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Discover more information on the subject of Islam, the world’s fastest-growing religion as of 2017 according to the Pew Research Center, second only to Christianity in the number of followers. Along with Christianity and Judaism, Islam is one of the three primary monotheistic faiths, meaning its adherents believe that there is only one God, known as Allah. There are two main branches of Islam: Sunnism and Shi’ism. Followers of Islam are known as Muslims. Also, early in Islamic history, Sufism emerged. It is a part of Islam and is often referred to as Islamic mysticism. Adherents are called Sufi.

Islam began as a religion in the seventh century CE in the area of the Arabian Peninsula. There, the man who would become known as the Prophet Muhammad claimed to have received revelation from Allah via the angel Gabriel. He first began to share these teachings in the city of Mecca in present-day Saudi Arabia. Muhammad’s teachings became the foundation of Islam, which focuses on submission to Allah (Islam meaning “submission” in Arabic).

The Prophet Muhammad’s teachings are organized according to what is known as the Five Pillars, a set of practices every believer must follow: shahada (faith), salah (prayer), zakat (charity), sawm (fasting), hajj (pilgrimage). Muhammad’s teachings are collected in the holy scriptures of Islam known as the Qur’an, also spelled as Quran or Koran.

Although initially persecuted, Muhammad’s followers spread Islam throughout the region and beyond via military conquest under the Islamic principle of jihad, or struggle against the enemies of Islam. Islam became the dominant religion in lands governed by the caliph (the chief religious and civil ruler who is recognized as the successor to Muhammad) throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and into Europe and Asia, including Central Asia and South Asia. Historically, the caliphate ceased to exist with the fall of Baghdad to the invading Mongols in 1258, although the rulers of the Ottoman Empire claimed to be caliphs until Turkish leader Kemal Atatürk brought the practice to an end in 1924. Even so, Islam is the dominant religion of more than fifty countries in the twenty-first-century contemporary world.

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Islam Resources

Gale provides resources that support Islamic research with collections from databases, primary sources, and eBooks.


Gale databases include collections of publications ranging from newspapers, journals, scholarly journals, periodical articles, and journal articles as well as primary source documents and multimedia, such as images, audio, and videos that support users interested in Islam research and studies.

Primary Source Archives

Gale Primary Sources contains archives and articles that present researchers with firsthand content. Users can access historical documents, archives, manuscripts, and other source material to examine topics and create reports.

Gale eBooks

Gale's eBook collection offers a variety of eBooks online that cover a wide range of Islamic topics. Users can add Gale eBooks to a customized collection and cross-search to pinpoint relevant content. Workflow tools help users easily share, save, and download content.

  • Islam and Muslims in the West: Major Issues and Debates

    Islam and Muslims in the West: Major Issues and Debates

    Palgrave Macmillan  |   2019   |   ISBN-13: 9783319925103

    This book analyzes the history and development of Islam and Muslim communities in the West, including influences from abroad, relations with the state and society, and internal community dynamics. The project examines the emergence of Islam in the West in relation to the place of Muslim communities as part of the culture or social fabric of Western societies. It provides an overview of the major issues and debates that have arisen and continue over the last three to four decades surrounding the presence of new Muslim communities residing in Western liberal democracies. As such, the volume is an ideal text for courses focusing on Islam and Muslim communities in the West. It provides a systematic and broad overview of the major debates affecting Muslims and Islam in the West, raises a number of issues concerning Western Muslim communities, and examines the issue of jurisprudence for Muslim minorities.

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  • Global Perspectives on Teaching and Learning Paths in Islamic Education

    Global Perspectives on Teaching and Learning Paths in Islamic Education

    Information Science Reference   |   2020   |   ISBN-13: 9781522585305

    The process of curriculum enhancement through various educational approaches aims to enhance quality assurance in the educational process itself. In Islamic education, traditional educational trends are enhanced by expanding the embodiment process on experiential learning to evaluate the achievement in creating outcomes that balance not only spirituality and morality but also the quality of cognitive analytical performances. Global Perspectives on Teaching and Learning Paths in Islamic Education is a comprehensive scholarly book that provides broad coverage on integrating emerging trends and technologies for developing learning paths within Islamic education. Highlighting a wide range of subject areas such as digital ethics, psychology, and vocational education, this book is ideal for instructors, administrators, principals, curriculum designers, professionals, researchers, university educators, academicians, and students.

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