“Momin” means believer
“la Yuminun” means disbeliever
A person may be “la Yuminun” because he is “la yalamun”
(ignorant) and such a person is not kafir since his lack of belief is from
ignorance and not from wilful defiance of Allah
A momin could be a Muslim (one who submits to Allah) or a
kafir (rebel) or a Muslim in some respects and a kafir in other respects.
(3:130) O ye who
believe! Devour not usury, doubled and multiplied; but fear Allah; that ye may
(really) prosper.(131) Fear the Fire, which is prepared for the Kafirin:
It is the believers who devour usury
who are asked to fear the fire and such believers who devour usury are the
Kafirin. This is a clear verse addressed to the Mominin who are informed that
those who devour usury are kafir and will be consigned to Hell.
A Muslim is one who submits to Allah in his practice and
deeds. One could be a Muslim without yet being a Momin if he performs his
ritual prayers and pays zakat which is the minimum requirement to be considered
a Muslim. A non-practicing Muslim is an oxymoron.
(14) The desert Arabs say, "We believe."
Say, "Ye have no faith; but ye (only)say, ´We have submitted our wills to
Allah,´ For not yet has Faith entered your hearts. But if ye obey Allah and His
Messenger, He will not belittle aught of your deeds: for Allah is
Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."
Form the above verse it is clear that one can be a Muslim
and not yet a Momin and will be rewarded for his good deeds.
Who is a Muslim?
(2:112) Nay,-whoever submits His whole self to
Allah and is a doer of good,- He will get his reward with his Lord; on such
shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.
The journey as a Muslim begins with willing submission to
the religion of Islam. Belief in Allah and the Hereafter develops over a period
as a Muslim becomes acquainted with the attributes of Allah, His mercy, His Divine
plan etc. and is a continuous process.
What is the religion of Islam? It is submission to Allah (by
whatever name) and doing righteous deeds.
A practicing Christian, Jew, Buddhist and all those who
satisfy the requirements in verse 2:112 cited above are included in the Quran’s
definition of a Muslim. By practice, what is meant is following the moral code
of their religion.
We can always tell who is a kafir by the person’s deeds. The
one who oppresses is a kafir even if he prays 5 times a day and recites the
A just person can never be a kafir no matter what his
beliefs are. As explained earlier, a person could be a disbeliever from
ignorance and rendering justice at all times is evidence of obedience to Allah or obeisance to something much higher than self.
The meanings of words given above, are consistent with the way in which the Quran uses these words.
The Momineen and the Kafirin