Claiming a Muslim is anyone who submits to Allah while referring to Christians and Jews as well
Q: Could you please refute what has been said by a Muslim person that Muslims are those
who submit their faces i.e. themselves to Allah.
Such a saying aims at meaning that Christians and Jews may be Muslims.
The Glorious Ayah (Qur'anic verse) which is quoted in the question mentions the conditions of the accepted good deeds. Such conditions are:1. Sincerity; which is meant by the word 'Aslama' (submits) in Allah's Saying:
Yes, but whoever submits his face (himself) to Allâh (i.e. follows Allâh’s Religion of Islâmic Monotheism)
Thus `Ibadah (worship) has to be offered only for Allah Alone without associating any partners with Him.2. Following the Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet, peace be upon him). Such a condition is explained in Allah's Saying:
...and he is a Muhsin
i.e. The person should follow the example of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). Thus, Allah has to be worshiped only according to His Shari`ah (Islamic law) which is conveyed to us through the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him).Accordingly, good deeds which are done by Jews and Christians are not accepted even if such Jews and Christians are sincere to Allah (Exalted be He). This is because deeds offered by them do not meet the second condition which is following the Sunnah of the seal of all Prophets and Messengers i.e. Muhammad (peace be upon him). It is a fact that the Shari`ah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) abrogated all other previous Shari`ahs (Divine laws) and Dins (religions). He (peace be upon him) was the last of all Prophets and Messengers and he was sent to all of mankind. (Part No. 2; Page No. 37) After the start of the prophethood of the Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him), whoever does not worship Allah by believing in Him and in His Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and by following Shari`ah is not a Muslim and is meant by Allah's Saying:
And We shall turn to whatever deeds they (disbelievers, polytheists, sinners) did, and We shall make such deeds as scattered floating particles of dust.
But if they had joined in worship others with Allâh, all that they used to do would have been of no benefit to them.
Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم to mankind): "If you (really) love Allâh then follow me (i.e. accept Islâmic Monotheism, follow the Qur’ân and the Sunnah), Allâh will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."
The foregoing is the Tafsir (explanation) of the Glorious Ayah as stated by Mufassirs (exegetes of the Qur'an). Such Tafsir is mentioned by Ibn Kathir in his book of Tafsir,
Ibn Taymiyyah in his book of (Al-Fatawa, vol. 2, pp. 430, 431), (vol. 12, p. 469), and (vol. 28, pp. 174, 175) and in his book (Qa`idah Jalilah Fil-Tawassul Wal-Wasilah, p. 41).It thus becomes clear that such a saying that is mentioned in the question is false. It is an incorrect interpretation of the Qur'an and a distortion of its meaning.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.