Muslim as a description


Over the past 6 months or so, I have seen countless threads discussing the use of the term Quranists and the misconception that we were named “muslimeen” in 22:78 therefore labelling / naming / calling ourselves/ referring to ourselves / referring to ourselves as Quranists is not allowed.

33:35 seems to show there are lots of descriptive words for muslimeen, unless these are separate groups / types of people.

The debate seems to centre around who has best claim to the term “muslim”

Some people say a “Muslim” is one who believes in Quran and Sunnah (where Sunnah means the Example of the Prophet) and the Sunnah is achieved by following Hadiths

Some people say a “Muslim” is one who believes in Quran and Sunnah (where Sunnah means the Example of the Prophet) and the Sunnah is achieved by following what has been preserved for generations (actions not hadiths)

Some people say a “Muslim” is one who believes in Quran and Sunnah (where Sunnah is the Sunnah of Allah as stated in the Quran) and the Examples of ALL the Prophets are believed to be contained in the Quran without the requirement for other sources of info.

So it seems that to define Muslim in today’s day and age, we also have to define the “Sunnah”  Even that is disagreed upon in traditional circles.

If I tell someone I’m muslim – they will automatically associate me with Mainstream Traditional Islam, which is not what I mean when I say I am muslim. When I say I’m muslim, I mean it to mean muslim the way the Quran means it to mean muslim!!

With there being so much confusion surrounding what it means to be muslim, it seems the term is ambiguous.

If I was around in the 1940’s / 1950’s I would quite happily announce “I’m Gay!” meaning it to mean “gay” in the sense that Enid Blyton meant it to mean “gay” as was understood how we understand it to mean “happy” THESE DAYS.

Both terms where the word in the book has come to have other associated uses and meanings ascribed to it :

“muslim” in Quran means something different than “muslim” as used in present day

“gay” in Enid Blyton’s books means something different than “gay” as used in present day.

So the only way to avoid ambiguity is by stating what you mean to clarify after you used an ambiguos term OR don’t use an ambiguous term in the first place.

I’m gay (in the Enid Blyton sense) I’m muslim (in the Quranic sense)

I could just say I’m happy and I’m a Quranist.

See also : I’m Gay (in an Enid Blyton way)

which is an attempt to “claim back” the original meaning of gay to mean happy. Some quranists (people who believe that the Quran is the sole divine source of islam but do not use the term Quranist) argue for the same action – “Claim back the term Muslim”.

Whilst in principle I can sympathise with this position, it seems that changing new meanings back to old meanings is only going to create more confusion. We have to keep up with computer technology and names of parts and jargon and terminology. Floppy discs for example!  I remember when floppy discs were not even floppy,  I’m not really old enough to have seen the original floppy discs (in use). Surely the name stuck and people got the jist from the context if you talked about “save it to a “floppy”, but I would imagine at “changeover time” (when the new type of floppy disc that was not floppy came into use)  if you specified a “3.5” as a defining term for what you are talking about (as opposed to the original 8 inch) then it just saved time and confusion. You still KNOW they are talking about a disc. It doesn’t mean that one is a disc and the other is NOT a disc. No,  they are all discs they just get referred to with different “terms” or “names” or identifiers purely so people know what you are talking about.

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One Response to Muslim as a description

  1. Pingback: Muslim as a description « Quranist Voices – Musings on Being Quranist | Find Best Information about Islam on Internet

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