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When Can A Person Be Considered A Muslim

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by DarulUloomTT.net

Question: As-Salamu alaikum,

Can you tell me if a person is to be considered a Muslim,
1. If they died before they could reach the Imam to say the shahadah,
2. Was delayed in taking their shahadah by an ignorant Muslim who wanted them to do a ghusl first and died before the shahadah
3. They just saw Muslims and wanted to be one but did not know about the shahadah and died before the declaring their faith.

Also,
Can you tell me if a person searched for Islam but did not find it and they continued worshipping Idols, what is the fate?

Answer: Wa Alaikum As Salaam,

For ones’ Imaan and Islam to be accepted, it is essential that one has a firm conviction in his heart and believes that Allah is the One and Only God who Has no partners, and that Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) is his Messenger and final prophet. One must also make this confession with his tongue. Therefore in the cases mentioned, the answers are as follows:

  1. If they die before they could reach the Imam to say the Shahadah and did not say the Shahadah at all (whether uttering it themselves or others), then it means they did not make a confession with the tongue. As for what they had in their hearts, Allah alone knows this. In this case, they will not be considered as Muslims. Whatever they had in their hearts, this is for Allah to judge on the day of Judgement.
  2. Regardless of the reason for the delayal, once one dies without the confession of Imaan and Islam as their religion, one will not be deemed as a Muslim. Here also, whatever they had in their hearts, Allah will judge them on the day of Judgement.
  3. In this case also, they will not be considered as Muslims since they died before confessing the Shahadah and they didn’t do anything to show or prove that they were Muslims.

If a person left this world while worshipping idols, he/she will be deemed as a Mushrik (a polytheist) and will not be considered as a Muslim. As to what a person has in his heart, this is known only to Allah and He will judge them on the day of Judgement. However, with respect to what the person chose on the face of the earth, it was shirk and not Islam.

And Allah Knows best.

Mufti Waseem Khan.

29/9/2014

This answer was collected from DarulUloomTT.net, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.

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