General Information

Republic of Iraq

National name: Al Jumhuriyah al Iraqiyah

Land area: 167,556 sq mi (433,970 sq km)

Population (2008 est.): 28,221,181

Capital and largest city (2003 est.): Baghdad, 6,777,300 (metro. area), 5,772,000 (city proper)

Largest cities: Mosul, 1,791,600; Basra, 1,377,000; Irbil, 864,900; Kirkuk, 755,700

Monetary unit: U.S. dollar

Languages: Arabic (official), Kurdish (official in Kurdish regions), Assyrian, Armenian

Ethnicity/race: Arab 75%–80%, Kurdish 15%–20%, Turkoman, Assyrian, or other 5%

Religions: Islam 97% (Shiite 60%–65%, Sunni 32%–37%), Christian or other 3%

National Holiday: Revolution Day, July 17

Literacy rate: 74% (2003 est.)

Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2007 est.): $100 billion; per capita $3,600. Real growth rate: 5%. Inflation: 4.7%.

Iraq, a triangle of mountains, desert, and fertile river valley, is bounded on the east by Iran, on the north by Turkey, on the west by Syria and Jordan, and on the south by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. It is twice the size of Idaho. The country has arid desert land west of the Euphrates, a broad central valley between the Euphrates and the Tigris, and mountains in the northeast.

From earliest times Iraq was known as Mesopotamia—the land between the rivers—for it embraces a large part of the alluvial plains of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

An advanced civilization existed by 4000 B.C. Sometime after 2000 B.C. the land became the center of the ancient Babylonian and Assyrian empires. Mesopotamia was conquered by Cyrus the Great of Persia in 538 B.C. and by Alexander in 331 B.C. After an Arab conquest in 637–640, Baghdad became the capital of the ruling caliphate. The country was cruelly pillaged by the Mongols in 1258, and during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries was the object of repeated Turkish-Persian competition.

Nominal Turkish suzerainty imposed in 1638 was replaced by direct Turkish rule in 1831. In World War I, Britain occupied most of Mesopotamia and was given a mandate over the area in 1920. The British renamed the area Iraq and recognized it as a kingdom in 1922. In 1932, the monarchy achieved full independence. Britain again occupied Iraq during World War II because of its pro-Axis stance in the initial years of the war.

Islamic History and Muslims

The history of Islam in Iraq goes back several centuries to the lifetime of Muhammad (d. 632). The Muslim population of Iraq is approximately 57 percent Arab Shi'a, 23 percent Arab Sunni and 17 percent Kurdish. Iraqi Kurds are mostly Sunni, with about 10% being Shi'a Faili Kurds. Most Kurds are located in the northern areas of the country, with most following the Shafi school of Islamic law and being members of the Naqshbandi Sufi tariqah. Iranian Shi'as consider the Iraqi holy cities of Najaf and Karbala as critical to their own faith and culture and wield significant religious influence over Iraqi Shi'as there. Shi'as throughout the world come to Najaf as the center of Shi'a learning and the site of Ali ibn Abi Talib's (the first Shi'a Imam) tomb. Najaf was also the center from which opposition to British rule was organized, where Lebanese Shi'a religious leaders were trained, and where Ayatollah Khomeini spent fourteen years in exile after first arriving there in 1965. Shi'a activism from Najaf contributed to opposition to the Communist threat in the 1960s and to the Baath regime, which was dominated by Sunni's, since 1968.
Islam during the Baathist regime

Throughout the 1970s the Baathist regime stepped up the oppression of Shiites, which fueled the rise of al-Dawa ("the Call"), a political party dedicated to the establishment of an Islamic state in Iraq. The other major religious Shi'i groupings included the Paykar group (a guerilla organization similar to the Iranian Mujahidin) and the Jama'at al 'Ulama (groupings of pro-Khomeini ulema), which were united and their activities co-ordinated from within Iran by Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim. Meanwhile, the Baath leadership made a determined effort to woo support from Iraqi Shi'is during the Iran–Iraq War (1980-1988). Resources were diverted to the Shii south. The official government propaganda cast the war with Iran in terms of the struggle between the Arabs and the Iranians for supremacy that occurred in the early days of Islam, trying to make the Shiis of southern Iraq identify more with their being Arabs in the face of the Iranian foe, rather than their being Shi'is. Thus, the Iraqi official propaganda used certain symbolic key-words such as Qādisiyya (the battle at which the Arab armies defeated the Iranian Empire in 637), while the Iranian propaganda sought to win support of south Iraq's Shi'is by using such key-words as Karbala.

