WHO IS A MUSLIM
Who is a Muslim according to Muslim Personal law?
Our country is a secular country and all the laws which are enacted by government apply upon each and every person irrespective of their religion. But in some situations, the people of particular religion are governed by their personal laws.
These personal laws apply upon a person only if he belongs to a particular religion which is governed by that personal law. In India, Muslims are governed by the Muslim Personal laws. So it is essential to know that “who are Muslims according to Muslim personal laws.”
Islam is the second most followed religion in the world after Christianity. Even in India, the number of followers of Islam is gigantic. But still there is no particular definition of Muslim either in any Statue or Judicial pronouncement.
In general, a person will be considered Muslim if he follows the Islam. Here Islam means “submission to the will of God”. So a person who submits his life to the will of Allah that will be considered Muslim.
They believe that nothing can happen without the permission of Allah and there is only one God that is a Allah and all the teachings of Allah were revealed to Prophet Muhammad through the Angel Gabriel.
According to Muslim personal law, a person can be Muslim by two ways:-
• By Birth
• By Conversion
By Birth:- According to Muslim personal law, if both the parents of a child are Muslim then the child will be considered Muslim. If one of the parents of a child is Muslim and that child has been brought up as a Muslim by a Muslim parent, then in such a case, the child will be considered Muslim.
In the leading case of Azima Bibi vs. Munshi Shamalanand 1912, Hon’ble Court held that, “a child born out of a Muslim couple would be Muslim even if he by choice goes to a Hindu temple. The person would be Muslim till the time he does not renounce his religion and converts to another religion.”
By Conversion:- According to Muslim personal law, if a person is non- Muslim but he convert his religion and starts following Islam, then he will be considered Muslim. But for the conversion of religion he must be of sound mind and major at the time of conversion. Conversion can be done by two ways:-
• By Declaration:- Wherein a person declares that he has a renounced his earlier religion and from now he has started following Islam and according to him there is only one God that is Allah and he has the faith in the Prophet Muhammad.
• By Reading Kalimah:- Wherein a person can goes to a Mosque and he will be asked by a Mawlawi to read the kalimah from Quran and after this a Muslim name is given to him. After adopting the Muslim name, he will be considered Muslim.
In the leading case of Lily Thomas vs. Union of India 2000, the Supreme Court held that, “ according to Article 25 of Constitution of India a person has complete freedom to choose his religion and by exercising this right he can convert into another religion but one can convert into another religion only if he has the faith in that religion. Just to take some religious benefits, one cannot convert into another religion.”
Hence it can be said that according to Muslim personal law if a child is born out of Muslim parents then he will be considered Muslim or if a non- Muslim renounces his earlier religion and convert to Muslim religion then also he will be considered Muslim.