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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).[1] "Muslim" is an Arabic word meaning "submitter" (to God).[2]

The beliefs of Muslims include: that God (Template:Lang-ar [[Allāh|Template:Transl]]) 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;[3] that these previous messages and revelations have been partially changed or corrupted over time (tahrif)[4] and that the Qur'an is the final unaltered revelation from God (Final Testament).[5]


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.[6][7]

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.[8] It is a set statement normally recited in Arabic: lā ʾilāha ʾillā-llāhu muḥammadun rasūlu-llāh (Template:Lang) "There is no god but Allah, (and) Muhammad is the messenger of God."[9]

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),[10] which are sometimes referred to as the first shahada and the second shahada.[11] The first statement of the shahada is also known as the tahlīl.[12]

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: Template:Lang (Template:Transl), which translates to "Ali is the wali of God".[13]


Template:See also The word muslim (Template:Lang-ar, Template:IPA-ar; Template:IPAc-en, Template:IPAc-en, Template:IPAc-en or moslem Template:IPAc-en, Template:IPAc-en[14]) 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".[15][16] A female adherent is a muslima (Template:Lang-ar) (also transliterated as "Muslimah"[17] ). The plural form in Arabic is muslimūn (Template:Lang) or muslimīn (Template:Lang), and its feminine equivalent is muslimāt (Template:Lang).

The ordinary word in English is "Muslim". The word Mosalman (Template:Lang-fa, 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.[18] 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.[19] Other obsolete terms include Muslimite[20] and Muslimist.[21]

Musulmán/Mosalmán (Template:Lang-fa) is a synonym for Muslim and is modified from Arabic. It is the origin of the Spanish word Template:Lang, the (dated) German Template:Lang, the French word musulman, the Polish words Template:Lang and Template:Lang, the Portuguese word Template:Lang, the Italian word Template:Lang or Template:Lang, the Romanian word musulman and the Greek word Template:Lang (all used for a Muslim).[22] 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.


The Muslim philosopher Ibn Arabi said:


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.


File:Islam percent population in each nation World Map Muslim data by Pew Research.svg

World Muslim population by percentage (Template:As of from Pew Research Center)

File:Muslim population map 2009.png

A map of Muslim populations by absolute number, (Pew Research Center, 2009)

Main article: Islam#Demographics

Template:See also

The most populous Muslim-majority country is Indonesia, home to 12.7% of the world's Muslims,[23] followed by Pakistan (11.0%), Bangladesh (9.2%), and Egypt (4.9%).[24] About 20% of the world's Muslims live in the Middle East and North Africa.[23][25]

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.[26] Converts and immigrant communities are found in almost every part of the world.

Over 75–90% of Muslims are Sunni.[27][28] The second and third largest sects, Shia and Ahmadiyya, make up 10–20%,[29][30] and 1%[31] respectively.

With about 1.9 billion followers (2019), almost a quarter of earth's population,[32] Islam is the second-largest and the fastest-growing religion in the world.[33] due primarily to the young age and high fertility rate of Muslims,[34] 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.[34]

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.[35] 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.[35] About 36% of all Muslims have no formal schooling,[35] and Muslims have the lowest average levels of higher education of any major religious group, with only 8% having graduate and post-graduate degrees.[35]


Main article: Islamic 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[]

  • Cultural Muslim
  • Islamic schools and branches
  • Muhammadan
  • Lists of Muslims
  • Muslim holidays
  • Muslim world
  • Mu'min


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  8. From the article on the Pillars of Islam in Oxford Islamic Studies Online Template:Webarchive
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  10. Lindsay, p. 140–141
  11. Cornell, p. 9
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  13. The Later Mughals by William Irvine p. 130
  14. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named muslim pron
  15. Burns & Ralph, World Civilizations, 5th ed., p. 371.
  16. 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, Template:ISBN.
  17. Muslimah Template:Webarchive. Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. 2016
  18. See for instance the second edition of A Dictionary of Modern English Usage by H. W. Fowler, revised by Ernest Gowers (Oxford, 1965).
  19. Template:Cite book
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  22. Musalman Template:Webarchive – Internet Encyclopedia of Religion
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