What Countries Practice Islam? (Solution)

The most populous Muslim countries are Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India. The number of Muslims in Indonesia alone (175 million) exceeds the combined total in Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran, the traditional heartlands of Islam.

What are the top countries where Islam is practiced?

  • Islam is the dominant religion in Central Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Middle East, North Africa, the Sahel and some other parts of Asia. The diverse Asia-Pacific region contains the highest number of Muslims in the world, easily surpassing the Middle East and North Africa. South Asia contains the largest population of Muslims in the world.


What countries are Islams?

Islam is the dominant religion in the Maldives, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. India is the country with the largest Muslim population outside Muslim-majority countries with more than 200 million adherents.

How many countries practice Islam?

An estimated 1.8 billion or more than 24% of the world population identify themselves as Muslims. Islam is the official religion in 26 countries in Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, and the Middle East. Islam is growing faster than any other religion worldwide (see: Pew Research Center).

Who is the most powerful Islamic country?

Top 10 Countries with the Most Muslims – 2021:

  • Indonesia – 231,000,000.
  • Pakistan – 212,300,000.
  • India – 200,000,000.
  • Bangladesh – 153,700,000.
  • Nigeria – 95,000,000–103,000,000.
  • Egypt – 85,000,000–90,000,000.
  • Iran – 82,500,000.
  • Turkey – 74,432,725.

Are there Muslims in North Korea?

Islam in North Korea The Pew Research Center estimated that there were 3,000 Muslims in North Korea in 2010, up from 1,000 in 1990. The Iranian embassy in Pyongyang hosts Ar-Rahman Mosque, the only mosque in the country.

Is Turkey an Islamic country?

Turkey is a secular country with a majority Muslim population. There are no formal statistics on the population’s religious affiliation. The Turkish Constitution officially recognises Sunni Islam, Christianity (some Catholic and Orthodox sects) and Judaism.

Who is the founder of Islam?

The rise of Islam is intrinsically linked with the Prophet Muhammad, believed by Muslims to be the last in a long line of prophets that includes Moses and Jesus.

Who is the fastest growing religion in the world?

Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the world. In 1990, 1.1 billion people were Muslims, while in 2010, 1.6 billion people were Muslims.

What is Turkey’s main religion?

Islam is the largest religion in Turkey. More than 99 percent of the population is Muslim, mostly Sunni. Christianity (Oriental Orthodoxy, Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic) and Judaism are the other religions in practice, but the non-Muslim population declined in the early 2000s.

Who is number 1 army in the world?

In 2021, China had the largest armed forces in the world by active duty military personnel, with about 2.19 active soldiers. India, the United States, North Korea, and Russia rounded out the top five largest armies respectively, each with over one million active military personnel.

In which country there is no mosque?

Slovakia is one of very few European countries with no mosque, but that’s not the only struggle for a Muslim community denied official status. The Slovak parliament made it even more difficult for them to gain recognition.

What is China’s main religion?

Chinese Buddhism and Folk Religions Though Buddhism originated in India, it has a long history and tradition in China and today is the country’s largest institutionalized religion.

What religion is in Russia?

Religion plays a prominent role in the public and spiritual life of today’s Russia. The majority of believers belong to the Orthodox Christian denomination. Russia adopted Christianity under Prince Vladimir of Kiev in 988, in a ceremony patterned on Byzantine rites.

Muslim Majority Countries 2021

Those who adhere to the Islamic faith are called Muslims. Islam is an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion that originated in the 7th century A.D., while its origins are thought to have been traced back far deeper in history. Muslims believe that Islam was founded at the city of Mecca, which is located in modern-day Saudi Arabia. North and Central Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia are home to the vast majority of Muslims.

Islam is the world’s second-largest religion

More than 1.9 billion Muslims live on the face of the planet. Islam is also the religion with the fastest growth rate in the world. In terms of religious affiliation, the Islamic population is mostly divided between 1.5 billion Sunni Muslims and 240-340 million Shia Muslims, with the remaining dispersed among a handful of minor denominations. Generally speaking, a Muslim-majority country is one where Muslims constitute more than half of the population. There are around 50 Muslim-majority nations in the globe at the present time, while the exact figure varies significantly depending on which source is used to calculate it.

The first factor to consider is the age of the estimate, which is important because the Muslim population in each country tends to expand with time, increasing the overall proportion of Muslims in the country over time.

According to the Pew Research Center, there were 50 Muslim-majority countries (including the territories of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Mayotte, and Western Sahara) in the globe in 2010, however Nigeria has been added to the list for 2020, bringing the total to 51.

Also now absent from most lists of Muslim-majority nations, but potentially to be included in the near future is Eritrea, whose Muslim population has been reported to range between 36.6 percent and 51.6 percent, depending on the source.

