Arabic is a Central Semitic language that first emerged in Iron Age northwestern Arabia and is now the lingua franca of the Arab world. It is named after the Arabs, a term used to describe peoples living in the area bounded by Mesopotamia in the east and the Anti-Lebanon mountains in the west, in northwestern Arabia, in the Sinai Peninsula. Arabic is classified as a macrolanguage comprising 30 modern varieties, including its standard form, Modern Standard Arabic, derived from Classical Arabic; as the modern written language, Modern Standard Arabic is taught in schools and universities, is used to varying degrees in workplaces and the media. The two formal varieties are grouped together as Literary Arabic, the official language of 26 states, the liturgical language of the religion of Islam, since the Quran and Hadith were written in Arabic. Modern Standard Arabic follows the grammatical standards of Classical Arabic, uses much of the same vocabulary. However, it has discarded some grammatical constructions and vocabulary that no longer have any counterpart in the spoken varieties, has adopted certain new constructions and vocabulary from the spoken varieties.
Much of the new vocabulary is used to denote concepts that have arisen in the post-classical era in modern times. Due to its grounding in Classical Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic is removed over a millennium from everyday speech, construed as a multitude of dialects of this language; these dialects and Modern Standard Arabic are described by some scholars as not mutually comprehensible. The former are acquired in families, while the latter is taught in formal education settings. However, there have been studies reporting some degree of comprehension of stories told in the standard variety among preschool-aged children; the relation between Modern Standard Arabic and these dialects is sometimes compared to that of Latin and vernaculars in medieval and early modern Europe. This view though does not take into account the widespread use of Modern Standard Arabic as a medium of audiovisual communication in today's mass media—a function Latin has never performed. During the Middle Ages, Literary Arabic was a major vehicle of culture in Europe in science and philosophy.
As a result, many European languages have borrowed many words from it. Arabic influence in vocabulary, is seen in European languages Spanish and to a lesser extent Portuguese, Catalan, owing to both the proximity of Christian European and Muslim Arab civilizations and 800 years of Arabic culture and language in the Iberian Peninsula, referred to in Arabic as al-Andalus. Sicilian has about 500 Arabic words as result of Sicily being progressively conquered by Arabs from North Africa, from the mid-9th to mid-10th centuries. Many of these words relate to related activities; the Balkan languages, including Greek and Bulgarian, have acquired a significant number of Arabic words through contact with Ottoman Turkish. Arabic has influenced many languages around the globe throughout its history; some of the most influenced languages are Persian, Spanish, Kashmiri, Bosnian, Bengali, Malay, Indonesian, Punjabi, Assamese, Sindhi and Hausa, some languages in parts of Africa. Conversely, Arabic has borrowed words from other languages, including Greek and Persian in medieval times, contemporary European languages such as English and French in modern times.
Classical Arabic is the liturgical language of 1.8 billion Muslims, Modern Standard Arabic is one of six official languages of the United Nations. All varieties of Arabic combined are spoken by as many as 422 million speakers in the Arab world, making it the fifth most spoken language in the world. Arabic is written with the Arabic alphabet, an abjad script and is written from right to left, although the spoken varieties are sometimes written in ASCII Latin from left to right with no standardized orthography. Arabic is a Central Semitic language related to the Northwest Semitic languages, the Ancient South Arabian languages, various other Semitic languages of Arabia such as Dadanitic; the Semitic languages changed a great deal between Proto-Semitic and the establishment of the Central Semitic languages in grammar. Innovations of the Central Semitic languages—all maintained in Arabic—include: The conversion of the suffix-conjugated stative formation into a past tense; the conversion of the prefix-conjugated preterite-tense formation into a present tense.
The elimination of other prefix-conjugated mood/aspect forms in favor of new moods formed by endings attached to the prefix-conjugation forms. The development of an internal passive. There are several features which Classical Arabic, the modern Arabic varieties, as well as the Safaitic and Hismaic inscriptions share which are unattested in any other Central Semitic language variety, including the Dadanitic and Taymanitic languages of the northern Hejaz; these features are evidence of common descent from Proto-Arabic. The following features can be reconstructed with confidence for Proto-Arabic: negative particles m *mā.
