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Difference Between Punjabi and Muslim

Punjabi vs Muslim

Both “Punjabi” and “Muslim” are two adjectives that are used to described people and their affiliations.

“Punjabi” is a term that describes a person who has cultural links to Punjab. It can refer to the people, language, alphabet, tradition, culture, and other issues that are related to Punjab, which refers to an Indian and Pakistani state.

On the other hand, a Muslim is a descriptive term for a person who is practicing the religion of Islam. Anyone can be called a Muslim if the person follows the tenets of the said faith and the religious teachings.

As a people, Punjabi is classified into different castes that coexist within a society. Punjabi are a mix of Dravidian and Indo-Aryan people. They are considered the largest ethnic group in Pakistan and second largest ethnic group in South Asia. As a people, they can adopt different beliefs (Hinduism, Islam, Sikhs, and Christianity) depending on their personal or group choice.

On the other hand, a Muslim can be classified into the type of Islam that they intend to follow. They can be a Sunni or Shia Muslim. These two factions have their own beliefs regarding Mohammad’s successor. In Islam, Mohammad is the prophet of Allah, and his successor is an important topic in the Islamic faith (in terms of leadership).

Any person can be a Muslim. The only requirement is to follow the faith and have a belief in Allah. Acceptance by other Muslims is also helpful. Currently, Muslims are the second largest religious group following Christians. China currently hosts the largest number of Muslims.

The Muslim faith is often conducted in the Arabic language, and the first, major ethnic group associated with this religion is the Arabs.

If a person changes from any faith to become a Muslim, they are considered a convert to their new religion. In addition, changing one’s faith does not change one’s ethnic background or race. Religion is a different demographic item that concerns beliefs as opposed to ancestry.


  1. Punjabi and Muslim are two demographic descriptions that can applicable to two different or the same person. “Punjabi” is an ethical designation while “Muslim” is a religious affiliation.
  2. The term “Punjabi” can refer to a specific culture that exists or thrives in India and Pakistan. The term can apply to many things like: people, culture, tradition, practices, language, and alphabet, among others. On the other hand, “Muslim” is a specific description for a person who follows and practices Islam.
  3. A Punjabi can have freedom in choosing any religion from Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, or Sikh. Meanwhile, a Muslim is a person who has already chosen and practices the Muslim faith.
  4. A Punjabi can be classified by castes, the social position they are born with. Likewise, Muslims can be grouped either as Shia or Sunni, the two main factions of Muslims. In addition, Muslims have the freedom to be in one form of social position or another depending on the society to which they belong.
  5. A person can convert to Muslim or another faith, and a non-Muslim can convert to Islam. However, there is no such conversion process in terms of ethnicity as it involves Punjabi as an ethnic classification.
  6. There is an instance when both classifications can coexist together. There are people classified as both Punjabi and Muslims. This existence is possible due to the invasion of Mohammad bin Qasim, a Muslim general.  His invasion in Punjab led to a conversion among the native Punjabi. Also, Punjab was under Muslim rule for a period in its history. Today, there is still a considerable number of Punjabi Muslims in the area.

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1 Comment

  1. Simple and understandable differentiation! Although, I do want to clarify a few things:

    1. firstly, Indonesia is the most populous country comprised of Muslims, with their population at more than 200 million! In comparison to China, with an estimated population of 20 million. (paragraph 6) Even if the number of Muslims in China is under-reported, it’s likely that Indonesia still comes out on top.
    2. and although Islam is often associated with Arabs – as the first point illustrates, the majority of Muslims are in fact not of Arab heritage. Not all Arabs are Muslim, and not all Muslims are Arabs!


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