Top 10 Countries with the Highest Percentage of Muslims – 2021:

  1. The Maldives scored a perfect 100 percent
  2. Mauritania scored 99.9 percent
  3. Somalia scored 99.8 percent (tie)
  4. Tunisia scored 99.99 percent (tie)
  5. Afghanistan scored 99.7 percent (tie)
  6. Algeria scored 99.7 percent (tie)
  7. Iran scored 99.4 percent
  8. Yemen scored 99.2 percent
  9. Morocco scored 99.3 percent
  10. Niger scored 98.3 percent
  11. And Nigeria scored 98.3 percent.

*Note: The disputed area of Western Sahara would have ranked eighth if it were not for the fact that it has not been recognized as a country by the United Nations. However, because it has not been recognized as a country, it was disqualified. Despite the fact that the nations listed above have the biggest concentrations of Muslim people, it is important to note that several larger countries have a greater total population of Muslims.

Top 10 Countries with the Most Muslims – 2021:

  1. In terms of population, Indonesia has 231,000,000 people
  2. Pakistan has 212,300,000
  3. India has 200,000,000
  4. Bangladesh has 153,700,000
  5. Nigeria has 95,000,000–103,000,000 people
  6. Egypt has 85,000,000–90,000,000 people
  7. Iran has 82,500,000 people
  8. Algeria has 41,240,913 people
  9. And Sudan has 39,585,777 people.

The Quran and fundamentals of Islam:

Muslims, Christians, Jews, and adherents of the Bahá’ religion all worship the same God, who is referred to as Allah in Islamic tradition. While Muslims recognize that spiritual leaders such as Adam, Moses, and Jesus were prophets, they believe that the prophet Muhammad, the creator of their faith, was sent by Allah to impart the ultimate teachings of the religion. It is these teachings that are written in the Quran (also known by the spellings Qur’an and Koran), Islam’s sacred scripture, which Muslims believe to be God’s exact words, which were revealed to Muhammud.

Sharia Law is a faith-based code of behavior that provides standards for practically every area of Muslim life. Muslims adhere to five fundamental pillars that are vital to their religious beliefs. The five pillars of Islam are what are known as the five precepts of Islam.

The Five Pillars of Islam:

  • Shahadah: One must say the shahadah, which declares one’s trust in God and confidence in Muhammad, before entering the mosque. Salat: One must pray five times every day: at dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset, and evening, all while facing the Ka’bah, a mosque in Mecca
  • Salat is a Muslim term that means “five times” in Arabic. Zakat: It is necessary to contribute to those who are in need. The month of Ramadan is marked by fasting from sunrise until dusk. As a Muslim, one is required to perform a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once throughout his or her lifetime, if at all feasible.

Islamic Countries Of The World

More information may be found here. States with a Muslim majority include Islamic states (dark green), states in which Islam is the official religion (light green), secular states (blue), and other (orange), all of which are classified as Islamic.

The Muslim World

When we talk about Muslims, we may refer to three major parts of their lives: their religious beliefs, their culture and where they live geographically. This concept is also referred to as the Islamic World in other instances. On a religious level, Muslims, or persons who practice Islam, are referred to as members of the Muslim World. The phrase is used to refer to Islamic civilisation in a cultural context. Geographically, it refers to nations and other political territories where Muslims constitute the majority of the population, which is likely the most widely used definition.

  1. Its adherents are the world’s second biggest religious group after Muslims.
  2. Shia Islam and Sunni Islam are the two major sects of Islam.
  3. Only over 170 million people adhere to Shia, which is a smaller denomination.
  4. Furthermore, Muslim people are found in considerable numbers in China, Russia, India, and the Balkans.

Islamic States

An Islamic state is a political territory, generally a nation, that bases its administration, laws, and social values on Sharia law, which is the Islamic interpretation of the law. It is frequently referred to as a theocracy. The concept derives from the historical Caliphate, which encompassed provinces administered by religious leaders who were considered to be Muhammad’s successors in authority. The current political traditions of an Islamic state, such as the existence of a parliament or a President, are possible today.

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Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Mauritania, and Yemen are the most important Islamic countries in the world.

In order to guarantee that all rules are in accordance with Sharia law, religious tribunals are formed.

Countries With Islam As State Religion

Other nations are not quite called Islamic states, despite the fact that Islam is the officially recognized state religion in such countries. All of these nations have Muslim majorities in their populations. Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Algeria, Malaysia, Maldives, Morocco, Libya, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, Somalia, and Brunei are among the countries involved.

Islam is also recognized as the official religion of Libya. Libya is the most religiously diverse country in the Muslim world since it is home to 18 different religions that are also recognized as official state religions.

Neutral Muslim Majority Countries

In a neutral Muslim-majority nation, the majority of the population is Muslim, despite the fact that Islam is not the official state religion. Nigeria, Indonesia, Sudan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sierra Leone, and Djibouti are among the countries that have signed the agreement.

