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Islam (/ˈɪslɑːm/; Arabic: ۘالِإسْلَام, al-ʾIslām [ʔɪsˈlæːm] ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centered on the Quran and the teachings of Muhammad, the religion's founder. Adherents of Islam, called Muslims, number approximately 1.9 billion globally and are the world's second-largest religious population after Christians.

Muslims believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed many times through earlier prophets, including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus. Muslims consider the Quran to be the verbatim word of God and the unaltered final revelation. Alongside the Quran, Muslims also believe in previous revelations, such as the Tawrat (the Torah), the Zabur (Psalms), and the Injeel (Gospel). They also consider Muhammad as the main and final Islamic prophet, through whom the religion was completed. The teachings and normative examples of Muhammad, called the sunnah, documented in accounts called the hadith, provide a constitutional model for Muslims. Islam teaches that God (Allah) is one and incomparable. It states that there will be a "Final Judgment" wherein the righteous will be rewarded in paradise (jannah) and the unrighteous will be punished in hell (jahannam). The Five Pillars—considered obligatory acts of worship—comprise the Islamic oath and creed (shahada); daily prayers (salah); almsgiving (zakat); fasting (sawm) in the month of Ramadan; and a pilgrimage (hajj) to Mecca. Islamic law (sharia) touches on virtually every aspect of life, from banking and finance and welfare to men's and women's roles and the environment. The two main religious festivals are Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. The three holiest sites in Islam are Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Prophet's Mosque in Medina, and Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

The religion of Islam originated in Mecca about 610 CE. Muslims believe this is when Muhammad began receiving revelation. By the time of his death, most of the Arabian Peninsula had converted to Islam. Muslim rule expanded outside Arabia under the Rashidun Caliphate and the subsequent Umayyad Caliphate ruled from the Iberian Peninsula to the Indus Valley. In the Islamic Golden Age, mostly during the reign of the Abbasid Caliphate, much of the Muslim world experienced a scientific, economic and cultural flourishing. The expansion of the Muslim world involved various states and caliphates as well as extensive trade and religious conversion as a result of Islamic missionary activities (dawah), and through conquests. (Full article...)

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Islam in the news

29 November 2023 – 2023 Israel–Hamas war
Israel Defense Forces, Shin Bet, and Israel Border Police announce in a joint statement that they killed Muhammad Zubeidi, the commander of the Jenin branch of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. (The Jerusalem Post)
28 November 2023 – Hijab and burka controversies in Europe
The Court of Justice of the European Union rules that employees can be banned from wearing "signs of religious belief", such as Islamic hijabs, in all European Union member states. Critics say the ruling will disproportionately affect Muslim women. (The Independent via Yahoo! News)
26 November 2023 – Jihadist insurgency in Burkina Faso
Jama'at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin militants launch a series of attacks in Djibo, Burkina Faso, killing at least 40 people and injuring 42 others, according to the UN Human Rights Office. (France 24)
12 November 2023 – 2023 attacks on U.S. bases in Iraq and Syria
The United States launches airstrikes on facilities associated with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in eastern Syria in response to rocket attacks on its military bases. (CNN) (Reuters)
11 November 2023 – International reactions to the 2023 Israel–Hamas war
The Arab-Islamic emergency summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, releases a statement calling for an end to the siege of Gaza, demanding that aid be allowed to enter Gaza, and calling for a cessation of arms exports to Israel. The statement also says that Israel's war should not be described as "self-defence" and condemned Israeli aggression in Gaza and the West Bank. (Al Jazeera)
8 November 2023 – 2023 attacks on U.S. bases in Iraq and Syria
Two U.S. F-15s strike an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps weapons storage facility in Deir ez-Zor Governorate, Syria, according to the Department of Defense. (The Atlas News)

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Muhammad Iqbal
Muhammad Iqbal was an Indian Muslim poet, philosopher and politician, whose poetry in Persian and Urdu is regarded as among the greatest in modern times. Also famous for his work on religious and political philosophy in Islam, he is credited with first proposing the idea of an independent state for Indian Muslims, which would inspire the creation of Pakistan. He is best known for his poetic works, which include the Tarana-e-Hind, Asrar-e-Khudi, Rumuz-i-Bekhudi, and the Bang-i-Dara. He is officially recognised as the "national poet" in Pakistan. The anniversary of his birth on November 9 is a holiday in Pakistan. Iqbal was a strong proponent of the political and spiritual revival of Islamic civilisation across the world, but specifically in India; a series of famous lectures he delivered to this effect were published as The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam. One of the most prominent leaders of the All India Muslim League, Iqbal would encourage the creation of a "state in northwestern India for Indian Muslims" in his 1930 presidential address.

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Abdurrahman Wahid
Those who say that I am not Islamic enough should re-read their Koran. Islam is about inclusion, tolerance, community.
Abdurrahman Wahid, October 1999


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