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Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar
Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, capital city of Qatar.
Image: Shahin Olakara

According to Islamic theology, Islam is the original, complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed many times before through prophets including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. Today adherents of Islam constitute the world's second largest religious group, about 1.7 billion or 23% of the world population. Islam is growing more rapidly than any other religion in the world (see: Pew Research Center).

Below you will find the countries with the largest Muslim population, and countries where the majority of the population are followers of Islam religion.

There are two main branches of Islam: Sunni and Shia
The great majority of the world's Muslims are Sunnis, they regard the first four caliphs as legitimate successors of Muhammad. The majority of the populations of Egypt, Jordan, Gaza and the West Bank and Saudi Arabia are Sunnis. They see themself as the traditional (original) adherents to Islamic belief.

Adherents of Shia belief reject the first three Sunni caliphs and regards Ali, the fourth caliph, as Muhammad's first true successor. The majority of Shia Muslims live in Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, Azerbaijan and, also in Yemen. There are large Shia communities in Afghanistan, India, Kuwait, Lebanon, Pakistan, Qatar, Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.


Countries with the largest Muslim population

Major regions of the Muslim world with a culturally Islamic population are in Central Asia, the entire Middle East (Western Asia), most of North Africa (and the Horn of Africa), most of West Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia.

List of countries where the majority of the population are followers of Islam religion.

Countries with the highest percentage of Muslims (more than 90% of the population) are Mauritania, Maldives, Afghanistan, Tunisia, Iran, Morocco, Yemen, Tajikistan, Iraq, Somalia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Niger, Comoros, Algeria, Palestinian Territories, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Djibouti, Libya, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Senegal, Kosovo, Gambia, Mali, Jordan, Turkmenistan, Egypt and Syria.

Countries with a high percentage of Muslims (more than 70% of the population) are Kyrgyzstan, Oman, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Guinea, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Sierra Leone, Kazakhstan, Bahrain, and Brunei.

Countries with a significant percentage of Muslims (more than 50% of the population) are Malaysia, Burkina Faso, Lebanon, Albania, Chad, Nigeria, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Countries with the world's largest Muslim population (more than 10 million, in million) are: Indonesia (205 m), Pakistan (178 m), India (172 m), Bangladesh (145.6 m), Nigeria (94 m), Iran (74.8 m), Turkey (74.6 m), Egypt (73.8 m), Algeria (40.4 m), Sudan (39.0 m), Morocco (32.3 m), Iraq (31.1 m), Afghanistan (29.0 m), Uzbekistan (26.8 m), Saudi Arabia (25.5 m), Ethiopia (25.0 m), China (24.8 m), Yemen (24.0 m), Syria (20.8 m), Niger (19.5 m), Tanzania (19.4 m), Malaysia (17.1 m), Mali (15.6 m), Senegal (14.5 m), Burkina Faso (11.2 m), Tunisia (11.1 m), and Russia with just 9.4 m Muslims.

Sources: Pew Research Center, BBC Sunnis and Shia, The World Fact Book, Wikipedia

Allah in Arabic
The word 'Allah' in Arabic calligraphy.

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