Secular Muslim Majority Countries

Most people in secular Muslim majority nations identify as adherents of Islam, despite the fact that the bulk of the population is secular. The government, on the other hand, has established a strict separation of church and state. According to this proclamation, religion should not be allowed to meddle with or affect civic and political issues. Albania, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Chad, The Gambia, Guinea, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Mali, Northern Cyprus, Nigeria, Senegal, Syria, Lebanon, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan are among the countries on this list, as are Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Chad, The Gambia, Guinea, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyz

Islamic Countries In The World

Islamic States/Countries With Islam As State Religion % Of Population That Is Muslim
Afghanistan 99.8
Iran 99.7
Mauritania 100
Pakistan 96.4
Saudi Arabia 97.1
Yemen 99
Algeria 98.2
Egypt 90
Iraq 98.9
Jordan 93.8
Kuwait 74.1
Libya 96.6
Malaysia 61.4
Maldives 100
Morocco 99
Somalia 98.9
Tunisia 99.8
United Arab Emirates 76
Brunei Darussalam 67
Lebanon 59.7

World Muslim population more widespread than you might think

“>The latest executive order issued by President Donald Trump According to estimates from a 2015 Pew Research Center report on the current and projected sizes of religious groups, temporarily freezing immigration from seven predominantly Islamic countries would have a minimal impact on the world’s Muslims, accounting for only about 12 percent of the world’s Muslims. In reality, no one of the seven nations included in the new immigration ban — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen – is among the top ten countries with the greatest Muslim populations.

  • 1.6 billion Muslims lived in the globe in 2010, according to estimates, making Islam the world’s second-largest religious tradition behind Christianity in terms of population.
  • In reality, India and Pakistan have a combined Muslim population of 344 million people, which is higher than the whole Middle East-North Africa area (317 million).
  • Muslims constitute a majority of the population in 49 nations throughout the world, according to the United Nations.
  • India boasts the world’s second-largest Muslim population in terms of raw numbers (about 176 million people), despite the fact that Muslims account for just 14.4 percent of the country’s overall population.

Try our email course on Muslims and Islam

Every other day, four brief courses will be given to your mailbox to help you learn more about Muslims and Islam. Sign up right away! Counting Muslims and other religious groups around the world is accomplished through a variety of surveys, census reports, population registers, and other data sources. The goal is to count all groups and individuals who self-identify with a particular religion, which is accomplished through a variety of data sources. The information supplied here is current as of 2010.

  • The proportion of Muslims living in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to rise from 15.5 percent in 2010 to 24.3 percent by 2050.
  • Asia will continue to host the vast majority of Muslims, but with a reduced percentage of the total (52.8 percent ).
  • North America is home to about 0.2 percent of the world’s Muslim population.
  • This is an updated version of a post that was first published on June 7, 2013.

According to new projections, the Muslim population in the United States is continuing to expand. David Masci was a former senior writer/editor at the Pew Research Center who specialized on religion.

Islamic world

It is also known as Islamdom, the complex of communities and cultures in which Muslims and their faith have long been widespread and socially powerful, also known as the Islamic world. The practice of Islam is a worldwide phenomenon: Muslims predominate in approximately 30 to 40 countries, spanning the Atlantic Ocean east to the Pacific Ocean and along a belt that stretches from northern Africa into Central Asia and south to the northern regions of the Indian subcontinent. Muslims are the majority religion in the United States and Canada.

  1. Although there are no large-scale Islamic governmental structures, the Islamic faith continues to grow, according to some estimations at a higher rate than any other major religion on the planet.
  2. What about sacred places of worship?
  3. The Islamic faith as well as the life of the Prophet Muhammad are discussed in detail in the article Islam.
  4. Islam is also mentioned in entries about certain nations or areas in which the religion is a factor, such as Egypt, Iran, Arabia, and North Africa, among others.
  5. To understand the history of today’s Islamic world, it is necessary to have a very broad viewpoint.

In general, the events discussed in this article are dated according to theGregorian calendar, and eras are designated asbce (before the Common Era or Christian Era) andce (Common Era or Christian Era), terms that are equivalent tobc (before Christ) andad (after Christ) in the Gregorian calendar respectively (Latin:anno Domini).

It is generally agreed that the Islamic period began with Muhammad’s journey (Hijrah) to Medina in 622CE, which corresponds to July 16, 622CE in the Gregorian calendar.

Muslim as an adjective defines elements of Islam as a religion, whereas Islamic as a noun discusses aspects of Islam’s believers.

The term “Islamicate” refers to the social and cultural complex that has historically been associated with Islam and Muslims, as well as the role and participation of non-Islamic and non-Muslim individuals and groups within that complex.

