A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the Qur'an—which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad—and, with lesser authority than the Qur'an, the teachings and practices of Muhammad as recorded in traditional accounts, called hadith. "Muslim" is an Arabic word meaning "one who submits to God".
Muslims believe that God is eternal, transcendent, absolutely one (the doctrine of tawhid, or strict or simple monotheism), and incomparable; that he is self-sustaining, who begets not nor was begotten. Muslim beliefs regarding God are summed up in chapter 112 of the Qur'an, al-Ikhlas, "the chapter of purity". 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 the prophets Abraham, Moses and Jesus. Muslims maintain that previous messages and revelations have been partially changed or corrupted over time, but consider the Qur'an to be both unaltered and the final revelation from God—Final Testament.
Most Muslims accept as a Muslim anyone who has publicly pronounced the Shahadah (declaration of faith) which states, "I testify that there is no god except for the God, and I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of God." They also believe that Muhammad is the Seal of the Prophets and the final prophet. Due to this, Islamic sects such as the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, which believe in Mirza Ghulam Ahmed as a prophet-like leader, are regarded by orthodox Muslims in many countries as non-Muslims, as are adherents of Shia Islam by Sunnis. Their basic religious practices are enumerated in the Five Pillars of Islam, which, in addition to Shahadah, consist of daily prayers (salat), fasting during Ramadan (sawm), almsgiving (zakat), and the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj) at least once in a lifetime.
Currently, the most up-to-date reports from an American think tank and PBS have estimated 1.2 to 1.57 billion Muslims populate the world, or about 20% of an estimated 2009 world population of 6.8 billion.
Famous quotes containing the word muslim:
“For the salvation of his soul the Muslim digs a well. It would be a fine thing if each of us were to leave behind a school, or a well, or something of the sort, so that life would not pass by and retreat into eternity without a trace.”
—Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (18601904)