Humanity, Defining a Muslim

Testimony of Faith

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The Five Pillars of Islam

  1. The testimony of faith (shahada) belief in the One God-Almighty, worshipping Him alone without appointing any partners to Him, in any way, shape, or form and belief that Muhammad is His final messenger.
  2. The five daily prayers
  3. Almsgiving (charity)
  4. Fasting Ramadan
  5. Pilgrimage to Makkah (compulsory for all able-bodied Muslims)

Defining a Muslim

As previously stated in the Islamic Creed, everything in the universe is ‘Muslim’ for it obeys God-Almighty by submission to His laws. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) stated in a hadith, “The Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hand the people are safe, and the believer is the one who is trusted with the lives and wealth of the people.

By taking the testimony of faith (there is no god but God-Almighty and Prophet Muhammad is His servant and messenger) a person becomes a Muslim. It is important to clarify that there are no clergy whom can reject or accept a person’s acceptance of faith.

Defining the Beliefs of a Muslim

In a famous hadith, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) details an exchange he had with the Archangel Gabriel defining what Islam is and the journey of a Muslim and their faith (iman).

In addition to the five pillars of Islam (testifying that there is no god but God-Almighty, fasting during Ramadan, paying zakat, and making a pilgrimage to Makkah, and the five daily prayers), part of the discussion included the six core components of belief (iman). A Muslim must believe in the One God-Almighty, His Books, His Prophets, His angels, the Day of Judgment, and in destiny and free will.

The Archangel Gabriel then asked Prophet Muhammad to continue and explain the concept of Ihsan. The Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, it is that you should serve God-Almighty as though you can see Him, for though you cannot see Him, know that He sees you.

In the Qur’an, God-Almighty often says, “Surely God loves those who are devoted to doing good, aware that God is seeing them.” A Muslim must be fair and ethical in every aspect of their life, from their professional to their personal relationships.

Service to Humanity

God-Almighty tells us in the Qur’an that he sent humanity on earth to act as vicegerents (2:30) and God-Almighty also says that humanity will not be left without purpose or to go about as he pleases (75:36). (1)

It is essential to the Muslim identity to feel compassion for one’s fellow human beings. Several hadith (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him) refer to this deep affection: “you will not believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself”; “the believers are like one body in their mutual love and affection: if one limb is injured, the rest responds with sleeplessness and fever”. (2)

Serving humanity is serving God-Almighty in the sight of Islam. Muslim’s are to open our hearts and minds to help those in need regardless of color, creed, race or religion. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) taught us that all of humanity is God-Almighty’s family and God-Almighty loves most from this family the one who benefits the family most.

Unal, Ali. “The Miraculous Quran.” The Miraculous Quran.

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