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The history of Islam in
Iraq Iraq ( ar, ٱلْعِرَاق, '; ku, عێراق '), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق '), is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran ...
goes back almost 1,400 years to the lifetime of
Muhammad ) , birth_date = , birth_place = , death_date = , death_place = , resting_place = , resting_place_coordinates = , nationality = , other_names = , years_active = , notable ...
(died 632). Iraq's Muslims follow two distinct traditions,
Shia Islam Shia Islam or Shi'ism is one of the two main Islamic schools and branches, branches of Islam. It holds that the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad designated Ali, Ali ibn Abi Talib as his Succession ...
(majority in South and Southeast Iraq) and
Sunni Islam Sunni Islam () is by far the largest Islamic schools and branches, branch of Islam, followed by 85–90% of the world's Muslims. Its name comes from the word ''Sunnah'', referring to the behaviour of Muhammad. The differences between Sunni and ...
(majority in the North and Northwest Iraq).


Religious cities

Iraq is home to many religious cities important for both Shia and Sunni Muslims.
Baghdad Baghdad (; ar, بَغْدَاد ) is the capital of Iraq Iraq ( ar, ٱلْعِرَاق, '; ku, عێراق '), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق '), is a ...

Baghdad
was a hub of
Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, differing in whether the first or second syllable has the stress, whether the ''s'' is or , and whether the ''a'' is pronounced , or (when the stress is on the first syllable) ( ...
ic learning and scholarship for centuries and served as the capital of the
Abbasids The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلْعَبَّاسِيَّةُ, ') was the third caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islam Islam (;There ar ...

Abbasids
. Baghdad also is home to two prominent Shia Imams in what is known as Kadhimiya, Iraq. The city of
Karbala Karbala or Kerbala ( ar, كَرْبَلَاء, Karbalāʾ , , also ;) is a city in central Iraq, located about southwest of Baghdad, and a few miles east of Lake Milh, also known as Razzaza Lake. Karbala is the capital of Karbala Governorat ...
has substantial prominence in Shia Islam as a result of the
Battle of Karbala The Battle of Karbala ( ar, مَعْرَكَة كَرْبَلَاء) was fought on 10 October 680 (10 Muharram in the year 61 AH of the Islamic calendar) between the army of the second Umayyad caliph Yazid I and a small army led by Husayn ...
, fought in 10 October 680. Similarly,
Najaf Najaf ( ar, ٱلنَّجَف) or An-Najaf al-Ashraf ( ar, ٱلنَّجَف ٱلْأَشْرَف), also known as Baniqia ( ar, بَانِيقِيَا), is a city in central Iraq about 160 km (100 mi) south of Baghdad. Its estimated populat ...
is renowned as the site of the tomb of
Alī ibn Abī Tālib
Alī ibn Abī Tālib
(also known as "Imām Alī"), whom the Shia consider to be the righteous caliph and first imām. The city is now a great center of pilgrimage from throughout the Shi'a Islamic world and it is estimated that only
Mecca Mecca, officially Makkah al-Mukarramah () and commonly shortened to Makkah,Quran 48:22 ' () is the Holy sites in islam, holiest city in Islam and the capital of the Mecca Province of Saudi Arabia. The city is inland from Jeddah on the Red S ...

Mecca
and
Medina Medina, ', "the radiant city"; or , ' (), "the city", officially Al Madinah Al Munawwarah (), commonly simplified as Madīnah or Madinah, is the second holiest city in Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, di ...
receive more Muslim pilgrims. The city of
Kufa Kufa ( ar, الْكُوفَة ), also spelled Kufah, is a city in Iraq, about south of Baghdad, and northeast of Najaf. It is located on the banks of the Euphrates, Euphrates River. The estimated population in 2003 was 110,000. Currently, Kufa ...
was home to the famed scholar Abu Hanifah, whose school of thought is followed by many Sunni Muslims internationally. Kufa was also the capital of the
Rashidun Caliphate The Rashidun Caliphate ( ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلرَّاشِدَةُ, ') was the first of the four major caliphates established after the death of the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad. It was ruled by the f ...
during the time of
Ali
Ali
. Likewise, Samarra is also home to the al-Askari Mosque, containing the mausoleums of the Ali al-Hadi and Hasan al-Askari, the tenth and eleventh Shia Imams respectively, as well as the maqam (shrine), maqam (or "point") of Muhammad al-Mahdi, who is the twelfth and final Imam of the Shia Madhhab. This has made it an important pilgrimage centre for Ja'farī Shia Muslims. In addition, some female relatives of Muhammad are buried in Samarra, making the city one of the most significant sites of worship for Shia Muslims and a venerated location for Sunni Muslims. Iraq was also the place of many the Fitna_(word)#Historical_usage, fitnas (schisms) that occurred in the beginning.


Demographics

The data on the religious affiliation of Iraq's population are uncertain. According to Pew Research, about 99% are Muslims, 51% of them identifying as Shia and 42% as Sunni in 2011. According to the CIA World Factbook (2017) 95–98% of the population are Muslims, 29–34% being Sunni Muslims and 64–69% Shia Muslims.


Gallery

File:مسجد الخلفاء في بغداد.jpg, Al-Khulafa Mosque,
Baghdad Baghdad (; ar, بَغْدَاد ) is the capital of Iraq Iraq ( ar, ٱلْعِرَاق, '; ku, عێراق '), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق '), is a ...

Baghdad
File:Imam Husayn Shrine by Tasnimnews 01.jpg, Imam Husayn Shrine,
Karbala Karbala or Kerbala ( ar, كَرْبَلَاء, Karbalāʾ , , also ;) is a city in central Iraq, located about southwest of Baghdad, and a few miles east of Lake Milh, also known as Razzaza Lake. Karbala is the capital of Karbala Governorat ...
File:Imam Ali Holy Shrine (Bab Alqibla) main gate 10 Muharram 1435 H.jpg, Shia celebrating Muharam in the holy city of Karbala. File:Meshed ali usnavy (PD).jpg, Imam Ali Mosque,
Najaf Najaf ( ar, ٱلنَّجَف) or An-Najaf al-Ashraf ( ar, ٱلنَّجَف ٱلْأَشْرَف), also known as Baniqia ( ar, بَانِيقِيَا), is a city in central Iraq about 160 km (100 mi) south of Baghdad. Its estimated populat ...
File:سامراء Samarra-Wielki Meczet ze spiralnym minaretem - panoramio.jpg, The spiral minaret of the Great Mosque of Samarra


See also

* Demographics of Iraq * List of mosques in Baghdad


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Islam In Iraq Islam in Iraq, Islam by country, Iraq