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What makes a Muslim a Muslim

With over 1.9 billion followers, Islam is the second-largest religion globally. Not only the Muslims reside in Muslim countries (with Islam as the main religion), but also several non-Muslim countries. Living along people with other beliefs and religions means that you are distinguished by your morals and values that depict your faith.

Being a Muslim is about being a living example of the Quran and the Sunnah. Hazrat Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasallam did not preach the religion by tongue only. His actions were identical to what he told his believers so that they understand everything in detail and act upon the sayings of ALLAH subhanahu wa ta’ala.

Becoming a good Muslim is not very difficult as most of the elements of being a good Muslim are just the characteristics of a good human being. Thus, you can infer that being among the favorites of ALLAH subhanahu wa ta’ala won’t be difficult for you if you are a good human being.

The five pillars of Islam

Though being a Muslim is more than only the five pillars, they are the fundamental and crucial elements of being a Muslim.

Shahadah 

Shahadah means to declare your faith that ALLAH subhanahu wa ta’ala is the only one worth-worship, and Hazrat Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasallam is HIS (last) prophet.

It is the most vital part of Islam, and anyone who does not believe in the oneness of Allah cannot be a Muslim.

Salaat

Salaat means prayer. The routine of a Muslim involves five daily prayers where he answers the call of ALLAH subhanahu wa ta’ala and stands in front of him to pray. The daily prayers are Fajar, Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib, and Isha performed at different times of the day.

Zakat

Islam is a religion of harmony and equality where no white has priority over the black and vice versa. Thus, to ensure that the poor people in the community also get an adequate living standard, Islam emphasizes everyone to pay Zakat. Zakat is a fraction of your earning in one year. It applies to everything you own, including cash, gold, silver, land, and others. The rules are different for everything.

Sawm

Sawm is fasting – particularly in the 29/30 days of Ramadan. Ramadan is the 9th month of the lunar calendar and fasting in this month is obligatory for every Muslim (some exceptions are present)

Hajj

Hajj is a pilgrimage of the Muslims to the Holy Ka’bah. Hazrat Ibrahim builds the Holy Ka’bah, and Hazrat Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasallam restored it for Muslims. Thousands of Muslims go to the sacred place every year to perform Hajj and celebrate Eid ul Adha.

What else?

These five pillars are essential for anyone to bind to, for becoming a part of Islam. All the Muslims believe in the five pillars of Islam and abide by the obligations by ALLAH subhanahu wa ta’ala. However, there is a lot more to being a Muslim. In the light of the Quran and Sunnah, some attributes are essential to become a noble Muslim.

Sabar

Sabar, translated to Patience in English, is preached repeatedly in the Holy Quran. The mention of this word 102 times in the Quran shows how important it is. ALLAH subhanahu wa ta’ala says, “Allah surely loves those who are the Sabireen (patient).” (3:146)

Muslims are advised to stay patient in the tough times as good times are yet to come. Sabr acts as a weapon for Muslims to go through tough times without losing their faith.

Shukr

While ALLAH mentions in Surah Rahman, “Fabi ayyi aalaa’i rabbikuma tukazzibaan,” he asks us to be thankful for what he has provided us. From the tall mountains to soft silk and flowy streams, everything is mesmerizing. When you are grateful for what you have, you do not feel jealous of others.

Masawaat

Islam is an advocate of equal rights for everyone, whether they are black, white, rich, or poor. At the time of Khutba e Hajjatul’Widaa, Hazrat Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasallam asked people to treat everyone equally. One of the most prominent messages from Khutba e Hajjatul’Widaa is “Choose for your Muslim brothers and sisters, only what you choose for themselves, even if they are your slaves”. Masawaat is exemplary behavior in daily life while working with your subordinates to make sure no one feels inferior.

Tolerance

While we live in a world that is a global village with people of different religions and ethnicities living together, respecting each other’s values is important. No other explanation is needed when the Quran itself says, “For you is your religion, and for me is my religion.” (Quran 109: 6)

Honesty

Talking of Sunnah, how can we forget that the best of all human beings, Hazrat Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasallam, was known as “Al-Sadiq” and “Al-Ameen” meaning truthful and honest respectively. It is among the essential virtues of being a human being that you have to be truthful no matter what. Speaking the truth once saves you from having to remember the lies you have told.

Kindness

Hazrat Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasallam said: “Allah is kind and likes kindness in all things” (Bukhari, 6601).

He sallallahu alaihi wasallam always showed kindness to everyone, particularly women, children, the elderly, and the weak. Hazrat Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasallam visited the ill and treated his wives and children with utmost affection and love. He encouraged everyone to practice kindness in everyday life to be an upright human being and Muslim.

Humility

While all the acts of virtue are important to become a righteous Muslim, humility is among the essential ones. A Muslim should never be proud of anything he does as pride carries a sense of superiority. Hazrat Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasallam says: “One who has even an iota of pride will not enter Paradise.”

You are a Muslim unquestionably if you are abiding by the five pillars of Islam truly. Yet, acquiring the goodness of these other virtues is a cherry on top if you want to be an exemplary Muslim whom others look up to.

Sherjan Ali
My name is Sherjan Ali and I am a chemical engineer with more than 6 years of experience in content writing. I have written blogs, articles, and guides for many websites during this time. For any questions, I'm just a text away!