The term “Islamicate” is used to refer to the complex as a whole.

Prehistory (c.3000bce –500ce)

FromHammurabiof Babylon to the AchaemenidCyrus IIin Persia to Alexander the Greatto the Sassinian emperorAnshirvanto Muhammad in Arabia; or, fromAdamtoNoahtoAbrahamtoMosestoJesusto Muhammad according to a Muslim perspective, fromAdam to Noah, to Abraham, to Moses, to Jesus, to Muhammad. With the establishment of the first civilizations in western Asia, the possibility for Muslim empire building was formed. As a result of the emergence and spread of what have been referred to as the region’s Axial Age religions—Abrahamic, which was centered on the Hebrew patriarch Abraham, and Mazdean, which was centered on the Iranian deityAhura Mazd—as well as their later relative, Christianity—the region’s Axial Age religions were refined.

In many ways, the Muslims were the successors of ancient Egypt, Babylonian civilisation, Persian civilization, Hebrew civilization, even Greek and Indian civilisation; the civilizations they built crossed time and space, from antiquity to modernity and from the east to the west.

The rise of agrarian-based citied societies

The Arab coalition of the 7th century, which included sedentary and migratory groups from both inside and outside the Arabian Peninsula, seized political and fiscal control of western Asia, specifically the lands between the Nile and the Oxus (Amu Darya) rivers, territory that had previously been controlled by the Byzantines in the west and the Ssanianians in the east. In the 4th millennium BC, the rise of agrarian-based citied communities in western Asia signaled the beginning of a protracted period of consolidation of the variables that surrounded and controlled their accomplishment.

  • This sort of social structure opened the door to a whole new world of possibilities.
  • Some individuals were able to gain enough riches to patronize a wide range of arts and crafts by taking advantage of the physical labor of others; a few of these persons were able to build territorial monarchies and support religious organizations that had a broader appeal.
  • The new governing groups developed expertise in managing and integrating non-kin-related groups into their societies.
  • Several new institutions, like as money, territorial deities, royal priesthoods, and permanent armies, aided in the consolidation of their authority.
  • The religious beliefs of these new social entities mirrored and supported the new social circumstances in which they existed.
  • As indicated by the intricate funeral ceremonies of pharaonic Egypt, the link between worldly existence and the afterlife became increasingly complicated.
  • But large-scale organization had resulted in social and economic inequities that rulers and religions were able to confront but were unable to eliminate.

Many people believed that an absolute monarch who could unite a diverse range of ethnic, religious, and interest groups was their greatest hope for justice.

Understanding Sharia: The Intersection of Islam and the Law

Muslim-majority nations in the globe, numbering about fifty in total, have laws that make reference to sharia, the religious instruction Muslims believe God granted them on a variety of spiritual and earthly subjects. Certain laws in some of these countries mandate what opponents term severe criminal punishments, while others impose disproportionate limitations on the lives of women and minorities, according to the UN Human Rights Council. There is, however, a tremendous deal of variation in how governments interpret and apply sharia, and people frequently misinterpret the role that it plays in legal systems and in the lives of ordinary people.

What is sharia?

More From Our Subject Matter Experts In Arabic, the term sharia refers to “the proper road.” In Islam, it refers to the divine guidance that Muslims must follow in order to live moral lives and grow in their relationship with God. Sharia is taken from two primary sources: the Quran, which is regarded to be God’s direct word, and hadith, which are thousands of sayings and practices attributed to the Prophet Mohammed and which collectively comprise the Sunna (the teachings of Mohammed). Some of the stories and narratives included in these texts were derived from those found in Judaism and Christianity, the other two major Abrahamic religions, while others were developed independently.

  • Sharia, on the other hand, is mostly comprised on the interpretative tradition of Muslim academics.
  • In the centuries after his death in the seventh century, and as the Islamic empire extended outward from Mecca and Medina, where he lived and died, in modern-day Saudi Arabia, the process of interpreting sharia, known asfiqh, evolved over hundreds of years.
  • Muslims believe that sharia refers to the ideal, unchangeable principles that can only be comprehended by God, and that Islamic laws are those that are founded on interpretations of sharia (Islamic values).
  • While modern Islamic seminaries have standardized the degree of expertise and the period of study required to qualify as a jurist, Khaled Abou El Fadl, an Islamic jurist and law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, asserts that neither of these standards has been achieved.
  • The perspective of Abou El Fadl is that “on each legal subject, there are 10 diverse opinions.” “There are 10 diverse points of view on each given legal matter.” Khaled Abou El Fadl, Muslim jurist and professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, is a scholar of Islamic law.
  • The Islamic law system also serves as the foundation for legal opinions known as fatwas, which are given by Muslim scholars in response to requests from individual Muslims or from governments seeking guidance on a particular topic.

