Muslims

Muslims are people who follow or practice Islam, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion. Muslims consider the Quran, their holy book, to be the verbatim word of God as revealed to the Islamic prophet and messenger Muhammad. The majority of Muslims also follow the teachings and practices of Muhammad (sunnah) as recorded in traditional accounts (hadith).[28] "Muslim" is an Arabic word meaning "submitter" (to God).[29] The largest denomination of Islam are Sunni Muslims who constitute 85-90% of the total Muslim population[30][31], followed by the Shia who make up most of the remainder of Muslims.

The beliefs of Muslims include: that God (Arabic: اللهAllāh) is eternal, transcendent and absolutely one (tawhid); that God is incomparable, self-sustaining and neither begets nor was begotten; that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that has been revealed before through many prophets including Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Moses, and Jesus;[32] that these previous messages and revelations have been partially changed or corrupted over time (tahrif)[33] and that the Qur'an is the final unaltered revelation from God (Final Testament).[34]

Muslims
Prayer in Cairo 1865
Muslims praying in 1865 Cairo by Jean-Léon Gérôme
Total population
1.8 billion worldwide (2015 est.)[1][2][3]
Founder
Muhammad[4]
Regions with significant populations
 Indonesia227,226,404[5]
 Pakistan197,547,566[6]
 India189,000,000[7]
 Bangladesh148,607,000[8]
 Nigeria95,316,131[9]
 Egypt87,336,965[10]
 Iran81,529,435[11]
 Turkey80,683,525[12]
 China21,000,000–50,000,000+[13]
 Algeria40,559,749[14]
 Iraq38,800,190[15]
 Ethiopia35,713,657[16]
 Afghanistan34,022,437[17]
 Morocco33,646,788[18]
 Sudan30,490,000[2]
 Yemen27,784,498[19]
 Saudi Arabia27,143,182[20]
 Uzbekistan26,550,000[2]
 Malaysia19,237,161[21]
 Syria18,930,000[2]
Rest of the world287,230,000[2]
Religions
70%-80% Sunni Islam[22][note 1]
10–13% Shia Islam[22]
15–20% Non-denominational Islam[23]
~1% Ahmadiyya[24]
~1% Other Muslim traditions, e.g. Ibadi Islam[23]
Scriptures
Quran[25]
Languages
Sacred languages:[27]

Qualifier

The religious practices of Muslims are enumerated in the Five Pillars of Islam: the declaration of faith (shahadah), daily prayers (salat), fasting during the month of Ramadan (sawm), almsgiving (zakat), and the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj) at least once in a lifetime.[35][36]

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 (Allah) and that Muhammad is God's messenger.[37] It is a set statement normally recited in Arabic: lā ʾilāha ʾillā-llāhu muḥammadun rasūlu-llāh (لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا الله مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ الله) "There is no god but Allah, (and) Muhammad is the messenger of God."[38]

In Sunni Islam, the shahada has two parts: la ilaha illa'llah (there is no god but God), and Muhammadun rasul Allah (Muhammad is the messenger of God),[39] which are sometimes referred to as the first shahada and the second shahada.[40] The first statement of the shahada is also known as the tahlīl.[41]

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: وعليٌ وليُّ الله (wa ʿalīyyun walīyyu-llāh), which translates to "Ali is the wali of God.[42]

Lexicology

The word muslim (Arabic: مسلم‎, IPA: [ˈmʊslɪm]; English: /ˈmʌzlɪm/, /ˈmʊzlɪm/, /ˈmʊslɪm/ or moslem /ˈmɒzləm/, /ˈmɒsləm/[43]) 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".[44][45] A female adherent is a muslima (Arabic: مسلمة‎) (also transliterated as "Muslimah"[46] ). The plural form in Arabic is muslimūn (مسلمون) or muslimīn (مسلمين), and its feminine equivalent is muslimāt (مسلمات).

The ordinary word in English is "Muslim". It is sometimes transliterated as "Moslem", which is an older spelling. The word Mosalman (Persian: مسلمان‎, alternatively Mussalman) is a common equivalent for Muslim used in Central and South Asia. Until at least the mid-1960s, many English-language writers used the term Mohammedans or Mahometans.[47] 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.[48] Other obsolete terms include Muslimite[49] and Muslimist.[50]

Musulmán/Mosalmán (Persian: مسلمان‎) is a synonym for Muslim and is modified from Arabic. It is the origin of the Spanish word musulmán, the (dated) German Muselmann, the French word musulman, the Polish words muzułmanin and muzułmański, the Portuguese word muçulmano, the Italian word mussulmano or musulmano, the Romanian word musulman and the Greek word μουσουλμάνος (all used for a Muslim).[51] In English it was sometimes spelled Mussulman and has become archaic in usage.

Apart from Persian, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, Italian, and Greek, the term could be found, with obvious local differences, in Armenian, Dari, Pashto, Urdu, Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Punjabi, Turkish, Kazakh, Uzbek, Kyrgyz, Azeri, Maltese, Hungarian, Czech, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Russian, Serbian, Ukrainian, Romanian, Dutch, and Sanskrit.

Meaning

The Muslim philosopher Ibn Arabi said:

A Muslim is a person who has dedicated his worship exclusively to God...Islam means making one's religion and faith God's alone.[52]

Other prophets

The Qur'an describes many prophets and messengers within Judaism and Christianity, and their respective followers, as Muslim: Adam, 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 Muslim 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

Islam percent population in each nation World Map Muslim data by Pew Research
World Muslim population by percentage (2010 data from Pew Research Center)
Muslim population map 2009
A map of Muslim populations by absolute number, (Pew Research Center, 2009)

The most populous Muslim-majority country is Indonesia, home to 12.7% of the world's Muslims,[22] followed by Pakistan (11.0%), Bangladesh (9.2%), and Egypt (4.9%).[53] About 20% of the world's Muslims lives in the Middle East and North Africa.[22][54]

Sizable minorities are also found in India, China, Russia, 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.[2] Converts and immigrant communities are found in almost every part of the world.

