Is it impermissible to refer to Muslims as Muslims? Or should we refer to ourselves as Mu-mins?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

if it is impermissible to refer to ourselves as muslims then what does the following ayat mean where Nabi (SAW) refers to Himself as the first muslim- surah (6) al anaam verse 163 ” He hath no partner.this am I commanded and I am the first to surrender (unto Him) Jazakallah.


It is permissible for us to refer to ourselves as Muslim or Mu?min. Islam means submission (to the will of Allah), Imaan means faith or conviction. It generally refers to the inside or the heart and Islam is the outside (apparent) or the actions of man. Islam of man can be seen, i.e. Salaat, Hajj, Zakaat, etc. but the Imaan (inner conviction and belief) cannot be seen. Only Allah Taala knows the Imaan of the person. When the Bedouins said ?We believe?, Allah Ta’ala said, ?Don?t say Aamannaa (we believe), rather say Aslamnaa (we brought Islam), because Imaan has not yet entered your hearts.?

This Aayat shows that the Bedouin’s actions were according to Islam, but in their hearts they hadn?t yet had full conviction. A Muslim invites a non-Muslim to Islam, i.e. to accept Islam, and a Muslim to Imaan, i.e. increase your Imaan.

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

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