Categories
Articles of Faith New Muslims

What Makes Me a Muslim?

In addressing your Muslim identity, there are some questions you needs to ask: What makes a Muslim truly a Muslim? Do you deserve being a Muslim? What do you do in return of the gift? What do you do to show gratitude to the gift-Giver?

prayer beads

Accepting Islam means that Muslims should consciously and deliberately accept what has been taught by the Prophet Muhammad and act accordingly.

 

Brothers in Islam! We all as Muslims sincerely believe that Islam is the greatest blessing that Allah has given us in this world. We find our hearts filled with gratitude to Him for including us in the Ummah of the Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be on him) and bestowing upon us this unique blessing. Allah Himself describes Islam as His most invaluable gift to His servants:

Today I have perfected your Deen (way of life) for you, and I have completed My blessing upon you, and I have willed that Islam be the way for you. (Al-Ma’idah 5:3)

To be truly grateful for this greatest favour, you must therefore render to Allah His due. If you do not do so, you are undoubtedly an ungrateful person. And what ingratitude can be worse than to forget what you owe to your God.

How can we, you may ask, render these dues?

Since Allah has been gracious enough to include you in the Ummah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) the best way of showing gratitude – and there is no other way – is to become totally committed followers of the Prophet. And, since He has made you a part of the Muslim Ummah, to become true Muslims. If you do not, the punishment for your ingratitude will be as great as the original gift was. May Allah save us all from this great punishment! Ameen.

You will now ask: How can we become Muslims in the true sense of the word?

To answer this question I want to look at a point of fundamental importance, without which we cannot hope to discover true faith. This, you must understand, is the first essential step on your road to becoming a true Muslim.

Is Islam a Birthright?

But, first, think for a while: What does the word ‘Muslim’, which we all use so often, really mean? Can a person be a Muslim by virtue of his birth? Is a person a Muslim simply because he is the son or grandson of a Muslim? Is a Muslim born a Muslim just as a Hindu Brahman’s son is born a Brahman, or an Englishman’s son is born an Englishman, or a white man’s son is born a white man, or a negro’s son is born a negro? Are ‘Muslims’ a race, a nationality or a caste?

Do Muslims belong to the Muslim Ummah like Aryans belong to the Aryan race? And, just as a Japanese is a Japanese because he is born in Japan, is a Muslim similarly a Muslim by being born in a Muslim country?

Your answer to these questions will surely be: No. A Muslim does not become truly a Muslim simply because he is born a Muslim. A Muslim is not a Muslim because he belongs to any particular race; he is a Muslim because he follows Islam. If he renounces Islam, he ceases to be a Muslim.

Any person, whether a Brahman or a Rajput, an Englishman or a Japanese, a white or a black, will, on accepting Islam, become a full member of the Muslim community; while a person born in a Muslim home may be expelled from the Muslim community if he gives up following Islam, even though he may be a descendant of the Prophet, an Arab or a Pathan.

Such will surely be your answer to my question. This establishes that the greatest gift of Allah which you enjoy – that of being a Muslim – is not something automatically inherited from your parents, which remains yours for life by right irrespective of your attitudes and behaviour. It is a gift which you must continually strive to deserve if you want to retain it; if you are indifferent to it, it may be taken away from you, God forbid.

No Mere Verbal Profession

You agree that we become Muslims only by accepting Islam. But what does acceptance of Islam mean? Does it mean that whoever makes a verbal profession ‘I am a Muslim’ or ‘I have accepted Islam’ becomes a true Muslim?

Or does it mean that, just as a Brahman worshipper may recite a few words of Sanskrit without understanding them, a man who utters some Arabic phrases without knowing their meaning becomes a Muslim? What reply will you give to this question?

You cannot but answer that accepting Islam means that Muslims should consciously and deliberately accept what has been taught by the Prophet Muhammad and act accordingly. People who do not so behave are not Muslims in the true sense.

_________________________

The article is an excerpt from Abul A`la Al-Mawdudi’s book “Let Us Be Muslims”. 

[ica_orginalurl]

By Hanif Kruger

BIO for Hanif Kruger

Hanif is the manager at the Assistive Technology Centre of the South African National Council for the Blind with more than 30 years of experience in the assistive technology and IT fields. Hanif’s passion is assistive technology and advocating for key issues affecting people with disabilities and more specifically the blind and vision impaired. He shares his love for Assistive Technologies through sharing information through his work and via social media and relevant events in order to spread the knowledge and awareness around new technologies and the challenges relating to AT for PWDs. A strong believer in the rights of persons with disabilities and the philosophy of “nothing about us without us”, he regularly push for the affordability and accessability of AT and matching the correct assistive technology solutions with a person in order for them to reach their full capacity. Hanif enjoys a good Netflix and Apple TV+ binge but can also be found walking both his guide dogs looking for cookies .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.