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Template:Infobox religious group

Muslims (Template:Language with name and transliteration‎, Template:Translation)[1] are people who adhere to Islam, an Abrahamic religion. They consider the Quran, the central religious text of Islam, to be the verbatim word of the God of Abraham (or Allah) as it was revealed to Muhammad, the main Islamic prophet.[2] The majority of Muslims also follow the teachings and practices of Muhammad (sunnah) as recorded in traditional accounts (hadith).[3]

Numbering approximately 2 billion as of 2020, Muslims comprise more than 25% of the world population.[4] By the percentage of the total population in a region considering themselves Muslim: 91% in the Middle East and in North Africa (MENA),[5] 81% in Central Asia,[6][7] 65% in the Caucasus,[8][9][10][11][12][13] 40% in Southeast Asia,[14][15] 31% in South Asia,[16][17] 30% in Sub-Saharan Africa,[18] 25% in Asia and in Oceania collectively,[19] around 6% in Europe,[20] and 1% in the Americas.[21][22][23][24]

The two largest Islamic sects are Sunni Islam (75–90%)[25] and Shia Islam (10–20%).[26][27][28] About 12% of Muslims live in Indonesia, the largest Muslim-majority country;[29][30] 31% of Muslims live in South Asia,[31] the largest population of Muslims in the world by numbers;[32] 20% in the Middle East and North Africa,[33] where it is the dominant religion;[34] and 15% in Sub-Saharan Africa.[35] Muslims are the overwhelming majority in Central Asia,[36] the majority in the Caucasus,[8][9] and widespread in Southeast Asia.[15] Sizeable Muslim communities are also found in the Americas, China, and throughout Europe.[37][38][39] Islam is the fastest-growing major religion in the world.[40][41][42]


The word muslim (Template:Language with name and transliteration‎, Template:IPA-ar; English /ˈmʌzl[unsupported input]m/, /ˈmʊzl[unsupported input]m/, /ˈmʊsl[unsupported input]m/ 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 (Template:Language with name and transliteration‎) (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". In the 20th century the preferred spelling in English was "Moslem", but this has now fallen into disuse.[47]Template:Better source needed The word Mosalman (Template:Lang-fa, alternatively Mussalman) is a common equivalent for Muslim used in Central and South Asia. In English it was sometimes spelled Mussulman and has become archaic in usage. Until at least the mid-1960s, many English-language writers used the term Mohammedans or Mahometans.[48] 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.[49] Other obsolete terms include Muslimite[50] and Muslimist.[51] In Medieval Europe, Muslims were commonly called Saracens.

The Muslim philosopher Ibn Arabi said:



Template:Islam 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.[52] It is a set statement normally recited in Arabic: ašhadu ʾal-lā ʾilāha ʾillā-llāhu wa ʾašhadu ʾanna muħammadan rasūlu-llāh (أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وأشهد أن محمداً رسول الله) "I testify that there is no god [worthy of worship] except Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah."[53]

In Sunni Islam, the shahada has two parts: la ilaha illa'llah (there is no god but Allah), and Muhammadun rasul Allah (Muhammad is the messenger of God),[54] which are sometimes referred to as the first shahada and the second shahada.[55] The first statement of the shahada is also known as the tahlīl.[56]

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 (Template:Transliteration), which translates to "Ali is the wali of God".[57]

In Quranist Islam, the shahada is the testimony that there is no god but Allah (la ilaha illa'llah ).[citation needed]

The religious practices of Muslims are enumerated in the Five Pillars of Islam: the declaration of faith (shahadah), daily prayers (salah), almsgiving (zakat), fasting during the month of Ramadan (sawm), and the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj) at least once in a lifetime.[58][59]

In Islamic theology

The Qur'an describes many prophets and messengers within Judaism and Christianity, and their respective followers, as Muslim. Some of those that were mentioned are: 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 Islamic belief, before the Qur'an, God had given the Tawrat (Torah) to Moses, the Zabur (Psalms) to David and the Injil (Gospel) to Jesus, who are all considered important Muslim prophets.[60]


File:Muslim population map 2009.png
A map of Muslim populations by absolute number

The most populous Muslim-majority country is Indonesia, home to 12.7% of the world's Muslims,[61] followed by Pakistan (11.0%), Bangladesh (9.2%), Nigeria (5.3%) and Egypt (4.9%).[29] About 20% of the world's Muslims live in the Middle East and North Africa.[61][62]

Sizable minorities are also found in India, China, 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.[63]

Over 75–90% of Muslims are Sunni.[64][65] The second and third largest sects, Shia and Ahmadiyya, make up 10–20%,[26][27][28] and 1%[66] respectively.

With about 1.8 billion followers (2019), almost a quarter of earth's population,[67] Islam is the second-largest and the fastest-growing religion in the world,[68] primarily due to the young age and high fertility rate of Muslims,[69] with Muslims having a rate of (3.1) compared to the world average of (2.5). According to the same study, religious switching has no impact on Muslim population, since the number of people who embrace Islam and those who leave Islam are roughly equal.[69]

A Pew Center study in 2016 found that Muslims have the highest number of adherents under the age of 15 (34% of the total Muslim population) of any major religion, while only 7% are aged 60+ (the smallest percentage of any major religion). According to the same study, Muslims have the highest fertility rates (3.1) of any major religious group.[70] 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.[70] About 36% of all Muslims have no formal schooling,[70] and Muslims have the lowest average levels of higher education of any major religious group, with only 8% having graduate and post-graduate degrees.[70]


