by Syarif Hidayat*

Despite Islamophobia that is still prevailing strongly in the western countries, Islam proves to be the fastest growing religion in the Western World including Russia, France, Germany, United Kingdom, United States, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland and Cyprus. Conversion to Islam has nearly doubled in the past decade, according to one of the most comprehensive attempts to estimate how many people have embraced Islam.

And despite the often negative potrayal of Islam, thousands of Britons are adopting the religion every year. In the previous estimation, there were 60,699 converts living in Britain in 2001. With no new census planned, the researchers polled mosques in London to try to calculate how many conversions take place in a year.  The results gave a figure of 1,400 conversions in the capital, which when extrapolated nationwide, would mean approximately 5,200 people adopting Islam every year.

The figures are comparable with the studies in Germany and France which found that there were around 4,000 conversions a year. In America, throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s, Islam had seen much growth. Today there are many Muslims across the country who are holding elected offices as local city council members, state repre­sentatives, mayor and judges. And there are many Muslims in every profession, such as Doctors, scientists, engineers, lawyers, teachers, among others. Islam is the second largest religion in the United States and the fastest growing religion in America.

A nationwide survey conducted in 2003 by the Pew Research Centre and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life reported that the percentage of Americans with a favorable view of Islam increased to 34 per cent in 2003. At the same time, the percentage responding that Islam was more likely than other religion to encourage violence fell from 44 per cent in July 2003 to 36 per cent in July 2005. According to the German Central Institute Islam Archive (de), the total number of Muslims in the western countries in 2010 were around 48 million. Few of this are as follows:

Country                    Muslim population (2010)

Russia                        16,379,000

France                         4,704,000

Germany                      4,119,000

United Kingdom            2,869,000

United States               2,600,000

Italy                            1,583,000

Canada                           940,000

Netherlands                    914,000

Belgium                          638,000

Australia                          476,291

Austria                           475,000

Switzerland                     433,000

Cyprus                           200,000

But if one could ask, what are the reasons behind this adoption of Islam by the West. The reason cannot be far fetched. Harun Yahya said, ‘During the last 20 years, the number of Muslims in the world has been increasing steadily. Today, every fourth person is a Muslim. It is probably that the Muslim population will continue to increase and that Islam will become the world’s largest religion.  The reason for this steady rise is not only the increasing population in Muslim countries, but also the growing numbers of people who are turning to Islam, a phenomenon that has gained momentum, especially after the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 (9/11 attacks). This attack, deplored by everyone, especially Muslims, has suddenly turned the attention of the people of West to Islam.

After the attack, people in the West started talking on what kind of a religion Islam is, what Al-Qur’an says, what obligations come with being a Muslim and how Muslims are to conduct their affairs. This research work carried out by Western people, has naturally brought about a rise in the number of people in the west turning to Islam. So, the commonly heard prediction after the attack that this attack will change the course of world history’ has indeed started to come true. The process of returning to religious and spiritual values, which the world has been experiencing for a long time has become a turning point for Islam. Indeed, Islam is the only religion of Allah.

Remember the story of Malik Tyson, who converted to Islam upon the reading of translated Al-Qur’an three times. Another notable convertee is Maryam Jemila, who saw English Qur’an on her sick bed, in a hospital. She read it and later accepted Islam. If people of the world, could create or find time to study this religion (Islam), they will discover that Islam is the religion which all the prophets came with as stated in Al-Quran.

More so, the uniqueness and universality of the way of our worshipping, makes it to be the true religion of Allah in which no other religion has such quality (Q30 verse30). Finally, Allah says in Quran chapter 3 verse 85 that “Whoever takes any other religion beside Islam, it will not be accepted from him or her. And he or she will be among the losers on the day of judgement.” May Allah save us from this.

