Identifying a Muslim
Honestly, I feel happy when I hear or see someone accepting Islam. It is not because his or her joining Islam is adding to the number and strength of the Muslim community, but because on the feeling that he or she have reverted to the original faith and religion when he or she was at the time of birth.
Narrated Ibn Shihab: The funeral prayer should be offered for every child even if he were the son of a prostitute as he was born with a true faith of Islam (i.e. to worship none but Allah Alone). If his parents are Muslims, particularly the father, even if his mother were a non−Muslim, and if he after the delivery cries (even once) before his death (i.e. born alive) then the funeral prayer must be offered. And if the child does not cry after his delivery (i.e. born dead) then his funeral prayer should not be offered, and he will be considered as a miscarriage. Abu Huraira, narrated that the Prophet said, "Every child is born with a true faith (i.e. to worship none but Allah Alone) but his parents convert him to Judaism or to Christianity or to Paganism, as an animal delivers a perfect baby animal. Do you find it mutilated?" Then Abu Huraira recited the holy verses: 'The pure Allah's Islamic nature (true faith i.e. to worship none but Allah Alone), with which He has created human beings.' " (30.30). (Bukhari 2.440).
According to Islam, all humans are born Muslims; it is the environment and the culture of the parents that shapes a human to grow believing something else. Since none of us have any hand or control on our birth and death, we totally rely on Allah’s decision on where and how one would be born and die. Therefore, we are totally dependent on Allah’s will whether one would become a Muslim or die in Islam or not.
“It is He Who has created you; and of you are some that are Unbelievers, and some that are Believers: and God sees well all that ye do.” (Qur’an 64:2).
Narrated Muawiya: I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "If Allah wants to do good to a person, He makes him comprehend the religion. I am just a distributor, but the grant is from Allah. (And remember) that this nation (true Muslims) will keep on following Allah's teachings strictly and they will not be harmed by any one going on a different path till Allah's order (Day of Judgment) is established." (Bukhari 1.71).
Islam is a gift to an individual from Allah. It can come to a person at any time of his or her life or never come at all! On the other hand, there are many who go out of the fold of Islam as well for whatever reason. So you see, there is no guarantee that one would become a Muslim and remain a Muslims till end.
“Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in God hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And God heareth and knoweth all things.” (Qur’an 2:256).
I got motivated to write this paper due to the present world wide hype and rumors on ‘Obama being a Muslim’, ‘Prayer room open to Muslims at the Pentagon’, ‘A masjid to be build at ground zero’, ‘Muslim prayer led by female imam in NY’, etc. So you see, Islam is now in a hot bed, especially in the USA.
Rumors of renowned Americans accepting Islam is nothing new. There has been a rumor for many years on Neil Armstrong – the Apollo 11 NASA astronaut being a Muslim after witnessing the crack mark on the Moon that points to the miracle performed by Prophet (S) dividing the moon by the sign of his two fingers. But this rumor turned out to be untrue as the astronaut denied reverting to Islam while the crack line on the moon is still there.
Then again we have heard the rumor about Elvis Presley accepting Islam! That too turned out to be untrue and we longer have any recourse to verify it as he is no longer alive. Then the heavy weight boxing champion Casius Clay accepted Islam and became Muhammad Ali, and that is true because he openly and bravely acknowledged it.
It was all over the Internet that Michael Jackson accepted Islam “secretly” which is still a matter of hush even after his death. But it is true that his brother Jerome Jackson has become a Muslim, but not Janet Jackson.
If a person like President Obama of the United States is truly a Muslim then it would definitely be a matter of interest to the world. But the question is, is he?
In order to become a Muslim and remain a Muslim one need to fulfill some conditions of Islam. First and foremost is declaration of faith, which is “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” This is one of the five pillars of Islam. The other pillars are: Establishing regular prayers (Salat), compulsory fasting in the Islamic month of Ramadan (Siam), contributing annual alms (Zakat) and pilgrimage to Makkah at least once in a lifetime if health and means permits (Hajj). And of course, there are other do’s and don’ts as well, but to keep our discussion plain and simple we need not go into details of Islamic faith. For this matter, the test of five pillars of Islam will do.
Now to solve the mystery of Obama whether he is a Muslim or not we could begin and verify by asking the followings questions:
Not just Obama, these questions could be posed at anyone who claims or suspected to be a Muslim. A Muslim would say ‘yes’ to all of the questions above. Some however may not have 100% marks on this test, but could still be a Muslim, but at a lower faith level.
There are many individuals who think of themselves a Muslim whereas they never fulfill any of the above requirements. All they have is a Muslim sounding name composed with some Arabic words of which the meaning is also unknown to them. No matter what they think, the Qur’an has a term ‘hypocrite’ for them. Therefore, a hypocrite is not a Muslim.
“The Hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire: no helper wilt thou find for them;- Except for those who repent, mend (their lives) hold fast to God, and purify their religion as in God's sight: if so they will be (numbered) with the believers. And soon will God grant to the believers a reward of immense value. What can God gain by your punishment, if ye are grateful and ye believe? Nay, it is God that recogniseth (all good), and knoweth all things.” (Qur'an 4:145-147).
