Muslim, the word for an adherent of Islam, is the active participle of the same verb of which is the infinite. Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable and that the purpose of life is to worship God. They regard their religion as the completed and universal version of a primordial, monotheistic faith revealed at many times and places before, including, notably, to the prophets Abraham, Moses and Jesus. Islamic tradition holds that previous messages and revelations have been changed and distorted over time. Religious practices include the Five Pillars of Islam, which are five obligatory acts of worship. Islamic law touches on virtually every aspect of life and society, encompassing everything from banking and warfare to welfare and environment.
The majority of Muslims belong to one of two denominations, the Sunni and the Shi’a. About 13% of Muslims live in Indonesia, the largest Muslim country, 31% in the Indian Subcontinent, 20% in the Middle East and 15 % in Sub-saharan Africa. Sizable communities are also found in China and Russia, and parts of the Caribbean. Converts and immigrant communities are found in almost every part of the world. With about 1.57 billion Muslims comprising about 23% of the world’s population, Islam is the second-largest religion in the world and arguably the fastest growing religion in the world.