Islam is the name of religion. As the two words, Muslim and Arabs, are constantly used when talking about the Muslim world, it is very valuable to understand the difference between Muslim and Arabs. The two words Muslim and Arabs are often understood to be interchangeable, but they are not so. They, Muslim and Arabs, have some important differences between them. Arabs are mostly Muslims, but Muslims are not always Arabs.
The main difference between Muslim and Arabs is that Arab is a race and Muslim is a follower of the religion of Islam. In other words, a Muslim is a person or an individual that embraced the religion of Islam. An Arab is a person or an individual that occupies the Arabian region for dwelling purposes. While the term Arab has been used in the past to refer to members of a Semitic ethnic group from the Arabian Peninsula, today the word “Arab” refers to people from Arabic-speaking countries, most of which are in the Middle East and North Africa.
The term Arabian was historically used to describe an inhabitant of the Arabian Peninsula. Today “Arabian” is used as an adjective to describe a non-human noun (e.g., Arabian coffee); it should not be used to refer to people. The following questions about basic Muslim beliefs (2 through 12) are answered in accord with the scholars mentioned above, reflecting the majority Sunni views.
Who are Muslims?
A Muslim is a follower of the religion of Islam. Islam is one of the major religions in the world. Muslims live their lives according to this religion. They pray five times a day. Muslims believe the Quran, their religious book, to be the word of God as it was revealed to the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
Who are Arabs?
The definition of Arab as given by the Oxford dictionary is as follows.
“A member of a Semitic people, originally from the Arabian peninsula and neighbouring territories, inhabiting much of the Middle East and North Africa.”
Arab is a name given according to the place where people come from. It is not connected to a religion. Therefore, an Arab is not necessarily a Muslim.
What is the difference between Muslim and Arabs?
The word Muslim is religion based, whereas the word Arab is region based or ethnicity based. It is very important to note that different languages are used by Muslims because they reside in different parts of the world. Arabs speak the Arabic language, which is also spoken by other nationals too.
Muslims hail from many parts of the world whereas Arabs are necessarily from the Middle East regions. Since Muslims come from different parts of the world, they are in large numbers in terms of population. Compared to the number of Muslims in the world, the Arab population is less. This is again because the Arabs hail from only a particular region of the world.
It is interesting to note that though most Arab citizens follow some sect of Islam there are people who belong to other religions such as Christianity and Jewish. Thus, you come across Muslim Arabs and Christian Arabs. The same is applicable even to those that practice the religion of Islam. You can come across an American Muslim and an Arab Muslim too for that matter. Finally, it can be said that Arab is a race and Muslim is a follower of the religion of Islam.
Lastly, Islam is a religion for all. You need not be black or white to be qualified as a follower. This religion strictly forbids the man from considering themselves to be on par with God. In their history, there are no more new prophets to come, since it was Muhammad PBUH who was considered to be the last.