When it comes to Sunni Islam, fatwas are merely advisory; when it comes to Shiite Islam, practitioners are compelled to abide by the fatwas of the religious leader of their choosing. More From Our Subject Matter Experts

Why is it so controversial?

Islamic law, or Sharia, is a source of disagreement among Muslims and non-Muslims. One of the many reasons why sharia is controversial is that it is frequently compared with current legal systems in mostly secular nations, which is one of the many reasons why it is controversial. Abou El Fadl claims that when sharia is contrasted to premodern legal systems, “there isn’t anything that is contentious about it.” Sharia can also be viewed as problematic, depending on who is doing the interpreting of the Islamic law.

  • Debates over sharia tend to revolve on a few specific issues: More information on the Middle East and North Africa IslamReligion Observance of the Rule of Law Corporal punishment is a type of punishment.
  • Thehududpunishments, which include stoning, whipping, and amputation, are among the most heinous.
  • However, because implementing such sanctions necessitates passing stringent evidential requirements, experts believe they are primarily intended to act as a deterrent rather than to have a punitive effect when they are implemented.
  • Local and international outrage frequently dissuades authorities from enforcing such penalties in their entirety.
  • Additionally, when the Taliban governed Afghanistan in the 1990s, they instituted public executions and amputations, and they have stated that same penalties will be reinstated under their new government in Afghanistan.
  • Many non-Muslims believe that this phrase, which literally means “to strive,” exclusively alludes to a military fight between Muslim fanatics and non-Muslims.
  • The endeavor to attain a moral goal, as defined by sharia, can take many forms.
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Tolerance for different religious beliefs.

As explained by scholars, premodern prohibitions enforced to non-Muslim minorities in Muslim countries, which were reinforced by specific hadiths subsequently included in the Muslim canon and which demand the death sentence for Muslims who commit apostasy, are at the root of this intolerance.

Aside from that, religious minorities in some Muslim nations have less rights under modern legislation and are subjected to various forms of discrimination.

As well as totalitarian nations, several countries that profess to provide religious freedom under their constitutions do not do so in practice (and routinely deny their citizens rights regardless of their faith).

However, despite the fact that experts agree that sharia does not prescribe a certain type of governance, it is utilized by various organizations to argue both against and in support of democracy.

Another school of thought holds that democracy has its roots in the Quran, which encourages “mutual consultation” among the people (42:38 Quran).

Islamist parties that are moderate in their outlook, such as Tunisia’s Ennahda Movement party, advocate for democracy as the ideal form of administration.

Women’s rights are important.

There is special sharia instruction that pertains to women, and some governments employ Islamic law to drastically restrict women’s rights, controlling how they dress and excluding them from or separating them in certain locations, for example.

Some Afghans and Western observers are concerned that Afghan women may be subjected to similar restrictions under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

Several other regulations hinder women from starting divorce or marriage on their own, which contributes to child marriages and gender-based violence in society.

The rights of LGBTQ+ people.

In the most severe case, same-sex activity is punishable by death under Islamic law in 10 nations, including the United Kingdom. In other places, it is frequently severely penalized, as is the case in some more conservative Christian-majority countries such as the United Kingdom.

How much room is there for reform?

According to certain Muslim scholars, the Islamic concept oftajdidallows for the modification or elimination of acts that are prohibited by sharia. The notion of renewal is one that suggests that Islamic communities should be reformatted on a regular basis in order to maintain their purity. Others, on the other hand, believe that the kind of Islam that was practiced in the seventh century was the purest form of Islam. Furthermore, there is great disagreement about what activities are sanctioned by the Quran vs those that are derived from local customs.

Other researchers use this idea in a broader context: At Harvard University’s Intisar Rabb Center for Islamic Law, “the fact is that Islamic principles or Islamic laws may accommodate many things, therefore there is actually very little that Islamic law mandates or prescribes,” says Rabb, who is also a professor of Islamic law.

  • Dr.
  • Modern governments have been known to amend laws that were formerly deemed to be Islamic in nature.
  • “However, if it’s genuinely Islamic, why shouldn’t this change?
  • “It’s simply another example of how many of the laws that are referred to as Islamic are actually local, culturally inflected choices that have been given an Islamic gloss,” says the author.

How do governments in the Muslim world interpret and enforce sharia?

