states with an Islamic population portion of more than 10%
green: Sunni areas, red: Shiite areas, blue: Ibaditen (Oman)

the Islam (Arab: إسلام islām devotion at God; الإسلام aluminium-islām the Islam) is with approx. 1,2 billion trailersafter the Christianity (approx. 2,0 billion trailer) the second largest religion of the world. Its trailers are called as Muslims or (clearly more rarely and become outdated) Mohammedaner. The designation „Mohammedaner “rejected from many Muslims, since it arouses the impression, Mohammed would standbefore God in the center of the Islamic faith. In the Persian one is however quite common mohammadi.

In older literature the designations Muselman are (from the Turkish Musulman for Muslims, which was formed from the Persian Pluralform Musliman) as well as Muslim, upa Transkription of the Persian vowel characters u as o and i as e decreases/goes back.

The Islam is a monotheistische religion, which distinguishes itself strictly from the Polytheismus and also of the Christian conception of Inkarnation and tri rivet RK. It is based on that Koran, which is for Muslims the genuine word of God. Second source of realization are the words and actions (Sunna) of the prophet Mohammed.

Some Muslims place volksetymologischen a free of doubts purchase of the word “Islam” in recent time to the word Salam(سلام „peace “, lexically under the same root سلم arranged) ago and lead from it the kausative meaning „peace create “or „peace donate “for the term “Islam” off. Such a meaning of the term “Islam” is however neither in the Koran nor inthe today without reservation valid classical Koranexegese demonstrably.

Table of contents

The emergence Islam

see the major item history Islam

pilgrim in Mekka, in the background the Kaaba

of the religion founders Mohammed (Arab: محمد the much-praised) became around 570 as a son of a dealer from the trunk of the Quraisch in Mekka in today's Saudi Arabia born. After Islamic excessive quantity at the age of approximately 40 years the ore gels Gabriel , which dictated the verses of a göttlichen revealing, appeared to it, whose Verkündigung Mohammed should employ the remainder of its life to him. Mohammeds revealing becameunder the government Uthman ibn Affans, the third Kalifen, collected and kanonisiert. This collection of the revealing Mohammeds is it, what one understands today by Koran. The message of a compromiseless Monotheismus announced by Mohammed found to that one in the polytheistischen MekkaTime few trailers, and the recent Muslim municipality saw itself forced under the pressure of their opponents to leave Mekka. The removal into the Yathrib (Medina), lain north, brought Mohammed with the Jewish trunks settling there in contact, thoseit however from its göttlichen order to to convince was not able. Their refusal to recognize it as own prophets let the conception mature in Mohammed that Jews and Christians had deviated from the right way of the God and their revealing were falsified.From it it seems to have resulted for it that he continued not only revealing the monotheistischen religions already existing, but that it was rather its task to again-establish the original abrahamitischen Monotheismus. It announced this resolution short on the occasion of the parting barrier travelbefore its death. The Islam as independent religion was born. Visible indication of this change was it that the prayer direction already short was changed after time the Hedschra: of Jerusalem, the place of the judaeo Christian Monotheismus after Mekka, the placethe Kaaba, the “house of God” (بيتالله). The year, in which the Hedschra took place, was specified to aluminium-Chattab by resolution of the second Kalifen Umar ibn as a first year of the Islamic time calculation.

Bases Islam

the five columns

thosePrinciples Islam, which are five columns, which is obligated to fulfill to each Muslim:

In the Sufismus (Islamic Mystik) the first part of the Schahada also interpreted with: I admit that itnothing except God gives and/or. There is nothing. There are only the one (the unit).

Expressing the Schahada with honest intention (niya) is sufficient, in order to become Muslim. It is also first, which a newborn child inEar is whispered, and the last greeting to a dying. In the today's Islamic culture a Muslim, who leaves the Islam, loses frequently his family and social connections, its rights and hereditary requirements. In the right theory, in some countries also inthe law practice, dropping from the Islam is punished with death. (See:ridda)

It is performed at fixed times, at which the Muezzin calls: in the dawn, at noon, in the afternoon, in the eveningand after break-down of the night.

