Kashif Chaudhry

Jersey City Islam Examiner

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[Defining a Muslim] - Is the Pakistani Constitutions's definition Islamic?

June 5th, 2010 11:19 pm ET

A Muslim boy praying with the Pakistani flag in the background. Photo: Google Images By any standard of justice, anyone who claims to be a Muslim should be considered one. ‘Muslim’ literally means one who ‘submits to the will of God’. However, Muslim scholars have passed uncountable edicts of heresy against other fellow Muslims in recent times. It confuses an observer as to what yardstick is used to gauge a Muslim’s faith in Islam. Is there a basis for some Muslims considering other Muslims ‘not Muslims’? Let us open Scripture to learn how the word is defined. “A Muslim is an adherent of the religion of Islam” says Wikipedia. Another prominent Islamic website defines a Muslim as a person who says, “There is no God but One God (Allah) and Mohammed [pbuh] is a messenger of God.” This declaration is known as the ‘Kalima’ and is considered the primary pillar of the Islamic faith. On another Islamic website, the answer to how someone becomes a Muslim is given in these words:

Despite the fact that a simple definition as this is presented to the world. fasting and the pilgrimage to Mecca. Zakat and to fast the month of Ramadan. To be counted amongst the Muslims however." [Bukhari and Muslim] The five pillars of Islam as mentioned in the above tradition are the Kalima. to pay the (compulsory) charity i.com/ch3-6." The man asked." They went to call him back but could not see him. and the meeting with Him.” [http://www. “The Prophet said.islamguide. Brelvis have considered Deobandis as heretics and the same is true the other way round."” The man asked another question and then left. charity. On the authority of Abu 'Abd al-Rahman 'Abdullah bin 'Umar bin al-Khattab [ra].e. "Islam is to worship Allah and not worship anything besides Him. Sunni Clerics have. It is recorded that once during a battle being waged on the Muslims. "O Allah's Apostle What is Islam?" The Prophet replied.“Simply by saying with conviction. “La ilaha illa Allah. faces our Qibla during the prayers. on pilgrimage to the House if within means. and that Muhammad is His Messenger. When the Holy Prophet heard of this. The companion .on testifying that there is no god save Allah. and on fasting during Ramadhan. prayer."” (See Hadith No. the Holy Prophet [pbuh] is reported to have defined both Islam and ‘Imaan’ [Belief] in the following words: “One day while Allah's Apostle was sitting with the people. "Call him back to me. His Apostles. "O Allah's Apostle. and to believe in the Resurrection. prays like us and eats our slaughtered animal. “there is no god but Allah. then he is a Muslim. the practice of pronouncing a rival sect as “kafir” [heretic] is way too common in the Muslim world. His Angels. and he reprimanded that Muslim. a companion of the Prophet [pbuh] overpowered an opponent. thinking that the man had proclaimed the Kalima just to save his own life. on performing salah [prayer]. Do all these sects not proclaim the Kalima? Let us scan the sayings of the founder of Islam. a man came to him walking and said.” The companion killed him. His Books. to offer prayers perfectly. 47 Vol 1) [Bukhari] The above narrations of the Holy Prophet [pbuh] define a Muslim in black and white. for ages. The Prophet said. on giving the zakah [alms]. and has got the same rights and obligations as other Muslims have. Muhammadur rasoolu Allah. It is well-known that the Holy Prophet [pbuh] used to take the pledge of allegiance from people entering the fold of Islam by just making them recite the Kalima at his blessed hand. The man quickly said. What is Belief?" The Prophet said. A true Muslim is one who believes in the five pillars of Islam.” [There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger] one converts to Islam and becomes a Muslim. the prophet [pbuh] is reported to have said: "Islam has been built upon five things . even this much is not required. given edicts of heresy against the Shia and vice versa." [Bukhari] In another detailed narration. In another tradition.htm] Almost all online sources state the same thing – that the belief in the Kalima is what makes one a Muslim. he was very angry. Muhammad [pbuh] to see how he defined members of the faith he brought. 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah'. "That was Gabriel who came to teach the people their religion. "Belief is to believe in Allah. and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. Ahmadis have been outlawed in Pakistan and labeled non-Muslims by Constitution. the prophet of God [pbuh] is reported to have said: "Whoever says.

