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Muslims ( ar, المسلمون, , ) are people who adhere to
Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the direct word of God in Islam, God (or ''Allah'') as it was revealed to Muh ...
, a monotheistic religion belonging to the Abrahamic tradition. They consider the Quran, the foundational religious text of Islam, to be the verbatim word of the God of Abraham (or '' Allah'') as it was revealed to Muhammad, the main Islamic prophet. The majority of Muslims also follow the teachings and practices of Muhammad ('' sunnah'') as recorded in traditional accounts ('' hadith''). With an estimated population of almost 1.9 billion followers as of 2020 year estimation, Muslims comprise more than 24.9% of the world's total population. In descending order, the percentage of people who identify as Muslims on each continental landmass stands at: 45% of Africa, 25% of Asia and Oceania (collectively), 6% of Europe, and 1% of the Americas. Additionally, in subdivided geographical regions, the figure stands at: 91% of the Middle East–North Africa, 90% of Central Asia, 65% of the Caucasus, 42% of Southeast Asia, 32% of South Asia, and 42% of sub-Saharan Africa. While there are several Islamic schools and branches, the two largest denominations are
Sunni Islam Sunni Islam () is the largest Islamic schools and branches, branch of Islam, followed by 85–90% of the world's Muslims. Its name comes from the word ''Sunnah'', referring to the tradition of Muhammad. The differences between Sunni and Shia ...
(75–90% of all Muslims)*
Sunni Islam: Oxford Bibliographies Online Research Guide
"Sunni Islam is the dominant division of the global Muslim community, and throughout history it has made up a substantial majority (85 to 90 percent) of that community." * *
and Shia Islam (10–20% of all Muslims). By sheer numbers, South Asia accounts for the largest portion (31%) of the global Muslim population, primarily across three countries: Pakistan,
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...
, and Bangladesh. By country, Indonesia is the largest in the Muslim world, holding around 12% of all Muslims worldwide; outside of the Muslim-majority countries, India and
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population exceeding 1.4 billion, slig ...
are home to the largest (11%) and second-largest (2%) Muslim populations, respectively. Due to high Muslim population growth, Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the world.


Etymology

The word ''muslim'' ( ar, مسلم, ; , , or ''moslem'' , ) is the active participle of the same verb of which ''islām'' is a verbal noun, based on the triliteral '' S-L-M'' "to be whole, intact". A female adherent is a ''muslima'' ( ar, مسلمة) (also transliterated as "Muslimah" ). The plural form in Arabic is ''muslimūn'' () or ''muslimīn'' (), and its feminine equivalent is ''muslimāt'' (). The ordinary word in English is "Muslim". In the 20th century the preferred spelling in English was "Moslem", but this has now fallen into disuse. The word ''Mosalman'' ( fa, مسلمان, alternatively ''Mussalman'') is a common equivalent for ''Muslim'' used in Central and South Asia. In English it was sometimes spelled Mussulman and has become archaic in usage. Until at least the mid-1960s, many English-language writers used the term '' Mohammedans'' or ''Mahometans''. Although such terms were not necessarily intended to be pejorative, Muslims argue that the terms are offensive because they allegedly imply that Muslims worship Muhammad rather than God. Other obsolete terms include ''Muslimite'' and ''Muslimist''. In Medieval Europe, Muslims were commonly called Saracens. The Muslim philosopher Ibn Arabi said:


Qualifier

To become a Muslim and to convert to Islam, it is essential to utter the '' Shahada'', one of the Five Pillars of Islam, a declaration of faith and trust that professes that there is only one
God In monotheistic thought, God is usually viewed as the supreme being, creator, and principal object of faith. Swinburne, R.G. "God" in Honderich, Ted. (ed)''The Oxford Companion to Philosophy'', Oxford University Press, 1995. God is typicall ...
''( Allah)'' and that Muhammad is God's messenger. It is a set statement normally recited in Arabic: ''ašhadu ʾal-lā ʾilāha ʾillā-llāhu wa ʾašhadu ʾanna muħammadan rasūlu-llāh'' () "I testify that there is no god orthy of worshipexcept Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah." In
Sunni Islam Sunni Islam () is the largest Islamic schools and branches, branch of Islam, followed by 85–90% of the world's Muslims. Its name comes from the word ''Sunnah'', referring to the tradition of Muhammad. The differences between Sunni and Shia ...
, the shahada has two parts: ''la ilaha illa'llah'' (there is no god but Allah), and ''Muhammadun rasul Allah'' ( Muhammad is the messenger of God),Lindsay, p. 140–141 which are sometimes referred to as the first ''shahada'' and the second ''shahada''.Cornell, p. 9 The first statement of the shahada is also known as the '' tahlīl''. In Shia Islam, the shahada also has a third part, a phrase concerning Ali, the first Shia Imam and the fourth Rashid caliph of
Sunni Islam Sunni Islam () is the largest Islamic schools and branches, branch of Islam, followed by 85–90% of the world's Muslims. Its name comes from the word ''Sunnah'', referring to the tradition of Muhammad. The differences between Sunni and Shia ...
: (), which translates to "Ali is the '' wali'' of God". In Quranist Islam, the shahada is the testimony that there is no god but Allah (''la ilaha illa'llah'' ). The religious practices of Muslims are enumerated in the Five Pillars of Islam: the declaration of faith ('' shahadah''), daily prayers ('' salah''), almsgiving ('' zakat''), fasting during the month of Ramadan ('' sawm''), and the pilgrimage to Mecca ('' hajj'') at least once in a lifetime.


