Difference between Islam and Muslim

By: | Updated: Jul-6, 2021
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Islam and Muslim are two different words. Both of them are important in their own sense. Both refers to the Muslim faith. However, the two words are very different from each other. Therefore, in this article, we will discuss the difference between Islam and Muslim.

Summary Table

Islam Muslim
Usually serves as a noun. Usually serves as an adjective.
Refers to the Islamic religion. Refers to individuals who practice Islamic faith.

History and Definitions

Difference between Islam and Muslim

Before we discuss the differences between Islam and Muslim, we must first understand what Islam and Muslim is and how it came about. There are many religions in the world, all of which claim to be the true religion. These religions all have one thing in common: they claim that their prophets and messengers were sent by God. For example, Christians claim that Jesus was a prophet sent by God, and that He is the Messiah. Jews claim that Moses was a prophet sent by God, and that he is the Lawgiver. Muslims claim that Muhammad was a prophet sent by God, and that he is the last prophet.

Islam is one of the largest religions in the world. It is estimated that there are about 1.2 billion Muslims in the world today. Islam means “submission” and it is derived from the word “salam” which means peace. Islam teaches that true peace can only be achieved by submitting to God and following His guidance. Muslims believe that Muhammad was a prophet sent by God, and that he was the last prophet of God for all mankind.

Islam is based on the Five Pillars of Islam, which are:

  1. Shahadah – The declaration of faith
  2. Salat – The five daily prayers
  3. Zakat – Giving to charity and paying a tax to support the poor and needy
  4. Sawm – Fasting during the month of Ramadan
  5. Hajj – Pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime, if one is able.

Islam teaches that there is only one God, who has no partners or associates, and that He alone is worthy of worship. He is the Creator of the universe, and everything in it. He is also the Sustainer of all life, and is Just and Merciful. God has revealed His will to mankind through His messengers, whom He sent to every nation on earth.

As the last prophet, Muhammad was sent to all of mankind. He was born in the city of Mecca in Arabia in the year 570 AD. His father died before he was born, and his mother died when he was six years old. He was raised by his uncle, Abu Talib, who was the chief of the tribe of Quraysh. When Muhammad was 25 years old, he married a wealthy widow named Khadija. They had four children, two sons and two daughters.

Muhammad began receiving revelations from God when he was 40 years old. These revelations were received over a period of 23 years, and were later compiled into the book known as the Qur’an. The Qur’an is the holy book of Islam, and Muslims believe that it is the exact words of God, revealed to Muhammad through the angel Gabriel. At first, Muhammad’s revelations were not well received by the people of Mecca. They mocked him and even threw garbage at him. However, Muhammad remained steadfast in his faith, and continued to receive revelations from God.

The Qur’an teaches that God has sent messengers to every nation on earth. Many of these messengers were also given a book of revelation. For example, the Jews were given the Torah, and the Christians were given the Gospel. The Qur’an also teaches that all of these books of revelation are from God, and that they all teach the same truth.

In order to become a Muslim, you must declare that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is His messenger. This declaration must be made with conviction and sincerity. In other words, you must believe in these two things for yourself and not just because your parents or friends believe in them. This belief is called the “Shahada”. The Shahada is the Muslim profession of faith. The Shahada in Arabic is:

“La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammadun rasoolu Allah”

Islam vs Muslim

Muslims are those who practice Islam. In other words, Islam is the religion, and Muslims are the followers of this religion. The noun “Muslim” is not the same as the adjective “Islamic.” A Muslim is a follower of Islam, but an Islamic person is not necessarily a Muslim. The term “Islamic” means that someone has the characteristics of Islam, which include the beliefs, practices, and culture of Muslims. Anyone can have those characteristics without being a Muslim. However, a Muslim is also obliged to follow the laws of Islam, to practice Islamic beliefs, and to follow Islamic practices.

According to the Dictionary of Islamic Civilization, the word “Muslim” comes from an Arabic root word meaning “one who submits” or “one who surrenders”. So, as mentioned above, the root word “Islam” means “submission to the will of God.” Therefore, a Muslim is one who submits to the will of God, while Islam is the religion that teaches this submission.

To put it simply, the two words are grammatically different. Islam is an Arabic noun, while Muslim is an Arabic adjective. An adjective is a word that describes or gives more information about a noun.

Examples of “Muslim” and “Islam” in sentences include:

  1. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is a terrorist group that claims to follow the Islamic religion but that does not represent the majority of Muslims.
  2. My friend is a Muslim, but he is not Islamic because he does not practice the Islamic faith.
  3. Islamic architecture is very similar to Arabic architecture because it was built by Muslims.
  4. The headscarf worn by some Muslim women is also called an Islamic veil or hijab.
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