Before the ritual cleaning takes place (Arab: wudu'; Persian: âbdast) with pure water. If this should not be available in sufficient quantity or need as drinking reserve, symbolically sand or dust is used (tayammum). Shortening, folding up, preferring or retrieving from prayers are permitted, approximately under certain conditions on journeys or with illness. On Friday the midday prayer (prayerprayer prayer) in the community becomes, usually in the main mosque of the city or of theQuarter, performs. By the lecture (chutba), their bases of the Koran and the utterances of the prophet are accompanied are treated and the often also up to date questions.

The yields become for needy ones, patient,Release of prisoners, whom Dschihad or for the setting up religious schools uses. The height varies depending upon Einkunftsart (trade, cattle breeding, cultivation) between 2,5 10% just like the tax basis (income or total assets). Zakat represents one of the three tax forms permitted after Islamic right;the other two are the real estate tax (Charadsch) and the Kopfsteuer (Dschizya), which of Nichtmuslimen in Islamic societies as return for their tolerance (see: Dhimmi is required). The Zakat is a pious action and a religious obligationthe Muslim and can come thus only Muslims to property.

In the month Ramadān, which shifts each year by 11 days, becomes of beginning of the dawn - if one one „white of oneblack thread differentiate between “can (Sure 2, verse 187) - up to the completed sunset, nothing gefastet eaten, nothing drunk, not smoked, no conjugal traffic and abstention SAMness in the behavior experienced.

That chamfered not for health reasons one obeys, but over God instructionto be sufficient during the daily. To that extent the extensive chamfering breaking often practiced is at night not necessarily ideally, hurt however also not the religious obligation. Often one breaks chamfered with a Dattel and a glass milk, like this to thatProphet to have done is. The chamfering month is terminated with the celebration of the chamfering breaking ('Īd aluminium-fitr).

Once in its life the Muslim is to begin the Pilgerfahrt after Mekka, over there and. A. thoseholy Kaaba seven times to umschreiten. The Pilgerfahrt takes place in the last moon month, and becomes the obligation for it if he is in addition able. Crucially for it whether the Pilgerfahrt becomes, is the obligation among other things its financial andhealth life circumstances. The restriction of the ritual-quite-light obligation of the Pilgerfahrt is justified in Sure 3, verse 97:

„… and humans are committed in relation to to God, the Wallfahrt to the house (D. i. to make the Kaaba of Mekka) - so far ita possibility find. “

The interpretation of the expression used here „to possibility find effected “in a Prophetenspruch (Hadith), whose Isnad is classified however as „weakly “. Therefore is the possession of travel provisions and riding animal (Arab: aluminium-zâd wa 'l-râhila) the basic condition forthe fulfilment of this ritual obligation.


indicates faith principles in the Islam six faith articles, i.e. the faith:

These faith articles are mentioned both in the Koran (e.g. Sure 4, verse 136):

„Your Gläubigen! Believes in God and his envoy and the writing, which it down-sent on its envoys, andto the writing, which it already down-sent (in former times)! Who does not believe angel, in God, its its writings, its envoys and the recent day, is far abgeirrt (with it of the right way). “

Also in Hadithen, like the following utterance of the prophet,it means:

„The faith consists of the fact that you believe in God and in its angels, in its books, in its prophets and in the recent day, as well as in göttliche planning of the good one and the bad one. “

The Islam is oneminted monotheistische religion. The Christian conception of the Dreifaltigkeit is rejected expressly as polytheistisch, likewise each Personifizierung or figurative representation of God. God is described by its „99 most beautiful names “(aluminium-asmāʾuʾl-ḥusnā), which are entitled only to it alone.Humans can only know about God, what it revealed them in its grace. Defining the attributes of God on the basis the Koranauslegung led in the Sunni Islam at present the Abbasiden particularly in the theories of the Mu'tazila andtheir opponents to violent arguments.

