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Is there any verse in the Holy Quran that provides a clear definition of who should be considered Muslim?

Some extremist groups of Muslims use their own definition of Muslim and call some other Muslims unbeliever(Kaafir) for political and worldly purposes. (Takfir)

So I would like to see how the Holy Quran defines Muslim. Please support your answers with verses and their respective translations from the Holy Quran.

In other words: what are minimum requirements of being considered as a Muslim according to Islam and Quran.

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Your question was vague and filled with unnecessary details. I cut some parts and tried to make it close to the point. –  Noah Sep 18 '12 at 14:03
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5 Answers

According to (Al-Hojorat:14)

قَالَتِ الْأَعْرَابُ آمَنَّا قُل لَّمْ تُؤْمِنُوا وَلَٰكِن قُولُوا أَسْلَمْنَا وَلَمَّا يَدْخُلِ الْإِيمَانُ فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ وَإِن تُطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ لَا يَلِتْكُم مِّنْ أَعْمَالِكُمْ شَيْئًا إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

The desert Arabs say, "We believe." Say, "Ye have no faith; but ye (only) say, 'We have submitted our wills to Allah,' For not yet has Faith entered your hearts. But if ye obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not belittle aught of your deeds: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."

every person who starts Islam is a Muslim (although Muslim can be any submission to Allah as well, as may be the case for even people of the book). The name of Islam is Islam to show its highest goal (being submitted to Allah) but this submission has only one constraint, it should be truthful not only a word of mouth or even a decision of mind not backing with proper behavior at the times of examinations.

  1. So becoming Muslim starts from saying the world by mouth (say, after seeing a spark of light in the hearth, an evolution in hearth, feeling a presence of Allah and similarly other cases).
  2. Then this statement absorbs examinations to the new Muslim, he would be examined at the same time that he is gradually learning Islam, its ideology and Shari'ah. The examinations have at least one important objective, the person would find his weak points as Allah says "For thy Lord is (as a Guardian) on a watch-tower" (Al-Fajr:14), he can either choose to accept the weak point and try to resolve it or simply deny it arrogantly.
  3. He cannot pass to a higher level until he passes the examinations successfully, step by step.
  4. At some point (perhaps from the very beginning that he faces the examinations for the first time and decide to overcome his weak points, switching from only tongue to also mind situation?) the rather new Muslim will feel the joy of presence of Allah all over around as a sign of faith, as faith is now touching his hearth.
  5. However, he is now only a beginner in being faithful as Allah says: "O ye who believe! Believe in Allah and His Messenger, and the scripture which He hath sent to His Messenger and the scripture which He sent to those before (him). Any who denieth Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Day of Judgment, hath gone far, far astray."(An-Nesaa':136) or similarly "O ye that believe! Fear Allah, and believe in His Messenger, and He will bestow on you a double portion of His Mercy: He will provide for you a Light by which ye shall walk (straight in your path), and He will forgive you (your past): for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."(Al-Hadid:28). The point to focus on here is "O ye who believe! Believe …" so that becoming faithful has degrees, the Muslim should travel his journey toward Allah step by step. There are a bunch of verses guiding the believer how to think and behave for him to improve, as Quran is the book of guidance for those who believe (according to Quran itself)!
  6. Faith and fear of Allah (fear of his Justice, being decent before his majesty: Taghva) are related to each other as faith in hearth causes Taghva in behavior (avoiding sins and not being in observance to his commands), Taghva in behavior brings back confidence (yagheen) which again makes the faith of the faithful person stronger. This chain is the right way (Serat-e-Mostaghim) toward Allah that no one reaches it but the truthful men, those who say we believe and then prove it in action (Al-Aghaf:13, Fosselat:30):

Only those are Believers who have believed in Allah and His Messenger, and have never since doubted, but have striven with their belongings and their persons in the Cause of Allah: Such are the sincere ones. (Al-Hojorat:15)

and the 14 innocents A.S. are the most sincere ones, and the prophet S.A says:

"And I am commanded to be the first (foremost) of those who bow to Allah in Islam." (Az-Zomar:12)

To sum up all the above stated things, Muslim in Quran (when is used for Muslims really and not anyone who submits to Allah, whether or not has stated the words of "Shahaadatein": Allah is unique and Muhammad S.A. is his prophet) include both who have just entered Islam, no faith even touching their hearth, to the foremost of all the Muslims and faithful creatures of Allah the holy prophet Muhammad S.A., and should be easily understandable as anyone who enters a religion/ism would be called with a title taken from the name of that religion/ism, but the name of the religion/ism itself should already have an eye open to the ending point of that religion/ism as well. To speak strictly, anyone who says the "Shahaadaatein" (accepting Allah as the only God through the prophecy of his prophet Muhammad S.A.) will be Muslim, that is, not Kafir. So that even a "yet unbeliever" (different than unbeliever who is not also tended to believe) is not that unbeliever which is known as Kafir (atheist)! Confessing to be Mulsim and not being hypocrite equals being Muslim in view of Allah.

