The Truth as to why Islam is Growing Globally

Is Islam really the fastest growing Religion?

Islam minaret,spire

The answer may surprise you!

According to CNN Worldnews, In the United States, nearly 80 percent of the more than 1,200 mosques have been built in the past 12 years. The American Muslim Council, claims there are 2,000 mosques and Islamic community centers in the United States and  The Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) struggles to keep up with the growth of new Muslims.


It may be growing fast, but it is really slowing down too.  But why is Islam growing? Keep reading. 

Now most Arabs (my heritage) are Muslims but most Muslims are not Arab.  The country with the largest number (about 209 million) is Indonesia, where 87.2% of the population identifies as Muslim. India has the world’s second-largest Muslim population in raw numbers (roughly 176 million) though Muslims just make up just only 14.4% of India’s total population. See World’s Muslim population more widespread than you might .. See here for details on the number of Muslims per country.  Think….what is the most common baby name in the world?

Yes, Muhammad–or Mohmad or Mohammad, or something similar.  The trend has even followed Muslim immigrants to Europe; Mohammed became the most popular boys’ name for Brussels in 2008 and London in 2009.  Read more.

Yes, Islam is growing and growing faster than it has ever been.  But the more interesting question is, “why is it that Islam are growing so fast?” And  “Why is it slowing down?”

I submit  (pun intended ) that Islam was growing so fast, not because of conversions but because of reproduction.

Muslims on average have more children than any other major religious group.  Thus their numbers were growing fast.  See the following chart from Pew Research Center.

Islamic growth MDII-graphics-webready-05












Philip Jenkins is a Distinguished Professor of History at Baylor University and author of The Great and Holy War: How World War I Became a Religious Crusade.

Jenkins wrote in his article “The World’s Fastest Growing Religion” :

At first sight, the contest should be a shut-out, leaving Christianity the clear winner. During the twentieth  century, Christian numbers expanded mightily around the world, but especially in the Global South. According to the respected World Christian Database, since 1900 the number of African Christians has grown by an incredible 4,930 percent, and the growth in Latin America was 877 percent..… During the twentieth century, Africa’s Catholic population grew from 1.9 million to 130 million — an increase of 6,700 percent. The total number of African believers of all shades soared, from just 10 million in 1900 to almost 500 million today Put another way, the number of African Christians in 2050 will be almost twice as large as the total figure for all Christians alive anywhere in the globe back in 1900. …, but in some ways, Muslims have significantly outpaced Christians. However staggering their growth rate might seem, Christian numbers have actually proved strikingly stable as a share of global population. .. Islam’s surge has been still more impressive. In 1900, the 200-220 million Muslims then living comprised some twelve or thirteen percent of humanity, compared to 22.5 percent today, and a projected figure of 27 percent by 2050. Christians in 1900 outnumbered Muslims by 2.8 to 1. Today the figure is 1.5 to 1, and by 2050 it should be 1.3 to 1. In historical terms, the gap is closing fast. …In 1900, there were three Europeans for every African. By 2050, there should be three Africans for every European…

This data and information is fascinating to say the least.  But I have my doubts.  If immigrant Muslims continue to grow in Europe and in the US they will, if they continue to have the children they do have, become the predominate religion and people group in the world. But I don’t think that will be the case

It is not for theological reasons that I believe this but for demographic and educational reasons.

My key point here is that the growth of Islam will show down if Muslims continue to educate their daughters.

Yes, the more a girl is educated, the longer she will take to have children and the less children she will have.  She may marry in her late 20 and early 30s, as must Europeans and Americans do.  Thus the number of children they produce will be significantly less than a girl who marries in her early teens will have–just like the educated ladies of Judaism and Christianity.  This is true in Asia- Pacific region, the Middle East-North Africa and Europe, and less sharp in sub-Saharan Africa.

Doug Sanders of the Huffington Posts wrote

Two generations ago, it seemed as if Islamic countries were destined for out-of-control population growth. People spoke of an “Islamic fertility rate” – – more than 5 children per family, on average – – and predicted minaret spires foresting the Earth. Today, it is readily apparent that Islam is not connected with population growth. Just look at Iran, the world’s only Islamic theocracy, where the average family had around 7 children in the 1980s – – and has 1.7 today, a lower rate than France or Britain. Or look at the United Arab Emirates, with 1.9 children per family. Or Turkey, ruled by an elected party of devout Muslims for a decade, which now has 2.15 children per family. Or Lebanon, where, despite Hezbollah’s rise, has only 1.86 children per family (so that its population will be shrinking). Around the world, the average Muslim family size has fallen from 4.3 children per family in 1995 to 2.9 in 2010, and is expected to fall below the population-growth rate, and converge with Western family sizes, by mid-century. This is a crucial sign that Muslim societies are undergoing a major modernizing, secularizing wave – – even if they elect Islamist parties while doing so.

