To elaborate the above question, can a person become a Muslim without believing in Islam but only verbally testifying a simple Shahadah like below, which he does believe in without going into the details of it :

أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله و أسهد أن محمد رسول الله I witness that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger

I have come across many people who wont mind witnessing the above fact , they would also accept Muhammad pbuh as Messenger of God, but would continue following their old ways\religion. Which means Imaan has not entered their hearts.

Moreover I remember a Sahih hadith wherein the prophet approved the Shahadah of a person who apparently said it out of fear to a Sahabah to be saved from getting killed in a War.

From what I read in the historical sources I also found a similar phenomenon , wherin people would embrace Islam en Mass without Imaan even entering into their hearts. Their entering into Islam was just a step to start the training to develop Imaan as evidenced from the following verse:

The bedouins say: "We believe." Say: "You believe not but you only say, 'We have surrendered (in Islam),' for Faith has not yet entered your hearts. But if you obey Allah and His Messenger (SAW), He will not decrease anything in reward for your deeds. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (49:14)

This means that there were people at the time of the prophet pbuh who were Muslims but were not Mumeenineen(Belief entering their hearts). So does it mean one can be a Muslim without Imaan?

  • Isn't the verse loud and clear? Yes people can say we are a Muslim and that suffices for them to be respected—regardless of actually having faith or not
    – Thaqalain
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 3:51

3 Answers 3


You have asked a question that affords no straightforward answer.

In a way, the answer would be no, it isn't necessary for a person to have complete faith before entering Islam, which is by formally reciting the Shahadaah. However, a more important thing to bear in mind is that the new Muslim does not have any mala fide intent while doing so, and that he have at least a smattering of belief in the Messenger(SAWS), as well as the fact that he (SAWS) has been sent with the Truth by the Lord Most High.

Islam can be thought of as a unique set of Divine Protocols through which Divine Help may be sought, and these protocols can be found in the Instructions within the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Messenger(SAWS). The remarkable thing here is that these instructions have to be followed to be able to experience the Help as promised by Allah. Thus the Bedouins were told (as mentioned in the verse quoted by you) that they were to obey these Divine Injunctions first and then (and only then) would Allah guide them.

Thus faith can be thought of as having faith in Allah and His Messenger(SAWS), as well as the Promises made by Him and His Messenger(SAWS), and faith can both increase and decrease in one's heart. Once you start on the path of obedience to Allah, it is for Him to increase that grain of faith in your heart.

Thus it is for Allah to decide when a person becomes a Momin (Believer). By formally professing the Shahadaah, the person legally becomes a Muslim (though not necessarily a believer), and all the legal aspects of the Shareeah become binding upon him.

Of course, this is my understanding of the verse quoted by you, and I am no scholar. Check out the other responses... I hope they throw more light on this matter than this answer.


Let's define things clearly first...

Believer (Mumin):

"I had a slave-girl who used to herd sheep for me. One day I discovered that a wolf had killed one of her sheep, and I'm a man from the children of Adam, I get upset like they get upset, and I slapped her in the face. Then I went to the Prophet who impressed upon me the seriousness of my act. I said, 'O Messenger of Allah, should I not set her free?' He said, 'Bring her to me.' He asked her, 'Where is Allah', She said, 'He is above the heavens.' He said, 'Who am I?' She said, 'You are the Messenger of Allah.' He said, 'Free her, for she is a believer.' (Muslim and Abu Dawud).


Abu Huraira reported: One day the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) appeared before the public that a man came to him and said: Prophet of Allah, (tell me) what is Iman?. Upon this he (the Holy Prophet) replied: That you affirm your faith in Allah, His angels, His Books, His meeting, His Messengers and that you affirm your faith in the Resurrection hereafter...(Book 1, No. 4, Sahih Muslim)

Muslim: = "One who follows Al-Islam"

He (again) said: Messenger of Allah, (tell me) what does al-Islam signify. He (the Holy Prophet) replied: Al-Islam signifies that you worship Allah and do not associate anything with Him and you establish obligatory prayer and you pay the obligatory poor-rate (Zakat) and you observe the fast of Ramadan... (Book 1, No. 4, Sahih Muslim)

The questioner was Jibrael(Gabriel)(AS), who came to teach Prophet's(peace be upon him) Companions what they fail to ask(such basic questions).

Well Iman is just having belief in Allah, messengers, books, hereafter. Mumin, it would suffice to say the shahada(literally understanding it) then he is considered Believer.

But to attain other aspects of Al-Islam, yes not everyone will be aware of things in the very beginning. So, it is the job of fellow Muslims near them to remind them about the Islamic ways.

And your quoted verse i.e. Qur'an 49:14 is talking about hypocrites or treachery.

So does it mean one can be a Muslim without Imaan?

Well from the above definition, along side not having Iman, it seems you can successfully pretend to be a Muslim.

May the creator guide us all.


it's clearly enough that Iman were precondition before Islam.

I'd like to explained it by logic (because I forget which 'Ulama were defined it).

 Wifes of Rasulullah called Ummu Mukminuun not Ummu Muslimuun
 because Mukmin more globally than Muslim 
 We can act as `kafir` but our heart still have Iman 
 to held our live when in danger 

some one can edited it or add some reference to supported it.


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