What ‘Muslim’ Actually Means

I know Muslims who say they submit to the law of the land. Other Muslims I know think Sharia Law will solve all the problems around the world.

Who knows?

Clare M. Lopez gives a good perspective on the subject of what the word Muslim actually means in her article



The entire debate about what it means to be “Muslim” and Shariah-compliant might be solved with a quick lesson in Arabic grammar.

This is because the word Muslim contains in its Arabic meaning its own definition.

You see, the word Muslim in Arabic has two parts: the Mu prefix, and the triliteral root that forms the word Islam. That root word, Islam, is a verbal noun that means submission. When an Mu prefix is attached to such a root in Arabic, the resulting noun means: a person who does the thing that root word denotes.

Therefore, with Islam being a verbal noun meaning submission, Muslim therefore means one who submits.

Submits to what? To Allah’s will – which is Shariah. Islamic Law.

Thus, anyone who presents as a Muslim is by definition Shariah-adherent, because that’s what the word itself actually means. If someone claims to be a Muslim, or converts to Islam, or was born into Islam, but does not apostatize or separate from it, then it is reasonable to conclude that such a person is Shariah-compliant—at a minimum, tacitly—unless and until told otherwise. And the converse must also be true: one who does not submit to Shariah, one who does not adhere to Shariah, does not meet the linguistic definition of Muslim.

As for Shariah, which is defined and understood by the Islamic scholars to be an all-encompassing, legal-military doctrinal system that features some religious beliefs, it is binding for Muslims, even as the word Muslim dictates. Although Shariah includes a multitude of obligations, among which many are innocuous (to believe in the oneness of Allah; to pray five times per day; to avoid eating pork, etc.), jihad as warfare to spread Islam is also a core, compelling obligation. All who are Muslim by birth or conversion are obligated to actively support the establishment of a universal governmental system (Caliphate/Imamate) based on Shariah and the replacement by means of jihad of any political system not governed by Shariah.

It is this commandment to Islamic supremacism that is most problematic for non-Muslims and responsible for much of the debate about what exactly “being Muslim” means. But if we realize that the answer lies in the etymology of the Arabic word Muslim itself, then it will be understood that unless and until that identity as “one who submits” is abjured by the individual in question, the person is accorded full credit for living a Shariah-adherent life.

Look… I know a woman who told me she has had four miscarriages, and that her husband of eighteen years died of a silent heart attack. She’s Muslim. She remarried two years later. I think I’m her friend.

Unless she has some Machiavellian plan to get me to like her in order to convert me to Islam, I think she trusts me. And she trusts me because I am the only person she can relate to in a white-only-environment. I guess Muslims want to be my friends after all 🙂

I’m not even Muslim, but I know her culture and her religion. She feels safe talking to me. I have shown my love for her by asking her about her life. I have shown her the love of Jesus by just LISTENING to her.

Is she Sharia-compliant? Maybe. You know what, though? The Lord Jesus is after her heart. And I am honored to be the instrument that He might use to bring her HOME, and sweep her over her heels with a LOVE that she has never known.

To Isa al-Masih [Jesus the Messiah] be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

The Leftovers – Part 2

After Jesus tells the disciples to give the people something to eat, they go into the crowd, and come back with two fish and five loaves of bread.  A boy – who was uncounted in the five thousand – gave the ingredients for the miracle.

The thing that I’ve discovered is that God tends to use the ones that everybody else discounts. The ones that think they are not qualified enough, not talented enough, not connected enough, not resourced enough, not eloquent enough, not gifted enough… the ones that somehow think they are not enough. I believe God says, ‘Awesome! Because I am the God of more than enough. So I will take the ones that everybody discounted, and I will give myself some glory through their lives’
– Christine Caine

I have always struggled with my self-esteem. I always felt I was not good enough for people to love me. I always felt that I needed to perform for people to like me. Even my parents. I was just never enough. But then Jesus rescued me. Fine. Let’s say He did not die on the cross. He saved me anyway. Had it not been for Jesus and His teachings in the Bible, my marriage would be broken. My life would have probably ceased to exist.

God rescued me because He loves me. His love and His kindness led me towards repentance (Romans 2:4).  But I would have never, ever, approached God if not for Jesus’ teachings. The teachings on LOVE and SELF-SACRIFICE. The sacrifice of a man (but not only a man) willing to die in order to show me just how much I mean to Him.