Over 75–90% of Muslims are Sunni.[30][31] The second and third largest sects, Shia and Ahmadiyya, make up 10–20%,[55][56] and 1%[24] respectively.

With about 1.8 billion followers (2015), almost a quarter of earth's population,[57] Islam is the second-largest and the fastest-growing religion in the world.[58] due primarily to the young age and high fertility rate of Muslims,[59] with Muslim 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.[59]

A Pew Center study in 2016 found that Muslims have the highest number of adherents under the age of 15 (or 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.[60] 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.[60] About 36% of all Muslims have no formal schooling,[60] and Muslims have the lowest average levels of higher education of any major religious group, with only 8% having graduate and post-graduate degrees.[60]

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 perioud, 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

Notes

  1. ^ Original source estimated 87–90% of Muslims to adhere to Sunni Islam but counted almost all non-denominational Muslims as Sunni. To get a more accurate estimation, percentage of Non-denominational Muslims (15–20%) was subtracted from the original estimation

References

  1. ^ Lipka, Michael; Hackett, Conrad (6 April 2017). "Why Muslims are the world's fastest-growing religious group". pewresearch.org. Archived from the original on 23 August 2017. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
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  4. ^ Alford T. Welch, Ahmad S. Moussalli, Gordon D. Newby (2009). "Muḥammad". In John L. Esposito (ed.). The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World. Oxford: Oxford University Press. The Prophet of Islam was a religious, political, and social reformer who gave rise to one of the great civilizations of the world. From a modern, historical perspective, Muḥammad was the founder of Islam. From the perspective of the Islamic faith, he was God's Messenger (rasūl Allāh), called to be a “warner,” first to the Arabs and then to all humankind.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ "The World Factbook — Central Intelligence Agency". www.cia.gov. Archived from the original on 10 December 2008. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  6. ^ "The World Factbook — Central Intelligence Agency". www.cia.gov. Archived from the original on 3 July 2015. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
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  12. ^ "The World Factbook". Archived from the original on 20 September 2017. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  13. ^ United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. "Refworld - 2010 Report on International Religious Freedom - China (includes Tibet, Hong Kong, Macau)". Refworld. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
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  20. ^ "The World Factbook". Archived from the original on 22 May 2010. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  21. ^ "The World Factbook". Archived from the original on 28 December 2010. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  22. ^ a b c d "Mapping the Global Muslim Population: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World's Muslim Population" (PDF). Pew Research Center. October 2009. Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 February 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2017. Of the total Muslim population, 30%-40% are Shia Muslims and 60-70% are Sunni Muslims.
  23. ^ a b "Chapter 1: Religious Affiliation". The World’s Muslims: Unity and Diversity. Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project. 9 August 2012. Archived from the original on 26 December 2016. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  24. ^ a b See:
    • Breach of Faith. Human Rights Watch. June 2005. p. 8. Retrieved 29 March 2014. Estimates of around 20 million would be appropriate
    • Larry DeVries; Don Baker & Dan Overmyer (1 January 2011). Asian Religions in British Columbia. University of Columbia Press. ISBN 978-0-7748-1662-5. Retrieved 29 March 2014. The community currently numbers around 15 million spread around the world
    • Juan Eduardo Campo (2009). Encyclopedia of Islam. p. 24. ISBN 978-0-8160-5454-1. Retrieved 29 March 2014. The total size of the Ahmadiyya community in 2001 was estimated to be more than 10 million
    • "Ahmadiyya Muslims". pbs.org. Archived from the original on 6 October 2013. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
    • A figure of 10–20 million represents approximately 1% of the Muslim population. See also Ahmadiyya by country.
  25. ^ Nasr, Seyyed Hossein (2007). "Qurʼān". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Archived from the original on 16 October 2007. Retrieved 4 November 2007.
  26. ^ Grim, Brian J.; Johnson, Todd M. (2013). Chapter 1: Global Religious Populations, 1910–2010 (PDF) (Report). John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. p. 22. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  27. ^ Al-Jallad, Ahmad. "Polygenesis in the Arabic Dialects". Archived from the original on 15 August 2016.
  28. ^ The Qurʼan and Sayings of Prophet Muhammad: Selections Annotated & Explained. SkyLight Paths Publishing. 2007. pp. 21–. ISBN 978-1-59473-222-5. Retrieved 31 August 2013.
  29. ^ "Muslim". etymonline.com. Archived from the original on 7 September 2015.
  30. ^ a b See:
  31. ^ a b From Sunni Islam: See:
  32. ^ "People of the Book". Islam: Empire of Faith. PBS. Archived from the original on 28 June 2011. Retrieved 18 December 2010.
  33. ^ See:
    • Accad (2003): According to Ibn Taymiyya, although only some Muslims accept the textual veracity of the entire Bible, most Muslims will grant the veracity of most of it.
    • Esposito (1998), pp.6,12
    • Esposito (2002b), pp.4–5
    • F. E. Peters (2003), p.9
    • F. Buhl; A. T. Welch. "Muhammad". Encyclopaedia of Islam Online.
    • Hava Lazarus-Yafeh. "Tahrif". Encyclopaedia of Islam Online.
  34. ^ Submission.org, Quran: The Final Testament, Authorized English Version with Arabic Text, Revised Edition IV,ISBN 0-9729209-2-7, p. x.
  35. ^ Hooker, Richard (14 July 1999). "arkan ad-din the five pillars of religion". United States: Washington State University. Archived from the original on 3 December 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2010.
  36. ^ "Religions". The World Factbook. United States: Central Intelligence Agency. 2010. Archived from the original on 9 June 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
  37. ^ From the article on the Pillars of Islam in Oxford Islamic Studies Online Archived 26 April 2017 at Wikiwix
  38. ^ Gordon, Matthew; Gordon, Professor of Middle East Islamic History Matthew S (2009). Matthew S. Gordon and Martin Palmer, ''Islam'', Info base Publishing, 2009. p. 87. ISBN 9781438117782. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  39. ^ Lindsay, p. 140–141
  40. ^ Cornell, p. 9
  41. ^ Michael Anthony Sells (1999). Approaching the Qur'an: The Early Revelations. White Cloud Press. p. 151. ISBN 9781883991265.
  42. ^ The Later Mughals by William Irvine p. 130
  43. ^ "Muslim" Archived 20 February 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary: /ˈmʌzlɪm/, /ˈmʊzlɪm/, /ˈmʊslɪm/; moslem Archived 15 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine /ˈmɒzləm/, /ˈmɒsləm/
  44. ^ Burns & Ralph, World Civilizations, 5th ed., p. 371.
  45. ^ Entry for šlm, p. 2067, Appendix B: Semitic Roots, The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th ed., Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2000, ISBN 0-618-08230-1.
  46. ^ Muslimah Archived 17 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. 2016
  47. ^ See for instance the second edition of A Dictionary of Modern English Usage by H. W. Fowler, revised by Ernest Gowers (Oxford, 1965).
  48. ^ Gibb, Sir Hamilton (1969). Mohammedanism: an historical survey. Oxford University Press. p. 1. Modern Muslims dislike the terms Mohammedan and Mohammedanism, which seem to them to carry the implication of worship of Mohammed, as Christian and Christianity imply the worship of Christ.
  49. ^ "Muslimite". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  50. ^ Abbas, Tahir (2005). Muslim Britain: Communities Under Pressure. p. 50.
  51. ^ Musalman Archived 4 January 2007 at the Wayback Machine – Internet Encyclopedia of Religion
  52. ^ Commentary on the Qur'an, Razi, I, p. 432, Cairo, 1318/1900
  53. ^ "Number of Muslim by country". nationmaster.com. Archived from the original on 3 July 2007. Retrieved 30 May 2007.
  54. ^ Esposito, John L. (15 October 2002). What everyone needs to know about Islam. Oxford University Press. p. 21. ISBN 978-0-19-515713-0. and Esposito, John (2005). Islam : the straight path (Rev. 3rd ed., updated with new epilogue. ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 2, 43. ISBN 978-0-19-518266-8.
  55. ^ "Shīʿite". Encyclopædia Britannica. Archived from the original on 9 August 2010. Retrieved 25 August 2010. Shīʿites have come to account for roughly one-tenth of the Muslim population worldwide.
  56. ^ "Religions". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Archived from the original on 9 June 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2010. Sunni Islam accounts for over 75% of the world's Muslim population... Shia Islam represents 10–20% of Muslims worldwide...
  57. ^ "The Changing Global Religious Landscape". Pew Research Center. 5 April 2017.
  58. ^ Burke, Daniel. "The fastest growing religion in the world is ..." CNN. Archived from the original on 11 May 2016. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  59. ^ a b The Future of the Global Muslim Population (PDF) (Report). Pew Research Center. 27 January 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  60. ^ a b c d "Religion and Education Around the World" (PDF). Pew Research Center. 13 December 2016. Archived (PDF) from the original on 22 December 2016. Retrieved 19 December 2016.

