Most of us want to get the answer of this question who is a Muslim and who is a Momin? Are we Muslim or Momin? But for this, we need to be quite clear about the definition of first Muslim and then Momin.
Muslim was described as one who submits to Allah. He believes that Allah is one; he offers his prayers and recites Holy Quran. He believes in Angels and in the Day of Judgment.
Momin means believer, who achieves a higher level of faith, he is true believer in all respects and is above Muslim when it comes to faith because the degree of faith begins at Muslim but ends at momin. About momin or believer Allah says in Quran:
“The believers are only those, when Allah was mentioned, feel fear in their hearts and when His ayaat were recited unto them, they (i.e.) increase their faith; and they put their trust in their Lord (Alone)”
(surah Anfaal: 2)
It is noteworthy that Faith (iman) and the other word which was used in Quran is Taqwa (abstinence) is the standard to earn one the title of Muslim or Momin. If a man apparently performs religious obligations such as offering prayers and reciting Quran but does not have faith and firm belief in the Quran and traditions of Holy Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) in other words one who is unable to grasp the real message of Islam might be called a Muslim but not Momin. On the other hand, Momin is one who not only follows the religious obligations properly but shows the spirit of faith in every action and deed he carries out in this world according to Quran and Traditions of Muhammad (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam).
About Momin or strong believer Holy Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said:
“The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, although both are good. Strive to attain that which will benefit you and seek the help of Allah and do not feel helpless.”
[Sahih Muslim Hadith: 2664]
It is really pressing here to know what are the attributes of Momin that raised him to such glory and dignity in the eyes of Allah.
Momin is such a believer who remains unshaken when confronted with adverse situation. He remains steadfast in all calamities and show gratitude to all Allah has granted him. Holy Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) describes the virtues of Momin in the following words.
“Happy is the Momin for if good befalleth him; he praiseth and thanketh Allah, and if misfortune befalleth, he praiseth Allah and beareth it patiently.”
Each and every action of Momin are in accordance with the teachings of Islam. He loves others for the sake of Allah and hates others for the sake of Allah; he achieves superior level of faith (Iman) to such an extent that satanic forces fail to work on him. When Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, was asked to state one of the important entities of faith (Iman) Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, said:
“To love him who loveth Allah, and hate him who hateth Allah.”
Momin has tremendous self control. He is chaste and pious, who abstains from all that was forbidden (lewdness and sexual impropriety), being subservient to Almighty Allah is his sole purpose.
“They who turn to Allah, who serve (Him), who praise (Him), who fast, who bow down, who prostrate themselves who enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil, and who keep the limits of Allah”
(Surah At-Tawba: Ayah:112)
From the above mentioned attributes and virtues of Momin, we can assess our inner state that who are we Muslims or Momins?
A Muslim might neglect his religious duties, he might give importance to the world, there might comes time in his life when he succumbs to evil forces, but Momin cannot neglect his duties and worldly charms and allurements do not entice him.
It is hard to say who is Muslim and who is Momin because it all depends on ones faith and belief, but Muttaqins can rightly be called Momins because they do not live their own life or tread on the path they like but they only tread on Allah’s path. There are many Muslims no doubt , but only few are Momins. Those who are Momin they do not claim to be. It seems hard to lead a life of Momin but if not Momin at least we can try to be better Muslims.