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Introduction

Islam (/ˈɪslɑːm/) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religious group teaching that there is only one God (Allah) and that Muhammad is the messenger of God. It is the world's second-largest religion and with over 1.8 billion followers (or 24.1% of the world's population), most commonly known as Muslims. Muslims make up a majority of the population in 50 countries. Islam teaches that God is merciful, all-powerful, unique and has guided mankind through prophets, revealed scriptures and natural signs. The primary scriptures of Islam are the Quran, viewed by Muslims as the verbatim word of God, and the teachings and normative example (called the sunnah, composed of accounts called hadith) of Muhammad (c. 570–8 June 632 CE).

Muslims believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed many times before through prophets including Adam, Abraham, Moses and Jesus. Muslims consider the Quran to be the unaltered and final revelation of God. Like other Abrahamic religions, Islam also teaches a final judgment with the righteous rewarded paradise and unrighteous punished in hell. Religious concepts and practices include the Five Pillars of Islam, which are obligatory acts of worship, and following Islamic law (sharia), which touches on virtually every aspect of life and society, from banking and welfare to women and the environment. The cities of Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem are home to the three holiest sites in Islam.

Aside from the theological viewpoint, Islam is historically believed to have originated in the early 7th century CE in Mecca, and by the 8th century the Umayyad Islamic caliphate extended from Iberia in the west to the Indus River in the east. The Islamic Golden Age refers to the period traditionally dated from the 8th century to the 13th century, during the Abbasid Caliphate, when much of the historically Muslim world was experiencing a scientific, economic and cultural flourishing. The expansion of the Muslim world involved various caliphates and empires, traders and conversion to Islam by missionary activities (dawah). Read more...

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The percentage of people in European countries who said in 2005 that they "believe there is a God".
God is a deity in theist and deist religions and other belief systems, representing either the sole deity in monotheism, or a principal deity in polytheism. God is most often conceived of as the supernatural creator and overseer of the universe. Theologians have ascribed a variety of attributes to the many different conceptions of God. The most common among these include omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, omnibenevolence (perfect goodness), divine simplicity, jealousy, and eternal and necessary existence. God has also been conceived as being incorporeal, a personal being, the source of all moral obligation, and the "greatest conceivable existent". These attributes were all supported to varying degrees by the early Jewish, Christian and Muslim theologian philosophers, including Maimonides, Augustine of Hippo, and Al-Ghazali, respectively. Many notable medieval philosophers developed arguments for the existence of God, attempting to wrestle with the apparent contradictions implied by many of these attributes.

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Islam in the news

17 November 2018 – Syrian Civil War
After months of fighting, Syrian government forces retake control of Tulul al-Safa in southern Syria from ISIL. (The New Arab)
13 November 2018 –
The Islamic City Council of Tehran appoints Pirouz Hanachi as the new mayor of Tehran, the third in 18 months. (RFE/RL)
9 November 2018 – 2018 Melbourne stabbing attack
One person is killed and two others are injured by a knife-wielding man in Melbourne, Australia. The suspect, a 31-year-old Australian resident originally from Somalia, randomly stabbed pedestrians after exiting his burning, crashed utility truck that held multiple gas canisters. He was shot and killed attempting to stab responding police. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant claims responsibility. (ABC News) (The Age) (NPR)
8 November 2018 –
A riot at a high-security prison in Khujand, Tajikistan, known for holding convicted terrorists, including ISIL members, leaves at least 27 people dead. (Reuters)
6 November 2018 – United States elections, 2018
At least 95 women attain congressional office, bringing the total number of women in all parts of Congress to a record 118. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar share the distinction of becoming the first Muslim congresswomen, while Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland become the first Native American congresswomen. (USA Today), (NPR), (CNN)

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Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan served as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, KBE (Persian: صدرالّدين آغا خان‎, Ṣadr ad-Dīn Āghā Khān) (17 January 1933 – 12 May 2003) served as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from 1966 to 1978, during which he reoriented the agency's focus beyond Europe and prepared it for an explosion of complex refugee issues. He was also a proponent of greater collaboration between non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and UN agencies. The Prince's interest in ecological issues led him to establish the Bellerive Foundation in the late 1970s, and he was a knowledgeable and respected collector of Islamic art. Born in Paris, France, he was the son of Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan and Princess Andrée Aga Khan. He married twice, but had no children of his own. Prince Sadruddin died of cancer at the age of 70, and was buried in Switzerland.

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Shrine of Imam Ali Ridha in Mashhad, Iran
The miserly one is never restful; the envious is never pleased; the grumbler is never loyal; the liar has no conscience.

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