External links

Ahmadiyya

Ahmadiyya (; officially, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community or the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at; Arabic: الجماعة الإسلامية الأحمدية‎, transliterated: al-Jamā'ah al-Islāmiyyah al-Aḥmadiyyah; Urdu: احمدیہ مسلم جماعت‎) is an Islamic revival or messianic movement founded in Punjab, British India, in the late 19th century. It originated with the life and teachings of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835–1908), who claimed to have been divinely appointed as both the promised Mahdi (Guided One) and Messiah expected by Muslims to appear towards the end times and bring about, by peaceful means, the final triumph of Islam; as well as to embody, in this capacity, the expected eschatological figure of other major religious traditions. Adherents of the Ahmadiyya—a term adopted expressly in reference to Muhammad's alternative name Aḥmad—are known as Ahmadi Muslims or simply Ahmadis.

Ahmadi thought emphasizes the belief that Islam is the final dispensation for humanity as revealed to Muhammad and the necessity of restoring it to its true intent and pristine form, which had been lost through the centuries. Its adherents consider Ahmad to have appeared as the Mahdi—bearing the qualities of Jesus in accordance with their reading of scriptural prophecies—to revitalize Islam and set in motion its moral system that would bring about lasting peace. They believe that upon divine guidance he purged Islam of foreign accretions in belief and practice by championing what is, in their view, Islam's original precepts as practised by Muhammad and the early Muslim community. Ahmadis thus view themselves as leading the propagation and renaissance of Islam.Mirza Ghulam Ahmad established the Community (or Jamā'at) on 23 March 1889 by formally accepting allegiance from his supporters. Since his death, the Community has been led by a number of Caliphs and has spread to 210 countries and territories of the world as of 2017 with concentrations in South Asia, West Africa, East Africa, and Indonesia. The Ahmadis have a strong missionary tradition and formed the first Muslim missionary organization to arrive in Britain and other Western countries. Currently, the Community is led by its Caliph, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, and is estimated to number between 10 and 20 million worldwide.The population is almost entirely contained in the single, highly organized and united movement. However, in the early history of the Community, a number of Ahmadis broke away over the nature of Ahmad's prophetic status and succession and formed the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement for the Propagation of Islam, which today represents a small fraction of all Ahmadis. Some Ahmadiyya-specific beliefs have been thought of as opposed to current conceptions of Islamic orthodoxy since the movement's birth, and some Ahmadis have subsequently faced persecution. Many Muslims consider Ahmadi Muslims as either kafirs or heretics, an animosity sometimes resulting in murder.