Apart from the sole responsibility the responsibility for others stands: Each Muslim is obligated, too „orders, which is quite “and too „forbid, what is despicable: aluminium-amr bi'l ma'ruf wa n-nahy 'on aluminium-munkar الأمربالمعروفوالنهيعنالمنكر) (repeated in the Koran, z. B. in Sure 7, verse 157).

The Scharia

Scharia (الشريعة (Šarīʿa), eig. „the way to the water place “) is the Islamic right. It does not only regulate the life of the Muslims by mentioned the abovePrinciples, but also all interhuman relations by before, purchase, contract and criminal law (ḥudūd / ʿuqūbāt), as well as the relations with the not-Muslim world by the martial law (see Dschihad).

The Islam understands itself as an unsolvable unit about religionand state and of religion and right. The Islamic right is religious obligation teachings, which regulate the behavior of the particular both to God and to its fellow men and morally evaluated. Thus the Islam contradicts the political and social order principlesthe Laizismus and the Pluralismus, since all ranges of the daily life are adjusted exclusively in accordance with standards of the Islamic religious law. While in the abendländischen right everything is permitted, what does not forbid the law, the Islamic right forbids everything that notis legally permitted.

In the Sufismus (Islamic Mystik) the Scharia has the value of the basis for the way of the God-looking for. Further stations are in the order: Tariqa („the mystische way “), Haqiqa („truth “) and Ma'rifa („realization “).



The Islam is split into several directions. The Sunniten forms in terms of figures largest grouping with approximately 90%. They are divided again into the Sunni right schools of the Hanafiten, Malikiten, Hanbaliten and Schafiiten. The Wahhabiten gennante direction Sunni Islam is no right school however strongly ajar against that the Hanbaliten.

The right schools are frequently geographically distributed (e.g. Hanafiten in Turkey, Malikiten in North Africa).

The differences to the second largest faith direction, whose trailer is called Shiites, lie in the conviction, on whichBasis the rule of the highest leader (Kalif with the Sunniten, Imam with the Shiites) is based. For the Sunniten the Kalif is a leader, that is selected by its trailers due to its lay, administrative abilities. For the Shiites that can Imam however only a legal successor Mohammeds his and at the same time also successor Alis (the son-in-law Mohammeds). While the Kalif is thus only a lay defender of the religious community, the Imam in the faith of the Shiites places an infallible and perfect religious andwith diviner power equipped head. By the way also the Sündenlosigkeit is awarded to it.


the Shiites are the second large direction. Their main direction are the Imamiten or Zwölferschia in such a way specified, those particularly in Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Bahrain and Lebanon are far common. There are give the trailers of the Siebenerschia (Ismailiten), which live predominantly on the Indian Subkontinent (Mumbai , carat ski and north Pakistan) as well as in Afghanistan and Tadschikistan. The Zaiditen orFünferschia are today only in Yemen.


the Charidschiten, the so-called „Auszügler left “, those the party of the fourth Kalifen Ali ibn Abi Talib are the trailers of the oldest religious sparkling wines in the Islam 7. Century.They rejected both the authentication of Ali and of Uthman ibn Affan as Kalifen. Their movement already expired under the first Kalifen of the Abbasiden. Their main branch is today the smallest direction of the Islam, the Ibaditen. Itparticularly Djerba live and in Oman in south Algeria (Mzab ) , on the Tunisian island.


like nearly all religions and/or. also the Islam possesses religious directions an inside (esoterischen) and an outside (exoterischen)Aspect. The mystische internal dimension Islam is the Sufismus (Arab tasawwuf تصوف). The internal aspect is called also Tariqa, the outside Schari'a. In the opinion the Sufis belong together these two aspects inseparably, as example serves thatSymbol of an oil lamp: The flame of the lamp stands for Tariqa, thus for the Essenz of the religion, which would expire without the protecting glass with the first wind breath. The glass, thus the covering, stands for Schari'a, but without a flamethe glass would not have a sense alone as lamp.

