WHO IS A MUSLIM?

If  Muslim law is to be applied to a Muslim, the natural question that arises is: Who is a Muslim? There is a lot of difference between the viewpoint of law courts and theologians. Among theologians themselves, there are three different views on the subject:

1. a Muslim is one who believes in the unity of Allah and in the Prophethood of Muhammad;

2. everyone who believes in Kalima, i.e. there is no God but God and Prophet Muhammad is His  Messenger, is a Muslim; and

3. a Muslim is one who believes not only in the above two but also conforms to certain other standards; for example, he believes in the following fivefold classification of human actions, namely—

(a) Farz—acts the omission of which is punished and the doing of which is rewarded;

(b) Mustahab—acts the doing of which is rewarded but the omission of which is not punished;

(c) Jaiz or Mubah—acts the doing of which is simply permitted and which carry neither reward nor punishment;

(d) Makruh—acts which are disapproved but are by and large valid; and

(e) Haram—acts which are expressly prohibited and punishable.

The term ‘Muslim’ means submission. A Muslim is a person who follows Islam. Muslim law applies to a born Muslim or a person who is a convert Muslim. A Muslim is one, who believes in the mission of Muhammad (PBUH) as a prophet or one who says that there is one God and that Muhammad is his Prophet.

In other words any person who professes the religion of Islam, in other words, accepts the unity of God and the Prophetic character of Muhammad is a Muslim.

In Azima Bibi v Munshi Shamlanand (AIR 1912), it was observed that a child born out of a Muslim couple would be a Muslim, even if he by choice goes to a Hindu temple. The person would be a Muslim, till the time he does not renounce his religion and converts to another religion.

In Bhaiya Sher Bahadur v Bhaiya Ganga Bakhsh Singh (AIR 1914), it was held that if a Muslim women has a child from a Hindu man but the child from the time he was brought up as a Hindu then in this case he would be called a Hindu. So the right to convert is given under the article 25 under the Constitution of India, which guarantees every citizen of India freedom to practice, profess and propagate one’s religion.

The Supreme court in Sarla Mudgal v Union of India (AIR 1995) and Lily Thomas v The Union of India(AIR 2000), has held that if a Hindu married man converts to Islam just because of the reason so as to marry a second time then it will be void and he will be punished the section 494 of the IPC for committing bigamy. Thus, it may be said that a Muslim is one who beliefs in the mission of Muhammad as the Prophet PBUH and one who says that there is one God and Muhammad PBUH is his prophet.

According to Shariah, a child born of parents either of whom is, or both of whom are Muslims, is presumed to be a Muslim. In India, however, a child born of a Muslim father is presumed to be a Muslim, but not a child of a Muslim mother and non-Muslim father, as was held by the Privy Council in Helen Skinner v. Sophia Evelina Orde2′, and by the Oudh High Court in Mohd. Azim Khan v. Saadat AH Khan.

A Muslim remains a Muslim unless he renounces Islam. A non-Muslim may embrace Islam and become a Muslim by conversion. It is not necessary to go into the motives of the convert, because there is no test or gauge to determine the sincerity of religious belief.

References :

Syed Khalid Rashid, Muslim Law ( Eastern Book Company, Lucknow, 6th Edition, 2020 ).

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

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If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at adv.aishwaryasandeep@gmail.com

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

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