Islam Is Also The World’s Fastest-Growing Religion

From Muslims in Europe to evangelical Christians in Africa, it is religious believers who are shaping the early 21st Century. Charismatic movements are sweeping throughout the Southern Hemisphere, while high birth rates among immigrants are provoking soul-seeking in the historically Christian West. For this List, FP looks at the fast-growing faiths that are upending the old world order.


Growth rate: 1.84 percent

Adherents: 1.3 billion

Behind the trend: High birthrates in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe

Areas to watch: The worlds largest Muslim populations are in fast-growing countries such as Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Egypt, and Iran. Islam also happens to be the fastest growing religion in Europe, where an influx of Muslim immigrants from North Africa, Turkey, and South Asia has sent shock waves into a mostly Christian and secular population whose birthrates have stagnated. The Muslim question has empowered anti-immigrant parties in France, Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Germany, while sparking a fierce debate over the place of women in Islam and symbols of faith like the Muslim head scarf. (Moshe Milner/GP/Newsmakers)

The Bahai Faith

Growth rate: 1.70 percent

Adherents: 7.7 million

Behind the trend: High birthrates in India

Areas to watch: Bahais are spread throughout the world, but a good chunkaround 1.8 millionlive in India. The Bahai faith was founded in 1863 in Iran by Bahullh, who claimed to be the latest in a line of prophets stretching from Abraham to Jesus Christ to Mohammed. The world headquarters of the Bahai faith are in Haifa, Israel. Today, Bahais often suffer persecution elsewhere in the Middle East, especially in Iran. (RAVEENDRAN/AFP/Getty Images)


Growth rate: 1.62 percent

Adherents: 25.8 million

Behind the trend: High birthrates in India

Areas to watch: Thousands of Sikhs were killed during the bloody partition between Pakistan and India in 1947, and at least 3,000 Sikhs were killed by Hindu mobs in New Delhi following the assassination of Indira Gandhi by a pair of Sikh extremists in 1984. Today, Sikhs are prospering. The prime minister of India, Manmohan Singh, is Sikh. Over 90 percent of the worlds Sikhs live in India; of those, a large majority are concentrated in the northern Indian state of Punjab. Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States host growing Sikh minorities of several hundred thousand people each. In several isolated incidents after 9/11, turban-wearing Sikh men in Britain and the United States were mistaken for Muslims and attacked. (AFP/Getty Images)


Growth rate: 1.57 percent

Adherents: 5.9 million

Behind the trend: High birthrates in India

Areas to watch: Jains are a small but relatively powerful minority in India, making up about half of one percent of the population. They tend to be concentrated in Rajasthan and Gujarat. Outside of India, some of the largest concentrations of Jains are in Leicester, UK; Mombasa, Kenya; and major cities in the United States. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)


Growth rate: 1.52 percent

Adherents: 870 million

Behind the trend: Surprise! High birthrates in India

Areas to watch: Most of the worlds Hindus live in India, and, to a lesser extent, Bangladesh, and Nepal. Significant Hindu minorities also live in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Malaysia. Since the 1960s, Hindus have become a growing presence in the United States, with as many as 1.5 million generally well-off adherents spread across the continent and prevalent in Texas, New Jersey, and Ohio. There are also several hundred thousand Hindus in the United Kingdom and South Africa, and there is a small Hindu minority in Russia, where its presence has aroused controversy in the Russian Orthodox Church. (PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images)


Growth rate: 1.38 percent

Adherents: 2.2 billion

Behind the trend: High birthrates and conversions in the global South

Areas to watch: Pentecostal movements in Latin America, Africa, China, and India. The fastest-growing individual church in the world is Misin Carismtica Internacional in Colombia; the Pentecostal denomination began in 1983 in Bogot and now boasts 150,000 members. Then theres Orissa Baptist Evangelical Crusade in India, which reports some 670,000 adherents. And in China, tens of millions of Christians practice their faith under the watchful eye of a very suspiciousand often hostileChinese government.

