Difference between Muslim and Mu’min

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

In several Hadiths, Rasulullah (sallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) seems to differentiate between a Mu’min and a Muslim.

For example, in Sunan Tirmidhi, Nabi (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) said:

“The Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hand Muslims are safe, and the believer is the one with whom the people trust their blood and their wealth.”

Would you kindly enlighten me on the differences?



In cases like the above, a Mu’min generally refers to a person who has accepted from his heart, and not just outwardly.

When one has accepted outwardly, he is referred to as a Muslim.

In other words; a Mu’min is a level higher than a Muslim.



In a Hadith of Musnad Ahmad, Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) said:

Islam is outward, and Iman is in the heart

(Musnad Ahmad, vol.3 pg.135)

This is also supported by the famous Hadith Jibril in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim.

It should be noted that sometimes the words, Muslim and Mu’min are used as synonyms in some contexts. One is therefore always obliged to refer to the explanation of the ‘Ulama for clarity on each text.


And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,

Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar

This answer was collected from The answers were either answered or checked by Moulana Haroon Abasoomar (rahimahullah) who was a Shaykhul Hadith in South Africa, or by his son, Moulana Muhammad Abasoomer (hafizahullah), who is a Hadith specialist. 

Find more answers indexed from:
Read more answers with similar topics:
Subscribe to IslamQA Weekly Newsletter

Subscribe to IslamQA Weekly Newsletter

You will receive 5 Q&A in your inbox every week

We have sent a confirmation to you. Please check the and confirm your subscription. Thank you!