In several Hadiths, Rasulullah (sallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) seems to differentiate between a Mu’min and a Muslim.
For example, in Sunan Tirmidhi, Nabi (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) said:
“The Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hand Muslims are safe, and the believer is the one with whom the people trust their blood and their wealth.”
Would you kindly enlighten me on the differences?
In cases like the above, a Mu’min generally refers to a person who has accepted from his heart, and not just outwardly.
When one has accepted outwardly, he is referred to as a Muslim.
In other words; a Mu’min is a level higher than a Muslim.
In a Hadith of Musnad Ahmad, Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) said:
Islam is outward, and Iman is in the heart
(Musnad Ahmad, vol.3 pg.135)
This is also supported by the famous Hadith Jibril in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim.
It should be noted that sometimes the words, Muslim and Mu’min are used as synonyms in some contexts. One is therefore always obliged to refer to the explanation of the ‘Ulama for clarity on each text.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,
Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar