Two Kinds of Muslims
Now let’s talk about the two kinds of Muslims which are the ‘Partial Muslims’ and the ‘True Muslims’
Some Muslims profess faith in Allah Almighty and the Messenger and declare Islam as their religion; but then they confine this Islam to only a part of their lives. To the extent of this part, they express great attachment to Islam, extensively perform worship rituals like Prayers, use of the rosary, remembrance of Allah Almighty. They are very particular in conforming to outward piety in matters like food, dress and other external social, cultural customs. Thus they are fully 'religious'.
But beyond these conventions their lives are not according to what Allah Almighty commands. If they love, they love for the sake of their own selves, their country, their nation, or for anything else, but not for Allah Almighty. If they become displeased, are angry, hate someone, make enemies, or wage war, it too is for the sake of some worldly or selfish interest. Their relations with their businesses, their wives and children, families, societies — will all be to a great extent unaffected by Islam and based on secular considerations. As landlords, traders, rulers, soldiers, professional people — in all spheres they will behave as if they are autonomous, having no connection with their position as Muslims. When such people establish cultural, educational and political norms and institutions, these have nothing to do with Islam, even though they may seem Islamic.
The second kind of Muslims are those who completely merge their personalities and existences into Islam. All the roles they have become subordinate to the one role of being Muslims. They live as Muslims when they live as fathers, sons, husbands or wives, businessmen, landlords, laborers, employers. Their feelings, their desires, their ideologies, their thoughts and opinions, their likes and dislikes, all are shaped by Islam. Allah's guidance holds complete sway over their hearts and minds, their eyes and ears, their bellies, their sexual desires, their hands and feet, their bodies and souls. Neither their loves nor their hatreds are formed independently of Islamic criteria. Whether they fight or make friends, it is purely for the sake of Islam. If they give anything to anybody, it is because Islam requires it to be given. If they withhold anything from anybody, it is because Islam wants it to be withheld.
And this attitude of theirs is not limited to personal lives; their public lives, their societies are also based entirely on Islam. Their collectivity exists for Islam alone; their collective behavior is governed by the precepts of Islam alone.
What Kind of Muslims Allah Almighty Desires
The above two kinds of Muslims are significantly different from each other, even if, legally, both are included in the Ummah (Nation) and the word `Muslim' is applied to both equally. Historically the first kind of Muslims have made no achievement which may be worthy of mention or which merits our being proud of it. Nothing these ‘Muslims’ have done has left an Islamic imprint on the pages of world history. The world has received no benefit from their existence; indeed, Islam has suffered decay because of them. Because of the preponderance of such `Muslims' in Muslim society, power and world leadership largely passed into the hands of rebels against Allah Almighty. For these `Muslims' have been content merely with ensuring that they enjoy the freedom to live religiously within the narrow confines of their private lives.
Allah Almighty never desired to have such `Muslims'. Nor did He Almighty send His Prophets or reveal His Books to make them. Indeed it is the second kind of Muslims who are desired by Allah Almighty. Only they can ever accomplish anything worthwhile from the Islamic point of view.
Supreme Loyalty to Allah Almighty
This is not a phenomenon peculiar to Islam. In fact, no way of life can ever prevail in the world if its followers accord their faith and commitment a subordinate position in their lives. Or, if they live and die for causes other than their faith. We see even today that only those are considered real and true followers of a creed or ideology who are loyal to it with their hearts and souls. Every creed in the world desires such adherents and no creed can prevail in the world except through such followers.
However, there is an important difference between Islam and other creeds and ideologies. Although others demand from men total loyalty and dedication, they in fact have no such right upon him, their claims are entirely unjustified. The objects they place before men are not the kind of objects for which a human being should sacrifice anything. But Allah the Almighty for whom Islam demands the sacrifice of life has a right upon us. Everything must be given in His way, for whatever exists in heaven and on earth belongs to Allah Almighty. Man himself, whatever he possesses, and whatever lies within him, all belong to Allah Almighty. It is therefore in perfect harmony with justice as well as reason that whatever belongs to Allah Almighty must be reserved only for Him Alone. Whatever sacrifice man makes for others or for his own benefit or to gratify his desire is indeed a breach of trust unless it be with the permission of Allah Almighty. And whatever sacrifice is made for Allah Almighty is in reality a payment of what is due.
But, one lesson Muslims must learn from those who are sacrificing everything for the sake of their false ideologies and false gods: how strange it is that, while such unimaginable dedication, sacrifice and fidelity is being shown for false gods, not even a thousandth part of it is shown for the True God by those who profess faith in them.
Where Do We Stand?
Let us examine our lives by the crucial criteria of Iman and Islam as laid down by the Quran and the Prophet .
If you claim that you have accepted Islam, have you oriented your living and your dying towards Allah only? Are you living for His cause alone? Are your hearts and minds, your bodies and souls, your time and efforts, being devoted to the fulfillment of Allah's commands? Is that mission being accomplished through you which He wants to be fulfilled by the Muslim Ummah? And, again, do you obey and serve only Allah? Have you eliminated from your lives subservience to selfish desires and obedience to family, brotherhood, friends, society and state?
Have you made your likes and dislikes totally subordinate to what Allah Desires? If you love somebody, is it really for the sake of Allah? If you dislike somebody, is that too for the sake of Allah? Is no element of selfishness involved in this? Do you give and withhold only for the sake of Allah? Are you spending on your own selves and giving wealth to other people, or withholding the same, because that is what Allah Almighty wants? Is your motive nothing but to gain His pleasure?
If you find such a state of faith and submission within yourself, you should thank Allah that He has bestowed upon you the blessing of Iman in its fullness. And if you feel any deficiency, you must give up every other concern and worry and concentrate wholly on remedying this deficiency. For on its removal depends your wellbeing in this world as well as your success in the Hereafter. Whatever success you may enjoy in the present life will not compensate you for the loss you will suffer in the Hereafter due to this deficiency. But if you make up for this deficiency, even if you gain nothing in this world, you will benefit immensely in the life to come.
Do not use this criterion to test or judge others and determine whether they are Believers or hypocrites and Muslims or disbelievers; use it only to judge your own selves and, if you detect any deficiency, try to remove it before you meet Allah Almighty. How a mufti (religious jurist) or a court judges you should be of least concern to you; it is only the judgment of the Supreme Ruler and Knower of the seen and unseen which matters. Do not become happy merely on seeing your names registered as Muslims, but remain anxious about how and where your names are entered in the Register of Allah Almighty.
Real success consists in your being judged as believers and not hypocrites, obedient and not disobedient, faithful and not unfaithful, by that God who is the final Judge.