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Kaaba at night

The Kaaba, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, is the center of Islam. Muslims from all over the world gather there to pray in unity.

For other meanings, including people named 'Islam', see Islam (disambiguation).

Islam (Arabic: الإسلام al-’islām, pronounced [ʔislæːm] (Speaker Icon.svg listen)[note 1]) is the monotheistic religion articulated by the Qur’an, a text considered by its adherents to be the verbatim word of God (Arabic: الله, Allah), and by the teachings and normative example (called the Sunnah and Hadith) of Muhammad, the last Prophet of Islam. The word Islam means 'submission to God',[1] and an adherent of Islam is called a Muslim.

Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable.[2] 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.[3] Muslims maintain that previous messages and revelations have been partially changed or corrupted over time,[4] but consider the Quran to be both unaltered and the final revelation from 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, encompassing everything from banking and welfare, to warfare and the environment.[5][6]

Most Muslims belong to one of two denominations; with 80-90% being Sunni and 10-20% being Shia.[7][8][9] About 13% of Muslims live in Indonesia, the largest Muslim country,[10] 25% in South Asia,[10] 20% in the Middle East,[11] 2% in Central Asia, 4% in the remaining South East Asian countries, and 15% in Sub-saharan Africa.[12] Sizable communities are also found in China and Russia, and parts of the Caribbean. Converts and immigrant communities are found in almost every part of the world. With about 1.41-1.57 billion Muslims comprising about 21-23% of the world's population[12][13] (see Islam by country), Islam is the second-largest religion and one of the fastest-growing religions in the world.[14][15][16][17][18]

Etymology and meaning

The word islam is a verbal noun originating from the triliteral root s-l-m, and is derived from the Arabic verb ’áslama, which means "to give up, to desert, to surrender (to God)."[1][19] Another word derived from the same root is salaam (سلام) which means 'Peace'.[20][21] Muslim, the word for an adherent of Islam, is the active participle of the same verb of which Islām is the infinitive. Believers demonstrate submission to God by worshipping Him, following His commands, and avoiding polytheism. The word sometimes has distinct connotations in its various occurrences in the Qur'an. In some verses (ayat), there is stress on the quality of Islam as an internal conviction: "Whomsoever God desires to guide, He expands his breast to Islam."[22] Other verses connect islām and dīn (usually translated as "religion"): "Today, I have perfected your religion (dīn) for you; I have completed My blessing upon you; I have approved Islam for your religion."[23] Still others describe Islam as an action of returning to God—more than just a verbal affirmation of faith.[24] Another technical meaning in Islamic thought is as one part of a triad of islam, imān (faith), and ihsān (excellence) where it represents acts of worship (`ibādah) and Islamic law (sharia).[25]

Articles of faith


Dcp7323-Edirne-Eski Camii Allah green3

Allah means God in Arabic

Allāh is the term with no plural or gender used by Muslims to refer to the one God, while ʾilāh is the term used for a diety or a god in general.[26] Other non-Arab Muslims might use different names as much as Allah, for instance "Tanrı" in Turkish or "Khodā" in Persian.

Islam's fundamental concept is a rigorous monotheism, called tawhīd. God is described in chapter 112 of the Qur'an as:[27] "Say: He is God, the One and Only; God, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him." (112:1-4) Muslims repudiate the Christian doctrine of the Trinity and divinity of Jesus, comparing it to polytheism but accept Jesus as a prophet. In Islam, God is beyond all comprehension and Muslims are not expected to visualize God. God is described and referred to by certain names or attributes, the most common being al-rahman, meaning "the compassionate" and al-rahim, meaning "the merciful" (See Names of God in Islam).[28]

Muslims believe that the purpose of existence is to worship God.[29] He is viewed as a personal God who states “We are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein[30] and responds whenever a person in need or distress calls Him.[7][31] There are no intermediaries, such as clergy, between God and the creation that he brought into being by the sheer command “‘Be’ and it is.”[7][32]


Belief in angels is fundamental to the faith of Islam. The Arabic word for angel (malak) means "messenger", like its counterparts in Hebrew (malakh) and Greek (angelos). According to the Qur'an, angels do not possess free will, and worship God in total obedience.[33] Angels' duties include communicating revelations from God, glorifying God, recording every person's actions, and taking a person's soul at the time of death. They are also thought to intercede on man's behalf. The Qur'an describes angels as "messengers with wings—two, or three, or four (pairs): He [God] adds to Creation as He pleases..."[34]



The first sura in a Qur'anic manuscript by Hattat Aziz Efendi

The Islamic holy books are the records which most Muslims believe were dictated by God to various prophets. Muslims believe that parts of the previously revealed scriptures, the Tawrat (Torah) and the Injil (Gospels), had become distorted—either in interpretation, in text, or both.[4] The Qur'an (literally, “Reading” or “Recitation”) is viewed by Muslims as the final revelation and literal Word of God and is widely regarded as the finest piece of literature work in the Arabic language.[35][36][37] Muslims believe that the verses of the Qur'an were revealed to Muhammad by God through the archangel Gabriel (Jibrīl). on many occasions between 610 and his death on June 8, 632.[38] The Qur'an was reportedly written down by Muhammad's companions (sahabah) while he was alive, although the prime method of transmission was orally. It was compiled in the time of Abu Bakr, the first caliph, and was standardized under the administration of Uthman, the third caliph.

The Qur'an is divided into 114 suras, or chapters, which combined, contain 6,236 āyāt, or verses. The chronologically earlier suras, revealed at Mecca, are primarily concerned with ethical and spiritual topics. The later Medinan suras mostly discuss social and moral issues relevant to the Muslim community.[39] The Qur'an is more concerned with moral guidance than legal instruction, and is considered the "sourcebook of Islamic principles and values".[40] Muslim jurists consult the hadith, or the written record of Prophet Muhammad's life, to both supplement the Qur'an and assist with its interpretation. The science of Qur'anic commentary and exegesis is known as tafsir.[41]

When Muslims speak in the abstract about "the Qur'an", they usually mean the scripture as recited in Arabic rather than the printed work or any translation of it. To Muslims, the Qur'an is perfect only as revealed in the original Arabic; translations are necessarily deficient because of language differences, the fallibility of translators, and the impossibility of preserving the original's inspired style. Translations are therefore regarded only as commentaries on the Qur'an, or "interpretations of its meaning", not as the Qur'an itself.[42]


Template:Hadith collections2

Muslims identify the prophets of Islam (Arabic: نبي) as those humans chosen by God to be His messengers. According to the Qur'an [43] the descendants of Abraham and Imran were chosen by God to bring the "Will of God" to the peoples of the nations. Muslims believe that prophets are human and not divine, though some are able to perform miracles to prove their claim. Islamic theology says that all of God's messengers preached the message of Islam—submission to the Will of God. The Qur'an mentions the names of numerous figures considered prophets in Islam, including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus, among others.[44] Muslims believe that God finally sent Muhammad (Seal of the Prophets) to convey the divine message to the whole world (to sum up and to finalize the word of God). In Islam, the "normative" example of Muhammad's life is called the Sunnah (literally "trodden path"). This example is preserved in traditions known as hadith ("reports"), which recount his words, his actions, and his personal characteristics. The classical Muslim jurist ash-Shafi'i (d. 820) emphasized the importance of the Sunnah in Islamic law, and Muslims are encouraged to emulate Muhammad's actions in their daily lives. The Sunnah is seen as crucial to guiding interpretation of the Qur'an. Six of these collections, compiled in the 3rd century ah (9th century ace), came to be regarded as especially authoritative by the largest group in Islām, the Sunnites. Another large group, the Shīʾah, has its own Ḥadīth contained in four canonical collections.[7]

