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World History I - World Religions: Islam

From the World Book Online

Islam is the name given to the religion preached by the Prophet Muhammad in the A.D. 600's. Islam is an Arabic word that means surrender or submission. God is called Allah, which means The God. A person who submits to Allah and follows the teachings of Islam is called a Muslim. This article discusses the beliefs and practices of Islam. For information about the history of Muslim people, including the history of their religion, see Muslims.

Muhammad was born about A.D. 570 in the Arabian city of Mecca. Muslims believe that in about 610, he began to receive revelations from Allah that were transmitted by the angel Gabriel. These revelations took place in the cities of Mecca and Medina over about a 22-year period. They were assembled in a book called the Qur'ān, sometimes spelled  Koran. The Qur'ān is the holy book of Muslims, who believe it contains God's actual words. The Qur'ān and the Sunnah, the example of the words and practices of Muhammad, are the primary sources of Islamic law.

Islam is the world's second largest religion after Christianity. About 1 3/4 billion people follow Islam. Today, Muslims live in every country in the world. Although Islam began in Arabia, about 45 perfect of the world's Muslims live in South and Southeast Asia. The countries with the largest Muslim populations are Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, and Pakistan. About one-fifth of all Muslims live in the Middle East. They make up over half of the population in the European country of Albania and about half the population in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Muslims rank as the second largest religious group in Belgium, France, and Germany. Several million Muslims live in the United States.

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Source:
Takim, Liyakat. "Islam." World Book Student. World Book, 2016. Web. 18 Oct. 2016.

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