Chess piece found in Jordan may be world's oldest

John Oleson with the University of Victoria has reported that a small object found in Jordan made of sandstone might be the oldest chess piece ever found. In his presentation at the American Schools of Oriental Research this ...

Right-wing extremism in Norway—changes and challenges

As a researcher, I have followed various extreme right groups and movements in Norway and Scandinavia during the last 30 years. There have been some significant changes during this time – changes that have an impact on ...

Islamic banking lends advantage to financial institutions

Researchers at the Universities of Birmingham and Brighton studied a merger that took place in Bahrain, between an Islamic bank and a conventional bank in the wake of financial crises that rocked the world between 2007 and ...

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Islam

Islam (English  /ˈɪzlɑːm/; Arabic: الإسلام‎ al-ʾislām  IPA: [ʔɪsˈlæːm] ( listen)) is the monotheistic religion articulated by the Qur’an, a text considered by its adherents to be the verbatim word of God (Arabic: الله‎ Allāh), and by the teachings and normative example (called the Sunnah and composed of Hadith) of Muhammad, considered by them to be the last prophet of God. An adherent of Islam is called a Muslim.

Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable and the purpose of existence is to worship God. Muslims also believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed at many times and places before, including through Abraham, Moses and Jesus, whom they consider prophets. Muslims maintain that previous messages and revelations have been partially changed or corrupted over time, but consider the Qur'an to be both the unaltered and the final revelation of God. Religious concepts and practices include the five pillars of Islam, which are basic concepts and obligatory acts of worship, and following Islamic law, which touches on virtually every aspect of life and society, providing guidance on multifarious topics from banking and welfare, to warfare and the environment.

Approximately 75-90% of Muslims are Sunni and 10-20% are Shia. About 13% of Muslims live in Indonesia, the largest Muslim country, 25% in South Asia, 20% in the Middle East, 2% in Central Asia, 4% in the remaining South East Asian countries, and 15% in Sub-saharan Africa. Sizable communities are also found in China and Russia, and parts of Europe. With over 1.5 billion followers as of 2009 or over 22% of earth's population, Islam is the second-largest and one of the fastest-growing religions in the world.

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