Most Muslim-majority nations have some form of sharia-based legislation, which often governs areas such as marriage and divorce, inheritance, and child custody and visitation arrangements. Only a few of Muslim nations, either in part or in full, apply sharia to their criminal laws. Governments tend to favor one of the major schools of Islamic law, known as madhhabs, over the others, despite the fact that individual Muslims do not normally adhere to a particular school in their daily life. Founded by different scholars, each school is named for the scholar who established it, and they differ in their approaches to interpreting Islamic law:

  • The Hanafischool is often considered as the most liberal and analytically oriented of the Islamic schools. It is favored by Sunnis in the Balkans, the Caucasus, Central Asia, China, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Turkey, and large parts of the Arab world
  • The Hanbalischool, Islam’s most conservative and focused on select texts, spawned the Wahhabi and Salafi branches of the movement, which are still popular today. This school is supported by Saudi Arabia and the Taliban
  • The Jafarischool, the largest Shiite madhhab, is chosen by Shia-majority Iran, Iraq, sections of Lebanon and South Asia, and eastern Saudi Arabia. In it, the fatwas of early jurists are given significant weight, and reason is given precedence over analogy
  • The Malikischool predominates in North and Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as areas of the Arab Gulf. As the sole school of thought that recognizes the consensus of the people of seventh-century Medina as a source of law, it is popular in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Yemen, and other parts of the Middle East. In this school, the sources of Islamic law were organized in descending order of authority, with the Quran ranked first, followed by the Sunna, the consensus of Muslim scholars, and analogy
  • It was the first school to organize sources of Islamic law in descending order of authority, with the Quran ranked first, followed by the consensus of Muslim scholars, and analogy

European-style law also had an impact on legal systems in Muslim nations, like Iran and Saudi Arabia, who both profess to solely follow Islamic law as their primary source of guidance. This is due in part to the consequences of colonialism, the necessity of economic modernity, and the fact that many of the elite who constructed the legal systems in Muslim-majority nations had their education in Western institutions of higher learning, among other factors. Political systems tend to include sharia-based rules in three ways, depending on who you ask.

  • In certain Muslim-majority nations, such as Malaysia and Nigeria, the government maintains a secular legal system, but Muslims have the option of bringing some disputes before Islamic tribunals.
  • God is the head of state.
  • Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia are examples of the latter.
  • Muslims are not required to follow sharia law, and non-Muslims are subject to the authority of special government committees and auxiliary courts in the majority of nations.
  • Muslims living in secular governments include Azerbaijan, Chad, Senegal, Somalia, Tajikistan, and Turkey, all of which are Muslim-majority countries.

Despite this, Islamist political parties continue to vie for government and occasionally gain control in these nations. One such example is Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which is currently in power.

How do extremist groups interpret sharia?

a curated collection of unique analysis, data visualizations, and opinions that look at the debates and initiatives to improve health around the world Weekly. With the submission of your email address and the pressing of the subscribe button, you consent to receive information from CFR about our goods and services, as well as invites to CFR events. By using this website, you are also consenting to our Privacy Policyand Terms of Service. Islamist terrorist organizations are well-known for adopting puritanical interpretations of the Islamic law.

Such groups rely on violence and terrorism to advance their radical interpretations of Islamic law, to create and grow their authority, and to punish anyone who disagree with their viewpoint.

Leaders of such organizations frequently lack formal expertise in the interpretation of Islamic law.

“They are more concerned with power than they are with interpretation or with law as a sophisticated subject or area of knowledge,” Rabb explains further.

How do Muslim-minority countries approach sharia?

In some cases, some governments delegate authority to independent religious authorities to implement and adjudicate the laws of their respective faiths. According to the Islamic law of marriage, divorce, and inheritance, the United Kingdom (UK) authorizes Islamic tribunals to issue legally binding judgements provided both parties agree. Similar processes are in place for the Jewish and Anglican communities, respectively. In Israel, Christians, Jews, and Muslims, as well as adherents of a few other religions, can arbitrate family law cases in religious courts, which are separate from the civil courts.

As an alternative, policymakers in several Muslim-majority nations aim to prevent sharia from having an impact on national law or practice.

The wearing of veils or headscarves is prohibited in certain countries, such as France, where secularism is seen as an important component of the national identity and visible religious symbols are prohibited in specific public places.

Proponents of such legislation argue that they advance women’s empowerment and societal peace, while detractors argue that they violate individual liberties and unfairly target Muslims.

Why is Islam so different in different countries?

As a result of the establishment of Islamic State, there has been a great deal of discussion regarding the group’s origins: how can we explain the causes and events that opened the way for the formation of the jihadist organization? To show why Islamic State arose where it did, Aaron Hughes describes the incredible regional heterogeneity in Islamic practice, which is the subject of the fourth part of our series on the historical foundations of Islamic State (ISIS). There is no such thing as a cohesive religion.

