Islam ( /ˈɪzlɑːm/; Arabic: الإسلام al-ʾislām ) is a monotheistic and Abrahamic religion articulated by the Qur'an, a text considered by its adherents to be the verbatim word of God (Arabic: الله Allāh) and by the teachings and normative example (called the Sunnah and composed of Hadith) of Muhammad, considered by them to be the last prophet of God. An adherent of Islam is called a Muslim.
Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable and the purpose of existence is to love and serve God. Muslims also believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed at many times and places before, including through Abraham, Moses and Jesus, whom they consider prophets. They maintain that previous messages and revelations have been partially changed or corrupted over time, but consider the Qur'an to be both the unaltered and the final revelation of God. Religious concepts and practices include the five pillars of Islam, which are basic concepts and obligatory acts of worship, and following Islamic law, which touches on virtually every aspect of life and society, providing guidance on multifarious topics from banking and welfare, to warfare and the environment.
The majority of Muslims are Sunni, being 75–90% of all Muslims. The second largest sect, Shia, makes up 10–20%. The most populous Muslim-majority country is Indonesia home to 12.7% of the world's Muslims followed by Pakistan (11.0%), Bangladesh (9.2%), and Egypt (4.9%). Sizable minorities are also found in India, China, Russia, Ethiopia, Americas, Australia and parts of Europe. With about 1.8 billion followers or 26% of earth's population, Islam is the second-largest and one of the fastest-growing religions in the world.
Famous quotes containing the word islam:
“During the first formative centuries of its existence, Christianity was separated from and indeed antagonistic to the state, with which it only later became involved. From the lifetime of its founder, Islam was the state, and the identity of religion and government is indelibly stamped on the memories and awareness of the faithful from their own sacred writings, history, and experience.”
—Bernard Lewis, U.S. Middle Eastern specialist. Islam and the West, ch. 8, Oxford University Press (1993)
“Sooner or later we must absorb Islam if our own culture is not to die of anemia.”
—Basil Bunting (19001985)
“Awareness of the stars and their light pervades the Koran, which reflects the brightness of the heavenly bodies in many verses. The blossoming of mathematics and astronomy was a natural consequence of this awareness. Understanding the cosmos and the movements of the stars means understanding the marvels created by Allah. There would be no persecuted Galileo in Islam, because Islam, unlike Christianity, did not force people to believe in a fixed heaven.”
—Fatima Mernissi, Moroccan sociologist. Islam and Democracy, ch. 9, Addison-Wesley Publishing Co. (Trans. 1992)