What Does It Take to Be Muslim?

Name of Questioner: Benedicta

Date: 5-7-2019 04:24:15 AM

Consultant: Ask About Islam Editorial Team


1- Some non-Muslims believe that Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a prophet but they don't pray, and they don't fast but protest against any bad comments about Islam. Are they Muslims? 2- To have a correct Islamic Aqeedah (Creed), do I have to know the difference between names and attributes and God's Highness (al-ulw), God's establishment on His Throne (al-istiwaa), and all that stuff? I find them too complicated to internalize. 3- I need to convince someone that religions are not man-made. He believes in God but he is sure that religions are man-made. Could you please help me convince him?

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your question.

Answering your question, Dr. Jasser Auda, Professor and Al-Shatibi Chair of Maqasid Studies at the International Peace College South Africa, and the Executive Director of the Maqasid Institute, states:

What do you mean by 'non-Muslims'? If they believe in the 'six pillars of belief' that were mentioned in hadith of Jibreel, then they are Muslims.

Now, the 'pillars of Islam' such as prayers and fasting, are necessary for 'practicing' being a Muslim. Not performing any of them (including charity Zakah, which many Muslims ignore) is a 'major sin'. A 'major sin' does not make you a dis-believer, even though it does put you in great danger.

Regarding your second question, the knowledge of God's names and attributes (al-asmaa was-sifaat) and God's Highness (al-ulw), God's establishment on His Throne (al-istiwaa), etc. is not a requirement for someone to become Muslim and to have the faith that saves him/her in the hereafter.

During the Prophet's time (peace be upon him), and after some battle, the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) brought a girl to him and the girl was "claiming to be Muslim," they said. They wanted the Prophet to confirm that. You know what the Prophet did? He asked her two questions. First: ‘Who am I?’ The girl replied: The Messenger of God. Second question: "Where is God?" The girl pointed to the sky and said: 'In heavens'. The Prophet turned to the companions and said: "She is a believer!"

So, the answer is: No. You are not required to understand these topics. But if you happen to have any question about the nature of God or any of His names, you need to ask somebody you trust. That's all.

As for your third question, I would argue with them that there is a part of any religion that is heavenly-sent from God for the guidance of mankind, and another part that people add to their heavenly religions for their own worldly agendas and ends.

The argument should go on to say that the false part that humans add to the original and pure heavenly-revealed faith should not turn us off from the whole concept of accepting the messages from God that He sends through prophets, and try to filter out what is man-made from what is heavenly-revealed.

We hope this answers your question.

Keep in touch.