21. and societal rules, trade and commerce,

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21. Islam is today the second largest followed religion, as well as the fastestspreading religion around the world. Shia and the Sunni are the two major sects ofIslam, however, Islam also has 72 different types of sects or followings. Thisdynamism does not get limited to the types but also in the method of religiouspractices, tolerance to other sects and religions as well. The Muslims all over theworld are further classified based on the Schools of Jurisprudence. The Sunnis arehas the Hanafi, Hanbali, Shafi & Malaki schools, whereas the Shia are divided asZaidi, Twelvers, Ismaili, etc. India represents other extension of the spectrum, themajority of Indian Muslims being Sunni belonging to Sufi school and a large minorityof Shia, which is second largest after Iran also co-exists.Islam & its Origins122. To understand Islam and its off shoots, one must first get acquainted with theorigin of the religion. Islam is monotheistic religion that developed in the Arabianpeninsula in the 7th century AD under the last Prophet MohammedS (born asMu?ammad ibn ?Abdull?h ibn Abdul-Muttalib ibn Hashim). The word Islamliterally means “Surrender” or “Submission to the will of Almighty (Allah)”. Islam as areligion is based on monotheism and assertion of ‘Allah is the one and true God withno partner or equal’ who is the creator and controller of the world. The Quran hasrevelations from Allah to the Prophet MohammedS through the sacred messengerGabriel. Muslims believe that prophets Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and others,were all Islamic prophets, and they have equal reverence in the Quran. The Quran(book of Allah) and Sunnah (the way of life of the Prophet as mentioned in books ofHadith) form the basis of a Islamic law also called Shariah Law. Islam in many waysis a way of life, which includes details on religious practices, means of living, family1 Britannica Encyclopedia https://www.britannica.com/topic/Islam8ties and societal rules, trade and commerce, code of conduct for a ruler, ethics ofwar and peace with enemies, etc.23. Islam has several branches and much diversity within those branches. Thetwo major divisions within the religion are the Sunni and Shia. One of the unifyingcharacteristics of Islam is the Five Pillars, the fundamental practices of Islam. Sunnisand Shias agree on these basic tenets, namely, declaring faith in a monotheisticAlmighty Allah with no equals or partners and Mohammed as his Last Prophet andmessenger, conducting daily prayers five times a day (Salat), giving alms to the poor(Zakat) every year, fasting during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan (Sawm), andperforming the pilgrimage (Hajj) to Mecca once in lifetime. Another shared nature ofall sects of Islam is that of the sacred places including Mecca, Medina, andJerusalem. Muslims gather at mosques to worship Allah, pray facing the direction ofAl Masjid al-Haram, Mecca.24. Islam is the religion with second largest following population in the world, firstbeing Christianity which represents approx one third of the world’s population. In2010, the Pew Research Centre report2 estimated that there were 1.6 billion Muslimsin the world, which represents 23% of the world’s population, with Christianity having2.3 Billion adherent making it 31% of world population. Even tough, Islam has itsorigins in present day Saudi Arabia it is no longer confined to West Asia. Small butsignificant communities exist across the continents including Asia, Africa, Europeand North America. According to the Pew Research Centre report of Apr 20153,Islam is growing to 29.2% of World population. The rate of growth of Muslimpopulation is at 73% in comparison to the World population growth rate of 35%.2 Pew Research Centre Report, July 2016 ( http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/07/22/muslims-andislam-key-findings-in-the-u-s-and-around-the-world)3 The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections 2010-2050, dated Apr 2015.(http://www.pewforum.org/files/2015/03/PF_15.04.02_ProjectionsFullReport.pdf)9Figure 1: Countries with Majority Religion in the World25. The 10 countries with the largest number of Muslims are home to two-thirds(66%) of all Muslims. The largest Muslim population lives in Indonesia (13%),followed by India (11%), Pakistan (10.5%), Bangladesh (8.4 %), Nigeria (5%), Egypt(5%), Iran (5%), Turkey (4.5%), Algeria (2%) and Morocco (2%).4 Muslims make up amajority of the population in 49 countries. South Asia including Indonesia, India,Pakistan and Bangladesh account for 686 million Muslim population. And this islikely population is likely to grow to 1.02 billion by the year 2050.54 The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections 2010-2050, dated Apr 2015.(http://www.pewforum.org/files/2015/03/PF_15.04.02_ProjectionsFullReport.pdf)5 Ibid.10Figure 2: Top Ten Countries with largest muslim population in 2010 & 2050.Sub-Sects in Islam.26. The interpretation of Quran and Ahadith (plural of Hadith) in changing contextand era, has given rise to varied rules and practices amongst the Muslim scholarsand their followers. Prophet MohammedS said during his lifetime regarding thesplitting of his followers into sects, the Hadith is as follows:”Abu Hurayrah (RadiyAllahu Anhu) relates that Rasulullah (SallallahuAlayhi Wasallam) said: ‘The Jews were divided into 71 or 72 sects as werethe Christians. My Ummah (followers) will be divided into 73 sects.” (Al-Mustadrak)1127. Sunni-Shia Divide. Shias and Sunnis are the main separation in theMuslims. Both Sunni and Shia have subdivisions. The Shias or Shiites, believe thedivisions among Shias community, arose over the proper line of succession. Shiitesbelieve Ali-ibn-Mutallib, the cousin of Prophet Mohammed to be the rightfulsuccessor to lead the Muslims and reject the legitimacy of the three Caliphs. On thecontarary, Sunnis believe in all four Caliphs, also referred as Khulafa-e-Rashidoon(the Righteous Caliphs). Post the four Caliphs, Sunnis continued to follow the chainof succession of Caliphs however, main stream Shias follow the twelve Imamsinstead. However a number of communities identify a certain number of Imams andnot the entire lineage, giving rise to Zaydi Shias, found mostly in Yemen, IsmailiShias, centered in South Asia and Ismailis, who revere the Aga Khan as the livingrepresentative of their Imam. Sunnism, a broad umbrella term for non-Shia Islam, isunited on the importance of the Quran and practice of Mohammed but allows fordifferences in legal opinion. Amongst the Sunnis, there are four schools of Sunnijurisprudence (School of Law): Hanafi, Shafii, Maliki, and Hanbali6. The Hanbalifurther gave rise to the Wahhabi and Salafi movements in Saudi Arabia.28. Salafism & Wahabism. The Salafist movement or Salafism is an ultraconservativereform movement within Sunni Islam that developed in Egypt in thesecond half of the 19th century, against a background of European colonialism. Itadvocated a return to the traditions of the “devout ancestors” (the salaf). The Salafistdoctrine can be summed up as taking “a fundamentalist approach to Islam, followingthe Prophet Muhammed and his earliest followers – Al-salaf al-salih, the ‘piousforefathers’. “They reject Bidah or religious innovation, and support theimplementation of Sharia (Islamic law).” The movement is often divided into threecategories: the largest group are the purists (or quietists), who avoid politics; thesecond largest group are the activists, who get involved in politics; and the smallestgroup are jihadists, who form a small minority.29. The Salafi movement is often described as being synonymous withWahhabism, but Salafists consider the term “Wahhabi” to be derogatory. At othertimes, Salafism has been described as a hybrid of Wahhabism. Wahhabism isnamed after an eighteenth-century preacher and scholar, Muhammad ibn Abd al-

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