Islam (Arabic: الإسلام; al-'islām) is a monotheistic religion originating with the teachings of Muhammad, a 7th century Arab religious and political figure. It is the second-largest religion in the world today, with an estimated 1.4 billion adherents, spread across the globe, known as Muslims. Linguistically, Islam means "submission", referring to the total surrender of one's self to God (Arabic: الله, Allāh), and a Muslim is "one who submits (to God)".
Muslims believe that God revealed the Qur'an to Muhammad and that Muhammad is God's final prophet. The Qur'an and the traditions of Muhammad in the Sunnah are regarded as the fundamental sources of Islam. Muslims do not regard Muhammad as the founder of a new religion, but as the restorer of the original monotheistic faith of Adam, Abraham, Jesus, Moses, and other prophets part of whose messages had become distorted either in interpretation, textually, or both. Like Judaism, and Christianity, Islam is an Abrahamic religion.Today, Muslims may be found throughout the world, particularly in the Middle East and North, West and East Africa. Some of the most populous majority-Muslim countries are in South and Southeast Asia. Other concentrations are found in Central Asia, China, and Russia. Only about 20 percent of Muslims originate from Arab countries. Islam is the second largest religion after Christianity in many European countries, such as France, which has the largest Muslim population in Western Europe, and the United Kingdom.
- Teece (2005), p.10
- "Islam", Encyclopaedia of Islam Online
- Ghamidi (2001): Sources of Islam
- Esposito (1996), p.41
- "If…they [Christians] mean that the Qur'an confirms the textual veracity of the scriptural books which they now possess—that is, the Torah and the Gospels—this is something which some Muslims will grant them and which many Muslims will dispute. However, most Muslims will grant them most of that." Ibn Taymiyya cited in Accad (2003)
- Esposito (1998), p12 - Esposito (2002b), pp.4-5 - Peters (2003), p.9
- "Muhammad", Encyclopaedia of Islam Online
- Gregorian (2003), p.ix
- Esposito (2002b), p.21
- Muslims in Europe: Country guide http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4385768.stm BBC News 2005-12-23
- Religion In Britain http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=293 Office for National Statistics 2003-02-13