Damascus is the capital of the Syrian Arab Republic. It is colloquially known in Syria as aš-Šām and titled the "City of Jasmine". In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major cultural center of the Levant and the Arab world; the city has an estimated population of 1,711,000 as of 2009. Located in south-western Syria, Damascus is the center of a large metropolitan area of 2.7 million people. Geographically embedded on the eastern foothills of the Anti-Lebanon mountain range 80 kilometres inland from the eastern shore of the Mediterranean on a plateau 680 metres above sea level, Damascus experiences a semi-arid climate because of the rain shadow effect; the Barada River flows through Damascus. First settled in the second millennium BC, it was chosen as the capital of the Umayyad Caliphate from 661 to 750. After the victory of the Abbasid dynasty, the seat of Islamic power was moved to Baghdad. Damascus saw a political decline throughout the Abbasid era, only to regain significant importance in the Ayyubid and Mamluk periods.
Today, it is all of the government ministries. As of 2018, Damascus has witnessed repeated conflicts and has been considered by Mercer as one of the most unfavorable places to live; the name of Damascus first appeared in the geographical list of Thutmose III as / T-m-ś-q in the 15th century BC. The etymology of the ancient name "T-m-ś-q" is uncertain, it is attested as Imerišú in Akkadian, T-m-ś-q in Egyptian, Dammaśq in Old Aramaic and Dammeśeq in Biblical Hebrew. A number of Akkadian spellings are found in the Amarna letters, from the 14th century BC: Dimasqa, Dimàsqì, Dimàsqa. Aramaic spellings of the name include an intrusive resh influenced by the root dr, meaning "dwelling". Thus, the English and Latin name of the city is "Damascus", imported from originated from "the Qumranic Darmeśeq, Darmsûq in Syriac", meaning "a well-watered land". In Arabic, the city is called Dimašqu š-Šāmi, although this is shortened to either Dimašq or aš-Šām by the citizens of Damascus, of Syria and other Arab neighbors and Turkey.
Aš-Šām is an Arabic term for "Levant" and for "Syria". Baalshamin or Ba'al Šamem, was a Semitic sky-god in Canaan/Phoenicia and ancient Palmyra. Hence, Sham refers to. Damascus was built in a strategic site on a plateau 680 m above sea level and about 80 km inland from the Mediterranean, sheltered by the Anti-Lebanon mountains, supplied with water by the Barada River, at a crossroads between trade routes: the north-south route connecting Egypt with Asia Minor, the east-west cross-desert route connecting Lebanon with the Euphrates river valley; the Anti-Lebanon mountains mark the border between Lebanon. The range has peaks of over 10,000 ft. and blocks precipitation from the Mediterranean sea, so that the region of Damascus is sometimes subject to droughts. However, in ancient times this was mitigated by the Barada River, which originates from mountain streams fed by melting snow. Damascus is surrounded by the Ghouta, irrigated farmland where many vegetables and fruits have been farmed since ancient times.
Maps of Roman Syria indicate that the Barada river emptied into a lake of some size east of Damascus. Today it is called Bahira Atayba, the hesitant lake, because in years of severe drought it does not exist; the modern city has an area of 105 km2, out of which 77 km2 is urban, while Jabal Qasioun occupies the rest. The old city of Damascus, enclosed by the city walls, lies on the south bank of the river Barada, dry. To the south-east and north-east it is surrounded by suburban areas whose history stretches back to the Middle Ages: Midan in the south-west and Imara in the north and north-west; these neighborhoods arose on roads leading out of the city, near the tombs of religious figures. In the 19th century outlying villages developed on the slopes of Jabal Qasioun, overlooking the city the site of the al-Salihiyah neighborhood centered on the important shrine of medieval Andalusian Sheikh and philosopher Ibn Arabi; these new neighborhoods were settled by Kurdish soldiery and Muslim refugees from the European regions of the Ottoman Empire which had fallen under Christian rule.
