1832: French forces occupy Algeria.

1920: European colonial governments control ex-Ottoman lands of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Transjordan.

1932: Saudi Arabia established.

1947: Muslim state of Pakistan established.

1948: Israel established. First Arab-Israeli war.

1967: Second Arab-Israeli war.

1973: Third Arab-Israeli war.

1979: Islamic government established in Iran. Soviet Union invades Afghanistan.

1989: Soviets withdraw from Afghanistan. Islamic rebel forces overthrow the Communist government.

1990: Iraq invades Kuwait.

1991: Muslim-dominated former Soviet republics in Central Asia gain independence. U.S.-led forces push Iraq from Kuwait.


Allah: 1. The foremost name for the supreme being according to Islamic belief. 2. A term applied to God generally by Arabic-speaking peoples, be they Muslims, Jews, or Christians. More...

Islam: Religion preached by the Prophet Muhammad. It means "surrender" or "submission to the will of God."

jihad: ji-had'; best known of many words formed from Arab. root j-h-d; "struggle" or "effort"

In Islam, struggle "in the path of God" or to "make God's cause succeed" (Qur'an 9:40). In the Qur'an, jihad is connected with the imperative to command good and forbid evil (3:104, 110), especially with reference to the struggle of believers against persecution and idolatry. More...

mosque: mosk; from Arab. masjid, "place of ritual prostration"

A site of assembly and worship for Muslims. More...

Muhammad: moo-ham'mad; Arab., "praised one," ca. 570-632

The founder of Islam. Muhammad was born in the Arabian city of Mecca. His prophetic career started when he was about forty years old when he experienced his first revelation. After an initial period in which only his family knew of his religious experiences, he started a public career in Mecca as a prophet and reformer. He moved from Mecca to Medina in 622. The record of Muhammad's life and prophetic activity is found only partly in the Qur'an, which Muslims hold to be the Word of God. More...

Muslim: moos'lim; Arab., "one who submits"

One who submits to the will of Allah (God). As distinct from the term mumin, which refers to one who holds the Islamic faith, Muslim denotes one who submits to the will of Allah and to the practice of Islam in daily life. More...

Quran (or Koran): The foundational document in the organization of Muslim societies. In its very language the Qur'an has acted as a centrifugal social force throughout the Muslim world. Quranic words and phrases have penetrated the languages of Muslim peoples worldwide, while memorization of the Qur'an, even by non-Arabic-speaking Muslims, has fostered a sense of linguistic fraternity among the whole Muslim community. More...

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