There are about one billion Muslims in the world, concentrated primarily in North Africa, the Middle East, and South and Southeast Asia. Islam teaches that Allah selected Muhammad, a merchant from Mecca, as the last of the prophets following Adam, Moses, Jesus, and others, to deliver God’s message to mankind. The report includes short descriptions of the historical background, the tenets of Islam, jihad, the status of women in Islam, and other aspects of Islam. The report will not be updated. Historical Background According to Islamic belief, in 610 A.D., Muhammad, a 40-year-old merchant of the Quraysh tribe in Mecca, in the Arabian desert (now eastern Saudi Arabia), was commanded by the angel Gabriel to “recite ” the message of Allah (Arabic for God). Gabriel said mankind had lost sight of Allah’s previous messages to earlier prophets, Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Solomon, and Jesus, among others, and that Muhammad was to spread Allah’s message to all people so that mankind would know how to live, how to show respect for Allah, and how to prepare for the judgement day. The message to Muhammad was to be God’s last; Muhammad was the “seal of the prophets.