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Difference between legal and real muslims

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)


One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:


how are you doin? hope all is well.

Dear brother in Islam, just out of curiosity one day my brother asked me the following quesion: Are those who are born as muslims, muslims if they do not practice islam, meaning if they do not read the Quran or read the namaaz are they still considered as a muslim?.


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Difference between legal and real muslims

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Every person who is born of muslim parents, or who (even if not born a muslim) declares the ‘shahaadah’ or testimony of faith that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah Subhanah Alone, and Mohamed (saws) is the Last Messenger of Allah ; he will be deemed a muslim in the sight of Shariah or Islamic Law.


The only way he ceases to become a muslim is if he OPENLY DECLARES:

That he has left the fold of Islam and thus become an apostate.

Or he openly denies the Being of Allah Subhanah, or His Messengers, or His Angels, or His Revelations, or the Hereafter.


If one openly denies that the Quran is not the Book of Allah Subhanah, or openly denies Prophet Mohamed (saws) as the Last and Final Messenger, or openly denies that there is no need to pray the prescribed obligatory salaat, then he will leave the fold of Islam.


But if one believes in the Quran as the Revelations of Allah Subhanah, and believes that the prescribed prayers are a duty unto the believers; but due to negligence or laziness or whatever reason does not recite Quran or perform the obligatory prayers, or any of the other obligatory duties; he will still remain and be considered a ‘legal’ muslim. The most that can be said of him is that he is a grave sinner in the sight of Allah Subhanah. All the rights that are due to a muslim will be given to him: he can marry a believing woman, he can inherit from his muslim parents, his children can inherit from him, he can travel to the Holy places of Makkah and Medina, he will be given a muslim burial upon his death, etc.


What we need to understand here is that there is a difference in being a ‘legal’ muslim in the sight of Shariah and Islamic Law, and being a ‘true’ and ‘real’ muslim in the sight of Allah Subhanah.


When one is born of muslim parents, or declares the ‘shahaadah’ or testimony of faith; he will be considered a ‘legal’ muslim. Only on the Day of Judgement will Allah Subhanah declare who were the ‘true’ and ‘real’ muslims, and who were not; for Allah Subhanah Alone is aware of all things. Human beings do not have the power to read what is in a person’s heart or what are his exact intentions in declaring the ‘shahaadah’.


Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 2526 Narrated by Anas ibn Malik

The Prophet (saws) said: “Three things are the roots of faith: to refrain from (killing) a person who utters, "There is no god but Allah" and not to declare him unbeliever whatever sin he commits, and not to excommunicate him from Islam for his any action.”


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.



Your Brother in Islam,





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