Thus they were known as al-Muhajirin. They lay 2–3 km north of the old city. From the late 19th century on, a modern administrative and commercial center began to spring up to the west of the old city, around the Barada, centered on the area known as al-Marjeh or the meadow. Al-Marjeh soon became the name of what was the central square of modern Damascus, with the city hall in it; the courts of justice, post office and railway station stood on higher ground to the south. A Europeanized residential quarter soon began to be built on the road leading between al-Marjeh and al-Salihiyah; the commercial and administrative center of the new city shifted northwards towards this area. In the 20th century, newer suburbs developed north of the Barada, to some extent to the south, invading the Ghouta oasis. In 1956–1957 the new neighborhood of Yarmouk bec
The Umayyad Caliphate spelt Omayyad, was the second of the four major caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. The caliphate was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty; the third Caliph, Uthman ibn Affan, was a member of the Umayyad clan. The family established dynastic, hereditary rule with Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan, long-time governor of Syria, who became the sixth Caliph after the end of the First Muslim Civil War in 661. After Mu'awiyah's death in 680, conflicts over the succession resulted in a Second Civil War and power fell into the hands of Marwan I from another branch of the clan. Syria remained the Umayyads' main power base thereafter, Damascus was their capital; the Umayyads continued the Muslim conquests, incorporating the Transoxiana, the Maghreb and the Iberian Peninsula into the Muslim world. At its greatest extent, the Umayyad Caliphate covered 11,100,000 km2 and 33 million people, making it one of the largest empires in history in both area and proportion of the world's population.
The dynasty was overthrown by a rebellion led by the Abbasids in 750. Survivors of the dynasty established themselves in Cordoba in the form of an Emirate and a Caliphate, lasting until 1031; the Umayyad Caliphs were considered too secular by some of their Muslim subjects. Christians, who still constituted a majority of the Caliphate's population, Jews were allowed to practice their own religion but had to pay a head tax from which Muslims were exempt. There was, the Muslim-only zakat tax, earmarked explicitly for various welfare progammes. Muawiya's wife Maysum was a Christian. Relations between the caliphate's Muslim and Christian subjects were stable in this time; the Umayyads were involved in frequent battles with the Christian Byzantines without being concerned with protecting themselves in Syria, which had remained Christian like many other parts of the empire. Prominent positions were held by Christians, some of whom belonged to families that had served in Byzantine governments; the employment of Christians was part of a broader policy of religious accommodation, necessitated by the presence of large Christian populations in the conquered provinces, as in Syria.
This policy boosted Muawiya's popularity and solidified Syria as his power base. According to tradition, the Umayyad family and Muhammad both descended from a common ancestor, Abd Manaf ibn Qusai, they came from the city of Mecca in the Hijaz. Muhammad descended from Abd Manāf via his son Hashim, while the Umayyads descended from Abd Manaf via a different son, Abd-Shams, whose son was Umayya; the two families are therefore considered to be different clans of the same tribe. While the Umayyads felt deep animosity towards the Hashimites before Muhammad, their animosity deepened after the Battle of Badr of 624; the battle saw. This fueled the opposition of Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, the grandson of Umayya, to Muhammad, his family, Islam as a whole. Abu Sufyan sought to exterminate the adherents of the new religion by waging another battle against the Medina-based Muslims only a year after the Battle of Badr, he did this to avenge the defeat at Badr. Scholars regard the Battle of Uhud as the first defeat for the Muslims, since they incurred greater losses than the Meccans.
After the battle, Abu Sufyan's wife Hind, the daughter of Utba ibn Rabi'ah, is reported to have cut open the corpse of Hamza, taking out his liver which she attempted to eat. In 629, within five years of the defeat in the Battle of Uhud, Muhammad took control of Mecca and announced a general amnesty for all. Abu Sufyan and his wife Hind embraced Islam on the eve of the conquest of Mecca; the Umayyad's ascendancy began when Uthman ibn Affan, an early companion, second cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad became the third Caliph. Uthman placed some members of his clan at positions of power. Most notably, he appointed his first cousin, Marwan ibn al-Hakam, as his top advisor, which created a stir among the Hashimite companions of Muhammad, as Marwan had been permanently exiled from Medina by Muhammad. Uthman appointed his half-brother, Walid ibn Uqba, whom Hashimites accused of leading prayer while under the influence of alcohol, governor of Kufa and appointed his foster-brother Abdullah ibn Saad as the Governor of Egypt, replacing Amr ibn al-As.
