Islam teaches absolute monotheism and Mohammed's primacy as God's last Prophet on Earth. Stress is on the brotherhood of believers, nondifference of religious and secular life, obedience to God's Law, abstinence from alcohol, good conduct and the limitation of all except Allah. Today Islam is the world's fastest-growing religion.
FOUNDED: Islam began about 1,400 years ago in present-day Saudi Arabia.
FOUNDER: Prophet Mohammed.
MAJOR SCRIPTURES:The Koran, Islam's revealed scripture, and the Hadith, the teachings, sayings and life of the Prophet Mohammed.
ADHERENTS: One billion, mostly in the Middle East, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Africa, China and Eastern Europe.
SECTS: There are two main divisions within Islam. The Sunnis are followers of the political successors of Mohammed. The Shiites are followers of Mohammed's family successors, all martyred at an early age.
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