Consider that “The only region where Muslim population growth is accelerating through 2020 is the Americas, largely because of immigration… As in the rest of the world, fertility rates in countries with Muslim-majority populations are directly related to educational attainment. Women tend to delay childbearing when they attain higher levels of education. As Muslim women continue to receive more education, their fertility rates are projected to decline.”  See the Pew for more information.

In conclusion, as Muslims in the West begin educating their daughters, encouraging them to obtain at least an MA or an MS degree, this will in turn cause them to delay having children. Islam in the West will not be growing as it once was in the non-Western countries where Muslim girls marry earlier in life.  

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Cat Tel

    Islam is growing and will continue to grow simply because Jesus is returning soon, he would rule the world with justice and there will be world peace. There is absolutely nothing that anyone can do to stop it, even if they hate it. I’m 30, accepted Islam after reading Quraan. Check out imran hosein for more info on why islam is everywhere now. This article is complete rubbish. By d way. Peace

    • Hello Cat Tel,
      Thanks for the post.
      What exactly was wrong with the post? Would you please explain how it was “complete rubbish?”
      What facts were incorrect and what logical analysis was not sound?

    • Hello Cat,
      For some reason I was JUST able to see this now! …. I am very curious what was “rubbish” about what I wrote? What was the error or factual distortion?

      • jnanam

        Professor! Do you really mean to ask this question, after reading the rubbish comments? Think of value of your time !

    • lijo Mathew

      Bro you are stupid to accept islam coz islam is different in everyway compared to christianity Jesus said i am the alpha and omega so frm where muhammed came Abraham had isaac to be sacrificed so how come ismael came in quran why is it muhammed no where in the bible but jesus in quran as 117 times its because quran is a book based on ideology copied from bible Muhammed dont have a proof of Angel gabriel giving him the revelation he waged war on non muslims Jesus never waged a war on no man you cant leave islam you can marry as much as u want all these are a simple sign hw much they fear of ppl leaving the religion Christianity is simple love thats what Jesus taught not to wage Jihad what if Jesus had the same idea this world wudnt hve seen any other religion by now…Think wisely Christianity has No compare and Jesus said if u deny me in thia world i will denu u in heaven…Why muhammed never had the athority over the world over the wind over death..why he couldnt help a blind see a lame walk a deaf hear…Jesus is superior over all and i am a proud christian…he was a miracle himself not like muhammed who had only one miracle the quran…lol i laugh at his miracle takecare its not late Belive in Jesus not the false prophet Jesus warned about..Thankyou

  • Monica

    Hello! I think as a non Muslim I can completely relate to the last part of the article. For in my family I have three sisters and we have come to the conclusion that we would not have children until we where done with out education. This is something that not a lot of Hispanics tend to do, rather most of my cousins already have children and they do not have more then a high school diploma. Maybe it’s a cultural thing but since I find myself on the outside looking in, I cannot imagine having children at this moment of my life. Muslim women must feel the same way and it is a change in pace in what is expected of them. It is fascinating this one practice has affected the entire Muslim population. I also thought you were going to talk about the who the Muslim religion appeals to many people which has allowed for it grow in number but this is not the case. Rather it is just another wave of immigrants coming from other to and from other countries that has allowed this increase of its numbers. And at the same time as women now have a chance at a proper education which causes a decrease in would be Muslims. Thank for you for a great article.

  • Supernu

    Professor Khaldoun’s observation leaves out the fact there are no statistic for Muslims that leave Islam, but never announce it due to obvious reasons. At the end of the day, what plagues the Arab Muslim world today, will also manifest itself once Muslims grow in numbers in the west, and that is Sects. Muslims can not agree on anything in general. Sunni, Shia, Alwaite, Durze, each for his own. So in reality, by 2050 or even 2100 what the world may see is not a strong Muslim Community, but the same thing we see today: many versions of Islam, and many more sects that will more than likely be at war with one another.