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Who is a Muslim Under Muslim Law

“Every person who believes in the unity of God and the mission of Muhammad as a Prophet is a Mussulman to whatever sect he may belong.” Well, this is just an overview , further in this Article we will discuss the in-depth concept of being a muslim in order to understand Who is a Muslim Under Muslim Law.

This simple definition of a Muslim has been propounded by Justice Ameer Ali in his book on Muslims Law first and since then it has been invariably followed by different High Courts.

According to Shariah, it presumes a child born to Muslim parents, or even one Muslim parent, is a Muslim. The Shariat Act explicitly states that having just one Muslim parent automatically makes the child Muslim. In contrast, Hindu Law, if one parent is Hindu, deems a child raised as Hindu, irrespective of the other parent’s religion. This principle significantly shapes the application of Muslim Law.

In India, however, a child born of a Muslim father is presumed to be a Muslim but not a child of a Muslim mother and non-Muslim father, as was held by the Privy Council in Skinner v. Orde, (1871) and by the Oudh High Court in Mohd. Azim Khan v. Saadat Ali, (1931).

A Muslim remains a Muslim unless he renounces Islam.

A non-Muslim may embrace Islam and become a Muslim by conversion ( i.e. Person who professes Islam or persons who undergo the formal ceremony of conversion). It is not necessary to go into the motives of the convert, because there is no test or gauge to determine the sincerity of religious belief.

Majority of Muslims in India are Hanafis. The courts presume every Muslim to be a Hanafi unless otherwise contended.

Origin of Muslim Law

Islamic law, known as Muslim law, It is belief that it stems from the divine rather than human creation Muslims consider Sharia, the traditional Islamic legal system, as holy, deriving from Allah and Prophet Mohammed’s principles. It guides human conduct and is viewed as the word of God. Islamic jurisprudence, tracing back to Mohammed’s lifetime, centers around the Quran, the sole disclosed book of Allah. In legal cases like Narantakath v. Prakkal, Muslims emphasized two fundamental beliefs: the existence and oneness of God and faith in Prophet Mohammed’s mission.

Who is a Muslim?

Muslim Identity and Applicability of Muslim Law:

  • The term “Muslim” denotes submission, and individuals practicing Islam are referred to as Muslims.
  • Muslim law applies to born Muslims and converts, including specific groups like Khojas and Bohras.

Conversion and Legal Implications:

  • Muslim parents consider their child Muslim regardless of the child’s later life choices.
  • Article 25 addresses Hindu-Muslim conversions, which individuals may pursue for legal advantages, such as avoiding bigamy punishment.

Legal Consequences of Conversion for Marriage:

  • The Supreme Court rulings, like in Sarla Mudgil v. Union of India, clarify that converting solely for bigamy is void and punishable.
  • While a Muslim man’s marriage ends upon conversion, a Muslim woman’s marriage continues, except for cases of re-embracing her original faith.


ALSO READ: Nature of Muslim Marriage

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