I am a christian by birth from India. Sir, I wanted to know about what can I call myself, I started learning about Islam in 2010 and found plenty of things correct to my heart and so I started following it from heart, while learning about it in one of the site it was said that if u read the kalma from heart you are a muslim from that time onwards and I did read it with accepting the meaning. As I was reading quran an english version I found plenty of it resembling bible which made my belief more strong in reading it and started accepting it as word of god, I took help from muslim friends to know more then I found about few sites but in all those sites I found everybody is proving Islam is right and comparing it with other religions and how it is right which i felt very disturbing cause I wanted to learn Islam not see comparisons with other religions, which made me stop learning more.
Now I am presently in a state which I want to know where do I stand, I believe in One God alone, I do not do idol worship, I am not confused about books I accept it but I am confused about hadith which I believe is not from God and so I dont follow it, I just want to know whether I can still call myself a muslim?
Thanks and best regards,
[Name Withheld for Privacy]
God’s blessings, peace and serenity be with you.
I am not sure what label you choose to attach to yourself, but what I am sure of is that only God knows what is in your heart, and what is in your heart defines you in the eyes of God. That is more important than the opinions of all of humanity. A Muslim is someone who believes that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is the final prophet in a long line of Abrahamic prophets. A Muslim believes that the God of Abraham is the God of Moses, Jesus, David, Joseph, Muhammad, and all the other Prophets, peace and blessings be upon them.
I completely empathize with you when you find the practice of extolling one’s religion at the cost of putting other religions down to be repulsive. Religion is not a soccer or football game, it is not a competition. Religion is about sincerity of belief, purity, beauty, light, and love.
I also empathize with you when you say that you do not believe the hadith is from God. Some of the hadith attributed to the Prophet Muhammad can withstand the scrutiny of historical criticism, but the majority would not withstand such criticism. I would advise you not to worry about labels, but to worry about growing to know yourself, for it is reported that the Prophet taught that one cannot know God unless they know themselves. As far as I am concerned, if you believe there is no god but God, and that Muhammad was a Prophet of God, in my humble eyes, you are my Muslim brother. But what I believe is of no consequence, it is what you believe and what God knows that are of the greatest consequence.
May God bless you with peace, love, and beauty.
Wa al-salamu alaykum,
Sheikh Abou El Fadl