I was a cappite then a scarffite when I was in school and always get this question on Fridays - “So you are a Muslim?". As a socialite which could be classified as a moderate Muslim, I was considered a tad bit better, at least I covered my hair. My nickname was Tusch Hajia. Looking back on those days now, I have concluded that such comments and questions should not arise if one were a good Muslim. There are several categories of Muslims today which I would like to sort out in accordance to their way of life and how you can spot them. Liberal Muslims These set of Muslims are open to ideas from other faiths. They are neither here nor there when it comes to opinion about Islam. They are non-extremists and hardly follow the sunnah of Rasul. They say salat every now and again but could also believe in soothsayers or fortune tellers, have their palms read or see a psychic or babalawo once a problem arises. Moderate Muslims They could pass as practicing Muslim but not too keen about Islam. They observe Salat, fast; do other religion activities only when it is convenient. These people would miss jumah prayer at the slightest excuse. They could cover their head with scarf, wear flashy jeweleries, dress and flash a bit of skin. They are also fond of parties and love the club scene. Associate/Identifier These set of Muslims can associate or identify themselves as Muslims but aside that, they are ‘empty ’. They go to Jumu’ah, Eid and sometimes fast in the month of Ramadan only. They could come back from night club and observe night prayers. When there is some revival or crusade, they are there and during Christmas they dress and follow the neighbour to service, cook Christmas food or wait to be served. Most times they are Muslims because their parents are. When they are facing calamities or tribulations, they rush to pastors and from the pastor to the Imam before the babalawo. These people are what I call Associate Muslims or Identifiers. Shy/Embarrassed Muslims Afraid and almost embarrassed of their identity as Muslims. Would never dress Muslim and are ashamed of their Muslim name. Will never admit to being Muslim. They are born Muslims but shy away from it. These people actually believe Muslims are terrorists and thereby disregard practicing Islam. They could renounce their faith easily. They do, act and live in a way that cannot be regarded as Islamic. These people could sometimes claim to be Muslim when they are chasing a Muslim babe to score a point or admiring a Muslim guy or need that contract from the Alhaji. Allah is watching us all. In-Between Muslims These people have one of the parents as a Muslim and confused about which way to go. They do not have a particular way of life and no one to lead them. They pray in whatever way that comes to mind. Today they want to satisfy daddy and tomorrow they align with mum. Any small issue, they say “JEZZ”. They are neither here nor there. Practicing, Thorough Muslims These set of people observes the commandment of Almighty Allah (SWT) and sunnah of prophet Muhammad (PBUH). They complete their salat and perform Nawafil, fast not only during Ramadan but also significant days on the Islamic calendar. They encourage dawah, sadaqah and are very generous and well rounded individuals. They are always in their best of behavior and worship Allah (SWT) always. They have the fear of Allah as if they see Him. They improve on their quest for knowledge, are very patient and believe in Qadar (destiny). They dress in modest ways always. Assess and put yourself in a category, where do you fall? You could also create your own category. Salaam alaikum waramatulahi wabarakatu. Ganiyah Kareem is a scientist and a staff writer at 1one4.com

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