The word Muslim in Islam is a description of what is true not a religious label.  It means one who submits to God.  If Islam is not really submitting to God and/or if God is not real then Muslim is indeed a label.  Just because you don't intend x to be a label or don't think it is a label that does nothing to prove that it is not a label.

If God is real and Islam is true, it is possible for somebody to be so blind that they think they are Muslim and be wrong.  Everybody else might affirm that one as a Muslim and that does not mean you are Muslim either.  It depends on whether you really let God into your heart.

Having clarified that, who was the first Muslim?  Let us look at the Qur'an.

Muhammad is proclaimed the first Muslim by Allah himself.

Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “Will I take any guardian other than Allah, the Originator of the heavens and the earth, Who provides for all and is not in need of provision?” Say, “I have been commanded to be the first to submit and not be one of the polytheists.” Quran 6:14 here says that Muhammad is the first to see that there is one God and to submit. The same chapter later on says Abraham did this too!

6:163 says Muhammad stated,
He [Allah] has no partner. So I am commanded, and so I am the first to submit.

22:78 says of Abraham

Strive for ˹the cause of˺ Allah in the way He deserves, for ˹it is˺ He ˹Who˺ has chosen you, and laid upon you no hardship in the religion—the way of your forefather Abraham. ˹It is Allah˺ Who named you ‘the ones who submit’ 1 ˹in the˺ earlier ˹Scriptures˺ and in this ˹Quran˺, so that the Messenger may be a witness over you, and that you may be witnesses over humanity. So establish prayer, pay alms-tax, and hold fast to Allah. He ˹alone˺ is your Guardian. What an excellent Guardian, and what an excellent Helper!

We read of Muhammad in 39:12
ﭛ ﭜ ﭝ ﭞ ﭟ ﭠ
And I am commanded to be the first of those who submit ˹to His Will˺.”

7:143 says the first is Moses.

When Moses came at the appointed time and his Lord spoke to him, he asked, “My Lord! Reveal Yourself to me so I may see You.” Allah answered, “You cannot see Me! But look at the mountain. If it remains firm in its place, only then will you see Me.” When his Lord appeared to the mountain, He levelled it to dust and Moses collapsed unconscious. When he recovered, he cried, “Glory be to You! I turn to You in repentance and I am the first of the believers.”

26:51 speaking as Moses says, We really hope that our Lord will forgive our sins, as we are the first to believe.”

3:52 says that the disciples of Jesus submitted to Allah

When Jesus sensed disbelief from his people, he asked, “Who will stand up with me for Allah?” The disciples replied, “We will stand up for Allah. We believe in Allah, so bear witness that we have submitted.”


Say, O Prophet, "He is Allah—One and Indivisible; Allah—the Sustainer needed by all. He has never had offspring, nor was He born. And there is none comparable to Him.”

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