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

See also


  1. "Muslim". 
  2. Esposito, John L., ed (2009). "Muḥammad". 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." 
  3. 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. 
  4. "Muslim Population by Country 2022". 
  5. "Region: Middle East-North Africa". Pew Research Center. 27 January 2011. 
  6. "The Global Religious Landscape". December 2012. 
  7. Rowland, Richard H.. "CENTRAL ASIA ii. Demography" (in en). Encyclopaedia Iranica. 2. pp. 161–164. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Middle East :: Azerbaijan — The World Factbook - Central Intelligence Agency". 
  9. 9.0 9.1 "The Many Languages of Islam in the Caucasus" (in en). 
  10. "Statistical Service of Armenia". Armstat. 
  11. "Armenia Population". 
  12. humans.txt. "Azərbaycan əhalisinin sayı 10 milyon nəfərə çatıb" (in en). 
  13. "Middle East :: Georgia — The World Factbook - Central Intelligence Agency". 
  14. "Oxford Islamic Studies Online" (in en). 
  15. 15.0 15.1 Yusuf, Imtiyaz. "The Middle East and Muslim Southeast Asia: Implications of the Arab Spring". Oxford Islamic Studies. 
  16. "Region: Asia-Pacific". 27 January 2011. 
  17. Burke, Daniel Burke, ed (29 July 2016). "The moment American Muslims were waiting for". 
  18. "Region: Sub-Saharan Africa". Pew Research Center. 27 January 2011. 
  19. "Region: Asia-Pacific". Pew Research Center. 27 January 2011. 
  20. "Region: Europe". Pew Research Center. 27 January 2011. 
  21. "Region: Americas". Pew Research Center. 27 January 2011. 
  22. Kington, Tom (31 March 2008). "Number of Muslims ahead of Catholics, says Vatican". 
  23. "Muslim Population". 
  24. "Field Listing Religions". 
  25. * "Mapping the Global Muslim Population: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World's Muslim Population". 7 October 2009. "Of the total Muslim population, 10–13% are Shia Muslims and 87–90% are Sunni Muslims." 
  26. 26.0 26.1 "Shiʿi, Islam". "In the early 21st century some 10–13 percent of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims were Shiʿi." 
  27. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Religions
  28. 28.0 28.1 Template:Cite report
  29. 29.0 29.1 "Number of Muslim by country". 27 January 2011. 
  30. "10 Countries With the Largest Muslim Populations, 2010 and 2050date=2015-04-02". 
  31. Pechilis, Karen; Raj, Selva J. (2013) (in en). [[[:Template:Google books]] South Asian Religions: Tradition and Today]. Routledge. p. 193. ISBN 9780415448512. Template:Google books. 
  32. Diplomat, Akhilesh Pillalamarri, The. "How South Asia Will Save Global Islam" (in en-US). The Diplomat. 
  33. "Middle East-North Africa Overview" (in en-US). Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project. 2009-10-07. 
  34. "Region: Middle East-North Africa". Pew Research Center. 27 January 2011. 
  35. "Region: Sub-Saharan Africa". Pew Research Center. 27 January 2011. 
  36. Rowland, Richard H.. "CENTRAL ASIA ii. Demography" (in en). Encyclopaedia Iranica. 2. pp. 161–164. 
  37. "Book review: Russia's Muslim Heartlands reveals diverse population" (in en), The National, 21 April 2018,, retrieved 13 January 2019 
  38. "Muslim Population by Country". Pew Research Center. 
  39. "Islam in Russia". 
  40. "Main Factors Driving Population Growth" (in en-US). Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project. 2015-04-02. 
  41. Burke, Daniel (4 April 2015). "The world's fastest-growing religion is ...". CNN. 
  42. Template:Cite magazine
  43. "Muslim" February 2016/ Archived February 20, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.. Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary: /ˈmʌzl[unsupported input]m/, /ˈmʊzl[unsupported input]m/, /ˈmʊsl[unsupported input]m/; moslem May 2011/ Archived May 15, 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 August 2016/ Archived August 17, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.. Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. 2016
  47. "Moslem or Muslim". 
  48. See for instance the second edition of A Dictionary of Modern English Usage by H. W. Fowler, revised by Ernest Gowers (Oxford, 1965).
  49. 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." 
  50. Template:Cite OED
  51. Abbas, Tahir (2005). Muslim Britain: Communities Under Pressure. pp. 50. 
  52. From the article on the Pillars of Islam in Oxford Islamic Studies Online April 2017/ Archived April 26, 2017, at the Wayback Machine.
  53. 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. 
  54. Lindsay, p. 140–141
  55. Cornell, p. 9
  56. Michael Anthony Sells (1999). Approaching the Qur'an: The Early Revelations. White Cloud Press. p. 151. ISBN 9781883991265. Retrieved 24 April 2017. 
  57. The Later Mughals by William Irvine p. 130
  58. Hooker, Richard (14 July 1999). "arkan ad-din the five pillars of religion". United States: Washington State University. 
  59. "Religions". United States: Central Intelligence Agency. 2010. 
  60. "The Books of Islam". 
  61. 61.0 61.1 "Mapping the Global Muslim Population: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World's Muslim Population". Pew Research Center. October 2009. "Of the total Muslim population, 30%-40% are Shia Muslims and 60-70% are Sunni Muslims." 
  62. 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. 
  63. "The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010–2050". Pew Research Center. 1 January 2020. 
  64. See:
  65. From Sunni Islam: See:
  66. See:
  67. "The Changing Global Religious Landscape". 5 April 2017. 
  68. Burke, Daniel. "The fastest growing religion in the world is ...". CNN. 
  69. 69.0 69.1 Template:Cite report
  70. 70.0 70.1 70.2 70.3 "Religion and Education Around the World". Pew Research Center. 13 December 2016. 

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