A Broad Based Study Of Islamic Beliefs and Practices

Shariah-Law Women beating


Have you ever wanted to know what Muslims beliefs about Islam are? There are many different sects. Sunni’s make up about 85%, Shi’ites about 10%, Sufis, Baha’is, Ahmadiyyas, Druze, Alevis, and `Alawis together make up the rest of Dar al Islam, the Muslim world. Well wait no longer the information has been extracted, compiled and analyzed. This will introduce the source and provide a brief overview. The next part will provide the breakdown of findings.

Pew Research conducted surveys which reveal a great deal about Muslim beliefs and practices across the globe. They are broken down by country or region. The Muslim Global Demographic Project (MGDP) used information from these Pew surveys. They took the data to compute global percentages and global population statistics. The information is on questions about Islamic beliefs and practices relating to security, terrorism, and the potential threat to Western culture.

Where does the Data come from?

All Muslim surveys are listed together here.

Each of the surveys used here can be downloaded as a PDF:

The Pew Research surveys were nearly global in scope. They were done in 2012 and 2013. The information compiled has been used as the basis of this project, supplemented by the sub-Saharan African survey of 2010. Taken together, these surveys cover 39 countries and involve more than 38,000 face-to-face interviews in over 80 languages and dialects. The Pew Research surveys used cover countries with significant Muslim populations. Political sensitivities, lack of access, or security concerns prevented opinion research among Muslims in Algeria, China, India, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

How comprehensive was the Survey?

Though these countries contain over 400 million Muslims, nearly 1.1 billion Muslims, out of a total of 1.6 billion in 2010, are represented in the 39 countries where surveys were completed. The countries included in the Pew surveys, along with their designated geographic regions, are listed in the graphic of the study.

The percentages and population numbers in this report were calculated directly from Pew Research data which was taken at face value. No attempt was made to alter or weight the numbers. Data was generally entered from Pew’s Topline tables. The notable exceptions occurred in cases where Pew’s published bar graph differed from the Topline numbers due to weighting or adjustments. In such instances, the percentages on the bar graphs were used. The Muslim Global Demographic Project is not affiliated with Pew Research.


Not every country was polled in all of the survey questions (though 11 of the questions included 92%-100% of total population represented). Consequently, the total number of Muslims represented by the questions selected for this report ranges from 826 million to 1.094 billion (574 million to 734 million adults). These totals are shown by gray bars in the graphs which follow. The omission of countries with significant populations is noted in the narrative for each relevant question. This description of the study is adapted from that of William DiPuccio, Ph.D.