Resurrection and judgment

Belief in the "Day of Resurrection", Qiyamah (also known as yawm ad-dīn, "Day of Judgment" and as-sā`a, "the Last Hour") is also crucial for Muslims. They believe that the time of Qiyāmah is preordained by God but unknown to man. The trials and tribulations preceding and during the Qiyāmah are described in the Qur'an and the hadith, and also in the commentaries of scholars. The Qur'an emphasizes bodily resurrection, a break from the pre-Islamic Arabian understanding of death.[45]

The Qur'an lists several sins that can condemn a person to hell, such as disbelief, riba, and dishonesty. Muslims view heaven as a place of joy and bliss, with Qur'anic references describing its features and the physical pleasures to come. There are also references to ridwān.[46] Mystical traditions in Islam place these heavenly delights in the context of an ecstatic awareness of God.[47]


In accordance with the Islamic belief in predestination, or divine preordainment (al-qadā wa'l-qadar), God has full knowledge and control over all that occurs. This is explained in Qur'anic verses such as "Say: 'Nothing will happen to us except what Allah has decreed for us: He is our protector'..."[48] For Muslims, everything in the world that occurs, good or evil, has been preordained and nothing can happen unless permitted by God. According to Muslim theologians, although events are pre-ordained, man possesses free will in that he has the faculty to choose between right and wrong, and is thus responsible for his actions. According to Islamic tradition, all that has been decreed by God is written in al-Lawh al-Mahfūz, the "Preserved Tablet".[49]

Duties and practices


The Pillars of Islam (arkan al-Islam; also arkan ad-din, "pillars of religion") are five basic acts in Islam, considered obligatory for all believers.

The Quran presents them as a framework for worship and a sign of commitment to the faith. They are (1) the shahadah (creed), (2) daily prayers (salat), (3) almsgiving (zakah), (4) fasting during Ramadan and (5) the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj at least once in a lifetime.

The Shia and Sunni sects both agree on the essential details for the performance of these acts.[50]

  1. The shahadah,[51] which is the basic creed of Islam that must be recited under oath with the specific statement: "'ašhadu 'al-lā ilāha illā-llāhu wa 'ašhadu 'anna muħammadan rasūlu-llāh", or "I testify that there is none worthy of worship except God and I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of God." This testament is a foundation for all other beliefs and practices in Islam. Muslims must repeat the shahadah in prayer, and non-Muslims wishing to convert to Islam are required to recite the creed.[52]
  2. Salah, or ritual prayer, which must be performed five times a day.[53]
  3. Sawm, or fasting during the month of Ramadan. Muslims must not eat or drink (among other things) from dawn to dusk during this month, and must be mindful of other sins.[54]
  4. Zakat, or alms-giving, which is giving a fixed portion of accumulated wealth by those who can afford it to help the poor or needy, and also to assist the spread of Islam.[55]
  5. The Hajj, which is the pilgrimage during the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah in the city of Mecca. Every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it must make the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in his or her lifetime.[56]


The Sharia (literally "the path leading to the watering place") is Islamic law formed by traditional Islamic scholarship, which most Muslim groups adhere to. In Islam, Sharia is the expression of the divine will, and "constitutes a system of duties that are incumbent upon a Muslim by virtue of his religious belief".[57]

Islamic law covers all aspects of life, from matters of state, like governance and foreign relations, to issues of daily living. The Qur'an defines hudud as the punishments for five specific crimes: unlawful intercourse, false accusation of unlawful intercourse, consumption of alcohol, theft, and highway robbery. The Qur'an and Sunnah also contain laws of inheritance, marriage, and restitution for injuries and murder, as well as rules for fasting, charity, and prayer. However, these prescriptions and prohibitions may be broad, so their application in practice varies. Islamic scholars (known as ulema) have elaborated systems of law on the basis of these rules and their interpretations.[58] Over the years there have been changing views on Islamic law but many such as Zahiri and Jariri have since died out.[59][60]

Fiqh, or "jurisprudence", is defined as the knowledge of the practical rules of the religion. The method Islamic jurists use to derive rulings is known as usul al-fiqh ("legal theory", or "principles of jurisprudence"). According to Islamic legal theory, law has four fundamental roots, which are given precedence in this order: the Qur'an, the Sunnah (actions and sayings of Muhammad), the consensus of the Muslim jurists (ijma), and analogical reasoning (qiyas). For early Islamic jurists, theory was less important than pragmatic application of the law. In the 9th century, the jurist ash-Shafi'i provided a theoretical basis for Islamic law by codifying the principles of jurisprudence (including the four fundamental roots) in his book ar-Risālah.[61]

Religion and state

Mainstream Islamic law does not distinguish between "matters of church" and "matters of state"; the scholars function as both jurists and theologians. In practice, Islamic rulers frequently bypassed the Sharia courts with a parallel system of so-called "Grievance courts" over which they had sole control. As the Muslim world came into contact with Western secular ideals, Muslim societies responded in different ways. Turkey has been governed as a secular state ever since the reforms of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. In contrast, the 1979 Iranian Revolution replaced a mostly secular regime with an Islamic republic led by the Ayatollah Khomeini.[62]


Ottoman miniature painters

Ottoman miniature painters

There are many terms in Islam to refer to religiously sanctioned positions of Islam but generally refers to the educated class of Muslim legal scholars engaged in the several fields of Islamic studies. In a broader sense, the term ulema is used to describe the body of Muslim clergy who have completed several years of training and study of Islamic sciences, such as a mufti, qadi, faqih, or muhaddith. Some Muslims include under this term the village mullahs, imams, and maulvis—who have attained only the lowest rungs on the ladder of Islamic scholarship; other Muslims would say that clerics must meet higher standards to be considered ulema. Some Muslims pratcise ijtihad whereby they don't accept the authority of clergy.[63]

Family life

The basic unit of Islamic society is the family, and Islam defines the obligations and legal rights of family members. The father is seen as financially responsible for his family, and is obliged to cater for their well-being. The division of inheritance is specified in the Qur'an, which states that most of it is to pass to the immediate family, while a portion is set aside for the payment of debts and the making of bequests. With some exceptions, the woman's share of inheritance is generally half of that of a man with the same rights of succession.[64] Marriage in Islam is a civil contract which consists of an offer and acceptance between two qualified parties in the presence of two witnesses. The groom is required to pay a bridal gift (mahr) to the bride, as stipulated in the contract.[65] A man may have up to four wives if he believes he can treat them equally, while a woman may have only one husband. In most Muslim countries, the process of divorce in Islam is known as talaq, which the husband initiates by pronouncing the word "divorce".[66] Scholars disagree whether Islamic holy texts justify traditional Islamic practices such as veiling and seclusion (purdah). Starting in the 20th century, Muslim social reformers argued against these and other practices such as polygamy in Islam, with varying success. At the same time, many Muslim women have attempted to reconcile tradition with modernity by combining an active life with outward modesty. Certain Islamist groups like the Taliban have sought to continue traditional law as applied to women.[67]

Etiquette and diet

Many practices fall in the category of adab, or Islamic etiquette. This includes greeting others with "as-salamu `alaykum" ("peace be unto you"), saying bismillah ("in the name of God") before meals, and using only the right hand for eating and drinking. Islamic hygienic practices mainly fall into the category of personal cleanliness and health. Circumcision of male offspring is also practiced in Islam. Islamic burial rituals include saying the Salat al-Janazah ("funeral prayer") over the bathed and enshrouded dead body, and burying it in a grave. Muslims are restricted in their diet. Prohibited foods include pork products, blood, carrion, and alcohol. All meat must come from a herbivorous animal slaughtered in the name of God by a Muslim, Jew, or Christian, with the exception of game that one has hunted or fished for oneself. Food permissible for Muslims is known as halal food.[68]


