Chapter 6: Islam: Equality and Action
OVERVIEW OF BELIEFS Introduction Islam derives its name from the human experience to which this faith gives rise. The word ‘Islam’ is based on the root s-l-m, which has two connotations – peace and surrender. Thus, Islam means the peace that results from surrendering one’s life to God (Smith 1991). The historical figure upon which Islam rests is Muhammad.1 Adherents of Islam are known as Muslims, and are the third ‘people of the book’, sharing a common Abrahamic ancestry with Judaism and Christianity. There are 1.3 billion Muslims (20 per cent of the global population) worldwide. Nearly 70 per cent of all Muslims live in Asia (including the Middle East), while just over a quarter live in Africa. Indonesia’s nearly 200 million Muslims makes it the country with the highest number of adherents to this religion. Only a small percentage of Europe’s population are Muslim (around 2.5 per cent), and there are even fewer in North America (0.5 per cent of the population), Latin America (0.15 per cent) and Oceania (0.05 per cent) (O’Brien and Palmer 2007). Islam is the state religion of 25 countries. As Islam originates within the Abrahamic tradition, it is a monotheist religion. Indeed, the term for God within Islam is Allah, which literally means ‘the God’. The shared history of Islam and Judaism (and Christianity) is common up to the time of Abraham. According to the Islamic and Jewish (and Christian) faith, God created man and woman – Adam and Eve. Their descendants led to Noah. Noah...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.