  • Both places have distinct cultures and traditions, as well as differences in political and social situations.
  • Such geographical distinctions are unquestionably significant in Islam.
  • As a religion founded on the rule of law (sharia), variances in the interpretation of that law have contributed to regional inequalities in Islamic practice.
  • A rather substantial proportion of religious minorities may be found in Malaysia, for example (up to 40 percent of the population).
  • As a result, Malaysia has been forced to draft a constitution that guarantees the rights of religious minorities, but Saudi Arabia has not done so to yet.
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Schools of thought

This variance can be traced back to historical circumstances. Islam, contrary to common belief, did not appear to be completely developed at the time of Muhammad’s death (570-632). There were heated disputes over the nature of religious and political authority, as well as about who was or was not a Muslim, among other topics. Furthermore, it is incorrect to believe that a single, coherent teaching simply diffused throughout the Mediterranean region and beyond. The development of Muhammad’s teachings into the religion of Islam — complete with legal and theological substance — took centuries and is not the subject of this article.

  1. Modern nation states would not emerge until much later in history.
  2. In order to be understood, Islam needs to be explained in the context of local customs and cultural understandings.
  3. Many local customs evolved as a result of people’s attempts to comprehend Muhammad’s teachings.
  4. Although there were once many such schools in Sunni Islam, they were eventually limited to four — Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, and Hanbali – as a result of a progressive reduction in numbers.
  5. Others of their interpretations are more conservative than others, while some of them are more liberal.
  6. The four Sunni schools (as well as the four Shi’i schools) are connected with various geographical locations.

Traditionally, the Hanafi sect is prevalent in western Asia, the Shafi’i sect in Southeast Asia, and the Hanbali (the most orthodox) sect is found predominantly in Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf countries.

Fundamental differences

Due to the numerous legal and regional variations, several interpretations of the religion have emerged. Despite this geographical and legal variety, many Muslims and non-Muslims continue to refer to Islam and sharia as if they were stable entities despite the fact that they are not. An illustration of the magnitude of the disparities within Islam might be provided as an illustration. Many non-Muslims are frequently taken aback when they learn about the cult of saints, particularly the role Sufi saints (Sufism is an Islamic kind of mysticism) have played and continue to play in the daily lives of Muslims.

  • Among other things, praying to these saints and making pilgrimages to their shrines is a good method to beg for intercession from the Almighty.
  • And this regionally diverse cult of saints has played and continues to play a significant part in Islamic religious life from Morocco in the west to Pakistan in the east, to name a few places.
  • It goes without saying that such dedication is sometimes frowned upon by more fundamentalist views of the religion.
  • Its devotees have, among other things, demolished the tombs of saints throughout history, including both the premodern and modern periods of history.
  • The Hanbali school, which has been bolstered by the riches of the Saudi royal family, has also attempted to expand its influence into other fields.
  • The vast majority of fundamentalist movements in Islam, including the Islamic State, have sprung from ultra-conservative components of this nature.
  • The stated objective of many of these groups, which are frequently referred to as Wahhabi or Salafi, is the restoration of Islam to what they believe to be its original, pure, and immaculate form as practiced by Muhammad and his early followers.
  • As of today, there are more than one and a half billion Muslims throughout the world, which makes Islam the second most populous religion in the world after Christianity.
  • And while dealing with it, it is necessary to take this variety into consideration.
  • The fact that women are not permitted to drive in Saudi Arabia but are permitted to do so in countries such as Malaysia reveals something about this disparity.

This is the fourth piece in a series on the historical origins of the Islamic State, which began here. Download our special report, which is a compilation of the whole series.

The Most Islamic Country Is … New Zealand?

“We are one,” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared in the aftermath of the March mosque shootings, which left 60 worshipers dead in two Christchurch mosques and thrust the small Pacific island nation into the spotlight of the Islamic world. New Zealanders joined together, regardless of race or belief, to grieve and to assist the bereaved Muslim community in their recovery from the tragedy. In Islam, social cohesion and empathy are held in high regard. New Zealand’s Muslim community is barely 1% of the total, however.

According to a new analysis, New Zealand is the country that most closely follows Quranic principles.

The Islamicity Indexes, which are compiled by the Islamicity Foundation, a non-profit organization based in the United States, assess how well governments around the world adhere to Islamic principles as laid out in the Quran. These principles include interest-free financing, equality in education, property rights, and animal rights, among others. They do not include the personal obligations that Muslims are obligated to do, such as prayer, fasting, and pilgrimages. According to the most current study, the United Arab Emirates, which has a Muslim majority, is the highest-ranking country with a Muslim majority, coming in at No.

(The United States is ranked No.

In spite of the fact that New Zealand has no official religion and that over half of the country’s 5 million residents identify as Christian, the country scored highly in numerous areas monitored by the index, including anti-corruption legislation and provisions to help poverty.

Askari, an economist by profession, was born in Iran and educated in the United Kingdom and the United States, where he created a successful research career in Islamic finance.

As he puts it, “shortly after the death of the prophet, Islam was hijacked by clerics and kings who were working in their own interests.” “Islam made significant contributions in the early days, but if you look around now, you have to wonder about the interpretation.” Instead of relying on a single global leader to issue binding commands, Islam depends on the interpretation of the Quran by ulema – a collection of academics who read the Quran according to their own interpretations of it.

