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There is also a collection of Hadith called Sahih Muslim

A Muslim (Arabic: مسلم, Persian: Mosalman or Mosalmon Urdu: مسلمان, Turkish: Müslüman, Albanian: Mysliman, Bosnian: Musliman) is an adherent of the religion of Islam. The feminine form of Muslim is Muslimah (Ar: مسلمه). Literally, the word means "one who submits [to God]" [Ar. muslim, pl. musliminsalma, to submit to God]

Muslims believe that there is only one God, refered to as Allah. Muslims believe that Islam existed long before the Prophet Muhammad and that the religion has evolved with time. The Qur'an describes as Muslims many Biblical prophets and messengers: Adam, Noah (Arabic: Nuh), Moses (Arabic: Musa) and Jesus (Arabic: Isa) and his apostles. The Koran states that these men were Muslims because they submitted to God, preached His message and upheld His values. Thus, in Surah 3 v52 of the Koran, Jesus’ disciples tell Jesus: "do thou bear witness that we are Muslims".

Most Muslims accept others as a Muslim anyone who has publicly pronounced the Shahada, which states, "There is none worthy of worship except God, and Muhammad is His final Messenger." This is often translated as, "There is no god except Allah," however "Allah" is the Arabic word for "the God".


Other words for Muslim

The ordinary word in English is "Muslim", also spelled "Moslem", pronounced /'mʊs.lɪm/, also /'mʌz.ləm/. The word is pronounced /muslem/ in Arabic.

Until at least the mid 1960s, many English-language writers used the term Mohammedans or Mahometans. (See for instance the second edition of "A Dictionary of Modern English Usage" by H. W. Fowler, revised by Ernest Gowers (Oxford, 1965)). However, many Muslims argue that the terms are offensive because they imply that Muslims worship Muhammad rather than God. If the term Christian is used to describe the followers and worshippers of Christ, then "Mohammadan" implies worship of Muhammad.

English writers of the 19th century and earlier sometimes used the words Mussulman, Musselman, or Mussulmaun. Variant forms of this word are still used by many Indo-European languages. These words are similar to the French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese words for "Muslim".

Muslim and mu'min

Template:Islam and iman One of the verses in the Qur'an makes a distinction between a mu'min, a believer, and a Muslim:

The Arabs of the desert say, "We believe." (tu/minu) Say thou: Ye believe not; but rather say, "We profess Islam;" (aslamna) for the faith (al-imanu) hath not yet found its way into your hearts. But if ye obey [God] and His Apostle, he will not allow you to lose any of your actions: for [God] is Indulgent, Merciful ('The Koran 49:14, Rodwell).

According to the Western academician Carl Ernst, contemporary usage of the terms "Islam" and "Muslim" for the faith and its adherents is a modern innovation. As shown in the Quranic passage cited above, early Muslims distinguished between the Muslim, who has "submitted" and does the bare minimum required to be considered a part of the community, and the mu'min, the believer, who has given himself or herself to the faith heart and soul. Ernst writes:

"The Arabic term Islam itself was of relatively minor importance in classical theologies based on the Qur'an. If one looks at the works of theologians such as the famous al-Ghazali (d. 1111), the key term of religious identity is not Islam but iman(faith), and the one who possesses it is the mu'min (believer). Faith is one of the major topics of the Qur'an; it is mentioned hundreds of times in the sacred text. In comparison, Islam is a relatively less common term of secondary importance; it only occurs eight times in the Qur'an. Since, however, the term Islam had a derivative meaning relating to the community of those who have submitted to God, it has taken on a new political significance, especially in recent history." <ref>Ernst, Carl, Following Muhammad, University of North Carolina Press, 2003, p. 63</ref>

For another term in Islam for a non-Muslim who is nevertheless a monotheist believer (usually applied historically in a pre-Islamic context), see hanif.


There are some individuals and groups who consider themselves Muslims, but are not accepted as Muslim by most other Muslims. For example, neither Sunni nor Shi'a Muslims accept Ahmadis or adherents of the Nation of Islam as fellow Muslims. To reject another self-proclaimed Muslim as a non-Muslim is called takfir and is considered un-Islamic by many Muslims. It is, according to Muslims, up to God to decide who is Muslim and who is not.

However, in practice, many Muslim groups, sects, or political factions have labeled other groups, sects, or political factions as non-Muslims; thus, some Sunni will reject other Sunni, some Shi'a will reject other Shi'a, et cetera. In some Muslim-majority countries, the state itself takes a position on certain groups; for example, Ahmadis are not Muslims by the law of Pakistan.

Most Muslims believe that anyone who believes Allah to be the one and only god, submits to Allah and does follow the path of Prophet Muhammad is a Muslim.

See also


  • Ernst, Carl, Following Muhammad, University of North Carolina Press, 2003, p. 63

External links