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Why learn about Islam?
According to the Pew Research Center, in 2010, there were 50 Muslim-majority countries and Muslims are the fastest-growing religious group in the world. The Muslim community is contributing to advances in medicine, financial markets, and the world economy. Understanding what Muslims believe in many contexts, how Islam influenced not just the Middle East but Europe, the Americas, and the rest of the world, and the ways in which Islam is just as complex as other religions can potentially open the door to partnerships across fields and innovation, and serve to provide deeper understanding of a people and their beliefs. In many traditional 1st world economies, Judeo-Christian histories have traditionally been the drivers of social and economic principles, but Islam and the Islamic world are now growing drivers in their own right.
Islam courses and certifications
Enroll in an online course to access Islamic experts covering a wide range of topics. edX offers courses in partnership with leading universities and institutions, giving you a solid understanding of Islam, its people, and its worldview. Courses include Islam Through Its Scriptures and Introduction to the Quran (Harvard and Notre Dame, respectively). You'll understand the basics, including Prophet Muhammad's place, the significance of Mecca, the pillars of Islam, and how other religious figures, including Jesus and Abraham, fit into Islamic traditions. Other options include Islamic influence over areas like finance (Islamic Banking Principles, Islam Money Markets) or contemporary world issues including peace-building. You'll understand human rights from an Islamic and Quranic perspective, and analyze Islam's contributions to the world (Arabic-Islamic History, Unlocking the Manuscripts of Medieval Spain, etc).
Prepare for international influence
Some markets, particularly in Asia, poised on the edge of becoming world powerhouses, are heavily influenced by Islamic and Quranic principles. These markets, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia, India, and Indonesia, may operate differently, but understanding the role of Islam within those markets could help you build better international relationships with potential business partners. Non-muslims may not have a lot of experience with the holy book, the month of Ramadan, Eid, or the structure of daily prayers, but as the world gets smaller, it's more important than ever to provide context and understanding. With the growing Muslim population entering the workforce, a foundation of understanding Islam could be useful for improving company culture and interactions across the world.