Muslim in Country


Mostly, the ancient near East religions were polytheistic with yahwism and Atenism being examples of monolatry. In Mesopotamia, the Sumerian religion was embraced. The gods and goddesses were identified with heavenly bodies such as the sun, stars, and moon ethically. The Babylonia religion advances the conception of the qualities associated with the gods and the goddesses as well as the duties imposed on man. In Islam, Father Ibrahim is recognized as the prophet of God. He plays a significant role in the Islam religion as a father of faith because he fulfilled and passed all the trials and commandments that God assigned his way (Dunn, 1996). He received the promise of the father of nations from God. He is believed to have cleansed the world from idolatry and paganism.

History of Islam

Notably, Islam originated from Medina and Mecca at the beginning of the 7th century. Muslims believe that Islam was the original faith of the prophets such as David, Jesus, Noah, Abraham, and Adam. Muhammad received divine revelations, whose messages won over a handful of followers. The Islamic golden age gave rise to science and culture that produced mathematicians, philosophers, and notable astronomers. Most parts of the Muslim world fell under the influence of the great power during the 19th and 20th centuries (Dunn, 1996).

Sunni and Shia

Sunni and Shia are the primary denominations of Islam. The two denominations came into existence after the death of Prophet Muhammad in 632 AD. The Muslim communities in China, South Asia, Africa, and partly the Arabic nations embrace the Sunni denomination. Research reveals that 15% of the Muslims belong to the Shia denomination that embraces the Twelver tradition (Dunn, 1996). Both faiths believe that the Quran is divine, but have different opinions on hadith.

Twelvers, Fivers Seveners

Shiism became culturally diverse as it spread over time. Succession crises through ages led to some followers breaking away from the main body of Shiism known as Twelvers who recognized the twelve Imams. The Fiver or Zaydis came up as a result of rebellion against the Umayyad’s and claim to imamate. Mostly, the Zaidis live close to Yemen, and their practice is close to Sunnis. Ismail, Jaffars eldest son was believed to have inherited the father’s religious charisma (Dunn, 1996). Seveners are the Muslims who recognized Ismail’s Charisma.

Future of the Global Muslim Population

Research reveals that in the next ten years the number of Muslims would increase by 35 percent. In fact, by 2030, there would be 2.2 billion Muslims in the world rising from 1.6. The Sunnis would continue to make up an overwhelming majority in 2030 (Dunn, 1996). The education levels among the women determine the fertility rates in the Muslim population. Currently, less than half of the women population aged 15-49 do not use family planning.

Islam in Africa


In Djibouti, 98% of the inhabitants are Sunni Muslims who adhere to the Shafi’I traditions. Islam was introduced in Djibouti from the Arabia Peninsula, and their legal system is based on Islamic Law. In the country’s constitution, the nation has named Islam as the sole state religion. The Djiboutian Muslims are granted the right to marry someone from a different religion although the converts encounter resistance from clans, family members, and society at large (Rogers, 1976). The Ministry of Religious Affairs is mandated with the responsibility to oversee the teachings at the mosque because some of the Imams were believed to be passing on strong messages about social justice and political themes. Plain clothed police monitor the Friday sermons and prayers.  The family codes in the constitution demand the non-Muslim men convert to Islam before marrying Muslim women. Nationally, there exist 40 private Islamic schools which are under the Ministry of Islamic Affairs and the Education Ministry.


In West Africa, Nigeria has the highest population of Muslims which take almost 50% of the number of people. The majority are Sunni Muslims with a few subscribing to the Shia denomination. The trade between Northern African regions and Kanem has led to the spread and growth of Islam in these areas. Islam penetrated Yoruba in the 14th century during Mansa Kankan’s reign.  Usman Dan Fodio, an Islamic scholar, launched a Fulani war against the Hausa Kingdoms of Northern Nigeria. He established the Fulani Empire after winning the Fulani War. In the 1970s, cleric Mohammed Marwa Maitatsine claimed divine revelations that were to supersede those of Prophet Mohammad (Rogers, 1976). The ideology appealed to the poverty-stricken and marginal groups. The Sharia law has been implemented in at least 12 states located in Northern Nigeria. In the 1950s, the students often converged at the compound of the mallams or Koranic boarding schools to learn Islamic education. The extremist groups present in Nigeria include Boko Haram, Hamas, Hezbollah, and Al Qaeda. Boko Haram’s main aim is to create an Islamic State in Northern Nigeria. They have launched various attacks among them which include the kidnapping of the 276 female students from a government Secondary School in Chibok town.