The world’s second largest religion

Islam is the world’s second largest religion after Christianity. According to a 2010 study, Islam has 1.62 billion adherents, making up over 23% of the world population. Islam is the predominant religion in the Middle East, the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, North Africa, and some parts of Asia. Large communities of Muslims are also found in China, the Balkans, and Russia. Other parts of the world host large Muslim immigrant communities; in Western Europe, for instance, Islam is the second largest religion after Christianity, where it represents 6% of the total population.

According to the Pew Research Center in 2014 there were 49 Muslim-majority countries. Around 62% of the world’s Muslims live in South and Southeast Asia, with over 1 billion adherents. The largest Muslim population in a country is in India, a secular nation home to 12.7% of the world’s Muslims, followed by indonesia (11.0%), pakistan (10.9%), and Bangladesh (9.2%). About 20% of Muslims live in Arab countries. In the Middle East, the non-Arab countries of Turkey and Iran are the largest Muslim-majority countries; in Africa, Egypt and Nigeria have the most populous Muslim communities. A study conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2010 and released January 2011 found that there are 1.62 billion Muslims around the world. The study found more Muslims in the United Kingdom than in Lebanon and more in China than in Syria.

Growth of Islam and World Religions

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According to statistics from the U.N., Islam is now the worlds second  largest religion after Christianity. The U.N. statistics state that the Islam annual growth rate of Islam is around 6.40% compared to 1.46% during the same time period for Christianity. Also according to these statistics, one in five people on the planet are Muslim (by birth or geographical reference).

Other statistics from the U.N.:

Islam in North America since 1989 increased 25%

Islam in Africa since 1989 increased 2.15%

Islam in Asia since 1989 increased 12.57%

Islam in Europe since 1989 increased 142.35%

Islam in Latin America since 1989 decreased -4.73%

and Islam in Australia and Oceania / Pacific since 1989 increased 257.01%

Major Religions of the World

Christian – 2,038,905,000 – 32% (dropping)

Roman Catholics – 1,076,951,000

Protestants – 349,792,000

Orthodox – 217,522,000

Anglicans – 81,663,000

Other – 537,135,000

Muslims – 1,226,403,000 – 21% (growing)

Hindus – 828,130,000 – 13% (stable)

Chinese folk religionists – 389,543,000 – 6%

Buddhists – 364,014,000 – 6% (stable)

Sikhs – 23,821,000 – < 1%

Jews – 14,535,000 – < 1%

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. “Those who listen to the Word [good advice Lâ ilâha ill-allâh — (none has the right to be worshipped but Allâh) and Islâmic Monotheism] and follow the best thereof (i.e. worship Allâh Alone, repent to Him and avoid Tâghût) those are (the ones) whom Allâh has guided and those are men of understanding.” (Al-Qur’an, Surah Az-Zumar, Verse 18)

“And indeed We have sent down for you Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) that make things plain, and the example of those who passed away before you, and an admonition for those who are Al-Muttaqûn (the pious and righteous persons – see V.2:2).  Allâh is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The parable of His Light is as (if there were) a niche and within it a lamp, the lamp is in glass, the glass as it were a brilliant star, lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east (i.e. neither it gets sun-rays only in the morning) nor of the west (i.e. nor it gets sun-rays only in the afternoon, but it is exposed to the sun all day long), whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself), though no fire touched it. Light upon Light! Allâh guides to His Light whom He wills. And Allâh sets forth parables for mankind, and Allâh is All-Knower of everything.  In houses (mosques), which Allâh has ordered to be raised (to be cleaned, and to be honoured), in them His Name is remembered [i.e. Adhan, Iqamah, Salat (prayers), invocations, recitation of the Quran, etc.]. Therein glorify Him (Allah) in the mornings and in the afternoons or the evenings.” (Al-Qur’an, Surah Al-Noor, Verses 34-36)


Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)


*Senior Editor of MINA (He can be reached via email:[email protected])






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