I would die for my own children, you know. That is how much I love them. Eight years ago, I was not a mother. Now, I would even kill for my children. I would die protecting them from any harm or any person who would want to harm them. Jesus rescued me from my own destructive self. But it feels as if Islam wanted to take that away from me. Islam tells me I was never loved by God to begin with. It is very confusing to me. When I write, I open my heart, and I question things truthfully. I have read so many things, and so many testimonies of Muslims whose interpretation is: No, God only loves Muslims. My Muslims, though, tell me Allah does love me even if I am not a Muslim. Let’s camp here for a little bit.

My point is this: even if I left the Christian faith and recited my Shahada, Allah as revealed in the Bible, would still love me. But if I were Muslim, would Allah still love me if I decided to become an apostate of Islam? I won’t even talk about the capital punishment prescribed by Islamic Law in countries like Saudi Arabia when you reject Islam. That will have its own post. I am only asking about Allah’s love for me if I left my Islamic religion.

My Muslims and I worship Allah. But I have come to terms with the fact that even though we worship the same WHAT, we do not worship the same WHO. Oh, please, do not read too much into this. I am NOT one of those people who will start saying that Muslims actually worship the moon, and that Allah is the name of one of the pagans gods the Arabs used to worship. I think those arguments are kind of cheap in Christian-Muslim apologetics. I have seen my Muslimah suffering, and crying over life’s issues. I have cried with my Muslims (about my own issues) and for my Muslims (because my time in India is running out). But I would be lying to myself if I pretended that we see, understand or approach Allah in the same way. The truth is we do not. And that is the beauty of it all – we all want to reach Allah.

Love is the fulfillment of the law. Allah is loving. But even deeper than that, ALLAH IS LOVEIf I can’t love my Muslims whom I have seen, I cannot love Allah, whom I have not seen.  But not only my Muslim brother or my Christian brother. The more I read the New Testament, it is evident that I am commanded to love EVERYONE. I don’t have a choice as a follower of Isa Al-Masih (Jesus The Messiah). As I study these matters while asking Allah to guide me, I find it compelling – interesting to say the least-  that even before I would ever love Allah, Allah loved me first. No strings attached. UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.

But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Messiah died for us.

– Romans 5:8

That kind of love is dangerous. If it gets you, and you happen to experience it for real, it would be very difficult to walk away from it. You can ignore it long enough, but it won’t leave you alone. Allah will always love me. No matter what. I am free. But freedom doesn’t mean that I have permission to indulge in my sins. Instead, I am here to serve others humbly in AGAPE LOVE (Galatians 5:13).

I am sorry, India. I am sorry if some Christians have told you that Jesus died for their sins so they can sin all they want. Jesus NEVER said that. The Jesus of the Bible actually said to the adulterous woman, “I do not condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin”And that’s kind of impossible. To stop sinning. Yet, it is what Jesus commanded her to do, and I do believe it is what He commands me to do as well. I wonder if maybe that’s why Jesus made the disciples go into the crowd asking for food. Jesus wanted them to see how impossible the situation was, and how little they could do in their own strength.

Jesus looked up to heaven and blessed the food. He gave thanks. Jesus broke the bread and kept on giving those broken pieces to the disciples to be distributed among the people. The same happened with the fish (Mark 6:41). Everybody ate and all were satisfied. The disciples then picked up (to take away, to remove) twelve FULL baskets of broken pieces, and also of the fish (Mark 6:43).

The disciples picked up THE LEFTOVERS. Have you ever wondered why? Jesus could have stopped just about when everybody was full, but instead, He kept on breaking bread and breaking fish. He stopped until each one of the disciples had a basket full for himself.

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat, and go ahead of Him to Bethsaida while He dismissed the crowd (verse 45). After that, Jesus went to the mountain to pray. It’s interesting to speculate why Jesus would pray at this point.

Was Jesus thanking God for the miracle of feeding five thousand people? Up until now the miracles had been done on a personal basis, but this miracle is now in the stomach of 15,000 people about to go back to their villages. Word about Jesus is about to spread, and actually, from this point forward, Jesus’ ministry just blows up. So, was Jesus praying for God to open the hearts and spiritual eyes of the people who would hear His message of Salvation? Or was Jesus actually praying for what is about to happen to His disciples on their way to Bethsaida?

Remember Jesus himself made them get on that boat. What if Jesus knew what was coming for them, and He sent them into it anyway? What happens next in Mark?