Of puritanischen groups like the Wahhabiten the Sufis is often called Ketzer and rejected therefore.

Further groups

further groups are the Aleviten and the Ahmadiyya. Have from the Shiite Islamitself also the independent religions of the glands, which develops Jesiden, the baby mash and the religion of the Baha'i.


the political history Islam and the Kalifats is treated in own articles. A ruler list offers the list of the Kalifen.


two women in the mosque of Selangor in Shah Alam, Malaysia

today is common the Islam in many countries of the Near East , North Africa , central and Southeast Asia. Main circulation area is thereby the drying belt, that itself from the seeing erain the west over the Near East and the Caucasus until central Asia in the east pull. The most densely populated Muslim country is Indonesia. Muslim coined/shaped countries in Europe are Bosnia and Herzegowina, the European part of Turkey and Albania.Many further countries have Muslim minorities. The trailer number Islam becomes on between 900 million and 1.4 billion estimated.

Islamic conference

the Islamic countries are in the organization of the Islamic conference (OIC) organized, also some states with larger MuslimBelong to minorities.

Conversion of the Scharia

since the Kairoer declaration 1990 should be the Scharia again basis of the legislation in all Islamic countries. The practical conversion is however very different. Tunesien the conversion is limited only to the civil law, in Saudi Arabia and the Sudan however become effective it completely.

In Turkey the Scharia in the iurisdiction at all one does not practice. However the social reality in parts of the society looks differently. Thus e.g. exists. the officially not recognized IslamicBefore; at least in rural areas also to Polygynie one practices. In some states the Scharia applies only in Islamic dominated regions (e.g. in Nigeria).

Particularly drakonische punishments (Amputation, Steinigung), which are often internationally criticized, find in relatively few Islamic countriesApplication (Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, Iran) and also within the Islam, because thereby in the Scharia prescribed strict protection conditions for accused are usually ignored, so for example the obligation, at least four adults male Muslims than witnesses are partly criticizedto demonstrate, which saw the act with own eyes.

Here there is however a gray area, z. B. with „Ehrendelikten so mentioned “(as for example killings because of adultery). Even in laizistischen Turkey could until recently still with such crimeson mitigating circumstances for the moslemischen authors to be counted. Only 2004, in the course of the approximation to the European union were decided a law by the parliament, that the honour murder in such a way specified at girls and women like deliberate murder alsolifelong detention punishes.

A range of the Scharia, which exists probably only in the Sudan and in Mauritania, is the slavery.

The holy places Islam

in the Islam a multiplicity of cities is considered as holy, whereby three a special meaningcomes: First naturally Mekka as place of birth Mohammeds with the Kaaba as central Heiligtum Islam, which determines the prayer direction (Qibla). Whereupon the place follows, because of that the Islam first political effective force with Medina, north of Mekka been,unfolded, and finally Jerusalem, which after Muslim excessive quantity the first Qibla - direction gave and which is place, which the Muslims defined as geographical position of the aluminium-Aqsa-mosque mentioned in the Koran (Sure 17, „the nocturnal journey ).

Besides there is onelarge number at places of pilgrimage of different meaning. Usually it acts thereby around burial places, approximately of companion Mohammeds, the Imame of the Schia or of Sufi - sheikh. Prominently in the number of holy places the North African people Islam with innumerable is supposedBurial places of Marabuts. Apart from the first three holy places the status „of the holy “cities - like the holy admiration - in the Islam is an extremely controversial topic.

Jerusalem places in the list of the holyCities in as much a special case as the requirement deduced from the Koran cannot be occupied historically. Nevertheless it is for Muslims unanimously faith truth, which places it in the practical effect of one „to historical truth “.

