RST 215: Islam Lecture 1 R. Umashankar An Introduction to Islam: Some Basics This lecture serves as an introduction to the material we will cover in this course. It is in two parts. The first part (slides 2-5) will focus on facts and figures concerning Muslims and Islam in the contemporary world. The second part of the lecture (slides 6 onwards) will introduce you to some very important aspects of Islam, its origins, sacred texts, etc. Slide 2. Islam and Muslims in the World Today In this section, we will take a look at Islam as a contemporary world religion, with brief discussions of population distribution, and global diversity. Slide 3. Demographics The total number of people who identify as Muslim in the world today is approximately 1.6 billion. In other words, 23% of the world’s populat ion is Muslim. In terms of the number of people, this makes Islam the world’s second -largest religion. Looking at the pie-chart on the slide, we can see that Christianity is the world’s largest religion, Islam comes in second, followed by Hinduism. Slide 4. Where do most Muslims in the world live? quite a big difference between the number of Muslims in Indonesia and those in Egypt. Slide 5. Global distribution of Muslim population Here’s another interesting graphic. It shows us how the world’s Muslim population is distributed in terms of broad geo-political regions. As was clear from the previous slide, we can see here that the majority of the world’s Muslim population lives in the Asia Pacific region— that is, in Southeast Asia (Indonesia) and South Asia (India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh). The Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa
RST 215: Islam Lecture 1 R. Umashankar are also regions of the world with large Muslim populations. But it may surprise you to know that Europe and North America, too, have substantial Muslim populations.
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