This opens the door to a wide range of interpretations, both progressive and conservative in nature.

The first three are each given a weight of 30 percent; international relations, or how each country interacts with the rest of the world, is given a weight of 10%.

Askari explains that because the Quran states that there should be no poverty, “we look at all of the poverty indicators.” “Muslim countries are doing quite poorly.

Malaysia now ranks first in terms of overall performance, although there are still issues with corruption and human rights.” In the words of Emran El-Badawi, director of the Middle Eastern studies program at the University of Houston and founding director of the International Qur’anic Studies Association, “I think it’s a lesson that you can’t really separate East and West, you can’t really separate Muslim from non-Muslim.” In our Western imagination, we think of Thomas Jefferson, who created the term ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.'” However, there is a growing corpus of literature regarding those same ideas that has emerged as a result of a debate with traditional Islamic thought.

  1. A continual discourse, a cross-pollination is taking place,” says the author.
  2. In Shadi Hamid’s book, Islamic Exceptionalism, which examines the relationship between Islam and politics, he claims that there is “somewhat of a progressive bias” in an index that places New Zealand at the top.
  3. As one scholar put it: “Liberalism as understood by the West is not embraced by many of the world’s Muslim-majority countries.” It has not been successful in the Middle East or other parts of South and Southeast Asia.”Countries such as Tunisia, which dropped from No.
  4. 86 last year, are stronger in some of these categories, according to Hamid.
  5. Saudi Arabia has dropped three spots in the most recent survey, placing at No.
  6. When it comes to human and political rights, Saudi Arabia ranks worst, with a score of 3.63, according to Askari, but the country’s economic prowess helps it outperform the rest of the world.
  7. As Egypt and Syria demonstrate, it is the closest resemblance to a totalitarian state in the Middle East and North Africa, with full-fledged monitoring of every idea,” Hamid explains.

Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, climbed ten places in 2018 to reach number 64 on the list.

According to Hamid, another country to keep an eye on is oil-rich Senegal, which is now ranked 83rd.

47 in the world, placing it third among Muslim countries.

A positive response to the result was received by the local media, with letters to the editor applauding New Zealand for their victory.

When countries examine this data, it becomes crystal clear why they are performing so poorly, and this bothers them, says the expert.

Askari, who calls the index his contribution to the Islamic world, believes it should be viewed as a benchmark rather than an indictment.

“It gives you a measure of how you should reform where you are deficient,” he continues. It “becomes a vehicle to get peaceful reform and usher in meaningful change.”

Did you know?: The Spread of Islam in Southeast Asia through the Trade Routes

The Silk Roads are among the most important routes in our collective history, and they are still in use today. The establishment of ties between east and west was made possible by the construction of these highways, which exposed varied regions to a variety of different ideas and ways of life. Notably, many of the world’s main religions, including Islam, were spread as a result of these contacts, which is noteworthy. Following the establishment of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century, the religion began to spread eastward through commerce, which was aided by the construction of the maritime Silk Roads.

  1. This allowed them to control the East-West trade routes that ran over the maritime Silk Roads, which linked numerous key ports in eastern Asian countries together.
  2. Due to these exchanges, Islam was able to spread even farther, reaching people living in significant coastal towns on the Indian Subcontinent and in China, as well as those living in more remote South-eastern islands such as modern Indonesia and the Philippines.
  3. Historically, Muslim traders traveling from the Arabian Peninsula to China’s ports had to transit via these islands in the southern hemisphere through the maritime Silk Roads.
  4. According to popular belief, some of these traders eventually moved in Indonesia and assimilated with the locals.
  5. It is possible to see archeological evidence of Islam being practiced by monarchs in the 13th century by looking at tombstones inscribed with dates according to the Islamic year of Sumatran Kings from the 13th century.

Furthermore, during the 13th century, contacts between Muslim merchants and the local population, as well as trade through the Silk Roads between the southern Philippines and other neighboring regions such as Brunei, Malaysia, and Indonesia, aided in the spread of Islam among the local population in those regions.

Islam, like Buddhism, was assimilated into the existing cultural and religious influences of the Southeast Asian areas in a similar way.

Sri Lanka has an ancient monastic hospital system that dates back thousands of years.

The Khwarazm region and the Silk Roads are intertwined.

The spread of Buddhism throughout South and Southeast Asia as a result of trade routes.

Sayyid Bin Abu Ali, a true representative of intercultural relations throughout the Maritime Silk Roads, was recently honored. Thailand and the Silk Roads of the Maritime Silk Roads The Greeks Have a Foothold in Central Asia Routes of the Maritime Silk Routes in Central Asia

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