Qurānic Conceptions of Being Muslim

  • Nuraan Davids
  • Yusef Waghid


In the previous chapters, we drew attention to the fact that not only do Muslims consider the Qurān as central to every aspect of their lives, but they also consider that the Qurān is both about Allah (God), and of God. In turn, not only does the Qurān address its messenger, the Prophet Muhammad, but it also speaks directly to all of humanity—thereby offering an intertwined message of particularity and universality; that is, Wa mā arsalnāka illā rahmatallil ‘ālamīn (We have not sent you [Muhammad] except as a Messenger unto all humanity). In analysing and considering the monotheistic and ethical paradigmatic foundations, we argued that the ethical application of Qurānic commands should not be oblivious of human interpretation and critical reflection (see Chap. 1), and hence, that religious ethics, more specifically Qurānic ethics, should always be subjected to critical thought processes and actions commensurate with what is morally justifiable. Following on this idea, we shift our focus onto those who lay claim to accepting and following the ethical guidelines of Islām. The noun ‘Muslim’ is derived from the Arabic verb aslama (to surrender oneself to a higher good; in this case, Allah Almighty). And, because Muslims consider Allah the Originator of their faith—that is, Islam as enunciated in the Qurān—Inna al-dīnainda Allāhi al-Islām (Indeed the religion for Allah is Islam), it follows that enacting one’s role as a Muslim is synonymous with someone who adheres to the teachings of Islām—that is the Qurān and the Sunnah, as embodied in the life of the Prophet Muhammad. Consequently, it might make sense to assert that clarity on the conception of being Muslim is necessarily embedded in clarity of the Qurān and the Sunnah.


Critical Thought Human Trafficking Muslim Woman High Good Religious Attitude 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nuraan Davids
    • 1
  • Yusef Waghid
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Education Policy Studies Faculty of EducationStellenbosch UniversityCape TownSouth Africa

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