Languages and Peoples of Islam


Map Code: Ax01017

Being Muslim does not mean that a follower is restricted to specific languages. Instead, they follow their own culture and speak the native language of the part of the world they occupy. The Quran was revealed in Arabic and many non-Arabic speaking Muslims learn Arabic in order to read an untranslated version of the Quran. Arabic is spoken in prayer because it is believed that the Prophet Muhammad only prayed in Arabic. In total, the peoples of Islam speak hundreds of languages. Muslims constitute 23 per cent of the world’s population. It is the dominant religion of the Middle East, North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, Indonesia, Pakistan, Central Asia and Bangladesh. Estimates suggest that approximately 300 million Muslims speak Arabic and 200 million speak Indonesian, with just over 175 million Muslims in Pakistan speaking Urdu. Many North African Muslims speak in the Berber languages.

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