All-India Muslim League

The All-India Muslim League (popularised as the Muslim League) was a political party established in 1906 in the British Indian Empire. Its strong advocacy for the establishment of a separate Muslim-majority nation-state, Pakistan, successfully led to the partition of British India in 1947 by the British Empire.The party arose out of a literary movement begun at The Aligarh Muslim University in which Syed Ahmad Khan was a central figure. It remained an elitist organisation until 1937 when the leadership began mobilising the Muslim masses and the league then became a popular organisation.In the 1930s, the idea of a separate nation-state and influential philosopher Sir Muhammad Iqbal's vision of uniting the four provinces in North-West British India further supported the rationale of the two-nation theory. With global events leading up to World War II and the Congress party's effective protest against the United Kingdom unilaterally involving India in the war without consulting the Indian people, the Muslim League went on to support the British war efforts. The Muslim League played a decisive role in the 1940s, becoming a driving force behind the division of India along religious lines and the creation of Pakistan as a Muslim state in 1947.After the partition and subsequent establishment of Pakistan, the Muslim League continued as a minor party in India where it was often part of the government. In Bangladesh, the Muslim League was revived in 1976 but it was reduced in size, rendering it insignificant in the political arena. In India, the Indian Union Muslim League and in Pakistan the Pakistan Muslim League became the original successors of the All-India Muslim League.

Eid al-Fitr

Eid al-Fitr ( eed; Arabic: عيد الفطر‎ ʻĪd al-Fiṭr, IPA: [ʕiːd al fitˤr]) is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting (ṣawm). This religious Eid (Muslim religious festival) is the first and only day in the month of Shawwal during which Muslims are not permitted to fast. The holiday celebrates the conclusion of the 29 or 30 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the entire month of Ramadan. The day of Eid, therefore, falls on the first day of the month of Shawwal. The date for the start of any lunar Hijri month varies based on when the new moon is sighted by local religious authorities, so the exact day of celebration varies by locality.

Eid al-Fitr has a particular salat (Islamic prayer) consisting of two rakats (units) and generally offered in an open field or large hall. It may be performed only in congregation (jamāʿat) and has an additional extra six Takbirs (raising of the hands to the ears while saying "Allāhu ʾAkbar" which means "God is the greatest"), three of them in the beginning of the first raka'ah and three of them just before rukūʿ in the second raka'ah in the Hanafi school of Sunni Islam. Other Sunni schools usually have twelve Takbirs, seven in the first, and five at the beginning of the second raka'ah. According to Shia Islam, it has 6 Takbirs in the first Rakat at the end of qira'a, before rukūʿ, and 5 in the second. This Eid al-Fitr salat is, depending on which juristic opinion is followed, farḍ فرض (obligatory), mustaḥabb مستحب (strongly recommended, just short of obligatory) or mandūb مندوب (preferable).

Muslims believe that they are commanded by God, as mentioned in the Quran, to continue their fast until the last day of Ramadan and pay the Zakat al-Fitr before offering the Eid prayers.

Halal

Halal (; Arabic: حلال‎ ḥalāl, "permissible"), also spelled hallal or halaal, refers to what is permissible or lawful in traditional Islamic law. It is frequently applied to permissible food and drinks.

In the Quran, the word halal is contrasted with haram (forbidden). In Islamic jurisprudence, this binary opposition was elaborated into a more complex classification known as "the five decisions": mandatory, recommended, neutral, reprehensible, and forbidden. Islamic jurists disagree on whether the term halal covers the first three or the first four of these categories. In recent times, Islamic movements seeking to mobilize the masses and authors writing for a popular audience have emphasized the simpler distinction of halal and haram.The term halal is particularly associated with Islamic dietary laws, and especially meat processed and prepared in accordance with those requirements.

Islam

Islam () is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that there is only one God (Arabic: Allah), and that Muhammad is the messenger of God. It is the world's second-largest religion with over 1.8 billion followers or 24% of the world's population, most commonly known as Muslims. Muslims make up a majority of the population in 50 countries. Islam teaches that God is merciful, all-powerful, and unique, and has guided humankind through prophets, revealed scriptures and natural signs. The primary scriptures of Islam are the Quran, viewed by Muslims as the verbatim word of God, and the teachings and normative examples (called the sunnah, composed of accounts called hadith) of Muhammad (c. 570 – 8 June 632 CE).

Muslims believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed many times before through prophets including Adam, Abraham, Moses and Jesus. Muslims consider the Quran in its original Arabic to be the unaltered and final revelation of God. Like other Abrahamic religions, Islam also teaches a final judgment with the righteous rewarded paradise and unrighteous punished in hell. Religious concepts and practices include the Five Pillars of Islam, which are obligatory acts of worship, and following Islamic law (sharia), which touches on virtually every aspect of life and society, from banking and welfare to women and the environment. The cities of Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem are home to the three holiest sites in Islam.Aside from the theological narrative, Islam is historically believed to have originated in the early 7th century CE in Mecca, and by the 8th century the Umayyad Caliphate extended from Iberia in the west to the Indus River in the east. The Islamic Golden Age refers to the period traditionally dated from the 8th century to the 13th century, during the Abbasid Caliphate, when much of the historically Muslim world was experiencing a scientific, economic and cultural flourishing. The expansion of the Muslim world involved various caliphates, such as the Ottoman Empire, traders and conversion to Islam by missionary activities (dawah).Most Muslims are of one of two denominations; Sunni (75–90%) or Shia (10-20%). About 13% of Muslims live in Indonesia, the largest Muslim-majority country; 31% of Muslims live in South Asia, the largest population of Muslims in the world; 20% in the Middle East–North Africa, where it is the dominant religion; and 15% in Sub-Saharan Africa. Sizeable Muslim communities are also found in the Americas, the Caucasus, Central Asia, China, Europe, Mainland Southeast Asia, the Philippines, and Russia. Islam is the fastest-growing major religion in the world.

Islam by country

Adherents of Islam constitute the world's second largest religious group. According to a study in 2015, Islam has 1.8 billion adherents, making up about 24.1% of the world population. Most Muslims are either of two denominations: Sunni (80–90%, roughly 1.5 billion people) or Shia (10–20%, roughly 170–340 million people). Islam is the dominant religion in Central Asia, Indonesia, Middle East, North Africa, the Sahel and some other parts of Asia. The diverse Asia-Pacific region contains the highest number of Muslims in the world, easily surpassing the Middle East and North Africa.South Asia contains the largest population of Muslims in the world. One-third of the Muslims are of South Asian origin. Islam is the largest religion in the Maldives, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, and second-largest in India.