PS. Shirk, opposite of Islam, has also a similar gradual structure, the biggest being stating that God is not unique or there are gods with Allah, to that we believe in uniqueness of Allah but follow our will instead of his will in action, although we know he is the only ruler of the world and has no coadjutor, not my will and not any will other than his, be it the will of my society, its government, my family, the world-wide will, or else.

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thanks. only seems mixing your answer with different ranks of Believer and also Hidden Shirk made it complicated to understand what is your final define of Muslim. Question is only about Muslim. specially when it is the matter of Takfir and killing a Muslim by another Muslim. not higher ranks of a real Believer. –  Battle of Karbala Sep 19 '12 at 4:37
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I was aimed to only answer your question, the definition of Muslim according to Quran, everyone from those who are named Muslim (while confessing to be Muslim by mouth) even if having yet no faith in their hearths are called Muslims (I hope you notice the difference between such Muslims and hypocrites, though, as they are not hiding an anger in their hearths against Allah and his prophet S.A.) to the best of Allah's creature his holy prophet S.A.. –  owari Sep 19 '12 at 5:35
    
Therefore, anyone who says the "Shahaadaatein" (accepting Allah as the only God through the prophecy of his prophet Muhammad S.A.) will be Muslim, that is, not Kafir. So that even a "yet unbeliever" (different than unbeliever who is not also tended to believe) is not that unbeliever which is known as Kafir (atheist)! Confessing to be Mulsim and not being hypocrite equals being Muslim in view of Allah. –  owari Sep 19 '12 at 5:38
    
thanks. better to improve your answer with you clear define in comment. only about "not being hypocrite" how Muslims can understand who claims to be Muslim is Muslim or not? can Muslims Judge about it? its my fault asking in view of Allah. we do not know what God know. better to say in view of Islam laws. –  Battle of Karbala Sep 19 '12 at 6:12
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Modified, thanks. God knows the hypocrites, but how we can recognize a Muslim from an atheist is another question that seems to be different than the question in the title of this page, maybe you would like to open another page for it? –  owari Sep 19 '12 at 11:14
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I searched the whole Quran for the word Muslim. It seems there is no explicit definition of a Muslim, although it has been called to different people in different situations. Among them the following verses seem to match your question better than others:

1) قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ تَعَالَوْا إِلَىٰ كَلِمَةٍ سَوَاءٍ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمْ أَلَّا نَعْبُدَ إِلَّا اللَّهَ وَلَا نُشْرِكَ بِهِ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَتَّخِذَ بَعْضُنَا بَعْضًا أَرْبَابًا مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ ۚ فَإِن تَوَلَّوْا فَقُولُوا اشْهَدُوا بِأَنَّا مُسْلِمُونَ

Say, "O People of the Scripture, come to a word that is equitable between us and you - that we will not worship except Allah and not associate anything with Him and not take one another as lords instead of Allah ." But if they turn away, then say, "Bear witness that we are Muslims [submitting to Him]." [ Ali-Imran: 64 ]

2) وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ قَوْلًا مِّمَّن دَعَا إِلَى اللَّهِ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا وَقَالَ إِنَّنِي مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ

And who is better in speech than one who invites to Allah and does righteousness and says, "Indeed, I am of the Muslims." [Fussilat: 33]

3) وَجَاهِدُوا فِي اللَّهِ حَقَّ جِهَادِهِ ۚ هُوَ اجْتَبَاكُمْ وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ مِنْ حَرَجٍ ۚ مِّلَّةَ أَبِيكُمْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ ۚ هُوَ سَمَّاكُمُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ مِن قَبْلُ وَفِي هَٰذَا لِيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ شَهِيدًا عَلَيْكُمْ وَتَكُونُوا شُهَدَاءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ ۚ فَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِاللَّهِ هُوَ مَوْلَاكُمْ ۖ فَنِعْمَ الْمَوْلَىٰ وَنِعْمَ النَّصِيرُ

And strive for Allah with the striving due to Him. He has chosen you and has not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty. [It is] the religion of your father, Abraham. Allah named you "Muslims" before [in former scriptures] and in this [revelation] that the Messenger may be a witness over you and you may be witnesses over the people. So establish prayer and give zakah and hold fast to Allah . He is your protector; and excellent is the protector, and excellent is the helper. [Al-Haj: 78]

4) وَقَالَ مُوسَىٰ يَا قَوْمِ إِن كُنتُمْ آمَنتُم بِاللَّهِ فَعَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلُوا إِن كُنتُم مُّسْلِمِينَ

And Moses said, "O my people, if you have believed in Allah , then rely upon Him, if you should be Muslims." [ Yunus: 84]

5) وَإِذْ أَوْحَيْتُ إِلَى الْحَوَارِيِّينَ أَنْ آمِنُوا بِي وَبِرَسُولِي قَالُوا آمَنَّا وَاشْهَدْ بِأَنَّنَا مُسْلِمُونَ

And [remember] when I inspired to the disciples, "Believe in Me and in My messenger Jesus." They said, "We have believed, so bear witness that indeed we are Muslims [in submission to Allah ]." [Al-Ma'idah: 111]

But as you asked for the minimum reqiurements of a Muslim, I think the first verse (Ali-Imran: 64) has the key answer, since it points to the word that is equitable between different people of the Scripture. These requirements (as johan.i.zahri mentioned) are:

  • Worshiping just and just Allah
  • Not associating anything with him (Renounce Shirk)
  • Not taking one another as lords instead of Allah

So it could mean that Quran even calls Christians and Jews, 'Muslim'. Then how can we call some muslims, 'non Muslim'?

