Spread of Islam

Islam is an independent monotheistic religion and goes back, like Christianity and Judaism, to Abraham, the progenitor of the Israelites. Today, Islam is the second largest religious community and has about 1.8 billion followers.

Muslim countries and thus the main areas of spread are in northern Africa and the Middle East. Islam is also widespread in many other countries. Only in the Americas is it still a minority religion. Among the religious directions of Islam are mainly:

Distribution Islam

Indonesia87.2 %238,713,000
Pakistan95.0 %219,832,000
India13.0 %185,351,000
Bangladesh89.5 %151,574,000
Nigeria50.0 %106,701,000
Egypt90.0 %98,336,000
Iran96.5 %84,846,000
Turkey99.0 %83,928,000
Algeria99.0 %43,736,000
Iraq97.0 %42,228,000
Ethiopia33.9 %40,776,000
Afghanistan99.0 %39,698,000
Morocco99.0 %36,706,000
Saudi Arabia99.0 %35,591,000
Yemen98.0 %32,322,000
Sudan70.0 %31,960,000
Uzbekistan88.0 %30,725,000
Mali94.8 %20,766,000
Malaysia61.3 %20,581,000
Niger80.0 %20,202,000
Syria89.0 %18,979,000
Somalia99.9 %17,049,000
Senegal94.0 %15,864,000
Burkina Faso60.5 %13,371,000
Kazakhstan70.2 %13,339,000
Tunisia99.1 %12,153,000
Guinea85.0 %11,502,000
Ivory Coast38.6 %10,607,000
Jordan94.2 %10,502,000
Democratic Republic of the Congo10.0 %9,589,000
Azerbaijan93.4 %9,469,000
Chad53.1 %9,122,000
Tajikistan90.0 %8,775,000
United Arab Emirates76.0 %7,118,000
Libya96.6 %6,506,000
Kenya11.1 %5,884,000
Ghana17.6 %5,779,000
Mozambique17.9 %5,742,000
Russia4.0 %5,738,000
Philippines5.0 %5,694,000
Turkmenistan89.0 %5,644,000
Uganda12.1 %5,548,000
Cameroon20.0 %5,440,000
France8.0 %5,420,000
Sierra Leone60.0 %5,052,000
Kyrgyzstan75.0 %5,019,000
Mauritania100.0 %4,615,000
Palestine91.0 %4,480,000
Germany4.7 %3,910,000
Oman85.9 %3,883,000
Thailand4.9 %3,508,000
Lebanon58.5 %3,272,000
Benin24.4 %3,171,000
Kuwait73.2 %3,111,000
United Kingdom4.4 %2,962,000
Malawi13.0 %2,586,000
Gambia90.0 %2,376,000
Myanmar4.0 %2,152,000
Sri Lanka9.7 %2,149,000
Qatar77.5 %2,083,000
Madagascar7.0 %2,024,000
Eritrea50.0 %1,810,000
Israel19.3 %1,807,000
Togo20.0 %1,729,000
Kosovo95.6 %1,707,000
Bosnia and Herzegovina50.7 %1,658,000
Albania56.7 %1,594,000
Nepal4.4 %1,322,000
Canada3.2 %1,224,000
Djibouti94.0 %1,039,000
Bahrain70.3 %1,029,000
Guinea-Bissau45.1 %929,000
Netherlands5.0 %877,000
Central African Republic15.0 %819,000
Comoros98.0 %805,000
Singapore14.3 %780,000
Bulgaria10.0 %688,000
North Macedonia33.3 %688,000
South Sudan6.2 %666,000
Liberia12.2 %634,000
Australia2.2 %565,000
Maldives100.0 %521,000
Switzerland4.9 %426,000
Austria4.2 %376,000
Georgia9.9 %367,000
Brunei78.8 %351,000
Burundi2.5 %314,000

Origin and distribution

Islam has its origin in the year 610 on Mount Hira near Mecca, where the prophet Mohammed received the order to preach from the angel Gabriel. From there his sermons spread first over Medina and later over a large part of the Arab tribes of Saudi Arabia.

By the year 650, the Arabs, through military conquest, had spread their rule and the Islamic faith in Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Egypt and parts of Iran. This "Islamic expansion" ebbed away after the beginning of the 8th century. Like other religions, Islam has since spread mainly through emigration and the influence of international traders. It was not until the 11th century that the spread made great strides again through the Islamization of the African east coast, and later also the west coast. North and east of what was then Arabia, significant parts of Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and India were added up to the 13th century as a result of several years of war by Ghāzī fighters. Even parts of western China were Islamized.

In Europe, the 2nd millennium marked the beginning of a period of wars between Christianity and Islam that flared up again and again. Focal points were above all the Iberian Peninsula and the areas of the then Ottoman Empire in Southeast Europe. Starting from the Indian Ocean, the same happened in South and Southeast Asia. To this day, Malaysia, Indonesia and the south of Thailand have a clearly predominant Muslim population, while India almost completely reverted to Hinduism after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.