A Muslim (/ˈmʊslɨm/) is an adherent of Islam, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the Qur'an, which Muslims consider as the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "one who submits to God".
Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable. Muslims also believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed at many times and places before, including through the prophets Abraham, Moses and Jesus. Muslims maintain that previous messages and revelations have been partially changed or corrupted over time, but consider the Qur'an to be both unaltered and the final revelation from God.
Most Muslims accept as a Muslim anyone who has publicly pronounced the Shahadah (declaration of faith) which states, "There is no god but God, and Muhammad is the messenger of God." Their religious practices include daily prayers (salat), fasting during Ramadan (sawm), almsgiving (zakat), and the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj) at least once in a lifetime.  Other important concepts include jihad, Islamic law and jurisprudence.
Currently, the most up-to-date reports from an American think tank and PBS have estimated 1.2 to 1.57 billion Muslims populate the world, or about 20% of an estimated 2009 world population of 6.8 billion, with 60% in Asia and 20% of Muslims living in the Middle East and North Africa.
A muslim (Arabic: مسلم; /ˈmʊslɨm/ MOOS-lim or English pronunciation: /ˈmʌzlɨm/ MUZ-lim) is the participle of the same verb of which islām is the infinitive. A female adherent is a muslima (Arabic: مسلمة). The plural form in Arabic is muslimūn, and its feminine equivalent is muslimāt.
Muʾmin (Arabic: مؤمن) is another Islamic term frequently referenced in the Qur'an, meaning "believer", and denoting a person that has complete submission to the will of God.
The Arabic form muslimun is the stem IV participle of the triliteral S-L-M "to be whole, intact". A literal translation would be "one who wants or seeks wholeness", where "wholeness" translates islāmun. In a religious sense, Al-Islām translates to "faith, piety", and Muslim to "one who has (religious) faith or piety".
Other words for Muslim
The ordinary word in English is "Muslim", pronounced /ˈmʊslɪm/ or /ˈmʌzləm/. The word is pronounced [ˈmʊslɪm] in Arabic. It is sometimes transliterated as "Moslem", which an older spelling that is now considered offensive. “Submitter” is the English equivalent of the Arabic word “Muslim”.
Until at least the mid-1960s, many English-language writers used the term Mohammedans or Mahometans. Although such terms were not necessarily intended to be pejorative, Muslims argue that the terms are offensive because they allegedly imply that Muslims worship Muhammad rather than God.
Variant forms of this word are still used by many Indo-European and Turkic languages. These words are similar to the French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Turkish, Bosnian, Persian, Kurdish, and Hindi words for "Muslim".
In spite of that, the Polish word for Muslim almost certainly does come directly from the Turkish. While it appears as if it came directly from the Arabic, in "Muzułmanin", the "ł" sound is close to either the English "w", or to the "l" in Allah, when pronounced by the Turkic peoples.
In the Qur'an
Used to describe earlier prophets
| || |
This section needs additional citations for verification.Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.
The Qur'an describes many prophets and messengers as well as their respective followers as Muslim: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses and Jesus and his apostles are all confirmed as being Muslim by the Qur'an. The Qur'an states that these men were Muslims because they submitted to God, preached His message and upheld His values, which included praying, charity, fasting and pilgrimage. Thus, in Surah 3:52 of the Qur'an, Jesus’ disciples tell Jesus, "We believe in God; and you be our witness that we are Muslims (wa-shahad be anna muslimūn)." In Muslim belief, before the Qur'an, God had given the Torah to Moses, the Psalms to David and the Gospel to Jesus, who are all considered important Muslim prophets.
Muslim and mu'minOne of the verses in the Qur'an makes a distinction between a mu'min, a believer, and a Muslim:
- The Arabs of the desert say, "We believe." (tu/minu) Say thou: Ye believe not; but rather say, "We profess Islam;" (aslamna) for the faith (al-imanu) hath not yet found its way into your hearts. But if ye obey [God] and His Apostle, he will not allow you to lose any of your actions: for [God] is Indulgent, Merciful ('The Koran 49:14, Rodwell).
passage cited above, early Muslims distinguished between the Muslim, who has "submitted" and does the bare minimum required to be considered a part of the Muslim community, and the mu'min, the believer, who has given himself or herself to the faith heart and soul. Ernst writes:
- "The Arabic term Islam itself was of relatively minor importance in classical theologies based on the Qur'an. If one looks at the works of theologians such as the famous al-Ghazali (d. 1111), the key term of religious identity is not Islam but iman (faith), and the one who possesses it is the mu'min (believer). Faith is one of the major topics of the Qur'an; it is mentioned hundreds of times in the sacred text. In comparison, Islam is a less common term of secondary importance; it only occurs eight times in the Qur'an. Since, however, the term Islam had a derivative meaning relating to the community of those who have submitted to God, it has taken on a new political significance, especially in recent history."