Jihad means "to strive or struggle" (in the way of God) and is considered the "Sixth Pillar of Islam" by a minority of Sunni Muslim authorities.[69] Jihad, in its broadest sense, is classically defined as "exerting one's utmost power, efforts, endeavors, or ability in contending with an object of disapprobation." Depending on the object being a visible enemy, the devil, and aspects of one's own self, different categories of Jihad are defined.[70] Jihad, when used without any qualifier, is understood in its military aspect.[71][72] Jihad also refers to one's striving to attain religious and moral perfection.[73] Some Muslim authorities, especially among the Shi'a and Sufis, distinguish between the "greater jihad", which pertains to spiritual self-perfection, and the "lesser jihad", defined as warfare.[74]

Within Islamic jurisprudence, jihad is usually taken to mean military exertion against non-Muslim combatants in the defense or expansion of the Ummah. The ultimate purpose of military jihad is debated, both within the Islamic community and without, with some claiming that it only serves to protect the Ummah, with no aspiration of offensive conflict, whereas others have argued that the goal of Jihad is global conquest. Jihad is the only form of warfare permissible in Islamic law and may be declared against apostates, rebels, highway robbers, violent groups, and leaders or states who oppress Muslims or hamper proselytizing efforts.[75][76] Most Muslims today interpret Jihad as only a defensive form of warfare: the external Jihad includes a struggle to make the Islamic societies conform to the Islamic norms of justice.[77]

Under most circumstances and for most Muslims, jihad is a collective duty (fard kifaya): its performance by some individuals exempts the others. Only for those vested with authority, especially the sovereign (imam), does jihad become an individual duty. For the rest of the populace, this happens only in the case of a general mobilization.[76] For most Shias, offensive jihad can only be declared by a divinely appointed leader of the Muslim community, and as such is suspended since Muhammad al-Mahdi's[78] occultation in 868 AD.[79]


Muhammad (610–632)

Madina Haram at evening

Al-Masjid al-Nabawi (the Mosque of the Prophet) in Medina, Saudi Arabia, is the site of Muhammad's tomb.

Muhammad (c. 570 – June 8, 632) was a trader later becoming a religious, political, and military leader. However, Muslims do not view Muhammad as the creator of Islam, but instead regard him as the last messenger of God, through which the Qur'an was revealed. Muslims view Muhammad as the restorer of the original, uncorrupted monotheistic faith of Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets. In Muslim tradition, Muhammad is viewed as the last and the greatest in a series of prophets—as the man closest to perfection, the possessor of all virtues.[80] For the last 22 years of his life, in 610, beginning at age 40, Muhammad started receiving revelations from God. The content of these revelations, known as the Qur'an, was memorized and recorded by his companions.[81]

During this time, Muhammad preached to the people of Mecca, imploring them to abandon polytheism. Although some converted to Islam, Muhammad and his followers were persecuted by the leading Meccan authorities. After 12 years of preaching, Muhammad and the Muslims performed the Hijra ("emigration") to the city of Medina (formerly known as Yathrib) in 622. There, with the Medinan converts (Ansar) and the Meccan migrants (Muhajirun), Muhammad established his political and religious authority. Within years, two battles had been fought against Meccan forces: the Battle of Badr in 624, which was a Muslim victory, and the Battle of Uhud in 625, which ended inconclusively. Conflict with Medinan Jewish clans who opposed the Muslims led to their exile, enslavement or death, and the Jewish enclave of Khaybar was subdued. At the same time, Meccan trade routes were cut off as Muhammad brought surrounding desert tribes under his control.[82] By 629 Muhammad was victorious in the nearly bloodless Conquest of Mecca, and by the time of his death in 632 (at the age of 62) he ruled over the Arabian peninsula.[83]

Rise of the caliphate and civil war (632–750)

Muhammad began preaching Islam at Mecca before migrating to Medina, from where he united the tribes of Arabia into a singular Arab Muslim religious polity. With Muhammad's death in 632, disagreement broke out over who would succeed him as leader of the Muslim community. Umar ibn al-Khattab, a prominent companion of Muhammad, nominated Abu Bakr, who was Muhammad's companion and close friend. Others added their support and Abu Bakr was made the first caliph. Abu Bakr's immediate task was to avenge a recent defeat by Byzantine (or Eastern Roman Empire) forces, although he first had to put down a rebellion by Arab tribes in an episode known as the Ridda wars, or "Wars of Apostasy".[84]

Age of Caliphs

The Muslim Caliphate, 750 CE

His death in 634 resulted in the succession of Umar as the caliph, followed by Uthman ibn al-Affan and Ali ibn Abi Talib. These four are known as al-khulafā' ar-rāshidūn ("Rightly Guided Caliphs"). Under them, the territory under Muslim rule expanded deeply into Persian and Byzantine territories.[85]

When Umar was assassinated in 644, the election of Uthman as successor was met with increasing opposition. In 656, Uthman was also killed, and Ali assumed the position of caliph. After fighting off opposition in the first civil war (the "First Fitna"), Ali was assassinated by Kharijites in 661. Following this, Mu'awiyah, who was governor of Levant, seized power and began the Umayyad dynasty.[86]

These disputes over religious and political leadership would give rise to schism in the Muslim community. The majority accepted the legitimacy of the three rulers prior to Ali, and became known as Sunnis. A minority disagreed, and believed that Ali was the only rightful successor; they became known as the Shi'a.[87] After Mu'awiyah's death in 680, conflict over succession broke out again in a civil war known as the "Second Fitna". Afterward, the Umayyad dynasty prevailed for seventy years, and was able to conquer the Maghrib and Al-Andalus (the Iberian Peninsula, former Visigothic Hispania) and the Narbonnese Gaul) in the west as well as expand Muslim territory into Sindh and the fringes of Central Asia.[88] One of the best preserved architectural examples of Islamic conquest, is the Great Mosque of Kairouan (in Tunisia) founded in 670 by the Arab conqueror and Umayyad general Uqba ibn Nafi [89] and considered as the ancestor and model for all the mosques in the western Islamic world [90] · .[91] The muladies (Muslims of ethnic Iberian origin) are believed to have comprised the majority of the population of Al-Andalus by the end of the 10th century.[92] While the Muslim-Arab elite engaged in conquest, some devout Muslims began to question the piety of indulgence in a worldly life, emphasizing rather poverty, humility and avoidance of sin based on renunciation of bodily desires. Devout Muslim ascetic exemplars such as Hasan al-Basri would inspire a movement that would evolve into Sufism.[93]

For the Umayyad aristocracy, Islam was viewed as a religion for Arabs only;[94] the economy of the Umayyad empire was based on the assumption that a majority of non-Muslims (Dhimmis) would pay taxes to the minority of Muslim Arabs. A non-Arab who wanted to convert to Islam was supposed to first become a client of an Arab tribe. Even after conversion, these new Muslims (mawali) did not achieve social and economic equality with the Arabs. The descendants of Muhammad's uncle Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib rallied discontented mawali, poor Arabs, and some Shi'a against the Umayyads and overthrew them with the help of their general Abu Muslim, inaugurating the Abbasid dynasty in 750.[95]

Golden Age (750–1258)

Kairouan's Great Mosque courtyard

The Great Mosque of Kairouan, established in 670 in Kairouan, Tunisia, represents one of the best architectural examples of Islamic civilization.[96]

