Journey from Muslim to Mohmin
Written by Asim Nazir
The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, their hearts become fearful, and when His verses are recited to them, it increases them in faith; and upon their Lord they rely - The ones who establish prayer, and from what We have provided them, they spend. Those are the: believers, truly. For them are degrees [of high position] with their Lord and forgiveness and noble provision. Quran (8:V2-4)
“Journey from Muslim to Mohmin”
It is very important for us to understand the term Muslim and Mohmin . To comprehend these terms first we need to know the difference between “Islam” and “Emaan”.
Islam & Emaan
Islam is derived from the Arabic root "Salema": peace, purity, submission and obedience. In the religious sense, Islam means submission to the will of God and obedience to His law. Therefore, when you say Shahadah and submit your will, you become Muslim.
- Emaan for being Muslim
Emaan is Arabic word which literally means to verify, to accept, and to attest with the heart, in Islam it means to believe or have faith. Emaan comprises of two stages, Iqrar-e-Bil lisaan (declaration with the tongue) and Tasdeeq-e-Bil Qalb (acceptance with the heart). In generalisation emaan means to believe in oneness of Allah, his messengers, angels, books and having faith in last day, Quran said in Sura Baqra (2:V2-6),
And who believe in that which has been revealed to you (Quran), and that which was revealed before you (previous books) and they have firm faith in what is yet to come (last day).
Sura Baqra (2:V286)
This Messenger of Ours believes in that which has been revealed to him from his Lord, and so do the believers: all of them believe in Allah, and in His angels, and in His Books, and in His Messengers, saying, ‘We make no distinction between any of His Messengers;’ and they say, ‘we hear, and we obey. We implore Thy forgiveness, O our Lord, and to Thee is the returning.
In the explanation of these verses Prophet Muhammad (saw) further added in the long hadeeth described by Umar Ibne Khattab in Sahih Muslim when Gibreal (es) came to Prophet Muhammad (saw) and asked what is Emaan, Prophet said, “It is to believe in Allah, His angels, books, messengers, and the last day, also to believe in the divine destiny, both the good and the evil thereof (Shaih Muslim Vol 1, No 1).
From the above mentioned verses and hadeeth we can clearly understand that being Muslim we have to have Emaan mentioned above, declaring by tongue and accepting from heart.
- Emaan for being Mohmin
Mohmin is the final destination of the Emaan which comes after the Muslim stage, where Emaan grows in the heart slowly by obeying Allah’s commandments. Saying shahadah and labelling ourselves Muslim is not enough to be successful, becoming Muslim by accepting Islam and putting yourself on the way to “Faith” is the real message of Allah. Quran has clarified this theory in following verses.
Sura Hujraat (49:V14)
The desert Arabs say, “We believe” (We have faith now)
Say to them oh Prophet, “You have not believed”. Yes, rather say, “We have accepted Islam and the Faith has not yet gone in to your hearts”
Sura Hujraat (49:V17)
These people are showing off to you that they have done favour to you by embracing Islam, Say to them Oh Prophet, don’t show off your Islam as a favour to me
Instead, Allah is the One Who favours you by guiding you to Faith provided you are true (to belief)
Background of these Verses
The background of these verses is when Prophet Muhammad (saw) conquered Makkah in 8th A.H , many Arab tribes embraced Islam in the hands of Prophet Muhammad (saw) without fighting and opposing him. They said to Prophet Muhammad (saw) “Because we have embraced Islam without fighting or opposing you, we deserve to have concession in Zakat money”. They also used to show off that “we have done favour on you (prophet) as we have accepted Islam without fighting or without being opponent to you (prophet). Therefore Allah mentioned in above verses that people say they have believed but say to them oh Prophet they have not believed but embraced Islam and Faith has not gone in to their hearts yet. In second verse Allah said, “Don’t show off that you have done favour upon Muhammad (saw) by not fighting with him, it is Allah who has done favour upon you by guiding you (embracing Islam) and putting you on the way to Faith.
This is the first and last place in the whole Quran where Allah mentioned word “Emaan” (Faith) & “Islam” (Submission to Allah) separately as I have highlighted word “Emaan” in green and “Islam” word in red. If you know Arabic you will be able to distinguish those words instantly.