The various Hamito-Semitic (including Arab, Berber), Turkic, and Iranic countries of the greater Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region, where Islam is the dominant religion in every country other than Israel, hosts 23% of world Muslims.

The country with the single largest population of Muslims is Indonesia in Southeast Asia, which on its own hosts 13% of the world's Muslims. Together, the Muslims in the countries of Southeast Asia constitute the world's third-largest population of Muslims. In the countries of the Malay Archipelago Muslims are majorities in each country other than the Philippines, Singapore, and East Timor.

About 15% of Muslims reside in Sub-Saharan Africa, and sizeable Muslim communities are also found in the Americas, China, Russia, and Europe.Western Europe hosts many Muslim immigrant communities where Islam is the second-largest religion after Christianity, where it represents 6% of the total population or 24 million people. Converts and immigrant communities are found in almost every part of the world.

Islam in China

Islam has been practiced in Chinese society for 1,400 years. Currently, Muslims are a minority group in China, representing between 0.45% to 1.8% of the total population according to the latest estimates. Though Hui Muslims are the most numerous group, the greatest concentration of Muslims is in Xinjiang, with a significant Uyghur population. Lesser but significant populations reside in the regions of Ningxia, Gansu, and Qinghai. Of China's 55 officially recognized minority peoples, ten groups are predominantly Sunni Muslim.

Islam in Europe

Islam is the second-largest (after Christianity) and fastest-growing religion in Europe. Although the majority of Muslim communities in Europe formed recently, there are centuries-old Muslim societies in the Balkans.

Islam entered southern Europe through the invading "Moors" of North Africa in the 8th–10th centuries; Muslim political entities existed firmly in what is today Spain, Portugal, South Italy and Malta for several centuries. The Muslim community in these territories was converted or expelled by the end of the 15th century (see Reconquista). Islam expanded into the Caucasus through the Muslim conquest of Persia in the 7th century. The Ottoman Empire expanded into southeastern Europe, invading and conquering huge portions of the Byzantine Empire in the 14th and 15th centuries. Over the centuries, the Ottoman Empire also gradually lost almost all of its European territories, until the empire collapsed in 1922. The countries of the Balkans continue to have large populations of native Muslims, though the majority are secular.

The term "Muslim Europe" is used for the Muslim-majority countries of Albania, Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Transcontinental countries, such as Turkey, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan have large Muslim populations, as does Russia in the North Caucasus.

In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, large numbers of Muslims immigrated to Western Europe. By 2010, an estimated 44 million Muslims were living in Europe (6%), including an estimated 19 million in the EU (3.8%). They are projected to comprise 8% by 2030. They are often the subject of intense discussion and political controversy created by events such as terrorist attacks, the cartoons affair in Denmark, debates over Islamic dress, and ongoing support for populist right-wing parties that view Muslims as a threat to European culture. Such events have also fueled growing debate regarding the topic of Islamophobia, attitudes toward Muslims and the populist right.

Islam in India

Islam (Arabic: الإسلام) is the second-largest religion in India, with 14.2% of the country's population or 201 million people identifying as adherents of Islam (2018 estimate). It makes India the country with the largest Muslim population outside Muslim-majority countries. The majority of Indian Muslims belong to the Sunni sect of Islam. The religion first arrived at the western coast of India when Arab traders as early as the 7th century CE came to coastal Malabar and Konkan-Gujarat. Cheraman Juma Mosque in Kerala is thought to be the first mosque in India, built in 629 CE by Malik Deenar. Following an expedition by the governor of Bahrain to Bharuch in the 7th century CE, immigrant Arab and Persian trading communities from South Arabia and the Persian Gulf began settling in coastal Gujarat. Ismaili Shia Islam was introduced to Gujarat in the second half of the 11th century, when Fatimid Imam Al-Mustansir Billah sent missionaries to Gujarat in 467 AH/1073 CE. Islam arrived in North India in the 12th century via the Turkic invasions and has since become a part of India's religious and cultural heritage. Over the centuries, there has been significant integration of Hindu and Muslim cultures across India and Muslims have played a notable role in economics, politics, and culture of India.By 2050, India's Muslim population is projected to grow to 311 million and surpass Indonesia to become the world's largest Muslim population, although India will retain a Hindu majority (about 77%).

Islam in the United States

Islam is the third largest religion in the United States, after Christianity and Judaism. A 2017 study estimated that 3.45 million Muslims were living in the United States, about 1.1% of the total U.S. population.American Muslims come from various backgrounds and, according to a 2009 Gallup poll, are one of the most racially diverse religious groups in the United States. According to a 2017 study done by the Institute for Social Policy, “American Muslims are the only faith community surveyed with no majority race, with 25% black, 24% white, 18% Asian, 18% Arab, 7% mixed race, and 5% Hispanic”. Like other American faith groups surveyed, “roughly nine in ten Muslims identify as “straight” with the remainder identifying as either bisexual, “something else,” or refusing to answer.”In addition, 50% of Muslims are native born while the other 50% are foreign born, and 86% are citizens. Many native-born American Muslims are African Americans who make up about a quarter of the total Muslim population. Many of these have converted to Islam during the last seventy years. Conversion to Islam in large cities has also contributed to its growth over the years as well as its influence on black culture and hip-hop music.

While an estimated 10 to 20 percent of the slaves brought to colonial America from Africa arrived as Muslims, Islam was severely suppressed on plantations. Prior to the late 19th century, most documented non-enslaved Muslims in North America were merchants, travelers, and sailors.From the 1880s to 1914, several thousand Muslims immigrated to the United States from the former territories of the Ottoman Empire and the former Mughal Empire. The Muslim population of the U.S. increased dramatically in the 20th century, with much of the growth driven by a comparatively high birth rate and immigrant communities of mainly Arab and South Asian descent. About 72% of American Muslims are immigrants or "second generation".In 2005, more people from Muslim-majority countries became legal permanent United States residents—nearly 96,000—than there had been in any other year in the previous two decades. In 2009, more than 115,000 Muslims became legal residents of the United States.