It is an established fact that a large majority of Muslims traditionally await the second advent of the Messiah [Jesus]. that man read the Kalima merely to protect himself from our sword. If the clerics of Pakistan once again decide to ignore Islamic belief and decide that Jesus would not be a prophet on his return. Ignoring the definition of Islam and inventing new ones has only created problems. the clerics of today are busy abusing other sects that do not conform to their ideology and labeling them non-Muslims and heretics. if he repudiated his prophethood on his second advent to be classified as a Muslim in Pakistan. he would. New definitions of the term ‘Muslim’ are being suggested. It is also argued by them that rejecting him on his second advent is tantamount to apostasy. However. it is against the constitution set forth by Muhammad [pbuh]. For this purpose. The Constitution of Pakistan demands that any person who follows someone who claims to be a prophet in any sense of the word or of any description after Prophet Muhammad [pbuh] is not a Muslim for the purposes of the Constitution or Law of Pakistan. since Jesus is believed to come after Muhammad [pbuh]. after Muhammad. has been manufactured just to outlaw the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Contrary to the practice of Muhammad [pbuh] and to his clear teachings and injunctions. According to the Constitution of Pakistan: “A 'Muslim' means a person who believes in the unity and oneness of Allah. the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has been labeled heretic and non-Muslim.” This new definition. The words of the constitution. Now. he shall continue to be honored as one on his second advent. they will be considered apostate in view of the edicts by the Pakistani clerics. . what the Muslims of Pakistan do not realize is the fact that they have all been conferred a ‘non-Muslim’ status according to this new rendering. On the other hand. In Pakistan for instance. Whereas this is true according to the Constitution of the country. in the opinion of the Pakistani mullah become an apostate. the definition of a ‘Muslim’ that was put forward by Muhammad [pbuh] has been rendered obsolete and a new one drafted. Many Pakistanis and some other Muslims suggest that Ahmadis are non-Muslims. he still will be considered an old prophet and a religious reformer. in any sense of the word or of any description whatsoever. he would either have to deny his station as a prophet or else be considered a non Muslim for the purposes of the Constitution and Law of Pakistan.said:“O Messenger of Allah. Once someone becomes a Muslim.” The Holy Prophet said: “Did you open his heart and look inside it?” In short. Muhammad. or recognize as a prophet or religious reformer. in the absolute and unqualified finality of the Prophethood of the Islamic prophet. it is obvious. according to the opinion of Muslim scholars. any person who claimed or claims to be a prophet. and does not believe in. they are expected to act on the five pillars of Islam to their best and are supposed to recognize and appreciate the six articles of faith mentioned in the narration above. since he was a prophet on his appearance in Israel two millenniums back. [Documentary evidence available on demand] It also needs to be considered that the common Pakistani Muslims would find themselves in a quagmire. the primary tenet of Muslim faith is the Kalima – to profess the Oneness of God and to proclaim the truth of Muhammad [pbuh]. On the other hand. For instance. If they accepted Jesus’s prophethood on his second advent after Muhammad [pbuh]. if they deny his prophethood on his second advent. they would begin to be considered non Muslims since the said amendment demands that any person who recognizes a prophet in any sense of the word or of any description after Prophet Muhammad is not a Muslim for the purposes of the Constitution and Law of Pakistan.

” In Pakistan. This dilemma needs to be solved by Pakistan before Jesus decides to descend. then you must accept your own position as non-Muslim. The Holy Quran 2. the legislation of Muhammad [pbuh] or of the Mullahs of Pakistan. The only way to do so is to return to the definition of Muhammad [pbuh].alislam. This again is a part of the country’s legislation. Can anyone explain from scripture how they become non-Muslims? If you quote the Pakistani Constitution as evidence. he is thrown behind bars for three years. Sahih Bukhari 3. The Holy Quran states: “Say not to anyone who greets you with the greeting of peace.html] . References: 1. Pakistanis will be left with a choice to reject either him or the Muslim status. It is up to the Pakistani people to decide which constitution they have more faith in. Jesus will have to accept a non Muslim status or seek asylum outside the country. May sanity prevail.“a prophet in any sense of the word or of any description” and “a religious reformer” will come to haunt them once again. May the Islam of Muhammad [pbuh] be followed. Ahmadi Muslims proclaim that “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger” and believe in the five pillars of Islam. Three in One by Naeem Osman Memon [http://www. an Ahmadi Muslim not only gets to be declared a non-believer for saying the greeting of peace.org/books/3in1/index. Thou art not a believer. the constitution of Islam or that of Pakistan.