Out of all the major world religions, Islam is the most misunderstood. Even with all of this misunderstanding, and with all the knowledge we have today, there are some interesting facts we can all learn from Islam.

For instance, did you know that Islam is a part of the Abrahamic family of religions?

Islam is closely related to Judaism and Christianity. This means Muslims know about Jesus, Abraham, Moses, and other great prophets from the other Abrahamic faiths.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at twenty more interesting facts about Islam.

  1. Islam is the 2nd largest religion in the world, with 1.6 billion people declaring their faith in Muhammad and Allah. The largest religion? Christianity.
  2. With today’s birth rates and conversions to the religion, Islam is the fastest-growing religion in world.
  3. Muhammad is known as the father of the religion.
  4. The religion started in 622 AD, when Muhammad traveled from Mecca to Medina. The day he left Mecca is the day that starts the Islamic calendar. He left Mecca because he heard rumors that some of the tribesmen were going to assassinate him.
  5. The Qur’an is the holy text of Islam. It has 6,236 verses, or suras. In the early days of Islam, religious leaders had to memorize the entire text and recite the Qur’an to multiple scribes at a time. That’s how the Qur’an was mass-produced; this is different from European monks transcribing the Bible, as they hand-copied the text, one word and one page at a time.
  6. Jesus is mentioned in the Qur’an, but he’s not on Muhammad’s level. Even though Muslims believe he was born from a virgin, they believe he was a great prophet, second only to Muhammad.
  7. Islam means “to surrender.” Muslim means “one who peacefully surrenders to God.”
  8. Muhammad married his 40-year-old wife when he was 25 years old.
  9. During the Islamic Golden Age, scientists and inventors made some great innovations. Because of this, scientists were paid as much as pro athletes make today.
  10. Mary, Jesus’ mom, is mentioned more often in the Qur’an than in the New Testament. She’s also the only woman mentioned by name in the Qur’an.
  11. Mother Mosque of America, the first mosque built in the U.S., is in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Built in 1934, it’s still around today.
  12. Allah has 99 names, with each one having a different meaning.
  13. About 2.5 million pilgrims visit Mecca each year as part of the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca. Each Muslim has to do this pilgrimage at least once in their life, as part of The Five Pillars of Faith for Islam.
  14. The Five Pillars (actions that all Muslims must perform) are: give 2.5% of all earnings to charity, fast during Ramadan, say the declaration of faith, pray five times a day and make a pilgrimage to Mecca.
  15. 15% of all Muslims are Arab.
  16. Indonesia has the most Muslims in one country, followed by Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.
  17. Islamic calendar is 11 days shorter than the Western calendar. Islamic calendars are based on the moon’s phases, while Western calendars depend on the Earth’s orbit around the Sun.
  18. We read books instead of scrolls because of Islam’s innovations with paper. They also tied ultra-light and thin “bird paper” to birds and sent them like Harry Potter’s owl across the empire.
  19. The first skilled and specially trained pharmacists came from the Islamic world. They made their own medicines and worked closely with physicians.
  20. If it weren’t for Islam, you wouldn’t be drinking coffee at Starbucks. Coffee is just one of the many inventions that came from the Islamic world. More inventions include marching bands, algebra, teaching hospitals, and the toothbrush.