Under the Abbasids, Islamic civilization flourished in the "Islamic Golden Age", with its capital at the cosmopolitan city of Baghdad.[97] The major hadith collections were compiled and the four modern Sunni Madh'habs were established. Islamic law was advanced greatly by the efforts of the early 9th century jurist al-Shafi'i; he codified a method to establish the reliability of hadith, a topic which had been a locus of dispute among Islamic scholars.[98] Philosophers Ibn Sina (Avicenna) and Al-Farabi sought to incorporate Greek principles into Islamic theology, while others like the 11th century theologian Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali argued against them and ultimately prevailed.[99] Sufism became a full-fledged movement that had moved towards mysticism and away from its ascetic roots, while Shi'ism split due to disagreements over the succession of Imams.[100] The spread of the Islamic dominion induced hostility among medieval ecclesiastical Christian authors who saw Islam as an adversary in the light of the large numbers of new Muslim converts. This opposition resulted in polemical treatises which depicted Islam as the religion of the antichrist and of Muslims as libidinous and subhuman.[101]

Public hospitals established during this time (called Bimaristan hospitals), are considered "the first hospitals" in the modern sense of the word[102] and issued the first medical diplomas to license doctors of medicine.[103][104] The Guinness Book of World Records recognizes the University of Al Karaouine as the oldest degree-granting university in the world with its founding in 859 CE.[105] The origins of the doctorate also dates back to the ijazat attadris wa 'l-ifttd ("license to teach and issue legal opinions") in madrasahs which taught law.[106] The first institutions for the care of mentally ill people were also established in the Muslim world.[107] During this time, standards of experimental and quantification techniques were introduced to the scientific process to distinguish between competing theories as well as the tradition of citation.[108][109] Ibn Al-Haytham is regarded as the father of the modern scientific method and often referred to as the "world’s first true scientist."[110] Legal institutions introduced in Islamic law include the trust and charitable trust (Waqf).[111][112]

Fragmentation and invasions

Mosque of Cordoba Spain

The interior of the Great Mosque of Córdoba, one of the finest examples of Ummayad architecture in Spain.

By the late 9th century, the Abbasid caliphate began to fracture as various regions gained increasing levels of autonomy. Across North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, emirates formed as provinces broke away. The monolithic Arab empire gave way to a more religiously homogenized Muslim world where the Shia Fatimids contested even the religious authority of the caliphate. In the 10th century the powerful Ghaznavids conquered the Afghan-Persian region and a large part of the Indian subcontinent in the name of Islam. They were replaced by the Ghurids in the 12th century. In 836, Caliph Al-Mu'tasim moved the capital of the Caliphate from Baghdad to the new city of Samarra, which would remain the capital until 892 when it was returned to Baghdad by al-Mu'tamid. By 1055 the Seljuq Turks had eliminated the Abbasids as a military power, nevertheless they continued to respect the caliph's titular authority.[113] During this time, expansion of the Muslim world continued, by both conquest and peaceful proselytism even as both Islam and Muslim trade networks were extending into sub-Saharan West Africa, Central Asia, Volga Bulgaria and the Malay archipelago.[19]

The Reconquista was launched against Muslim principalities in Iberia, and Muslim Italian possessions were lost to the Normans. From the 11th century onwards alliances of European Christian kingdoms mobilized to launch a series of wars known as the Crusades, aimed at reversing Muslim military conquests within the eastern part of the former Roman Empire, especially in the Holy Land. Initially successful in this aim, and establishing the Crusader states, these acquisitions were later reversed by subsequent Muslim generals such as Saladin, who recaptured Jerusalem in 1187.[114]

In the east the Mongol Empire put an end to the Abbassid dynasty at the Battle of Baghdad in 1258, as they overran the Muslim lands in a series of invasions. Meanwhile in Egypt, the slave-soldier Mamluks took control in an uprising in 1250[115] and in alliance with the Golden Horde halted the Mongol armies at the Battle of Ain Jalut. Over the next century the Mongol Khanates converted to Islam and this religious and cultural absorption ushered in a new age of Mongol-Islamic synthesis that shaped the further spread of Islam in central Asia, eastern Europe and the Indian subcontinent. The Crimean Khanate was one of the strongest powers in Eastern Europe until the end of the 17th century.[116] The Black Death ravaged much of the Islamic world in the mid-14th century,[117] probably brought by merchants making use of free passage offered by the Pax Mongolica.[118]

New dynasties and colonialism (1030–1918)

In the 13th and 14th centuries the Ottoman Empire (named after Osman I) emerged from among these "Ghazi emirates" and established itself after a string of conquests that included the Balkans, parts of Greece, and western Anatolia. In 1453 under Mehmed II the Ottomans laid siege to Constantinople, the capital of Byzantium, which succumbed shortly thereafter, having been overwhelmed by a far greater number of Ottoman troops and to a lesser extent, cannonry.[119] The Ottomans launched a European campaign which reached as far as the gates of Vienna in 1529.[120] Under Ottoman rule, many people in the Balkans became Muslim. Around the 18th century, despite attempts at modernization, the Ottoman empire had begun to feel threatened by European economic and military advantages.


The Taj Mahal was built by Muslim rulers of the Mughal Empire in Agra, India.

From the 14th to the 16th century much of the eastern Islamic world was experiencing another golden age under the Timurid dynasty. In the early 16th century, the Safavid dynasty assumed control in Persia and established Shi'a Islam as an official religion there, and despite periodic setbacks, the Safavids remained in power for two centuries until being usurped by the Hotaki dynasty in the early 18th century.

Beginning in the 13th century, Sufism underwent a transformation, largely as a result of the efforts of al-Ghazzali to legitimize and reorganize the movement. He developed the model of the Sufi order—a community of spiritual teachers and students.[121] Also of importance to Sufism was the creation of the Masnavi, a collection of mystical poetry by the 13th century Persian poet Rumi. The Masnavi had a profound influence on the development of Sufi religious thought; to many Sufis it is second in importance only to the Qur'an.[122]

After the invasion of Persia and sack of Baghdad by the Mongols in the mid 13th century, Delhi became the most important cultural centre of the Muslim east.[123] Many Islamic dynasties ruled parts of the Indian subcontinent starting with the Ghaznavids in the 10th century. The prominent ones included the Delhi Sultanate (1206–1526) and the Mughal Empire (1526–1857). These empires helped in the spread of Islam in South Asia, but by the early 18th century the Hindu Maratha Empire was becoming the pre-eminent power in northern India until they were weakened by the Durrani Empire in the mid-18th century.

It was during the 18th century that the Wahhabi movement took hold in Saudi Arabia. Founded by the preacher Ibn Abd al-Wahhab, Wahhabism is a fundamentalist ideology that condemns practices like Sufism and the veneration of saints as un-Islamic.[124] In the 19th century, the Salafi, Deobandi and Barelwi movements were initiated.

By the 19th century the British Empire had formally ended the last Mughal dynasty,[125] and overthrew the Muslim-ruled Kingdom of Mysore. In the 19th century, the rise of nationalism resulted in Greece declaring and winning independence in 1829, with several Balkan states following suit after the Ottomans suffered defeat in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878. During this time, many Muslims migrated, as indentured servants, from mostly India and Indonesia to the Caribbean, forming the largest Muslim populations by percentage in the Americas.[126] Additionally, the resulting urbanization and increase in trade in Africa brought Muslims to settle in new areas and spread their faith. As a result, Islam in sub-Saharan Africa likely doubled between 1869 and 1914.[127] The Ottoman era came to a close at the end of World War I and the Caliphate was abolished in 1924.[128][129]

Modern times (1918–present)

By the early years of the 20th century, most of the Muslim world outside the Ottoman empire had been absorbed into the empires of non-Islamic European powers. After World War I losses, nearly all of the Ottoman empire was also parceled out as European protectorates or spheres of influence. In the course of the 20th century, most of these European-ruled territories became independent, and new issues such as oil wealth and relations with the State of Israel have assumed prominence.[130]

The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), consisting of Muslim countries, was formally established in September 1969 after the burning of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.[131]