Islamophobia

Islamophobia is the fear, hatred of, or prejudice against the Islamic religion or Muslims generally, especially when seen as a geopolitical force or the source of terrorism.The term was first used in the early 20th century, emerging as a neologism in the 1970s. Its use increased during the 1980s and 1990s and reached public policy prominence with the report by the Runnymede Trust's Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia (CBMI) entitled Islamophobia: A Challenge for Us All (1997). The introduction of the term was justified by the report's assessment that "anti-Muslim prejudice has grown so considerably and so rapidly in recent years that a new item in the vocabulary is needed". The meaning of the term continues to be debated, and some view it as problematic.

The causes and characteristics of Islamophobia are also subjects of debate. Some commentators have posited an increase in Islamophobia resulting from the September 11 attacks, the rise of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and other terror attacks in Europe and the United States. Some have associated it with the increased presence of Muslims in the United States and in the European Union, while others view it as a response to the emergence of a global Muslim identity.

Moors

The term "Moors" refers primarily to the Muslim inhabitants of the Maghreb, the Iberian Peninsula, Sicily, and Malta during the Middle Ages. The Moors initially were the indigenous Maghrebine Berbers. The name was later also applied to Arabs.Moors are not a distinct or self-defined people, and the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica observed that "The term 'Moors' has no real ethnological value." Europeans of the Middle Ages and the early modern period variously applied the name to Arabs, North African Berbers, and Muslim Europeans.The term has also been used in Europe in a broader, somewhat derogatory sense to refer to Muslims in general, especially those of Arab or Berber descent, whether living in Spain or North Africa. During the colonial era, the Portuguese introduced the names "Ceylon Moors" and "Indian Moors" in South Asia and Sri Lanka, and the Bengali Muslims were also called Moors. In the Philippines, the longstanding Muslim community, which predates the arrival of the Spanish, now self-identifies as the "Moro people", an exonym introduced by Spanish colonizers due to their Muslim faith.

In 711, troops mostly formed by Moors from northern Africa led the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. The Iberian peninsula then came to be known in Classical Arabic as al-Andalus, which at its peak included most of Septimania and modern-day Spain and Portugal.

In 827, the Moors occupied Mazara on Sicily, developing it as a port. They eventually went on to consolidate the rest of the island. Differences in religion and culture led to a centuries-long conflict with the Christian kingdoms of Europe, which tried to reclaim control of Muslim areas; this conflict was referred to as the Reconquista. In 1224 the Muslims were expelled from Sicily to the settlement of Lucera, which was destroyed by European Christians in 1300.

The fall of Granada in 1492 marked the end of Muslim rule in Iberia, although a Muslim minority persisted until their expulsion in 1609.

Mosque

A mosque (; from Arabic: مَـسْـجِـد‎, translit. masjid, lit. place of ritual prostration) is a place of worship for Muslims.Any act of worship that follows the Islamic rules of prayer can be said to create a mosque, whether or not it takes place in a special building. Informal and open-air places of worship are called musalla, while mosques used for communal prayer on Fridays are known as jāmiʿ. Mosque buildings typically contain an ornamental niche (mihrab) set into the wall that indicates the direction of Mecca (qiblah), ablution facilities and minarets from which calls to prayer are issued. The pulpit (minbar), from which the Friday sermon (khutba) is delivered, was in earlier times characteristic of the central city mosque, but has since become common in smaller mosques. Mosques typically have segregated spaces for men and women. This basic pattern of organization has assumed different forms depending on the region, period and denomination.Mosques commonly serve as locations for prayer, Ramadan vigils, funeral services, Sufi ceremonies, marriage and business agreements, alms collection and distribution, as well as homeless shelters. Historically, mosques were also important centers of elementary education and advanced training in religious sciences. In modern times, they have preserved their role as places of religious instruction and debate, but higher learning now generally takes place in specialized institutions. Special importance is accorded to the Great Mosque of Mecca (center of the hajj), Prophet's Mosque in Medina (burial place of Muhammad) and the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem (believed to be the site of Muhammad's ascent to heaven). In the past, many mosques in the Muslim world were built over burial places of Sufi saints and other venerated figures, which has turned them into popular pilgrimage destinations.The first mosque was built by Muhammad in Medina. With the spread of Islam, mosques multiplied across the Islamic world. Sometimes churches and other temples were converted into mosques, which influenced Islamic architectural styles. While most pre-modern mosques were funded by charitable endowments, modern states in the Muslim world have attempted to bring mosques under government control. Increasing government regulation of large mosques has been countered by a rise of privately funded mosques of various affiliations and ideologies, many of which serve as bases for different Islamic revivalist currents and social activism. Mosques have played a number of political roles. The rates of mosque attendance vary widely depending on the region.

Muhammad

Muhammad (Arabic: مُحمّد‎, pronounced [muħammad]; c. 570 CE – 8 June 632 CE) was the founder of Islam. According to Islamic doctrine, he was a prophet, sent to present and confirm the monotheistic teachings preached previously by Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets. He is viewed as the final prophet of God in all the main branches of Islam, though some modern denominations diverge from this belief. Muhammad united Arabia into a single Muslim polity, with the Quran as well as his teachings and practices forming the basis of Islamic religious belief.

