Islam is the predominant religion in the Middle East and is the second-largest religion in the world. Not limited to the Middle East, it has approximately 1.4 billion members, 80% of which are non-Arabs. It is one of the fastest growing religions in the world. Its adherents are called "Muslims" (also spelled Moslem), historically "Musselman", "Muhammedans", or even simply "Turks" in Europe and North America. In Arabic, a Muslim is "one who submits to God" (Allah).
Muslims, like Jews and Christians, are monotheistic and trace their roots to Abraham. However, they receive their instruction from the Qur'an (also spelled Koran) rather than the Bible or Torah. Islam's beginnings as a distinct people can be traced back to the 7th century under the leadership of Muhammed and his followers. An universalizing (evangelizing) religion, it spread throughout the world by military conquest and Muslim missionaries.