

An Easy Definition Of A Muslim: Examining The Full Status Of Islam

Islam requires certain things from every Muslim. These are duties that must be fulfilled. Otherwise, a claim to be a Muslim is meaningless. It is well-known to all that a person becomes a Muslim when he or she declares that they believe in God’s Oneness and that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is God’s Messenger who delivered His final message to mankind. This declaration is sufficient to accept the person making it as a Muslim.



However, there are certain things that must be fulfilled before the full status of Islam applies to anyone. This is defined by the Prophet in the following Hadith. Anas ibn Malik quotes the Prophet as saying: “Whoever offers our prayers, turning his face toward our qiblah, and eats our slaughtered animals is a Muslim to whom the covenant of God and His Messenger is extended. Do not breach God’s covenant.” (Related by Al-Bukhari).

The first point to note in this Hadith is the usage of the plural form of the first-person pronoun ‘our’, in referring to prayer, the direction faced when praying, and one’s food. The Prophet is thus speaking about a person who joins the Muslim community and participates fully in its worship and social activity. Thus, it is not enough to declare one’s belief in God’s Oneness and to accept Muhammad’s prophethood. Many scholars who studied the history of Islam accept that Islam is a profound religion and go even further, stating that it could not have originated from any human being. It must have come from God. Yet they remain non-Muslim.

The Prophet makes clear in this Hadith that such acceptance of the truth of Islam as a faith revealed by God must be followed by certain actions to confirm that a person is a Muslim.

The first of these is to offer the Islamic prayer, i.e. the five obligatory prayers, in the form the Prophet has shown us. It is not enough that one prays to God in a form of his choosing. It must be our prayer that includes reading from the Qur’an and certain movements and glorifications that are well-known. Moreover, this prayer must be offered when a person turns toward the Kaabah in Makkah. This is the direction faced by all Muslims in their prayers, wherever they happen to be.

The third condition is to ‘eat our slaughtered animals’. It is well-known that Islam requires certain conditions in the way an animal is slaughtered for food. What is meant here is that a person should accept these conditions and believe that if they are not met, then the meat is unlawful to eat. The Hadith does not impose a condition of actual eating. A vegetarian who never eats meat fulfills this condition if he believes that the fulfillment of the Islamic conditions of slaughter makes an animal lawful to eat.

These three conditions are thus made the symbols by which we know a person to be truly a Muslim. Such a person enjoys God’s covenant and lives in peace within the Muslim community. He has fulfilled the requirements to belong to that community and all duties and privileges of a Muslim apply to him.
 
 
 Posted By Posted On Sunday, December 02 @ 03:07:28 PST By MediaEnglishTeam
 
 
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