Islam is a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion originating with the teachings of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, a 7th century Arab religious and political figure. The word Islam means "submission", or the total surrender of oneself to God. An follower of Islam is known as a Muslim, meaning "one who submits.
Muslims believe that God revealed the Qur'an to Muhammad, God's final prophet, through the angel Gabriel, and regard the Qur'an and the Sunnah (words and deeds of Muhammad) as the fundamental sources of Islam. They regard Muhammad as the restorer of the original monotheistic faith of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets.
Islam includes many religious practices. Believers are generally required to observe the Five Pillars of Islam, which are five duties that unite Muslims into a community. In addition to the Five Pillars, Islamic law (sharia) has developed a tradition of rulings that touch on virtually all aspects of life and society.
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Almost all Muslims belong to one of two major denominations, the Sunni (85%) and Shi'a (15%). The division developed in the late 7th century following disagreements over the religious and political leadership of the Muslim community. Islam is the predominant religion in much of Africa and the Middle East, as well as in major parts of Asia. Large communities are also found in China, the Balkan Peninsula in Eastern Europe and Russia.
The Qur'an states that all Muslims must believe in God, his revelations, his angels, his messengers, and in the "Day of Judgment". Also, there are other beliefs that differ between particular sects. The Sunni concept of predestination is called divine decree, while the Shi'a version is called divine justice.
Muslims believe that God revealed his final message to humanity through the Islamic prophet Muhammad via the archangel Gabriel. In Islam, prophets are men selected by God to be his messengers. Muslims believe that prophets are human and not divine, though some are able to perform miracles to prove their claim. Islamic prophets are considered to be the closest to perfection of all humans, and are uniquely the recipients of divine revelation — either directly from God or through angels.
The Qur'an mentions the names of numerous figures considered prophets in Islam, including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus, among others.
The Arabic term for God is Allāh. The first of the Five Pillars of Islam, tawhīd is expressed in the shahadah (testification), which declares that there is no god but God, and that Muhammad is God's messenger. Muslims are not expected to visualize God but to worship and adore him as a protector.