Islam - Halverson

Islam - Halverson - Islam A Religion Profile from...

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Islam A Religion Profile from International Students, Inc. 1 Islam: An Overview Number of Adherents The adherents of Islam number more than 1.2 billion, or between 19 and 22 percent of the world’s population. Islam is the second largest religion in the world and is growing at about 2.9 percent per year, faster than the total world population growth. Islam Among the Nations Muslims (followers of Islam) are spread primarily over the areas of North Africa, the Middle East, south-central Asia, and Indonesia. No more than 20 percent of Muslims live in the Arabic-speak- ing world. The four nations with the largest number of Muslims are all outside the Middle East: Indonesia—182,570,000, 88 percent of population Pakistan—134,480,000, 97 percent Bangladesh—114,080,000, 85 percent India—over 100 million, 12 percent Approximately one-fifth of the more than 500,000 interna- tional students studying in the U.S. come from Islamic countries. Most of these countries have a minimal number of Christians in their populations. Moreover, their governments have either closed the countries’ borders to missionaries or have made evangelism illegal, or both. The Founding of Islam In A . D . 570, Muhammad was born into the Arabian Quraysh tribe, an influential tribe because it controlled the city of Mecca. Mecca was important economically because it served as a convenient resting place for trading caravans. It was also important religiously because the Ka’bah was located there. The Ka’bah was a cubical structure that, at the time of Muhammad, contained 360 deities. Each Arabian tribe had hand-picked its own deity and came to Mecca each year to pay homage to its god. It was the custom of those who were spiritually minded to retreat to a place of solitude once a year. Muhammad observed this practice for several years in a cave in Mount Hira. It the year 610, at age 40, Muhammad reportedly received his first revelation from the angel Gabriel, the beginning of a series of revelations that were eventually compiled into Islam’s sacred scripture, the Qur’an, which means “recitations.” Muhammad is said to have doubted the origin of these new revelations at first. He thought perhaps he had been possessed by jinn , or demons. His wife, Khadijah, however, reassured him and encouraged him to teach that which had been revealed to him. Muhammad’s religion started slowly, but as he began to preach more publicly, the leaders of his own tribe pressured him to keep quiet about his message of strict monotheism. They viewed it as a threat to their polytheistic religion—and their livelihood, since they benefited economically from pil- grimages to the Ka’bah . Muhammad, however, refused to stop. As a result, persecution increased against the followers of this new religion until around 100 Muslim families were forced to flee to a city named Yathrib (now called Medina), about 225 miles north of Mecca. Muhammad followed them shortly thereafter, fleeing to Mecca in 622. Muslims now look
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This note was uploaded on 07/12/2011 for the course PHIL 104 B taught by Professor Aidoo during the Spring '11 term at Liberty.

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Islam - Halverson - Islam A Religion Profile from...

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