Islam in Asia


Bahrain has made Islam the state religion. In fact, research reveals that 90% of the population is Muslim. The Majority of the Muslims in Bahrain subscribe to the Shia denomination. Among the holidays observed by the country include Eid-al-Fitr, Ed Al  Adha, Islamic New Year, and Mawlid, the Prophet Mohammad birthday (Rogers, 1976). King Hamad has foreseen political liberalization that has seen Islamist parties contest in Bahrain elections. The Islamic parties are a dominant force in parliament. The government has made efforts to favor the Sunni minority and minimize the Shiite citizens by recruiting the foreign Sunnis to serve in the political force. In turn, it has led to the revoking of the Bahrain citizenship of the shite.


Lebanon registers 62% of the population as Muslims. Slightly a quarter of the Muslims subscribes to the Sunni denomination with Twelvers being the dominant Shia group followed by the Ismailis and Alawites. The country is in a National Pact agreement that stipulates that the President should be a Maronite, the speaker a Shiite while the prime minister must be a Sunnite. The law gives provision for essential matters such as inheritance, family, and divorce to be dealt with spiritual authorities since the country is a secular one.

The United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has Islam as an official religion with more than 80% of the population being non-citizens.  The Sunnis are the dominant group with 85% of the Muslims while the Shia takes the remaining portion. Most of the foreigners are believed to come from the South and South East Asia with a substantial number from the Middle East. The country has sharia courts that have a significant amount of authority. Offenses such as alcohol consumption, premarital sex, and adultery attracted a punishment of flogging. Similarly, stoning is legalized in the UAE. Moreover, kissing in public is prohibited and punishable in the UAE, with immigrants facing deportation. Homosexuality is a capital offense in the UAE. Furthermore, it is prohibited to drink, smoke, and eat in public during the holy month of Ramadan (Rogers, 1976).

Islam in Europe


France has more Christians than Muslims, though it registers the highest number of Muslims in the Western world. The high number of Muslims is attributed to their migration from the Middle East countries and Northern Africa. Most of the Muslims in France subscribe to the Sunni denomination. In fact, an estimate of at least 100, 000 residents of French origin have been converted to Islam. The country is a secular one, and in the recent past, the government has worked to have a representation of the French Muslims. Nicholas Sarkozy, the then French Minister for Interior initiated a French council of the Muslim Faith. The religious code of conduct in France expects one not to infringe the public area. Most of the Muslims that observe the Ramadan fast neither do they eat pork nor drink wine. Many of the government schools are secular with few private religious schools offering religious Islam education. The government has put measures to minimize radicalization by closing some of the mosques believed in providing teachings that led the youths astray into extremist activities. The Paris attack in 2015 made the government term radicalization as not only a security threat but also a societal problem. The then Prime Minister termed them as attacks against the fundamental secular and democratic values. Among the western countries, France is believed to have better integration system where the immigrants feel safe regardless of citizenship as well as faith. However, research reveals that Muslims had a lesser chance of being employed than Christians in the country. Since 1989, the wearing of Hijabs has been controversial given that most of the schools are secular. The young Muslim girls and women in secular schools were at times forced to drop the Hijab for standard school uniforms as a school rule. Equally, the French government is opposed to the wearing of garments that reflect religious expression to promote unity and cohesion among the citizens (Rogers, 1976).

Islam in the Americas

United States

In the United States, Islam is the third largest religion after Christianity and Judaism. Statistics reveal that close to 3.5 million people in the U.S are Muslims with 86% of them being citizens. Half of the Muslim population are native-born while the remaining are foreign-born. A quarter of the Muslim community is African American who converted to Islam. Most of the slaves from the African countries arrived as Muslims. During the drafting of the state constitution of Pennsylvania, the view of Islam in America was put into consideration regarding the freedom of religion.  President John Dams signed the Tripoli treaty which declared that the United States had no hostility towards religion, laws, and tranquility of Mussulmen. The Muslims have been accorded an equal opportunity in education and employment just as the other religions. There exist organizations such as the American Muslim Council which champion the Muslim political interests as well as engage in upholding civil and human rights for all Americans. In early 2001, the International Museum of Muslim Culture was opened in Jackson to showcase and educate the population on the Islamic culture and beliefs. After the September 11 attack, the Muslims were discriminated upon because of their religion.




Dunn, J. M. (1996). The spread of Islam. San Diego, CA: Lucent Books.

Rogers, M. (1976). The spread of Islam. Oxford: Elsevier-Phaidon.