Born approximately 570 CE (Year of the Elephant) in the Arabian city of Mecca, Muhammad was orphaned at the age of six. He was raised under the care of his paternal grandfather Abd al-Muttalib, and upon his death, by his uncle Abu Talib. In later years he would periodically seclude himself in a mountain cave named Hira for several nights of prayer. When he was 40, Muhammad reported being visited by Gabriel in the cave, and receiving his first revelation from God. Three years later, in 610, Muhammad started preaching these revelations publicly, proclaiming that "God is One", that complete "submission" (islām) to God is the right way of life (dīn), and that he was a prophet and messenger of God, similar to the other prophets in Islam.The followers of Muhammad were initially few in number, and experienced hostility from Meccan polytheists. He sent some of his followers to Abyssinia in 615 to shield them from prosecution, before he and his followers migrated from Mecca to Medina (then known as Yathrib) in 622. This event, the Hijra, marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar, also known as the Hijri Calendar. In Medina, Muhammad united the tribes under the Constitution of Medina. In December 629, after eight years of intermittent fighting with Meccan tribes, Muhammad gathered an army of 10,000 Muslim converts and marched on the city of Mecca. The conquest went largely uncontested and Muhammad seized the city with little bloodshed. In 632, a few months after returning from the Farewell Pilgrimage, he fell ill and died. By the time of his death, most of the Arabian Peninsula had converted to Islam.The revelations (each known as Ayah, lit. "Sign [of God]"), which Muhammad reported receiving until his death, form the verses of the Quran, regarded by Muslims as the verbatim "Word of God" and around which the religion is based. Besides the Quran, Muhammad's teachings and practices (sunnah), found in the Hadith and sira (biography) literature, are also upheld and used as sources of Islamic law (see Sharia).

Partition of India

The Partition of India was the division of British India in 1947 which eventually accompanied the creation of two independent dominions, India and Pakistan. The Dominion of India became, as of 1950, the Republic of India (India), and the Dominion of Pakistan became, as of 1956, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (Pakistan) In 1971, the People's Republic of Bangladesh (Bangladesh) came into being after Bangladesh Liberation War. The partition involved the division of three provinces, Assam, Bengal and Punjab, based on district-wide Hindu or Muslim majorities. The boundary demarcating India and Pakistan came to be known as the Radcliffe Line. It also involved the division of the British Indian Army, the Royal Indian Navy, the Indian Civil Service, the railways, and the central treasury, between the two new dominions. The partition was set forth in the Indian Independence Act 1947 and resulted in the dissolution of the British Raj, as the British government there was called. The two self-governing countries of Pakistan and India legally came into existence at midnight on 14–15 August 1947.The partition displaced over 14 million people along religious lines, creating overwhelming refugee crises in the newly constituted dominions; there was large-scale violence, with estimates of loss of life accompanying or preceding the partition disputed and varying between several hundred thousand and two million. The violent nature of the partition created an atmosphere of hostility and suspicion between India and Pakistan that plagues their relationship to the present.

The term partition of India does not cover the secession of Bangladesh from Pakistan in 1971, nor the earlier separations of Burma (now Myanmar) and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) from the administration of British India. The term also does not cover the political integration of princely states into the two new dominions, nor the disputes of annexation or division arising in the princely states of Hyderabad, Junagadh, and Jammu and Kashmir, though violence along religious lines did break out in some princely states at the time of the partition. It does not cover the incorporation of the enclaves of French India into India during the period 1947–1954, nor the annexation of Goa and other districts of Portuguese India by India in 1961. Other contemporaneous political entities in the region in 1947, Sikkim, Bhutan, Nepal, and the Maldives were unaffected by the partition.

Ramadan

Ramadan (; Arabic: رمضان‎ Ramaḍān, IPA: [ramaˈdˤaːn]; also known as Ramazan, romanized as Ramzan, Ramadhan, or Ramathan) is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting (sawm) to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad according to Islamic belief. This annual observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The month lasts 29–30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon, according to numerous biographical accounts compiled in the hadiths.The word Ramadan comes from the Arabic root ramiḍa or ar-ramaḍ, which means scorching heat or dryness. Fasting is fard (obligatory) for adult Muslims, except those who are suffering from an illness, travelling, are elderly, pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic, chronically ill or menstruating. Fasting the month of Ramadan was made obligatory (wājib) during the month of Sha'ban, in the second year after the Muslims migrated from Mecca to Medina. Fatwas have been issued declaring that Muslims who live in regions with a natural phenomenon such as the midnight sun or polar night should follow the timetable of Mecca, but the more commonly accepted opinion is that Muslims in those areas should follow the timetable of the closest country to them in which night can be distinguished from day.While fasting from dawn until sunset, Muslims refrain from consuming food, drinking liquids, smoking, and engaging in sexual relations. Muslims are also instructed to refrain from sinful behavior that may negate the reward of fasting, such as false speech (insulting, backbiting, cursing, lying, etc.) and fighting except in self-defense. Pre-fast meals before dawn are referred to as Suhoor, while the post-fast breaking feasts after sunset are called Iftar. Spiritual rewards (thawab) for fasting are also believed to be multiplied within the month of Ramadan. Fasting for Muslims during Ramadan typically includes the increased offering of salat (prayers), recitation of the Quran and an increase of doing good deeds and charity.

Shia Islam

Shia Islam (; Arabic: شيعة‎ Shīʿah, from Shīʿatu ʿAlī, "adherents of Ali") is one of the two main branches of Islam. It holds that the Islamic prophet Muhammad designated Ali ibn Abi Talib as his successor and the Imam (leader) after him, most notably at the event of Ghadir Khumm, but was prevented from the caliphate as a result of the incident at Saqifah. This view primarily contrasts with that of Sunni Islam, whose adherents believe that Muhammad did not appoint a successor and consider Abu Bakr, who they claim was appointed Caliph through a Shura, i.e. community consensus in Saqifa, to be the first rightful Caliph after the Prophet.Unlike the first three Rashidun caliphs, Ali was from the same clan as Muhammad, Banu Hashim as well as being the prophet's cousin and being the first male to become Muslim.Adherents of Shia Islam are called Shias of Ali, Shias or the Shi'a as a collective or Shi'i or Shi'ite individually. Shia Islam is the second largest branch of Islam: as of the late 2000s, Shia Muslims constituted 10-15% of all Muslims. Twelver Shia (Ithnā'ashariyyah) is the largest branch of Shia Islam, with 2012 estimates saying that 85% of Shias were Twelvers.