From above mentioned verses we come to know that embracing Islam is completely different from being Mohmin (righteous believer). When you accept Islam you are officially Muslim but when you create “Emaan” in your heart by obeying your lord then you become “Mohmin” (righteous believer) as Quran explained the characteristics of the “Mohmin” in various places in Quran:
Note: The same Arabic word “Mohmin” was used in all following verses, which was translated in to believer who obeys his Lord’s commandments after accepting Islam.
8:V2-4 The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, their hearts become fearful, and when His verses are recited to them, it increases them in faith; and upon their Lord they rely - The ones who establish prayer, and from what We have provided them, they spend. Those are the believers, truly. For them are degrees [of high position] with their Lord and forgiveness and noble provision.
3:V16-17 Those who say, "Our Lord, indeed we have believed, so forgive us our sins and protect us from the punishment of the Fire," The patient, the true, the obedient, those who spend [in the way of Allah ], and those who seek forgiveness before dawn (early morning).
4:V162 But those firm in knowledge among them and the believers believe in what has been revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what was revealed before you. And the establishers of prayer [especially] and the givers of zakah and the believers in Allah and the Last Day - those We will give a great reward.
9:V112 They are the ones who turn to God in repentance, who worship Him, who praise Him, who go about in the land serving Him, who bow down to God, who prostrate themselves in prayer, who enjoin good and forbid evil, and who watch the limits set by Allah. And give glad tidings to those who righteous believers.
23:V1-11 Certainly will the believers have succeeded, They who are during their prayer humbly submissive, And they who turn away from ill speech and they who are observant of zakah and they who guard their private parts except from their wives or those their right hands possess, for indeed, they will not be blamed -But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors -And they who are to their trusts and their promises attentive and they who carefully maintain their prayers -Those are the inheritors who will inherit al-Firdaus (highest paradise). They will abide therein eternally.
25:V63-76 And the servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth easily, and when the ignorant address them [harshly], they say [words of] peace, And those who spend [part of] the night to their Lord prostrating and standing [in prayer] And those who say, "Our Lord, avert from us the punishment of Hell. Indeed, its punishment is ever adhering; Indeed, it is evil as a settlement and residence. "And [they are] those who, when they spend, do so not excessively or sparingly but are ever, between that, [justly] moderate And those who do not invoke with Allah another deity or kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed], except by right, and do not commit unlawful sexual intercourse. And whoever should do that will meet a penalty. Multiplied for him is the punishment on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein humiliated -Except for those who repent, believe and do righteous work. For them Allah will replace their evil deeds with good. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful. And he who repents and does righteousness does indeed turn to Allah with [accepted] repentance. And [they are] those who do not testify to falsehood, and when they pass near ill speech, they pass by with dignity. And those who, when reminded of the verses of their Lord, do not fall upon them deaf and blind. And those who say, "Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous.” Those will be awarded the Chamber for what they patiently endured, and they will be received therein with greetings and [words of] peace. Abiding eternally therein. Good is the settlement and residence.
27:V2-4 As guidance and good tidings for the believers Who establish prayer and give zakah, and of the Hereafter they are certain [in faith].Indeed, for those who do not believe in the Hereafter, We have made pleasing to them their deeds, so they wander blindly.
We can conclude that anyone who says Shahada and accept Islam can be defined as a Muslim or believer but a Muslim can not be Mohmin (righteous believer) until the Emaan (Faith) grows in his heart by obying his lord’s commandments, and Quran gives only glad tiding to Mohminoon (righteous believers). For instance if a person believes in Allah, messangers, holy books, angels and hereafter but he does not offer prayer, does not fast, does not pay zakat, does not go to Hajj (if he can afford) etc, he can be described as a Muslim but he can not be defined as a Mohmin because his Emaan is weak and he is disobeying Allah. When one becomes a mohmin they are more observent, attentive and sincere towards any actions in life and relating it to Islam therfore their understanding of Quran/hadith and faith is more well-defined.
Mohmin: A righteous believer who have fear of Allah and obeys Him
After Hijra, (After Migration) Hijra means “Migration” when Prophet Muhammad (saw) did migration from Makkah to Madina, Islamic calendar starts from there.
Zakat: is the specific amount of money (2.5%) which Muslims pay to needy people annually.