The Islam and other religions

The Islam differentiates with his view other creditor one between monotheistischen and polytheistischen religions. Jews, Christians and Johanneschristen have a privileged position as „people of the writing “; after Muslim view the word of God was likewise revealed to them, they would have interpreted it however wrong. InIslamic state are they „Dhimmi “, which must pay a Kopfsteuer, which is higher, than from Muslims to the one which can be paid alms expensive and under humility testifying is to be paid. Entrance to the military is refused them. To existing places of worship appliescertain inventory protection; in them the worship is free, as long as Muslims are not disturbed, which z. B. ringing bells or execution Prozessionen excludes.

Despite the statement that it does not give „an obligation in the faith “(Koran: Sure2, verse 256), are not waited after the Scharīa Polytheisten, do not see in addition also faith liberty. The Islam divides the world into two areas, on the one hand „the area Islam “(aluminum Islam), in which the Islam already prevails, andinto „the area of the war “(aluminium-Harb).

See also: Dschihad

see also


Translations and literature to the Koran and the Hadithen are in the appropriate articles and are not specified therefore here.

Basic knowledge

  • Elger, Ralf. Islam. Frankfurt: Fischer, 2002. ISBN 3596153689
  • Elger,Ralf, Hg.Small Islam encyclopedia. Munich: Beck, 2001. ISBN 340647556-6
  • Endress, Gerhard. The Islam: An introduction to its history. Munich: Beck, 1997. ISBN 3406428843
  • Esposito, John L. From head cloth to Scharia: Which one should know about the Islam. Leipzig: Reclam, 2004. ISBN 3379201057
  • Hartmann, Richard. The religion Islam. Berlin, 1944 (lp 1992, scientific book company, Darmstadt). ISBN 3534801326
  • office for church of the Evangelist church in Germany, Hg. Which must know everyone of the Islam. 5. Aufl. Gütersloh: Gütersloher publishing house house, 1996 (GTB 786). ISBN 3579007866
  • Khoury, aristocracy Th.The Islam. 6. Aufl. Freiburg: Herder, 2001. ISBN 3451052466
  • Ruthven, Malise. The Islam: A short introduction. Stuttgart: Reclam, 2000. ISBN of 3150180570
  • shepherds, Udo. Faith world Islam: An introduction. Hildesheim: Olms, 2002 (religion-scientific texts and studies, Bd. 7). ISBN of 3487101599
  • mould, Annemarie. The religion Islam: An introduction. Stuttgart: Reclam, 1990. ISBN 3150086396
  • Strobl, Anna, and bird, walter. Islam - the CD-ROM. Graz: Schnider, 1999. ISBN 3900993955
  • Watts, Montgomery W. The Islam.3 Bde. Stuttgart: Kohl hammer, 1980-1990.(Bd. 2:ISBN 3170057073)


  • stem, Heinz, Haarmann, Ulrich and Gronke, Monika, Hgg. History of the Arab world. Munich: Beck, 2001. ISBN 3406474861
  • stem, Heinz. The Islam: History and present. Munich: Beck, 2004. ISBN 3406519172
  • Kettermann, Günter. Atlas to historyIslam. Darmstadt, 2001. ISBN 3534141180
  • Küng, Hans. The Islam: History, present, future. Munich/Zurich, 2004. ISBN 3492046479
  • nail, Tilman. History of Islamic theology. Munich: Beck, 1994. ISBN 3406379818
  • Noth, Albrecht, and Paul, Jürgen, Hgg. The Islamic Orient:Fundamentals of its history. Peppering castle: Ergon, 1998. ISBN 3932004566
  • Rebiai, Marcel. Islam, Israel and the municipality. Loop, 2004. ISBN 3907827422
  • van Ess, Josef. Theology and society in 2. and 3. Century of the Hidschra. 6 Bde. Berlin: Springer, 1991-1995.

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