Most notably, Uthman consolidated Muawiyah's governorship of Syria by granting him control over a larger area. Muawiyah proved a successful governor, he built up a loyal and disciplined army composed of Syrian Arabs and befriended Amr ibn al-As, the ousted governor of Egypt. In 639 Muawiyah was appointed as the governor of Syria after the previous governor Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah died in a plague along with 25,000 other people. In 649 Muawiyah set up a navy manned by Monophysite Christian and Jacobite Syrian Christian sailors and Muslim troops, who defeated the Byzantine navy at the Battle of the Masts in 655, opening up the Mediterranean. Uthman's rule saw the relaxing of restrictions instituted by the second Caliph Umar ibn Al-Khatt
The Necronomicon is a fictional grimoire appearing in stories by the horror writer H. P. Lovecraft and his followers, it was first mentioned in Lovecraft's 1924 short story "The Hound", written in 1922, though its purported author, the "Mad Arab" Abdul Alhazred, had been quoted a year earlier in Lovecraft's "The Nameless City". Among other things, the work contains an account of the Old Ones, their history, the means for summoning them. Other authors such as August Derleth and Clark Ashton Smith cited it in their works. Many readers have believed it to be a real work, with booksellers and librarians receiving many requests for it. Capitalizing on the notoriety of the fictional volume, real-life publishers have printed many books entitled Necronomicon since Lovecraft's death. How Lovecraft conceived the name Necronomicon is not clear—Lovecraft said that the title came to him in a dream. Although some have suggested that Lovecraft was influenced by Robert W. Chambers' collection of short stories The King in Yellow, which centers on a mysterious and disturbing play in book form, Lovecraft is not believed to have read that work until 1927.
Donald R. Burleson has argued that the idea for the book was derived from Nathaniel Hawthorne, though Lovecraft himself noted that "mouldy hidden manuscripts" were one of the stock features of Gothic literature. Lovecraft wrote that the title, as translated from the Greek language, meant "an image of the law of the dead", compounded from νεκρός nekros "dead", νόμος nomos "law", εἰκών eikon "image". Robert M. Price notes that the title has been variously translated by others as "Book of the names of the dead", "Book of the laws of the dead", "Book of dead names" and "Knower of the laws of the dead". S. T. Joshi states that Lovecraft's own etymology is "almost unsound; the last portion of it is erroneous, since -ikon is nothing more than a neuter adjectival suffix and has nothing to do with eikõn." Joshi translates the title as "Book considering the dead."Lovecraft was asked about the veracity of the Necronomicon, always answered that it was his invention. In a letter to Willis Conover, Lovecraft elaborated upon his typical answer: Now about the "terrible and forbidden books”—I am forced to say that most of them are purely imaginary.
There never was Necronomicon, for I invented these names myself. Robert Bloch devised the idea of Ludvig Prinn and his De Vermis Mysteriis, while the Book of Eibon is an invention of Clark Ashton Smith's. Robert E. Howard is responsible for Friedrich von Junzt and his Unaussprechlichen Kulten.... As for seriously-written books on dark and supernatural themes—in all truth they don’t amount to much; that is why it's more fun to invent mythical works like the Book of Eibon. Reinforcing the book's fictionalization, the name of the book's supposed author, Abdul Alhazred, is not a grammatically correct Arabic name. "Abdul" means "the worshiper/slave of the", standing alone it would make no sense, as Alhazred is not a surname in the Western sense, but a reference to a person's place of birth, its English translation starts with another "the". In 1927, Lovecraft wrote a brief pseudo-history of the Necronomicon, published in 1938, after his death, as "History of the Necronomicon". According to this account, the book was called Al Azif, an Arabic word that Lovecraft defined as "that nocturnal sound supposed to be the howling of demons", drawing on a footnote by Samuel Henley in Henley's translation of "Vathek".
Henley, commenting upon a passage which he translated as "those nocturnal insects which presage evil", alluded to the diabolic legend of Beelzebub, "Lord of the Flies" and to Psalm 91:5, which in some 16th Century English Bibles describes "bugges by night" where translations render "terror by night". One Arabic/English dictionary translates `Azīf as "whistling. Gabriel Oussani defined it as "the eerie sound of the jinn in the wilderness"; the tradition of `azif al jinn is linked to the phenomenon of "singing sand". In the "History", Alhazred is said to have been a "half-crazed Arab" who worshipped the Lovecraftian entities Yog-Sothoth and Cthulhu, he is described as being from Sanaa in Yemen, as visiting the ruins of Babylon, the "subterranean secrets" of Memphis and the Empty Quarter of Arabia. In his last years, he lived in Damascus, where he wrote Al Azif before his sudden and mysterious death in 738. In subsequent years, Lovecraft wrote, the Azif "gained considerable, though surreptitious circulation amongst the philosophers of the age."