Islamic revival and Islamist movements

The 20th century saw the Islamic world increasingly exposed to outside cultural influences, bringing potential changes to Muslim societies. In response, new Islamic "revivalist" movements were initiated as a counter movement to non-Islamic ideas. Groups such as Jamaat-e-Islami in Pakistan and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt advocate a totalistic and theocratic alternative to secular political ideologies. Sometimes called Islamist, they see Western cultural values as a threat, and promote Islam as a comprehensive solution to every public and private question of importance. Some Muslim organizations began using the media to promote the message of Islam. The first Islamic satellite network hosting a 24-hour service worldwide was MTA International, established by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in 1994. Zakir Naik, head of the Islamic Research Foundation, established another 24-hour Islamic international TV channel (Peace TV) in 2006.[132]

In countries like Iran, revolutionary movement replaced secular regime with an Islamic state, while transnational groups like Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda engage in terrorism to further their goals. In contrast, Liberal Islam is a movement that attempts to reconcile religious tradition with modern norms of secular governance and human rights. Its supporters say that there are multiple ways to read Islam's sacred texts, and stress the need to leave room for "independent thought on religious matters".[133]

Modern criticism of Islam includes accusations that Islam is intolerant of criticism and that Islamic law is too hard on apostates from Islam. Critics like Ibn Warraq question the morality of the Qu'ran, saying that its contents justify the mistreatment of women and encourage antisemitic remarks by Muslim theologians.[134] Many authors have criticised Islam (as well as other religions) as being sexist, intolerant, and warlike. Thinking that Islam is at odds with modern science, and more particularly evolutionary biology, Richard Dawkins wishes to popularize "evolution in the Islamic world."[135] In his book titled God Is Not Great, which criticizes all religions, Christopher Hitchens expresses his opinion by stating that Islam is "dogmatic," and "the fact remains that Islam's core claim – to be unimprovable and final – is at once absurd." Such claims have been challenged by many Muslim scholars and writers including Fazlur Rahman Malik,[136] Syed Ameer Ali,[137] Ahmed Deedat[138] and Yusuf Estes.[139]

Others like Daniel Pipes and Martin Kramer focus more on criticizing the spread of Islamic fundamentalism, a danger they feel has been ignored.[140] Montgomery Watt and Norman Daniel dismiss many of the criticisms as the product of old myths and polemics.[141] The rise of Islamophobia, according to Carl Ernst, had contributed to the negative views about Islam and Muslims in the West.[142] In contrast, Pascal Bruckner and Paul Berman have entered the "Islam in Europe" debate. Berman identifies a "reactionary turn in the intellectual world" represented by Western scholars who idealize Islam.[143]</blockquote>


Madhhab Map2

Distribution of Islamic schools and branches in areas where large Muslim population are found

Divisions of Islam

Movements in Islam


Sunni Muslims are the largest group in Islam, comprising the vast bulk (80-90%[7][9][144]) of the world's 1.5 billion Muslims, hence the title Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jamā‘ah (people of the principle and majority[14]). In Arabic language, as-Sunnah literally means "principle" or "path". The Qur'an and the Sunnah (the example of Muhammad's life) as recorded in hadith are the primary foundations of Sunni doctrine. According to Sunni Islam, the "normative" example of Muhammad's life is called the Sunnah (literally "trodden path"). This example is preserved in traditions known as hadith ("reports"), which recount his words, his actions, and his personal characteristics. The classical Muslim jurist ash-Shafi'i (d. 820) emphasized the importance of the Sunnah in Islamic law, and Muslims are encouraged to emulate Muhammad's actions in their daily lives. The Sunnah is seen as crucial to guiding interpretation of the Qur'an.[145] Two major hadith collections are Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. Sunnis believe that the first four caliphs were the rightful successors to Muhammad; since God did not specify any particular leaders to succeed him, those leaders had to be elected. Sunnis believe that a caliph should be chosen by the whole community.[144][146]

There are four recognised madh'habs (schools of thought): Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i, and Hanbali. All four accept the validity of the others and a Muslim may choose any one that he or she finds agreeable.[147] The Salafi (also known as Ahl al-Hadith, or Wahhabi by its adversaries) is a ultra-orthodox Islamic movement which takes the first generation of Muslims as exemplary models.[148]


The Shi'a constitute 10–20% of Islam and are its second-largest branch.[9][12] They believe in the political and religious leadership of Imams from the progeny of Ali ibn Abi Talib, who according to most Shi'a are in a state of ismah, meaning infallibility. They believe that Ali ibn Abi Talib, as the cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad, was his rightful successor, and they call him the first Imam (leader), rejecting the legitimacy of the previous Muslim caliphs. To most Shi'a, an Imam rules by right of divine appointment and holds "absolute spiritual authority" among Muslims, having final say in matters of doctrine and revelation. Shias regard Ali as the prophet's true successor and believe that a caliph is appointed by divine will.[149] Shi'a Islam has several branches, the largest of which is the Twelvers (iṯnāʿašariyya) which the label Shi'a generally refers to. Although the Twelver Shi'a share many core practices with the Sunni, the two branches disagree over the proper importance and validity of specific collections of hadith. The Twelver Shi'a follow a legal tradition called Ja'fari jurisprudence.[150] Other smaller groups include the Ismaili and Zaidi, who differ from Twelvers in both their line of successors and theological beliefs.[151]


Whirling Dervishes 2

Sufi whirling dervishes in Istanbul, Turkey

Sufism is a mystical-ascetic approach to Islam that seeks to find divine love and knowledge through direct personal experience of God. By focusing on the more spiritual aspects of religion, Sufis strive to obtain direct experience of God by making use of "intuitive and emotional faculties" that one must be trained to use.[152] Sufism and Islamic law are usually considered to be complementary, although Sufism has been criticized by the Salafi sect for what they see as an unjustified religious innovation. Many Sufi orders, or tariqas, can be classified as either Sunni or Shi'a, but others classify themselves simply as 'Sufi'.[153][154]


  • Ahmadiyya is an Islamic religious movement founded towards the end of the 19th century, originating with the life and teachings of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835–1908). He claimed that he was the Mujaddid (divine reformer) of the 14th Islamic century, the promised Messiah ("Second Coming of Christ") and Mahdi awaited by Muslims.[155][156][157][158][159] Ahmadi emphasis lay in the belief that Islam is the final law for humanity as revealed to Muhammad and the necessity of restoring its true essence, which had been lost through the centuries. Ahmadis view themselves as leading the revival and peaceful propagation of Islam.[160] There exists legal restrictions against the Ahmadis in various Muslim countries, in particular Pakistan.[161]
  • The Kharijites are a sect that dates back to the early days of Islam. The only surviving branch of the Kharijites is Ibadism. Unlike most Kharijite groups, Ibadism does not regard sinful Muslims as unbelievers. The Imamate is an important topic in Ibadi legal literature, which stipulates that the leader should be chosen solely on the basis of his knowledge and piety, and is to be deposed if he acts unjustly. Most Ibadi Muslims live in Oman, with a number of diasporic communities in Northern Africa.[162][163]
  • There are also Muslims who generally reject the Hadith, often called Quranists.


World Muslim Population Pew Forum

Muslim population by percentage worldwide

A comprehensive 2009 demographic study of 232 countries and territories reported that 23% of the global population or 1.57 billion people are Muslims. Of those, an estimated 80–90% are Sunni and 10–20% are Shi'a,[7][8][9] with a small minority belonging to other sects. Approximately 50 countries are Muslim-majority,[164] and Arabs account for around 20% of all Muslims worldwide.[165] Between 1900 and 1970 the global Muslim community grew from 200 million to 551 million;[166] between 1970 and 2009 Muslim population increased more than three times to 1.57 billion.

