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Who are Muslims according to the Quran

Many of us claim that we are Muslims but let us confirm from the Quran eliminating any confusion about it. The Quran teaches us that Submission (Islam in Arabic) is a religion that belongs to God (3:19, 3:83, 3:85), which has passed down from the time of Adam, the first human being on earth (7:23, 2:37) but updating its laws, teachings and practices from time to time through His messengers and prophets (42:13, 21:2, 16:123):

[3:19] The religion with God is Submission, and those who received the scripture did not dispute except after the knowledge came to them out of jealousy between them. And whoever rejects God’s revelations, then God is swift in reckoning.
[3:83] Do they seek other than God’s religion while whatever in the heavens and the earth have submitted to Him willingly or unwillingly? And to Him they will be returned.
[3:85] And whoever seeks other than Submission as a religion, will not be accepted from him, and in the Hereafter he will be with the losers.
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[7:23] They (both) said, “Our Lord, we have wronged our souls, and unless You forgive us and have mercy on us, we will be losers.”
[2:37] Then Adam received words from his Lord, and He redeemed him. He is the Redeemer, the Merciful.

[42:13] He decreed for you the religion what He decreed for Noah, and what we inspired to you (Muhammad), and what we decreed for Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: “You shall uphold the religion, and do not divide it.” Hard for the idolaters is that to which you call them. God chooses to Himself whomever He wills and He guides to Himself whoever turns.
[21:2] When a reminder comes to them from their Lord, is new, they listen to it paying no attention.
[16:123] Then we inspired to you (Muhammad) that you shall follow the religion of Abraham, the monotheist; he was not an idol worshiper.

Humanity has passed through numerous periods of guidance as required for its misguidance, disgrace, and deviation, from the most primitive age to the heights of civilization. Divine guidance accompanied humanity through all of this, always providing the appropriate solutions and remedies. In fact, people of all periods of guidance are to believe, recognize and uphold God’s words as well as fulfill the following three criteria: (1) believing in God, (2) in the Last Day, and (3) leading a righteous life to receive their recompense from their Lord while it doesn’t matter what they called their religion or the communities. Thus, we can learn from the Quran that we are Muslims (Submitters) in the eye of God regardless of guidance periods if we fulfill these three criteria:

[4:164] And messengers we have mentioned to you from before, and messengers we have not mentioned to you; and God spoke to Moses directly.
[2:62] Surely, those who believed, those who were the Jews, the Christians, and the Sabians; whoever believed in God and in the Last Day, and did righteous works, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
[5:69] Surely, those who believed, those who were the Jews, the Sabians, and the Christians; whoever believed in God and in the Last Day, and did righteous works, then they have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
[22:17] Surely, those who believed, those who were Jews, the Sabians, the Christians and the Zoroastrians, and those who were the polytheists, God is the One who will judge among them on the Day of Resurrection. God is witness over all things.

God has mentioned two guidance periods just before the revelation of the Quran referring to the Jews and the Christians. The Torah was a guidance and light for the Jews while the Injeel was a guidance and light for the Christians. Thus, those who follow the Bible and uphold God’s commandments accordingly are the righteous Jews and Christians:
[5:44] We have sent down the Torah, in it was guidance and light; the prophets who have submitted judged with it for those who were Jews, as well as the rabbis, and the priests, for what they were entrusted of God’s scripture, and they were witness over. So do not fear the people but fear Me; and do not trade with My revelations for a small price. And whoever does not judge with what God has sent down, then they are the disbelievers.
[7:159] And among the people of Moses is a community who guide with truth and with it they establish justice.
[5:46] And we sent in their footsteps Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming what was before him of the Torah, and we gave him the Injeel, in it was guidance and light, and to confirm what was before him of the Torah, and a guidance and light for the righteous.

God has mentioned the period of guidance that starts with the revelation of the Quran extending till the end of the world making the Quran His final scripture as well as a timeless and universal doctrine to the world for all the people that fits all generations, and applies to all eras and societies until the end of the world:
[25:1] Blessed is the One who sent down the Statute Book to His servant that he can be a warner to the world.
[33:40] Muhammad was not the father of any man among you, but he was a messenger of God and the last prophet. And God is fully aware of all things.
[12:104] And you do not ask them for a wage for it, it is but a reminder for all the people.

God teaches us to seek the truth. He wants us to verify with our own God given senses the practices we accept and attribute to God. The behavior that God wishes for His worshippers that His worshippers are intelligent, they research and study, and then they follow their sincere convictions:
[3:7] He is the One who sent down to you the scripture, of it there are straightforward verses – they are the essence of the scripture and some are allegorical. As for those who have perversity in their hearts, they will follow what is allegorical of it being confused as well as deriving an interpretation of it. But none know its interpretation except God and those who are well founded in knowledge. They say: “We believe in it, all is from our Lord.” And none will take heed except the people of understanding.
[17:36] And do not follow what you have no knowledge of it. Indeed, the hearing, the eyesight, and the understanding – all those will be asked for it.
[39:18] Those who listen to what is being said, then follow the best of it. These are the ones whom God has guided, and these are the ones who possess intelligence.

The truth stated in the Quran is very simple to follow that makes all the sense in the world, and makes people happy while any deviation from it does not make sense rather makes people miserable:
[5:16] God guides with it (Quran) whoever seeks His acceptance to the ways of peace; and He brings them out of the darkness into the light by His leave; and He guides them to a straight path.
[10:64] For them is good news in the worldly life and in the Hereafter. There is no change of God’s words. Such is the great success.
[92:7] We will provide him with ease.
[16:125] You shall invite to the path of your Lord with wisdom and good advice, and argue with them with that which is better. Your Lord is fully aware of who has strayed from His path, and He is fully aware of the guided ones.
[3:104] And let there be a community of you who invite towards good, and forbid from evil. These are the successful ones.

Humanity has passed through numerous periods of guidance. The ultimate goal of every divine message has always been the same: to guide the people to God, to make them aware of Him, and to have them worship Him alone.  Each divine message came to strengthen this meaning, and the following words were repeated on the tongues of all the messengers: “Worship God, you have no god other than Him.” This message was conveyed to humanity by prophets and messengers whom God sent to every nation.  All of these messengers came with this same message, the message of Islam (submission). Thus, they all share the name of “Islam”, or “submission” derived from the same word as “Salam”, or “peace”, in Arabic.  Islam, in this sense, was the religion of all the prophets, but why does one see different variations of the religion of God if they all emanated from the same source?  The answer is two-fold:

The first reason is that as a result of the passage of time, and due to the fact that previous religions were not under the divine protection of God, they underwent much change and variation.  As a result, we see that the fundamental truths which were brought by all messengers now differ from one religion to another, the most apparent being the strict tenet of the belief and worship of God and God alone.

The second reason for this variation is that God, in His infinite wisdom and eternal will, decreed that all the divine missions prior to the final message of Islam brought by Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, be limited to a specific time frame.  As a result, their laws and methodologies dealt with the specific conditions of the people whom they had been sent to address.

God teaches us in the Quran that we are Muslims (Submitters) in His eyes when we believe in Him, believe in the Last Day, and lead a righteous life while leading a righteous life means obeying the information that God has given to each of His message in respective guidance period. This is regardless of what we call ourselves. Hence, submitters are those who believe, recognize and uphold God’s words in each divine message but it doesn’t matter what people call their religion, as long as they fulfill the criteria set by God.
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.
Tafazzal (11/11/2016)