Islam (//; Arabic: الاسلام, romanized: al-’Islām [ɪsˈlaːm] (listen), transl. "Submission [to God]") is an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text that is considered by Muslims to be the direct word of God (or Allah) as it was revealed to the prophet Muhammad. It is the world's second-largest religion with more than two billion followers, comprising more than 25 percent of the global population. Islam teaches that God is merciful, all-powerful, and unique, and has guided humanity through various prophets, revealed scriptures, and natural signs, with the Quran serving as the final, universal revelation and Muhammad serving as the Seal of the Prophets. The teachings and practices of Muhammad (Sunnah) documented in traditional collected accounts (Hadith) provide a secondary constitutional model for Muslims to follow after the Quran.
|Origin||7th century CE |
Jabal al-Nour, Mecca, Hejaz, Arabia
|Members||c. 2 billion (referred to as Muslims who make up the Ummah)|
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Muslims believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed many times through earlier prophets such as Adam, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, among others; these earlier revelations are attributed to Judaism and Christianity, which are regarded in Islam as spiritual predecessor faiths. They also consider the Quran, when preserved in Classical Arabic, to be the unaltered and final revelation of God to humanity. Like other Abrahamic religions, Islam also teaches a Final Judgement wherein the righteous will be rewarded in paradise (Jannah) and the unrighteous will be punished in hell (Jahannam). Religious concepts and practices include the Five Pillars of Islam, which are considered to be obligatory acts of worship, as well as following Islamic law (sharia), which touches on virtually every aspect of life and society from banking and finance and welfare to women's roles and the environment. The cities of Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem are home to the three holiest sites in Islam, in descending order: Masjid al-Haram, Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, and Al-Aqsa Mosque.
From a historical point of view, Islam originated in the early 7th century CE in the Arabian Peninsula, near Mecca. Through various caliphates, the religion later spread outside of Arabia shortly after Muhammad's death, and by the 8th century, the Umayyad Caliphate had imposed Islamic rule from the Iberian Peninsula in the west to the Indus Valley in the east. The Islamic Golden Age refers to the period traditionally dated from the 8th century to the 13th century, during the reign of the Abbasid Caliphate, when much of the Muslim world was experiencing a scientific, economic, and cultural flourishing. The expansion of the Muslim world involved various states and caliphates such as the Ottoman Empire, extensive trade, and religious conversion as a result of Islamic missionary activities (dawah).
Most of the world's Muslims belong to two notable Islamic denominations: Sunni (85–90 percent) or Shia (10–15 percent); combined, they make up a majority of the population in 49 countries. Sunni–Shia differences arose from disagreements over the succession to Muhammad and acquired broader political significance as well as theological and juridical dimensions. About 12 percent of Muslims live in Indonesia, the most populous Muslim-majority country; 31 percent live in South Asia; 20 percent live in the Middle East–North Africa; and 15 percent live in sub-Saharan Africa. Sizable Muslim communities are also present in the Americas, China, and Europe. Islam is the fastest-growing major religion in the world.