The majority of Muslims live in Asia and Africa.[167] Approximately 62% of the world's Muslims live in Asia, with over 683 million adherents in Indonesia, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh.[168][169] In the Middle East, non-Arab countries such as Turkey and Iran are the largest Muslim-majority countries; in Africa, Egypt and Nigeria have the most populous Muslim communities.[170]

Most estimates indicate that the People's Republic of China has approximately 20 to 30 million Muslims (1.5% to 2% of the population).[171][172][173][174] However, data provided by the San Diego State University's International Population Center to U.S. News & World Report suggests that China has 65.3 million Muslims.[175] Islam is the second largest religion after Christianity in many European countries,[176] and is slowly catching up to that status in the Americas, with between 2,454,000, according to Pew Forum, and approximately 7 million Muslims, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), in the United States.[12][177]



Islamic art encompasses the visual arts produced from the 7th century onwards by people (not necessarily Muslim) who lived within the territory that was inhabited by Muslim populations.[178] It includes fields as varied as architecture, calligraphy, painting, and ceramics, among others.


Mazar-e sharif - Steve Evans

The Blue Mosque in Afghanistan

Perhaps the most important expression of Islamic art is architecture, particularly that of the mosque (four-iwan and hypostyle).[179] Through the edifices, the effect of varying cultures within Islamic civilization can be illustrated. The North African and Spanish Islamic architecture, for example, has Roman-Byzantine elements, as seen in the Great Mosque of Kairouan which contains marble and porphyry columns from Roman and Byzantine buildings,[180] in the Alhambra palace at Granada, or in the Great Mosque of Cordoba.


Lunar libration with phase Oct 2007 450px

The Islamic calendar is based on the lunar cycle.

The formal beginning of the Muslim era was chosen to be the Hijra in 622 CE, which was an important turning point in Muhammad's fortunes. The assignment of this year as the year 1 AH (Anno Hegirae) in the Islamic calendar was reportedly made by Caliph Umar. It is a lunar calendar, with nineteen ordinary years of 354 days and eleven leap years of 355 days in a thirty-year cycle. Islamic dates cannot be converted to CE/AD dates simply by adding 622 years: allowance must also be made for the fact that each Hijri century corresponds to only 97 years in the Christian calendar.[181]

Islamic holy days fall on fixed dates of the lunar calendar, which means that they occur in different seasons in different years in the Gregorian calendar. The most important Islamic festivals are Eid al-Fitr (Arabic: عيد الفطر) on the 1st of Shawwal, marking the end of the fasting month Ramadan, and Eid al-Adha (Arabic: عيد الأضحى) on the 10th of Dhu al-Hijjah, coinciding with the pilgrimage to Mecca.[182] Similar to the Jewish calendar, days in the Islamic calendar last from sunset to sunset.[183]

Other religions

The Alevi, Yazidi, Druze, Bábí, Bahá'í, Berghouata and Ha-Mim movements either emerged out of Islam or came to share certain beliefs with Islam. Some consider themselves separate while others still sects of Islam though controversial in certain beliefs with mainstream Muslims.

See also

Allah-green Islam



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    • L. Gardet; J. Jomier. "Islam". Encyclopaedia of Islam Online. 
  121. ^ Esposito (2004), pp.104,105
  122. ^ "Islamic Art". Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. 
  123. ^ Ikram, S. M. 1964. Muslim Civilization in India. New York: Columbia University Press
  124. ^ See:
    • Lapidus (2002), p.572
    • Watt (1973), p.18: Wahhabism should not be confused with the early Kharijite sect of Wahabiyya, which was named after Abd-Allah ibn-Wahb ar-Rasibi, who opposed Ali at Nahrawan.
  125. ^ Lapidus (2002), pp.358,378–380,624
  126. ^ Muslim Minorities in the West: Visible and Invisible By Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad, Jane I. Smith, pg 271
  127. ^ Bulliet, Richard, Pamela Crossley, Daniel Headrick, Steven Hirsch, Lyman Johnson, and David Northrup. The Earth and Its Peoples. 3. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2005. ISBN 0618427708
  128. ^ Lapidus (2002), pp.380,489–493
  129. ^ "New Turkey". Retrieved 2010-05-16. 
  130. ^ Lapidus (2002), pp.281–282,380,489–493,556,578,823,835
  131. ^ "Organization of the Islamic Conference". BBC News. 2008-09-18. Retrieved 2010-05-16. 
  132. ^ "24-hours Islamic International TV channel". Peace TV. Retrieved 2010-11-22. 
  133. ^ See:
    • Esposito (2004), pp.118,119,179
    • Lapidus (2002), pp.823–830
  134. ^ See:
  135. ^ Henderson, Mark (2009-08-22). "Professor Richard Dawkins wants to convert Islamic world to evolution". The Times (London). 
  136. ^ For example see Major Themes of the Qur'an by Fazlur Rahman Malik in which he argues against the treatment of the Qur'an as either a piecemeal or an evolutionary progression of ideas. See review by William A. Graham (1983), p.446.
  137. ^ For example see The Spirit of Islam by Syed Ameer Ali (1849–1928). It is described by David Samuel Margoliouth (1905) as "probably the best achievement in the way of an apology for Mohammed". See Margoliouth, preface Mohammed and the Rise of Islam.
  138. ^ Westerlund (2003)
  139. ^ Elizabeth Omara-Otunnu (2003-11-17). "Ramadan Awareness Event Designed To Debunk Negative Images". Advance, University of Connecticut. 
  140. ^ Bernstein, Richard (2001-11-03). "Experts on Islam Pointing Fingers At One Another". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-05-14. 
  141. ^ See:
    • Seibert (1994), pp.88–89
    • Watt (1974), p.231
  142. ^ Ernst (2004), p.11
  143. ^ Berman, Paul (June 4, 2007). "Who's Afraid of Tariq Ramadan?: The Islamist, the journalist, and the defense of liberalism.". The New Republic. 
  144. ^ a b "Sunnite". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 2010-08-26. 
  145. ^ See:
    • Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World (2003), p.666
    • J. Robson. "Hadith". Encyclopaedia of Islam Online. 
    • D. W. Brown. "Sunna". Encyclopaedia of Islam Online. 
  146. ^ From the article on Sunni Islam in Oxford Islamic Studies Online
  147. ^ See:
    • Esposito (2003), pp.275,306
    • "Shariah". Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. 
    • "Sunnite". Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. 
  148. ^ Salafi Islam Retrieved on 2010-11-09.
  149. ^ See
    • Lapidus (2002), p.46
    • "Imam". Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. 
    • "Shi'ite". Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. 
  150. ^ See:
    • Ahmed (1999), pp.44–45
    • Nasr (1994), p.466
  151. ^ See:
  152. ^ Trimingham (1998), p.1
  153. ^ "Sufism, Sufis, and Sufi Orders: Sufism's Many Paths". Retrieved 2010-05-16. 
  154. ^ See:
  155. ^ “The Fourteenth-Century's Reformer / Mujaddid”, from the “Call of Islam”, by Maulana Muhammad Ali
  156. ^ "Claims of Hadhrat Ahmad, Chapter Two". 1904-06-24. Retrieved 2010-08-06. 
  157. ^ "Reflection of all the Prophets". Retrieved 2010-08-06. 
  158. ^ "Future of Revelation, Part 7". Retrieved 2010-08-06. 
  159. ^ "The Removal of a Misunderstanding". Retrieved 2010-08-06. 
  160. ^ The Ahmadi Muslim Community. Who are the Ahmadi Muslims and what do they believe? Waqar Ahmad Ahmedi gives a brief introduction to the Ahmadi branch of Islam. Times Online. May 27, 2008.
  161. ^ "Ahmadiyya Debate". Parliament of United Kingdom. Retrieved 22 October 2010. 
  162. ^ See:
    •, Ibadi Islam: An Introduction
    • J. A. Williams (1994), p.173
    • "al-Ibāḍiyya". Encyclopaedia of Islam Online. 
  163. ^ "Valerie J. Hoffman, Ibadi Islam: An Introduction". Retrieved 2010-05-16. 
  164. ^ Miller (2009), p.11
  165. ^ Ba-Yunus, Ilyas; Kassim Kone (2006). Muslims in the United States. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 172. ISBN 0313328250, 9780313328251page=1. Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  166. ^ Whaling, Frank (1987). Religion in today's world: the religious situation of the world from 1945 to the present day. T & T Clark. p. 38. ISBN 0567094529. 
  167. ^ "Islam: An Overview in Oxford Islamic Studies Online". 2008-05-06. Retrieved 2010-05-16. 
  168. ^ Secrets of IslamU.S. News & World Report. Information provided by the International Population Center, Department of Geography, San Diego State University (2005).
  169. ^ Miller (2009), pp.15,17
  170. ^ "Number of Muslim by country". Retrieved 2007-05-30. 
  171. ^ "CIA – The World Factbook – China". Retrieved 2009-06-15. 
  172. ^ "China (includes Hong Kong, Macau, and Tibet)". Retrieved 2009-06-15. 
  173. ^ "NW China region eyes global Muslim market". China Daily. 2008-07-09. Retrieved 2009-07-14. 
  174. ^ "Muslim Media Network". Muslim Media Network. 2008-03-24. Retrieved 2009-07-14. 
  175. ^ Secrets of Islam, U.S. News & World Report. Information provided by the International Population Center, Department of Geography, San Diego State University.
  176. ^ See:
    • Esposito (2004) pp.2,43
    • "Islamic World". Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. 
    "Major Religions of the World Ranked by Number of Adherents". Retrieved 2007-01-09. 
  177. ^ The Mosque in America: A National Portrait Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). April 26, 2001. Retrieved on 2010-08-01.
  178. ^ Marilyn Jenkins-Madina, Richard Ettinghauset and Architecture 650–1250, Yale University Press, ISBN 0-300-08869-8, p.3
  179. ^ "Islam", The New Encyclopedia Britannica (2005)
  180. ^ Elizabeth Allo Isichei, ''A history of African societies to 1870'', page 175. Cambridge University Press, 1997. 1997. ISBN 9780521455992. Retrieved 2010-08-06. 
  181. ^ See:
    • Adil (2002), p.288
    • F. E. Peters (2003), p.67
    • B. van Dalen; R. S. Humphreys, Manuela Marín, et al.. "Tarikh̲". Encyclopaedia of Islam Online. 
  182. ^ Ghamidi (2001): Customs and Behavioral Laws
  183. ^ Patheos Library – Islam Sacred Time –


