Ask a Muslim: Is It Permissible to Be a Non-Practicing Muslim?
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Assalam-o-Alaikum. I have a question. Is it permissible to be a non-practicing Muslim? Just asking out of curiosity.
Commentary by Maimoona Harrington | FāVS News
Wa-Alaikum-Salaam (And unto you peace). Thank you for your question.
What you refer to as a “non-practicing Muslim” needs further explanation. Are you referring to someone who is a Muslim by birth but does not practice Islam at all or someone who does not perform the mandatory acts of worships but still calls himself/ herself Muslim? Or do not take their religion serious or are weak in certain aspects of it.
To start with, I can share what constitutes a Muslim. As per the Oxford dictionary of Islam, “One who submits to the will of God. The plural form, Muslimun, refers to the collective body of those who adhere to the Islamic faith and thus belong to the Islamic community of believers (ummah). To demonstrate that one has become a Muslim, one must recite the Shahadah, witnessing that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of God.”
Islam is spread throughout the globe. Traveling through the regions, it has immersed into many traditions and cultures and has taken many diverse forms. Nevertheless, the core message of Islam stayed the same. The understanding of various concepts has been impacted by new cultures, traditions and societies. How I practice my faith is also impacted by my culture. So, I continued my research to educate myself to understand it better.
In my humble view, your question is better suited for a religious scholar. I am not authorized to say whether it’s permissible or not permissible for someone to be a non-practicing Muslim.
I am not a religious scholar. I try to answer the questions with the best of my knowledge and understanding of Islam as a Muslim.
The views expressed in this opinion column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of FāVS News. FāVS News values diverse perspectives and thoughtful analysis on matters of faith and spirituality.
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Maimoona Harrington was born and raised in Pakistan. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies. As a practicing Muslim with extensive world travel and living in the West, she has devoted herself to spread awareness of Islam as a goodwill gesture. In an effort to do this, she started writing from her own personal experiences with religion, beliefs and life in a different culture. She also has special interest in all the religions and how and why they are all important to its followers. Her primary focus is on the co-existence and harmony between all human beings. Her message is to spread peace not division. She strongly believes that if you want to be closer to your creator then love His creation unconditionally and expect nothing in return for He loves us unconditionally and forgives us no matter how sinful we are!