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Becoming of a Muslim

We shall not be concerned with the question of becoming a Sufi. However, this article discusses the issue of becoming a Real Musli​m. Neither Holy Quran, nor the Sacred Traditions enjoin upon any person to become a Sufi. But all the authorities do speak of the necessity of becoming a Real Muslim.

For example, let us check the verse of Sura Alu Imran in the Holy Quran.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ ( سورة آل عمران 102)

“O ye who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam”

The same command to become a Muslim, is seen in other verses of Holy Quran also. For example, the following Quranic verse commands everybody to enter the path of Islam.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ادْخُلُوا فِي السِّلْمِ كَافَّةً وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُبِينٌ ( سورة البقرة – 208 )

"O ye who believe! Enter into Islam whole-heartedly; and follow not the footsteps of the evil one; for he is to you an avowed enemy”

In the famous Quran exegesis of Imam Ibn Kathir (RA), he reports from Imam Ibnu Abbas (RA), who is renowned as the leader (Raees) of Quran exegetes, that the meaning of word silm in this verse denotes Islam itself. It is reported of him on another occasion that the word silm means complete obedience.

Thus it is clear from the above-mentioned verses that, the word Islam or Muslim doesn’t denote any community or a group of people. But Islam indicates a reality that everyone should realize within himself or herself. We can understand this more clearly, if we see the explanation of the famous Tradition in which Prophet (SA) answers to the questions of Arch-angel Gabriel regarding Islam, Iman and Ihsan “.

Whenever Holy Quran talks about the communities of the earlier prophets like that of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and Prophet Musa (AS), it uses the term Islam frequently. It was Prophet Ibrahim (AS), who was called a Muslim for the first time. Still, we can be assured that the reality of becoming a Muslim existed prior to that, or with the Prophet Adam himself. This is clear, if we dig deep into the meanings of the Quranic verses. For example, let us see the following verse.-

مَا كَانَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ يَهُودِيًّا وَلَا نَصْرَانِيًّا وَلَكِنْ كَانَ حَنِيفًا مُسْلِمًا ( سورة آل عمران – 67 )

“Ibrahim was not a Jew nor yet a Christian; but he was true in Faith, and bowed his will to Allah (Which is Islam), and he joined not gods with Allah.”

Ali Askar Mahboobi