Thus a Muslim's life is governed by God's commands every step of the way. There is no distinction made between daily life and religion or politics. There are important distinctions between traditional, radical, fundamentalist, militant, and more extreme positions on how to live, and how seriously to take religion's commands. Radical Islamists are influential but not common in most countries.
A less common, now discouraged, spelling of the word is "Moslem". Many English writers used to describe Muslims as "Mohamedans" or "Mohametans", meaning "followers of Mohammed", but this terminology incorrect and insulting, because it implies that they worship the prophet Muhammad, which is against the fundamental principles of Islam itself. By contrast, the term "Christian" does correctly imply the worship of Jesus Christ and the belief in his own ideas as divine. Muslims consider Muhammad and Jesus ("Isa") both to have been men.
Muslim civilization is over fourteen centuries old, and is one of the greatest world civilizations. Early Muslim philosophy is widely credited with being the vital bridge between classical Greco-Roman civilization and the Europeans of The Renaissance. What Europeans call the "Dark Ages" were in fact the golden age of civilization for Muslims and Islam itself, which spread extremely rapidly through Asia to China in its first decades of existence, and then spread more slowly to Africa and Indonesia.
During this time, the principal language of religion and science for all Muslims was Arabic, and for many, it was also the language of daily life. A list of Islamic terms in Arabic provides simple definitions of the most important concepts by which society, religion and law were ruled.
Under the Ottoman Empire and later under colonialism and the British Empire, practices (especially fiqh or jurisprudence) ossified, and failed to keep up with al-urf[?], or change in culture. Muslim culture began to revive after World War I, and some consider 1979 to be a crucial year when several events (peace between Israel and Egypt, Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and Iranian revolution[?]) conspired to "wake up" the Muslim civilization. Shortly therafter, innovative programs such as the Islamization of knowledge began to emerge, and these are presently spreading widely.
There are 1.2 billion Muslims presently on Earth, almost entirely in the Eastern Hemisphere[?] concentrated on the equator, with some in Europe. Small populations of four million in the US and two million in Canada are the largest in the Western Hemisphere.
The top ten countries with the largest Muslim populations (comprising three quarters of the worldwide Muslim population) are as follows (rough est. 2002, in millions)
Please add information about the people, for example, the population distribution (second to Christians), nationality (e.g more muslims in Asia than in middle east), culture (do Chinese muslims and Arab muslims follows the same rituals?), how do they study Qur'an if they are not arabics, these people's view on terrorism etc...
One of the tenets of Islam is that all mankind is one, so many Muslims do not reject inter-racial marriage.