Shia Islam is based on the Quran and the message of Muhammad attested in hadith, and on hadith taught by their Imams. Shia consider Ali to have been divinely appointed as the successor to Muhammad, and as the first Imam. The Shia also extend this Imammah doctrine to Muhammad's family, the Ahl al-Bayt ("the people/family of the House"), and some individuals among his descendants, known as Imams, who they believe possess special spiritual and political authority over the community, infallibility and other divinely ordained traits. Although there are many Shia subsects, modern Shia Islam has been divided into three main groupings: Twelvers, Ismailis and Zaidis, with Twelver Shia being the largest and most influential group among Shia.

Sunni Islam

Sunni Islam () is the largest denomination of Islam, followed by 75-90% of the world's Muslims. Its name comes from the word sunnah, referring to the behaviour of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The differences between Sunni and Shia Muslims arose from a disagreement over the succession to Muhammad and subsequently acquired broader political significance, as well as theological and juridical dimensions.According to Sunni traditions, Muhammad did not clearly designate a successor and the Muslim community acted according to his sunnah in electing his father-in-law Abu Bakr as the first caliph. This contrasts with the Shia view, which holds that Muhammad designated his son-in-law and cousin Ali ibn Abi Talib as his successor. Political tensions between Sunnis and Shias continued with varying intensity throughout Islamic history and they have been exacerbated in recent times by ethnic conflicts and the rise of Wahhabism.The adherents of Sunni Islam are referred to in Arabic as ahl as-sunnah wa l-jamāʻah ("the people of the sunnah and the community") or ahl as-sunnah for short. In English, its doctrines and practices are sometimes called Sunnism, while adherents are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis, Sunnites and Ahlus Sunnah. Sunni Islam is sometimes referred to as "orthodox Islam", through some scholars view this translation as inappropriate.The Quran, together with hadith (especially those collected in Kutub al-Sittah) and binding juristic consensus form the basis of all traditional jurisprudence within Sunni Islam. Sharia rulings are derived from these basic sources, in conjunction with analogical reasoning, consideration of public welfare and juristic discretion, using the principles of jurisprudence developed by the traditional legal schools.

In matters of creed, the Sunni tradition upholds the six pillars of iman (faith) and comprises the Ash'ari and Maturidi schools of rationalistic theology as well as the textualist school known as traditionalist theology.

Wahhabism

Wahhabism (Arabic: الوهابية‎, al-Wahhābiya(h)) is an Islamic doctrine and religious movement founded by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab. It has been variously described as "ultraconservative", "austere",

"fundamentalist",

or "puritan(ical)"; as an Islamic "reform movement" to restore "pure monotheistic worship" (tawhid) by devotees; and as a "deviant sectarian movement", "vile sect" and a distortion of Islam by its opponents.

The term Wahhabi(ism) is often used polemically and adherents commonly reject its use, preferring to be called Salafi or muwahhid. claiming to emphasize the principle of tawhid (the "uniqueness" and "unity" of God), for exclusivity on monotheism, dismissing other Muslims as practising shirk, (idolatry). It follows the theology of Ibn Taymiyyah and the Hanbali school of jurisprudence, although Hanbali leaders renounced Abd al-Wahhab's views.Wahhabism is named after an eighteenth-century preacher and activist, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703–1792). He started a reform movement in the remote, sparsely populated region of Najd, advocating a purging of such widespread Sunni practices as the veneration of saints and the visiting of their tombs and shrines, that were practiced all over the Islamic world, but which he considered idolatrous impurities and innovations in Islam (Bid'ah). Eventually he formed a pact with a local leader, Muhammad bin Saud, offering political obedience and promising that protection and propagation of the Wahhabi movement meant "power and glory" and rule of "lands and men".The alliance between followers of ibn Abd al-Wahhab and Muhammad bin Saud's successors (the House of Saud) proved to be a durable one. The House of Saud continued to maintain its politico-religious alliance with the Wahhabi sect through the waxing and waning of its own political fortunes over the next 150 years, through to its eventual proclamation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932, and then afterwards, on into modern times. Today Ibn Abd Al-Wahhab's teachings are the official, state-sponsored form of Sunni Islam in Saudi Arabia. With the help of funding from Saudi petroleum exports (and other factors), the movement underwent "explosive growth" beginning in the 1970s and now has worldwide influence. The US State Department has estimated that over the past four decades concerns in Riyadh have directed at least $10bn (£6bn) to select charitable foundations toward the subversion of mainstream Sunni Islam by the harsh intolerance of Wahhabism. (as of 2017 changes to Saudi religious policy by Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman have led some to suggest that "Islamists throughout the world will have to follow suit or risk winding up on the wrong side of orthodoxy".)

The "boundaries" of Wahhabism have been called "difficult to pinpoint", but in contemporary usage, the terms Wahhabi and Salafi are often used interchangeably, and they are considered to be movements with different roots that have merged since the 1960s. However, Wahhabism has also been called "a particular orientation within Salafism", or an ultra-conservative, Saudi brand of Salafism. Estimates of the number of adherents to Wahhabism vary, with one source (Mehrdad Izady) giving a figure of fewer than 5 million Wahhabis in the Persian Gulf region (compared to 28.5 million Sunnis and 89 million Shia).The majority of Sunni and Shia Muslims worldwide disagree with the interpretation of Wahhabism, and many Muslims denounce them as a faction or a "vile sect". Islamic scholars, including those from the Al-Azhar University, regularly denounce Wahhabism with terms such as "Satanic faith". Wahhabism has been accused of being "a source of global terrorism", inspiring the ideology of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and for causing disunity in Muslim communities by labelling Muslims who disagreed with the Wahhabi definition of monotheism as apostates (takfir) and justifying their killing. It has also been criticized for the destruction of historic shrines of saints, mausoleums, and other Muslim and non-Muslim buildings and artifacts.

People and things in the Quran

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