In 950, it was translated into Greek and given the title Necronomicon by Theodorus Philetas, a fictional scholar from Constantinople. This version "impelled certain experimenters to terrible attempts" before being "suppressed and burnt" in 1050 by Patriarch Michael. After this attempted suppression, the work was "only heard of furtively" until it was translated from Greek into Latin by Olaus Wormius. Both the Latin and Greek text, the "History" relates, were banned by Pope Gregory IX in 1232, though Latin editions were published in 15th century Germany and 17th century Spain. A Greek edition was printed in It
Hasan Ibn al-Haytham was an Arab mathematician and physicist of the Islamic Golden Age. Sometimes called "the father of modern optics", he made significant contributions to the principles of optics and visual perception in particular, his most influential work being his Kitāb al-Manāẓir, written during 1011–1021, which survived in the Latin edition. A polymath, he wrote on philosophy and medicine. Ibn al-Haytham was the first to explain that vision occurs when light bounces on an object and is directed to one's eyes, and he was the first to point out. He was an early proponent of the concept that a hypothesis must be proved by experiments based on confirmable procedures or mathematical evidence—hence understanding the scientific method five centuries before Renaissance scientists. Born in Basra, he spent most of his productive period in the Fatimid capital of Cairo and earned his living authoring various treatises and tutoring members of the nobilities. Ibn al-Haytham is sometimes given the byname al-Baṣrī after his birthplace, or al-Miṣrī.
Ibn al-Haytham was nicknamed the "Second Ptolemy" by Abu'l-Hasan Bayhaqi, the "The Physicist" by John Peckham. Ibn al-Haytham paved the way for the modern science of physical optics. Ibn al-Haytham was born c. 965 to an Arab family in Basra, at the time part of the Buyid emirate. He held a position with the title vizier in his native Basra, made a name for himself for his knowledge of applied mathematics; as he claimed to be able to regulate the flooding of the Nile, he was invited to by Fatimid Caliph al-Hakim in order to realise a hydraulic project at Aswan. However, Ibn al-Haytham was forced to concede the impracticability of his project. Upon his return to Cairo, he was given an administrative post. After he proved unable to fulfill this task as well, he contracted the ire of the caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, is said to have been forced into hiding until the caliph's death in 1021, after which his confiscated possessions were returned to him. Legend was kept under house arrest during this period.
During this time, he wrote his influential Book of Optics. Alhazen continued to live in Cairo, in the neighborhood of the famous University of al-Azhar, lived from the proceeds of his literary production until his death in c. 1040. Among his students were Sorkhab, a Persian from Semnan, Abu al-Wafa Mubashir ibn Fatek, an Egyptian prince. Alhazen's most famous work is his seven-volume treatise on optics Kitab al-Manazir, written from 1011 to 1021. Optics was translated into Latin by an unknown scholar at the end of the 12th century or the beginning of the 13th century, it was printed by Friedrich Risner in 1572, with the title Opticae thesaurus: Alhazeni Arabis libri septem, nuncprimum editi. Risner is the author of the name variant "Alhazen"; this work enjoyed a great reputation during the Middle Ages. Works by Alhazen on geometric subjects were discovered in the Bibliothèque nationale in Paris in 1834 by E. A. Sedillot. In all, A. Mark Smith has accounted for 18 full or near-complete manuscripts, five fragments, which are preserved in 14 locations, including one in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, one in the library of Bruges.
Two major theories on vision prevailed in classical antiquity. The first theory, the emission theory, was supported by such thinkers as Euclid and Ptolemy, who believed that sight worked by the eye emitting rays of light; the second theory, the intromission theory supported by Aristotle and his followers, had physical forms entering the eye from an object. Previous Islamic writers had argued on Euclidean, Galenist, or Aristotelian lines; the strongest influence on the Book of Optics was from Ptolemy's Optics, while the description of the anatomy and physiology of the eye was based on Galen's account. Alhazen's achievement was to come up with a theory that combined parts of the mathematical ray arguments of Euclid, the medical tradition of Galen, the intromission theories of Aristotle. Alhazen's intromission theory followed al-Kindi in asserting that "from each point of every colored body, illuminated by any light, issue light and color along every straight line that can be drawn from that point".