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Muslim is the one who submit's to the Will of Allah:

As per Surah Al Imran verse 52: We see Christ Jesus Calling out to his disciples: "Who will be my helper in the works of Allah - This is the "First Dawah" to an independent group.

The Desciples respond "We will be your helper and we believe in Allah - This as such is the "first Shahadah" by an independent group - six hyndred years prior to the Dawn of Islam in Arabia.

This message has been given to us by Allah through his Prophet Mohammad (PBUH): Also it is stated in the Quran : All those who follow Jesus will be superior in this world and the hereafter - as such we follow Jesus not as God but as the only Messiah of mankind and declare to be "Senior Muslims"

All are invited to Join this first but new group.

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Salam and Welcome to Islam.SE, we strongly suggest that you read the FAQ. –  Al Ummat Nov 26 '12 at 18:38
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As per

قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ تَعَالَوْا إِلَىٰ كَلِمَةٍ سَوَاءٍ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمْ أَلَّا نَعْبُدَ إِلَّا اللَّـهَ وَلَا نُشْرِكَ بِهِ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَتَّخِذَ بَعْضُنَا بَعْضًا أَرْبَابًا مِّن دُونِ اللَّـهِ ۚ فَإِن تَوَلَّوْا فَقُولُوا اشْهَدُوا بِأَنَّا مُسْلِمُونَ ﴿٦٤﴾ Say, "O People of the (Divine) Scripture, come to a word that is equitable between us and you - that we will not worship except Allah and not associate anything with Him and not take one another as lords instead of Allah." But if they turn away, then say, "Bear witness that we are Muslims [submitting to/in peace with Him]." (3:64)

which means that a muslim has these characteristics: 1. come to a word that is equitable between us and you (will look for commonalities rather than differences which opt for a peaceful settlements) 2. we will not worship except Allah and not associate anything with Him (allegiance is only to the Prime One / the Creator of All, to be a slave/servant to only Him) 3. not take one another as lords (against slavery on each other)

Muslims are the common denominating factor of the yahood(jews), the naSara(christians), the sabeans(the monotheistic hindus? and prior) and the mu'mins (the believers commonly misrepresentd as the "traditional/conventional sunni/shia muslims") as per 2:62 and 3:19.

For example in the Quran, Ibraheem AS was a muslim and was not a jew nor was he a christian as per 3:67. But he might be a sabean or a mu'min, but either way he was a muslim.

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so: a jew is a muslim.. a christian is a muslim.. a sabean is a muslim.. a mu'min is a muslim.. but : a muslim may not necessarily be a jew.. a muslim may not necessarily be a christian.. a muslim may not necessarily be a sabean.. a muslim may not necessarily be a mu'min.. a muslim may not necessarily be etc.. –  johan.i.zahri Dec 2 '12 at 6:47
    
what you are saying is the fact that we have only one religion with different versions revealed throughout history of the mankind: Islam. However, the original poster seems to be talking about the common phrase Islam as used by people around the world, not as it really means by word! –  owari Dec 2 '12 at 13:18
    
i believe the questioner asks according to the Quran. If what in common phrase contradicts the Quranic outlook then maybe we ought to revisit the understanding of our common phrase lest we fall into cognitive dissonance praising the Quran but not understanding it pure and wholeheartedly? –  johan.i.zahri Dec 2 '12 at 18:53
    
@johan.i.zahri this answer looks as if it is based on theory of oneness of religions, which comes or is a part of the theory of Wihdatul Wujud, oneness of existence (everything is Allah) which has no place in Islam and is not part of it. –  Al Ummat Dec 2 '12 at 20:37
    
no place for islam? but we are discussing what constitute the word islam itself.. –  johan.i.zahri Dec 3 '12 at 4:21
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(71/9. The believers, men and women, are Auliya' (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another, they enjoin (on the people) Al-Ma'ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do), and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (i.e. polytheism and disbelief of all kinds, and all that Islam has forbidden); they perform As- Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) and give the Zakat, and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah will have His Mercy on them. Surely Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.) No need for more explanation the holy quran verse introduces a muslim....

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-1 This definitely needs more explanation: The quoted ayah clearly refers to mu'mins, not muslims. –  goldPseudo Oct 19 '13 at 5:49
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