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Introduction

Islam (/ˈɪslɑːm/) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that there is only one God (Allah), and that Muhammad is the messenger of God. It is the world's second-largest religion with over 1.8 billion followers or 24% 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 humankind 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),[verification needed] 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 narrative, 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, such as the Ottoman Empire, traders and conversion to Islam by missionary activities (dawah). Read more...

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Islam in the news

16 February 2019 – Syrian Civil War
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports that the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces have taken control of Al-Baghuz Fawqani, following the surrender of the last remaining ISIL militants in the town. (Reuters)
14 February 2019 – Syrian Civil War, Battle of Baghuz Fawqani
Thousands of ISIL fighters and their families flee or surrender to the Syrian Democratic Forces, pushing back ISIL control to a square mile in the last ISIL stronghold of Baghuz. It is expected that ISIL still holds several hostages, including British Journalist John Cantlie. (US News) (The Guardian)
5 February 2019 – Syrian Civil War
The United Kingdom Minister for Security, Ben Wallace, says he has reason to believe British photojournalist John Cantlie is still alive and is being held hostage by surviving Islamic State militants. (BBC)
5 February 2019 – Insurgency in the Maghreb (2002–present)
A Burkinabé military operation reportedly kills 146 jihadists after the Al-Qaeda-linked militants killed 14 people in other attacks. (News24)
2 February 2019 – Sistan and Baluchestan insurgency
An Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps member is killed and five others are injured at an Iranian paramilitary base in Nik Shahr. (Al Jazeera)

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Sai Baba of Shirdi
Sai Baba of Shirdi (unknown circa 1835 - October 15, 1918), also known as Shirdi Sai Baba, was an Indian guru, yogi and fakir who is regarded by his Hindu and Muslim followers as a saint. Some of his Hindu devotees believe that he was an incarnation of Shiva or Dattatreya, and he was regarded as a satguru and an incarnation of Kabir. The name 'Sai Baba' is a combination of Persian and Indian origin; Sāī (Sa'ih) is the Persian term for "holy one" or "saint", usually attributed to Islamic ascetics, whereas Bābā is a word meaning "father" used in Indian languages. The appellative thus refers to Sai Baba as being a "holy father" or "saintly father". His parentage, birth details, and life before the age of sixteen are obscure, which has led to a variety of speculations and theories attempting to explain Sai Baba's origins. In his life and teachings he tried to reconcile Hinduism and Islam: Sai Baba lived in a mosque, was buried in a Hindu temple, practised Hindu and Muslim rituals, and taught using words and figures that drew from both traditions. One of his well known epigrams says of God: "Sabka Malik Ek" ("One God governs all").


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This mosque in an-Najaf, Iraq, is widely considered by Shias to be the final burial place of ʿAlī
Knowledge is of two kinds: that which is absorbed and that which is heard. And that which is heard does not profit if it is not absorbed.
Ali

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