Difference Wiki

Islam vs. Muslim: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on June 1, 2024
Islam is a monotheistic religion founded on the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). A Muslim is an adherent of Islam, believing in one God (Allah) and the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as His messenger.

Key Differences

Islam represents a faith, a religion with specific beliefs and practices. On the other hand, Muslims are the people who follow Islam, adhering to its teachings and principles.
Islam originated in the 7th century in Mecca, now modern-day Saudi Arabia. Muslims, those who practice Islam, have spread across the world, forming a diverse global community.
Islam encompasses core beliefs like the oneness of God and the prophethood of Muhammad. Muslims enact these beliefs through practices like prayer, fasting, and charity.
Islam spans various cultures and traditions globally. Muslims, while culturally diverse, are united through shared beliefs and practices outlined in the Qur'an.
Islam has profoundly influenced cultural, philosophical, and scientific advancements throughout history. Muslims have played crucial roles in various domains, reflecting the faith's impact over time.

Comparison Chart


A monotheistic religion based on the Qur'an
A follower of the religion of Islam


Pertains to a system of beliefs and practices
Refers to an individual’s adherence and faith

Grammatical Use

Used as a proper noun, denoting a specific religion
Used as a noun to denote an adherent of Islam

Example of Mention

In a discussion about world religions
When talking about the people of a particular faith

Role and Representation

Represents a framework of spiritual beliefs and practices
Represents the individual believer and practitioner

Islam and Muslim Definitions


A faith that encompasses beliefs, practices, and a way of life guided by the Qur’an.
Islam prescribes practices such as prayer and fasting to its followers.


An individual who follows the religion of Islam and its prescribed practices.
A Muslim prays five times a day facing the Kaaba in Mecca.


A religion that values the concepts of charity, humility, and community service.
Islam encourages giving Zakat, a form of almsgiving, as a fundamental practice.


An adherent who observes the Five Pillars of Islam, including faith declaration, prayer, almsgiving, fasting, and pilgrimage.
A Muslim endeavors to make a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime if able.


A religion with two major sects, Sunni and Shia, with differing views on leadership after Prophet Muhammad.
Islam has experienced historical and theological differences that have led to the establishment of various sects.


A member of the global community of believers who share common religious beliefs and practices.
A Muslim in Indonesia shares fundamental beliefs and practices with a Muslim in Egypt.


A monotheistic Abrahamic religion founded on the words and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad.
Islam emphasizes the belief in one God, known as Allah in Arabic.


A person who believes in the Oneness of Allah and accepts Muhammad as His prophet.
A Muslim believes in all the prophets sent by Allah, from Adam to Muhammad.


A belief system that recognizes Jesus, Moses, and other figures as prophets, with Muhammad as the final prophet.
Islam respects various prophets but holds the teachings of Muhammad as the final revelation.


An individual who seeks to live a life in accordance with the guidelines and teachings set forth in the Qur'an and Hadith.
A Muslim seeks to embody the virtues of honesty, integrity, and kindness as illustrated in Islamic teachings.


A monotheistic religion characterized by the doctrine of absolute submission to God and by reverence for Muhammad as the chief and last prophet of God.


Also Mos·lem (mŏzləm, mŏs-) A believer in or adherent of Islam.


The people or nations that practice Islam; the Muslim world.


A member of the Nation of Islam; a Black Muslim.


The civilization developed by the Muslim world.


See Moslem.


A believer or follower of Islam


Of or relating to or supporting Islamism;
Islamic art


What is Islam?

Islam is a monotheistic religion that teaches the belief in one God (Allah) and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as His messenger.

Who is a Muslim?

A Muslim is an individual who follows Islam, adhering to its beliefs and practices.

What are the basic practices a Muslim follows?

Muslims follow the Five Pillars of Islam: Shahada (faith), Salah (prayer), Zakat (charity), Sawm (fasting), and Hajj (pilgrimage).

How is Islamic identity and unity maintained across global Muslim communities?

Islamic identity and unity are maintained through shared beliefs, practices, and communal activities like congregational prayers and festivals.

What are the fundamental beliefs of Islam?

Islam’s core beliefs include the oneness of God, belief in angels, prophets, divine scriptures, the Day of Judgment, and divine destiny.

What is the difference between Sunni and Shia Muslims?

The primary difference lies in their beliefs about the rightful succession of leadership after Prophet Muhammad’s death.

Who was Prophet Muhammad?

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the last prophet in Islam, believed to have received revelations from God through Angel Gabriel.

What are the main festivals in Islam?

The two main Islamic festivals are Eid al-Fitr, celebrated at the end of Ramadan, and Eid al-Adha, observed during the Hajj pilgrimage.

Why do Muslim women wear a hijab?

Muslim women wear hijab as an act of modesty and compliance with Islamic teachings regarding clothing.

What is the role of a mosque in Islam?

A mosque serves as a place of worship, community gathering, learning, and is pivotal to the spiritual life of a Muslim.

What does "Allah" mean?

“Allah” is the Arabic word for God, denoting the supreme, all-powerful being in Islam.

What is Sharia Law?

Sharia Law is a legal system derived from the Qur'an and Hadith (sayings and actions of Prophet Muhammad) guiding various aspects of a Muslim's life.

What is the purpose of fasting during Ramadan in Islam?

Fasting (Sawm) during Ramadan is seen as a means to attain spiritual growth, self-discipline, and empathy for the less fortunate.

What is Halal in Islam?

Halal refers to what is permissible in Islam, which can pertain to dietary laws, ethical investments, and more.

What is the holy book of Islam?

The Qur’an is the holy book of Islam, believed to be a revelation from God.

How are Islamic dates determined?

Islamic dates are determined by the lunar Hijri calendar, which is based on the phases of the moon.

What does Jihad mean in Islam?

Jihad primarily refers to the spiritual struggle against sin; it's often misinterpreted as a physical struggle or “holy war.”

Why do Muslims pray five times a day?

Prayer (Salah) is a fundamental pillar of Islam that deepens one's connection with Allah and serves as a constant reminder of the faith.

What is the significance of Mecca in Islam?

Mecca is the birthplace of Prophet Muhammad and the location of the Kaaba, making it the holiest city in Islam.

How does Islam view Jesus?

In Islam, Jesus (Isa) is regarded as one of the prophets, born of the Virgin Mary, and not the son of God.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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