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Is It Stipulated That The One Who Wants To Become Muslim Must Know The Name Of The Messenger (blessings And Peace Of Allah Be Upon Him)?

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Rufai Oladimeji
Lagos State University
English
100Level, Nigeria.
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Question

What is the ruling on one who
wants to become Muslim, and
knows that there is a Messenger to
humanity, and believes in him, but
he does not know his name? Has he
become Muslim, or must he first
know the name of the Messenger?
Is it acceptable for him to know
[the Prophet’s] kunyah, or a name
other than Muhammad, such as
Ahmad or al-Maahi?

Answer

Praise be to Allah.
Firstly:
No one becomes Muslim until he
utters the Shahaadatayn (the twin
declaration of faith), if he is able to
utter it, or affirms its meaning. An-
Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on
him) said:
Ahl as-Sunnah – the scholars of
hadith, the fuqaha’ and the scholars
of kalaam – are agreed that the
believer who is deemed to be among
the “people of the qiblah” [i.e.,
Muslims] and will not abide forever
in Hell can only be the one who
believes in his heart in the religion
of Islam with certainty and free of
any doubts, and utters the
Shahaadatayn (the twin declaration
of faith). Whoever omits either part
of it is not one of the people of the
qiblah at all, unless he is unable to
utter it because of a speech defect,
or because he was not able to utter
it before death overtook him
suddenly, or for some other reason,
in which case he is indeed a
believer.
End quote from Sharh an-Nawawi
‘ala Muslim (1/149).
Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have
mercy on him) said:
It is essential to utter the
Shahaadatayn; if he is able to utter
them but does not do so, then he
had not entered Islam until he does
utter the Shahaadatayn. This is a
matter on which there is scholarly
consensus. Moreover, along with
uttering the words, it is essential to
believe and affirm the meaning of
the Shahaadatayn.
End quote from Majmoo‘ Fataawa
Ibn Baaz (5/340).
If he is not able to utter these
words, such as one who is
nonverbal, then his becoming
Muslim is done by writing, if he is
able to write, or by making gestures
or signs which indicate that he has
truly become Muslim and has
accepted Islam willingly.
See the answer to question no.
224858.

Secondly:
It is obligatory to mention in the
Shahaadah (testimony of faith) the
name of the Prophet Muhammad
(blessings and peace of Allah be
upon him); all his names and his
kunyah are equal in that regard,
such as Muhammad, Ahmad, al-
Maahi, Abu’l-Qaasim, and so on.
Al-Haleemi (may Allah have mercy
on him) said:
If a disbeliever says: “ Laa ilaaha illa
Allah, Ahmad rasool-Allah [There is
no god but Allah, Ahmad is the
Messenger of Allah]”, that is the
same as saying “ Muhammad rasool-
Allah [Muhammad is the Messenger
of Allah].” Allah, may He be glorified
and exalted, says (interpretation of
the meaning): “…and bringing good
tidings of a messenger to come
after me, whose name is
Ahmad” [as-Saff 61:6] . The meaning
of the two names is the same.
So there is no difference between
Ahmad and Muhammad.
If he says: “ Abu’l-Qaasim rasool-
Allah [Abu’l-Qaasim is the
Messenger of Allah],” the same
applies. And Allah knows best.
End quote from al-Minhaaj fi Shu‘ab
al-Eemaan by al-Haleemi (1/140).

Thirdly:
If someone knows that there is a
messenger to mankind whom Allah
sent to all people, and does not
know his name, but he believes in
him and testifies to that verbally,
then he is a Muslim, such as if he
says “I submit to Allah and embrace
the religion of Islam,” or “I believe
in the Messenger in whom the
Muslims believe.” Allah, may He be
exalted, tells us that Pharaoh said,
as he was drowning, “I believe that
there is no deity except that in
whom the Children of Israel believe,
and I am of the Muslims” , but Allah,
may He be exalted, responded to
him by saying “Now? And you had
disobeyed [Him] before and were of
the corrupters?” [Yoonus 10:90 –
interpretation of the meaning] .
This indicates that if he has said
these words before he started to
drown, it would have been accepted
from him.
If a disbeliever says something to
indicate that he has entered the
religion of Islam and believes in our
Prophet Muhammad (blessings and
peace of Allah be upon him), then it
is to be accepted from him and he is
to be deemed a Muslim, then after
that he is to be taught the
Shahaadatayn with the correct
wording.
In fact even if a disbeliever limits
himself to saying “ Laa ilaaha ill-
Allah (there is no god but Allah),”
then he is to be deemed a Muslim,
after which he should be taught the
testimony that Muhammad
(blessings and peace of Allah be
upon him) is the Messenger of Allah,
and be instructed to say it.
Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen
(may Allah have mercy on him) said,
after quoting some hadiths in which
the Prophet (blessings and peace of
Allah be upon him) instructed
disbelievers to say the
Shahaadatayn:
These texts and others like them
indicate that a person’s Islam is not
complete without the
Shahaadatayn.
But there are other texts which
indicate that a person enters Islam
upon reciting the first Shahaadah
only, which is “ Laa ilaaha ill-Allah
(there is no god but Allah).” One
such example is the hadith of
Usaamah (may Allah be pleased
with him), in the story of the
polytheist with whom Usaamah was
fighting, and he said “ Laa ilaaha ill-
Allah (there is no god but Allah),”
but he still killed him. He told the
Prophet (blessings and peace of
Allah be upon him) about that, and
he said: “Did you kill him after he
said Laa ilaaha ill-Allah?!” He said:
Yes; he only said it to protect
himself [from being killed]. The
Prophet (blessings and peace of
Allah be upon him) said: “Did you
kill him after he said Laa ilaaha ill-
Allah?!” and kept repeating it until
Usaamah said: I wished that I had
not become Muslim yet, because
when a person becomes Muslim,
Islam erases all that came before it.
This indicates that by saying Laa
ilaaha ill-Allah , the man had entered
Islam and thus his life was
protected.
Also, when the Prophet (blessings
and peace of Allah be upon him) was
present at the deathbed of his
paternal uncle Abu Taalib, he kept
saying to him: “O uncle, say Laa
ilaaha ill-Allah , a word by which I
will plead for you before Allah,” and
he did not mention the second
Shahaadah, which is the testimony
that Muhammad is the Messenger
of Allah.
What appears to me to be the case,
based on the evidence, is that if a
person testifies that there is no god
but Allah, he has entered Islam,
then he should be instructed to
testify that Muhammad is the
Messenger of Allah.
End quote from ash-Sharh al-
Mumti‘ (14/464-466).
And Allah knows best.

islamqa.info/en/answers/239026/is-it-stipulated-that-the-one-who-wants-to-become-muslim-must-know-the-name-of-the-messenger-blessings-and-peace-of-allah-be-upon-him

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