Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world today. Conversions are a major factor but natural growth is the main reason. Statistically Muslim women have the highest fertility rates in the world. According to the Pew Research Center by the year 2050 Muslims will equal the number of Christians for the first time in history. Currently, the most popular name in the world is Muhammad. And perhaps most interesting is the fact that Muhammad (alternate spellings included) is the most popular name for newborn boys in England and Whales.
Over the past 1400 years Muslim intellects have made substantial contributions in the areas of physics, medicine, mathematics, chemistry, astronomy, philosophy and geography. At no time was this more evident than in the Middle Ages, a period commonly referred to as the “Golden Age of Islam”. It produced such luminaries as Jabir ibn Hayyan (considered the father of early chemistry), al-Khwarizmi (one of the fathers of algebra), al-Zahrawi (a father of surgery), al-Razi (father of pediatrics), Ibn Sina (one of the greatest medical scholars in history), Jabir ibn Aflah (promoter of trigonometry in Europe), Ibn Rushd (reviver of Aristotle) and Ibn Khaldun (a father of modern sociology, historiography, demography and economics) to name only a few. Their contributions ultimately helped to usher in the European Renaissance. This influence on Western civilization is recognized in a mural painted in the 1890s on the ceiling of the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. Islam is included along with England, France, America, Greece, Rome and others in a depiction of the “Evolution of Civilization”.