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The term Muslim world, also known as Islamic world and the Ummah (Arabic: أمة, meaning "nation" or "community") has different meanings. In a religious sense, the Islamic Ummah refers to those who adhere to the teachings of Islam, referred to as Muslims. In a cultural sense, the Muslim Ummah refers to Islamic civilization, exclusive of non-Muslims living in that civilization. In a modern geopolitical sense, the term "Islamic Nation" usually refers collectively to Muslim-majority countries, states, districts or towns.
Although Islamic lifestyles emphasize unity and defense of fellow Muslims, schools and branches (see Shia–Sunni relations, for example) exist. In the past, both Pan-Islamism and nationalist currents have influenced the status of the Greater Middle East.
As of 2015, over 1.7 billion or about 23.4% of the world population are Muslims including the 4.4% who live as minorities. By the percentage of the total population in a region considering themselves Muslim, 24.8% in Asia–Oceania do, 91.2% in the Middle East–North Africa, 29.6% in Sub-Saharan Africa, around 6.0% in Europe, and 0.6% in the Americas.
Muslim history involves the history of the Islamic faith as a religion and as a social institution. The history of Islam began in Arabia with the Islamic prophet Muhammad's first recitations of the Quran in the 7th century in the month of Ramadan.
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