  1. ^ There are ten pronunciations of Islam in English, differing in whether the first or second syllable has the stress, whether the s is /z/ or /s/, and whether the a is pronounced /ɑː/ as in father, /æ/ as in cat, or (when the stress is on the i) /ə/ as in the a of sofa (Merriam Webster). The most common are /ˈɪzləm, ˈɪsləm, ɪzˈlɑːm, ɪsˈlɑːm/ (Oxford English Dictionary, Random House) and /ˈɪzlɑːm, ˈɪslɑːm/ (American Heritage Dictionary).

Books and journals

  • Accad, Martin (2003). "The Gospels in the Muslim Discourse of the Ninth to the Fourteenth Centuries: An Exegetical Inventorial Table (Part I)". Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations 14 (1). ISSN 0959-6410. 
  • Adil, Hajjah Amina; Shaykh Nazim Adil Al-Haqqani, Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani (2002). Muhammad: The Messenger of Islam. Islamic Supreme Council of America. ISBN 978-1930409118. 
  • Ahmed, Akbar (1999). Islam Today: A Short Introduction to the Muslim World (2.00 ed.). I. B. Tauris. ISBN 978-1860642579. 
  • Armstrong, Karen (2006). Muhammad: A Prophet for our Time. HarperCollins. ISBN 006059897-2. 
  • Brockopp, Jonathan E. (2003). Islamic Ethics of Life: abortion, war and euthanasia. University of South Carolina press. ISBN 1570034710. 
  • Cohen-Mor, Dalya (2001). A Matter of Fate: The Concept of Fate in the Arab World as Reflected in Modern Arabic Literature. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195133986. 
  • Curtis, Patricia A. (2005). A Guide to Food Laws and Regulations. Blackwell Publishing Professional. ISBN 978-0813819464. 
  • Eglash, Ron (1999). African Fractals: Modern Computing and Indigenous Design. Rutgers University Press. ISBN 0-8135-2614-0. 
  • Ernst, Carl (2004). Following Muhammad: Rethinking Islam in the Contemporary World. University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0-8078-5577-4. 
  • Esposito, John; John Obert Voll (1996). Islam and Democracy. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-510816-7. 
  • Esposito, John (1998). Islam: The Straight Path (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195112344. 
  • Esposito, John; Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad (2000a). Muslims on the Americanization Path?. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-513526-1. 
  • Esposito, John (2000b). Oxford History of Islam. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195107999. 
  • Esposito, John (2002a). Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195168860. 
  • Esposito, John (2002b). What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-515713-3. 
  • Esposito, John (2003). The Oxford Dictionary of Islam. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-512558-4. 
  • Esposito, John (2004). Islam: The Straight Path (3rd Rev Upd ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195182668. 
  • Farah, Caesar (1994). Islam: Beliefs and Observances (5th ed.). Barron's Educational Series. ISBN 978-0812018530. 
  • Farah, Caesar (2003). Islam: Beliefs and Observances (7th ed.). Barron's Educational Series. ISBN 978-0764-12226-2. 
  • Firestone, Reuven (1999). Jihad: The Origin of Holy War in Islam. Oxford University Press. ISBN 019-5125800. 
  • Friedmann, Yohanan (2003). Tolerance and Coercion in Islam: Interfaith Relations in the Muslim Tradition. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521026994. 
  • Ghamidi, Javed (2001). Mizan. Dar al-Ishraq. OCLC 52901690. 
  • Goldschmidt, Jr., Arthur; Lawrence Davidson (2005). A Concise History of the Middle East (8th ed.). Westview Press. ISBN 978-0813342757. 
  • Griffith, Ruth Marie; Barbara Dianne Savage (2006). Women and Religion in the African Diaspora: Knowledge, Power, and Performance. Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0801883709. 
  • Hawting, G. R. (2000). The First Dynasty of Islam: The Umayyad Caliphate AD 661–750. Routledge. ISBN 0415240735. 
  • Hedayetullah, Muhammad (2006). Dynamics of Islam: An Exposition. Trafford Publishing. ISBN 978-1553698425. 
  • Holt, P. M.; Bernard Lewis (1977a). Cambridge History of Islam, Vol. 1. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521291364. 
  • Holt, P. M.; Ann K. S. Lambton, Bernard Lewis (1977b). Cambridge History of Islam, Vol. 2. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521291372. 
  • Hourani, Albert; Ruthven, Malise (2003). A History of the Arab Peoples. Belknap Press; Revised edition. ISBN 978-0674010178. 
  • Humphreys, Stephen (2005). Between Memory and Desire. University of California Press. ISBN 052-0246918. 
  • Kobeisy, Ahmed Nezar (2004). Counseling American Muslims: Understanding the Faith and Helping the People. Praeger Publishers. ISBN 978-0313324727. 
  • Koprulu, Mehmed Fuad; Leiser, Gary (1992). The Origins of the Ottoman Empire. SUNY Press. ISBN 0791408191. 
  • Kramer, Martin (1987). Shi'Ism, Resistance, and Revolution. Westview Press. ISBN 978-0813304533. 
  • Kugle, Scott Alan (2006). Rebel Between Spirit And Law: Ahmad Zarruq, Sainthood, And Authority in Islam. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0253347114. 
  • Lapidus, Ira (2002). A History of Islamic Societies (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521779333. 
  • Lewis, Bernard (1984). The Jews of Islam. Routledge & Kegan Paul. ISBN 0-7102-0462-0. 
  • Lewis, Bernard (1993). The Arabs in History. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-1928-5258-2. 
  • Lewis, Bernard (1997). The Middle East. Scribner. ISBN 978-0684832807. 
  • Lewis, Bernard (2001). Islam in History: Ideas, People, and Events in the Middle East (2nd ed.). Open Court. ISBN 978-0812695182. 
  • Lewis, Bernard (2003). What Went Wrong?: The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East (Reprint ed.). Harper Perennial. ISBN 978-0060516055. 
  • Lewis, Bernard (2004). The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror. Random House, Inc., New York. ISBN 978-0812967852. 
  • Madelung, Wilferd (1996). The Succession to Muhammad: A Study of the Early Caliphate. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521646960. 
  • Malik, Jamal; John R Hinnells, Inc NetLibrary (2006). Sufism in the West. Routledge. ISBN 0415274087. 
  • Menski, Werner F. (2006). Comparative Law in a Global Context: The Legal Systems of Asia and Africa. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521858593. 
