Immediately following Muhammad's death, the community was ruled by a succession of close companions to the Prophet chosen by a consensus of community elders.
Schisms and Sects
Islam is divided into two main groups, the Sunni and the Shi'a. Another expression of Islam is called Sufism and attracts Sunni and Shi'i Muslims as well as non-Muslims.
Missions and Expansion
A thousand years after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, Islam had taken root in nearly every region of the globe and although varied in its theology, was not varied in practice.
Exploration and Conquest
Over the centuries, Muslims built a number of empires across large territories. Until 1258, the Islamic world was ruled by a single ruler, called a caliph.
The recent history of the Muslim world has been one of imperialism, war, and poverty. Islamic revival movements have emerged in various locales hoping to restore autonomy to their societies.