Islām (Arabic: الإسلام) is among monotheistic and Abrahamic religions. The prophet of this religion is Muhammad (s) to whom the Qur’an was revealed. The beginning of invitation to Islam was made in 610 CE in the city of Mecca in the Arabian Peninsula. Increasing expansion of Islam began after emigration of the Prophet (s) to Medina. Muslims believe that the Holy Prophet (s) is the last divine prophet and Islam is the last divine religion.
The Qur’an and tradition of the Prophet (s) and Imams (a) are the most essential sources to learn about Islamic beliefs and practices. Muslims believe that there is no falsehood or error in the Qur’an and it has remained unaltered since its revelation. Tradition includes the speeches and acts of the Prophet (s) and Imams (a) transmitted to us in written form from one generation to another.
The most important ideological principles in Islam are monotheism, prophethood of the Prophet of Islam (s) and the resurrection. The most important practices in Islam are daily prayers, fasting, khums, zakat, hajj, and jihad. A great part of Islamic sources deal with the introduction of good and bad qualities and practical ways to acquire moral perfection. Advising about people’s rights and orders for regulation of social and family relationships are among moral teachings of Islam. For many issues in daily life, Islam has regulations for different issues such as marriage, divorce, buying and sale, lease and judgment, the rulings for which are discussed in the books of fiqh (jurisprudence) under the title of transactions.
There are two major schools of Shi’a and Sunni in Islam, each of which has different branches. The major difference between the two is over the issue of imamate or caliphate after the Prophet (s); however, they have differences over some other ideological issues and rulings as well.
Today, Muslims live in most countries of the world. Their population is around 1.5 billion people. Majority of the Muslims live in Asia and especially in the Middle East.