  • Mohammad, Noor (1985). "The Doctrine of Jihad: An Introduction". Journal of Law and Religion 3 (2). DOI:10.2307/1051182. 
  • Momen, Moojan (1987). An Introduction to Shi`i Islam: The History and Doctrines of Twelver Shi`ism. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0300035315. 
  • Nasr, Seyed Muhammad (1994). Our Religions: The Seven World Religions Introduced by Preeminent Scholars from Each Tradition (Chapter 7). HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06067-700-7. 
  • Novak, David (February 1999). "The Mind of Maimonides". First Things. 
  • Parrinder, Geoffrey (1971). World Religions: From Ancient History to the Present. Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited. ISBN 0-87196-129-6. 
  • Patton, Walter M. (April 1900). "The Doctrine of Freedom in the Korân". The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures 16 (3). DOI:10.1086/369367. ISBN 9004103147. 
  • Peters, F. E. (1991). "The Quest for Historical Muhammad". International Journal of Middle East Studies. 
  • Peters, F. E. (2003). Islam: A Guide for Jews and Christians. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-11553-2. 
  • Peters, Rudolph (1977). Jihad in Medieval and Modern Islam. Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN 90-04-04854-5. 
  • Rippin, Andrew (2001). Muslims: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices (2nd ed.). Routledge. ISBN 978-0415217811. 
  • Ruthven, Malise (2005). Fundamentalism: The Search for Meaning. Oxford University Press. ISBN 01-92-80606-8. 
  • Sahas, Daniel J. (1997). John of Damascus on Islam: The Heresy of the Ishmaelites. Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN 978-9004034952. 
  • Sachedina, Abdulaziz (1998). The Just Ruler in Shi'ite Islam: The Comprehensive Authority of the Jurist in Imamite Jurisprudence. Oxford University Press US. ISBN 0195119150. 
  • Seibert, Robert F. (1994). "Review: Islam and the West: The Making of an Image (Norman Daniel)". Review of Religious Research 36 (1). DOI:10.2307/3511655. 
  • Sells, Michael Anthony; Emran Qureshi (2003). The New Crusades: Constructing the Muslim Enemy. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0231126670. 
  • Smith, Jane I. (2006). The Islamic Understanding of Death and Resurrection. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195156492. 
  • Stillman, Norman (1979). The Jews of Arab Lands: A History and Source Book. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America. ISBN 1-82760-198-1. 
  • Tabatabae, Sayyid Mohammad Hosayn; Seyyed Hossein Nasr (translator) (1979). Shi'ite Islam. Suny press. ISBN 0-87395-272-3. 
  • Tabatabae, Sayyid Mohammad Hosayn; R. Campbell (translator) (2002). Islamic teachings: An Overview and a Glance at the Life of the Holy Prophet of Islam. Green Gold. ISBN 0-922817-00-6. 
  • Teece, Geoff (2003). Religion in Focus: Islam. Franklin Watts Ltd. ISBN 978-0749647964. 
  • Tolan, John V. (2002). Saracens: Islam in the Medieval European Imagination. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0231123329. 
  • Trimingham, John Spencer (1998). The Sufi Orders in Islam. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195120582. 
  • Tritton, Arthur S. (1970) [1930]. The Caliphs and their Non-Muslim Subjects: A Critical Study of the Covenant of Umar. London: Frank Cass Publisher. ISBN 0-7146-1996-5. 
  • Turner, Colin (2006). Islam: the Basics. Routledge (UK). ISBN 041534106X. ISBN 041534106X. 
  • Turner, Bryan S. (1998). Weber and Islam. Routledge (UK). ISBN 0415174589. 
  • Waines, David (2003). An Introduction to Islam. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521539064. 
  • Watt, W. Montgomery (1973). The Formative Period of Islamic Thought. University Press Edinburgh. ISBN 0-85-224245-X. 
  • Watt, W. Montgomery (1974). Muhammad: Prophet and Statesman (New ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-881078-4. 
  • Weiss, Bernard G. (2002). Studies in Islamic Legal Theory. Boston: Brill Academic publishers. ISBN 9004120661. 
  • Williams, John Alden (1994). The Word of Islam. University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-79076-7. 
  • Williams, Mary E. (2000). The Middle East. Greenhaven Pr. ISBN 0737701331. 


  • William H. McNeill, Jerry H. Bentley, David Christian, ed (2005). Berkshire Encyclopedia of World History. Berkshire Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0974309101. 
  • Gabriel Oussani, ed (1910). Catholic Encyclopedia. 
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  • Erwin Fahlbusch, William Geoffrey Bromiley, ed (2001). Encyclopedia of Christianity (1st ed.). Eerdmans Publishing Company, and Brill. ISBN 0-8028-2414-5. 
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  • George Thomas Kurian, Graham T. T. Molitor, ed (1995). Encyclopedia of the Future. MacMillan Reference Books. ISBN 978-0028972053. 
  • P.J. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs, ed. Encyclopaedia of Islam Online. Brill Academic Publishers. ISSN 1573-3912. 
  • Richard C. Martin, Said Amir Arjomand, Marcia Hermansen, Abdulkader Tayob, Rochelle Davis, John Obert Voll, ed (2003). Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World. MacMillan Reference Books. ISBN 978-0028656038. 
  • Jane Dammen McAuliffe, ed. Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an Online. Brill Academic Publishers. 
  • Lindsay Jones, ed (2005). Encyclopedia of Religion (2nd ed.). MacMillan Reference Books. ISBN 978-0028657332. 
  • Salamone Frank, ed (2004). Encyclopedia of Religious Rites, Rituals, and Festivals (1st ed.). Routledge. ISBN 9780415941808. 
  • Peter N. Stearns, ed (2000). The Encyclopedia of World History Online (6th ed.). Bartleby. 
  • Josef W. Meri, ed (2005). Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. ISBN 041-5966906. 
  • Wendy Doniger, ed (1999). Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions. Merriam-Webster. ISBN 0877790442. 
  • Glasse Cyril, ed (2003). New Encyclopedia of Islam: A Revised Edition of the Concise Encyclopedia of Islam. AltaMira Press. ISSN 978-0759101906. 
  • Edward Craig, ed (1998). Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (1st ed.). Routledge. ISBN 978-0415073103. 

Further reading

Minorities in Islam:

  • A. Khanbaghi. The Fire, the Star and the Cross: Minority Religions in Medieval and Early Modern Iran (IB Tauris, 2006).

External links

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