In Islamic theology

The Qur'an describes many prophets and messengers within
Judaism Judaism ( he, ''Yahăḏūṯ'') is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheism, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. It has its roots ...
and
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major religious groups, world's ...
, and their respective followers, as Muslim. Some of those that were mentioned are:
Adam Adam; el, Ἀδάμ, Adám; la, Adam is the name given in Book of Genesis, Genesis 1-5 to the first human. Beyond its use as the name of the first man, ''adam'' is also used in the Bible as a pronoun, individually as "a human" and in a coll ...
, Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Jacob, Moses, and Jesus and his apostles are all considered to be Muslims in the Qur'an. The Qur'an states that these men were Muslims because they submitted to God, preached His message and upheld His values, which included praying, charity, fasting and pilgrimage. Thus, in Surah 3:52 of the Qur'an, Jesus' disciples tell him, "We believe in God; and you be our witness that we are Muslims (''wa-shahad be anna muslimūn'')." In Islamic belief, before the Qur'an, God had given the Tawrat ( Torah) to Moses, the Zabur ( Psalms) to David and the Injil ( Gospel) to Jesus, who are all considered important Muslim prophets.


Demographics

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%), Nigeria (5.3%) and Egypt (4.9%). About 20% of the world's Muslims live in the Middle East and North Africa. Sizable minorities are also found in
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...
,
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population exceeding 1.4 billion, slig ...
, Ethiopia, the Americas, Australia and parts of Europe. The country with the highest proportion of self-described Muslims as a proportion of its total population is Morocco. Over 75–90% of Muslims are Sunni. The second and third largest sects, Shia and Ahmadiyya, make up 10–20%, and 1% respectively. With about 1.9 billion followers (2019), almost a quarter of earth's population, Islam is the second-largest and the fastest-growing religion in the world, primarily due to the young age and high fertility rate of Muslims, with Muslims having a rate of (3.1) compared to the world average of (2.5). According to the same study, religious switching has no impact on Muslim population, since the number of people who embrace Islam and those who leave Islam are roughly equal. A Pew Center study in 2016 found that Muslims have the highest number of adherents under the age of 15 (34% of the total Muslim population) of any major religion, while only 7% are aged 60+ (the smallest percentage of any major religion). According to the same study, Muslims have the highest fertility rates (3.1) of any major religious group. The study also found that Muslims (tied with Hindus) have the lowest average levels of education with an average of 5.6 years of schooling, though both groups have made the largest gains in educational attainment in recent decades among major religions. About 36% of all Muslims have no formal schooling, and Muslims have the lowest average levels of higher education of any major religious group, with only 8% having graduate and post-graduate degrees.


Culture

Muslim culture or Islamic culture are terms used to describe the cultural practices common to Muslims and historically Islamic people. The early forms of Muslim culture, from the Rashidun Caliphate to early Umayyad period, were predominantly Arab, Byzantine, Persian and Levantine. With the rapid expansion of the Islamic empires, Muslim culture has influenced and assimilated much from the Persian, Egyptian, Caucasian, Turkic, Mongol, South Asian, Malay, Somali, Berber, Indonesian, and Moro cultures.


See also

* Cultural Muslims * Islamic schools and branches * Mohammedan * Lists of Muslims * List of converts to Islam * Islamic holidays * Muslim world * Mumin * Persecution of Muslims


References


External links


Ritual Prayer: Its Meaning and Manner
– The Islamic Supreme Council of America.

– University of Chicago
''Islamophobia Today'' Newspaper
– An Islamophobia news clearing house
Sammy Aziz Rahmatti, ''Understanding and Countering Islamophobia''
* WikiSaurus:Muslim * * {{Authority control Quranic words and phrases Religious identity