This however left him with the problem of explaining how a coherent image was formed from many independent sources of radiation. What Alhazen needed was for each point on an object to correspond to one point only on the eye, he attempted to resolve this by asserting that the eye would only perceive perpendicular rays from the object—for any one point on the eye, only the ray that reached it directly, without being refracted by any other part of the eye, would be perceived. He argued, using a physical analogy, that perpendicular rays were stronger than oblique rays: in the same way that a ball thrown directly at a board might break the board, whereas a ball thrown obliquely at the board would glance off, perpendicular rays were stronger than refracted rays, it was only perpendicular rays which were perceived
Muslims are people who follow or practice Islam, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion. Muslims consider the Quran, their holy book, to be the verbatim word of God as revealed to the Islamic prophet and messenger Muhammad; the majority of Muslims follow the teachings and practices of Muhammad as recorded in traditional accounts. "Muslim" is an Arabic word meaning "submitter". The largest denomination of Islam are Sunni Muslims who constitute 85-90% of the total Muslim population, followed by the Shia who make up most of the remainder of Muslims; the beliefs of Muslims include: that God is eternal and one. The religious practices of Muslims are enumerated in the Five Pillars of Islam: the declaration of faith, daily prayers, fasting during the month of Ramadan and the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime. To become a Muslim and to convert to Islam, it is essential to utter the Shahada, one of the Five Pillars of Islam, a declaration of faith and trust that professes that there is only one God and that Muhammad is God's messenger.
It is a set statement recited in Arabic: lā ʾilāha ʾillā-llāhu muḥammadun rasūlu-llāh "There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the messenger of God."In Sunni Islam, the shahada has two parts: la ilaha illa'llah, Muhammadun rasul Allah, which are sometimes referred to as the first shahada and the second shahada. The first statement of the shahada is known as the tahlīl. In Shia Islam, the shahada has a third part, a phrase concerning Ali, the first Shia Imam and the fourth Rashid caliph of Sunni Islam: وعليٌ وليُّ الله, which translates to "Ali is the wali of God; the word muslim is the active participle of the same verb of which islām is a verbal noun, based on the triliteral S-L-M "to be whole, intact". A female adherent is a muslima; the plural form in Arabic is muslimūn or muslimīn, its feminine equivalent is muslimāt. The ordinary word in English is "Muslim", it is sometimes transliterated as "Moslem", an older spelling. The word Mosalman is a common equivalent for Muslim used in South Asia.
Until at least the mid-1960s, many English-language writers used the term Mahometans. Although such terms were not intended to be pejorative, Muslims argue that the terms are offensive because they imply that Muslims worship Muhammad rather than God. Other obsolete terms include Muslimist. Musulmán/Mosalmán is modified from Arabic, it is the origin of the Spanish word musulmán, the German Muselmann, the French word musulman, the Polish words muzułmanin and muzułmański, the Portuguese word muçulmano, the Italian word mussulmano or musulmano, the Romanian word musulman and the Greek word μουσουλμάνος. In English it has become archaic in usage. Apart from Persian, Polish, Portuguese and Greek, the term could be found, with obvious local differences, in Armenian, Pashto, Hindi, Marathi, Turkish, Uzbek, Azeri, Hungarian, Bosnian, Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian and Sanskrit; the Muslim philosopher Ibn Arabi said: A Muslim is a person who has dedicated his worship to God... Islam means making one's religion and faith God's alone.
The Qur'an describes many prophets and messengers within Judaism and Christianity, their respective followers, as Muslim: Adam, Abraham, Jacob and Jesus and his apostles are all considered to be Muslims in the Qur'an. The Qur'an states that these men were Muslims because they submitted to God, preached His message and upheld His values, which included praying, charity and pilgrimage. Thus, in Surah 3:52 of the Qur'an, Jesus' disciples tell him, "We believe in God. In Muslim belief, before the Qur'an, God had given the Tawrat to Moses, the Zabur to David and the Injil to Jesus, who are all considered important Muslim prophets; the most populous Muslim-majority country is Indonesia, home to 12.7% of the world's Muslims, followed by Pakistan and Egypt. About 20 % of the world's Muslims lives in the Middle North Africa. Sizable minorities are found in India, Russia, the Americas and parts of Europe; the country with the highest proportion of self-described Muslims as a proportion of its total population is Morocco.