For a hypocrite to return to Islam he or she must sincerely ‘repent’; which means they have a way out if they want one. Hypocrites have the knowledge of Islam only the faith or belief is missing. So, it is relatively easy for them to return just by saying “sorry, I won’t do it again” to Allah, and they have to mean it.
The best way to solve the riddle would be just by simply asking Obama if he is a Muslim or not. Even if he says “yes”, yet we need to go through the test to determine if he is a real Muslim or a hypocrite. As far as I am concerned, Obama is not going to pass the above test to qualify himself as a Muslim. Because there is no news about his observance of any of the five tenets of Islam discussed above. Therefore, the Americans need not worry; although it would have been good for them to have a truly Muslim president who would stand for truth and justice not only for the United States, but for the whole world as pretty much every nation today are suffering from poor and corrupt leadership.
As it seems, his support for establishing a masjid at Ground Zero is basically a distraction and has some hidden political motive just like the Pentagon’s news on allowing the Muslims to offer prayer at their prayer room closed to the area that was hit by a missile on 9-11-2001. What I find alarming though is that what are the ‘Muslim terrorists’ doing in Pentagon! Never mind praying!? Or, are they Muslims like Obama!
Now here comes the most terrible and disgusting part. There are some people who would pass the above exam with colors, but yet they are not Muslims! Yes, you guessed it right if you are thinking they are the ‘hypocrites’. Believe it or not, like it or not, there are some ‘Muslims’ who offers prayers for a ‘show’ not really believing in Islam. They use Islam to draw support and sympathy from the unsuspecting Muslims for their own personal or political gain and advantages.
Take the news “Woman leads US Muslims to prayer” for instance. What this group of people is actually doing is creating a ‘sect of Muslims’ as per their own liking and interpretations. This group is nothing but another sect among others with a minority followings. The stand point on sects is clear in Islam –
“As for those who divide their religion and break up into sects, thou hast no part in them in the least: their affair is with God: He will in the end tell them the truth of all that they did.” (Qur’an 6:159).
Parallel hadith –
"My Ummah will be fragmented into seventy-three (73) sects. All of them will be in Hell Fire except one sect. They (the Companions) said: Allah's Messenger, which is that? Whereupon he said: It is one to which I and my companions belong". (Tirmidhi. 171)
Therefore, deviation from the original teachings of Islam is not permitted. Anyone who does so would be in a risk of being an outcast.
This new sect that follows a woman as an imam has no support from any Islamic references. They are just following their own whims and desires. Like any other world religions, a woman cannot take a leading role in religious activities or rituals. There are no female rabbis, there are no female priests, and there should not be a female Imam either. Never in the Islamic history there was a female imam approved by Islam.
If anyone wants to create a new religion similar or close to Islam then it is better that they give it a name to avoid confusion with Islam and Muslims like the Shia, Ahmadiyya, Aga Khani, etc sects have done. So that we would know clearly who they are and what they do and believe in. For instance, we have Shikism, which is an off shoot of Islam, but not Islam. And then we have Bahai faith that is also an off shoot of Islam, but not Islam, etc. No need to pull the legs of Islam and Muslims, choose a name for your new religion and leave Islam alone.
“The people of the Book” (basically meaning the Jews and Christians) have done the same with their religion and corrupted their books, as a result their religion became invalid-
“Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands, and then say: "This is from God," to traffic with it for miserable price!- Woe to them for what their hands do write, and for the gain they make thereby.” (Qur’an 2:79).
But this is not possible with the Qur’an as Allah Himself has taken the responsibility of safeguarding the book from any form of corruption simply because Islam is the last and final divine religion for mankind-
“We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption).” (Qur’an 15:9).
“…This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. But if any is forced by hunger, with no inclination to transgression, Allah is indeed Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Qur’an 5:3).
Finally, my honest and sincere suggestion- Do not take up war against Allah when He expressed His desire clearly –
“Not your desires, nor those of the People of the Book (can prevail): whoever works evil, will be requited accordingly. Nor will he find, besides God, any protector or helper.” (Qur’an 4:123).
Instead, come let us join hands in peace and live together as true Muslims in this temporal world that we would leave behind to enter an eternal life hereafter. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to genuine Islam! The religion chosen by God and the religion of all the past Prophets before Muhammad - peace be upon them all. Sorry, I am not convinced about Obama being a Muslim; he does not behave like one.
Barack Obama believed to be a Muslim by one fifth of Americans: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/aug/19/barack-obama-muslim-american-public
Obama seeks 'new beginning' with Muslim world: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2009/jun/04/obama-egypt-muslim
Barack Obama in Cairo: the speech no other president could make: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jun/04/barack-obama-speech-islam-west
Poll finds growing number of Americans think Obama is Muslim: file:///G:/downloads/growing-number-of-americans-call-obama-muslim-in-poll..htm
THE MYTH AND THE MOSQUE: http://desertpeace.wordpress.com/2010/08/21/the-myth-and-the-mosque/
Ground Zero Mosque Imam Is Globalist Stooge: http://poorrichards-blog.blogspot.com/2010/08/ground-zero-mosque-imam-is-globalist.html
CNN: Muslims Pray Daily At Pentagon: http://mediamatters.org/strupp/201008200012
Woman leads US Muslims to prayer: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4361931.stm
Fox News shareholder funded ‘Ground Zero mosque’ imam: report: http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0821/fox-shareholder-funded-mosque-imam/