Converts and immigrant communities are found in every part of the world. Over 75–90% of Muslims are Sunni; the second and third largest sects and Ahmadiyya, make up 10–20%, 1% respectively. With about 1.8 billion followers a quarter of earth's population, Islam is the second-largest and the fastest-growing religion in the world. Due to the young age and high fertilit
Chick tracts are short evangelical gospel tracts created and published by American publisher and religious cartoonist Jack Chick. Since his death, his company has continued to print new tracts using other authors working for the company. Although many of Chick's tracts express views that are accepted within Christian theology, several tracts have expressed controversial viewpoints. Most notably, Chick tracts were known for expressing anti-Catholic views, as well as his criticisms of other religions including Islam and Mormonism. Chick Publications produces and markets the Chick tracts, along with other comic books and posters. Chick Publications has its headquarters in Rancho Cucamonga and a mailing address in Ontario, California; the company estimates. On its website they note that "Our ministry is publishing the gospel tracts of Jack T. Chick, but we do publish a manuscript in book form." They state that if the content "educates Christians in one of the areas for which we have a tract, we would love to see it" and cite several examples.
As of January 2015, Chick Publications had produced over 250 different titles, about 100 of which are still in print, are available in over 100 languages. The tracts themselves are three inches high by five inches wide in dimension, twenty pages in length; the material is written in comic book format, with the front panel featuring the title of the tract and the inside back panel devoted to a standard sinner's prayer. The back cover of the tract contains a blank space for churches to stamp their address; the storyline features at least one Christian person and one or more "non-Christians". Depending on the storyline the "non-Christian" may be 1) a stereotypical "wicked person", 2) a member of a "false religion", and/or 3) a "moral person" depending on "good works" to gain eventual entrance to Heaven. In these storylines, the Christian attempts to convert the non-Christian to Christianity, with the convert receiving entry into heaven, while the person rejecting the message is condemned to hell.
The endings may feature a recycled scene in which Jesus Christ condemns or welcomes a character, an angel taking the believer to Heaven, and/or the non-believer meeting demons upon his/her arrival to Hell. Chick tracts end with a suggested prayer for the reader to pray to accept Jesus Christ. In most of these tracts it is a standard sinner's prayer for salvation. In the tracts dealing with "false religions", the prayer includes a clause to reject these religions. Included with the prayer are directions for converting to Christianity, repeated on the inside back panel along with steps to take should the reader convert to Christianity. Strips and Bluesies, written by Douglas Bevan Dowd and Todd Hignite, stated that "it's safe to assume Chick saw at least some" Tijuana bibles since the books and, according to Dowd and Hignite, Chick tracts were "strikingly similar" to Tijuana bibles; the book stated that Chick tracts contained "way-out, wild" portrayals of recreational drug usage and portrayed "the sexual revolution".
In addition the comics included supernatural elements, occult rituals and cannibalism. Catholicism is a frequent target of other writings. No fewer than twenty of the tracts are devoted to Catholicism, including Are Roman Catholics Christians?, The Death Cookie, Why is Mary Crying?. Elsewhere, defended the controversial Alberto Rivera in at least one book and in an entire series of six full-length comics. Chick asserted that the Catholic Church, in a grand conspiracy, created Islam, Communism and Freemasonry. In The New Anti-Catholicism, religious historian Philip Jenkins describes Chick tracts as promulgating "bizarre allegations of Catholic conspiracy and sexual hypocrisy" to perpetuate "anti-papal and anti-Catholic mythologies". Michael Ian Borer, a sociology professor of Furman University at the time, described Chick's strong anti-Catholic themes in a 2007 American Sociological Association presentation and in a peer reviewed article the next year in Religion and American Culture. Catholic Answers published a response to the claims of Chick Publications against Roman Catholics and a criticism of Chick Tracts in general called The Nightmare World of Jack T. Chick, detailing the inaccuracies, factual errors, how a "typical tactic in Chick tracts is to portray Catholics as being unpleasant or revolting in various ways".
Chick tracts are unequivocal and explicit in their opposition to homosexuality, employ two anti-homosexual themes: the belief that God hates homosexuality and considers it to be sinful, the true nature of homosexuality is revealed in the Christian interpretation of the biblical Sodom and Gomorrah story. According to Cynthia Burack, Chick's earliest anti-homosexuality tract, The Gay Blade (originally written i