Since the US led 2003 invasion of Iraq, there have been daily conflicts between the Shi'a and the Sunnis within the country. However, despite increasing sectarian violence in Iraq, historically a sense of shared Arab heritage was effective in minimizing conflict in the past. In this regard, Ahmad Chalabi commented in 2004, "Sunnis and Shiites have never fought against each other. The violence was always perpetrated by Saddam Hussein."

Some notable Iraqi Ulema

* Grand Ayatollah al-Shirazi
* Abu'l-Hassan Isfahani
* Muhammad Husayn Al Kashifu'l-Ghita
* Ayatollah Muhsin al-Hakim
* Ayatollah Abdul Majid al-Khoei
* Hujjatu'l-Islam Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim
* Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr
* Muqtada as-Sadr (b.1973)
* Muhammad Muhammad Sadiq as-Sadr (1943-1999)
* Muhammad Baqir as-Sadr (d.1980)
* Ismail as-Sadr

Mosque, Najaf

Shrine of Abbas, Kerbala

Mosque, Mosul

Mosque, Baghdad


The Great Mosque, Samarra, Iraq (847)

The Imam Ali Mosque, third holiest shrine in the world for Shi'a Muslims,
is covered in gold tiles.




The Shi'ite Askariya shrine in Samarra, Iraq, June 23, 2003. The sacred mosque was destroyed February 22, 2006.




Saddam Mosque at the Ancient Site of Ali Ibn Talib Mosque, Al Basrah




Islamic Centers and Organizations

جامع الإمام الأعظم, Baghdad, Al-Aadhamiya

مسجد الرسول الاعظم, Shatra, الشطرة
Phone: 55-66666666

Al-Farooq Mosque, Hit, Al-Anbar

Albasrah Alkabeer Mosques, Basra
Phone: 009647801235456

جامع النبي يونس, Mosul, الموصل

محل حيدر الشرهاني, Shatra, الشطرة
Phone: 0426-634179

Kurdestan Students Islamic Union, Arbil
Phone: 26711

محل عطور سيد حسن, Shatra, الناصرية
Phone: 042-632373

kurdistan islamic union/ dohuk, Dohuk, Jamiya
Phone: 7608083

فندق مصطفى السياحي, Nasiriyah, ذي قار
Phone: 00964-42 233 406

  Al-Sharqee Mosque, Hit
  Kurdistan islamic union, Erbil
  kurdistan islamic union/ dohuk, Dohuk
  kurdistan student developement organization duhok branch, DUHOK
  The Iraqi Islamic Party branch, Iskandariya
  The Islamic Organization Of Human Rights, Mosul
  فريق صناع الحياة في الموصل, Mosul
  لجنة الطلبة والشباب الحزب الاسلامي شعبة الرواحل, Mosul
  مكتبة حامل المسك الاسلامية, Hadithah
  مؤسسة البر للتنمية, Basra
  هيئة علماء المسلمين, Baghdad
  هيئة علماء المسلمين, Mosul
  الاتحاد الاسلامي لاخوات كردستان, السليمانية
  الاتحاد الاسلامي الكوردستاني, Sulaymaniyah
  الجمعية التركمانية للاغاثة والتنمية, Kirkuk
  الحزب الإسلامي العراقي, Baghdad
  الحزب الاسلامي العراقي, Mosul
  الرابطة الإسلامية الكردية, Duhok
  جمعية النماء الخيرية, Kirkuk
  جمعية صناع الحياة, Mosul
  جمعية صناع الحياة للإغاثة والتنمية, Baghdad
  رابطة الطلبة والشباب العراقية, Baghdad
عيادة الدكتور الشعيد عمر محمود الصيدلي الخيرية, Mosul

  Kurdestan Students Islamic Union, Arbil
  Shariha colleg, Erbil
  كلية الامام الاعظم ابي حنيفة النعمان, Basra
  مدرسة النعمان بن ثابت الإسلامية, Kirkuk
  مدرسة الشيخ رجب للعلوم الإسلامية, Rawa
  مدرسة بيجي الاسلامية للحديث الشريف, Baiji
  مدرسة عبد الله ابن عباس لتحفيظ قرأن الكريم, Kirkuk
  مدرسة عبد الرحمن بن عوف الإسلامية, Ramadi
  مدرسة عبدالله بن مسعود لتحفيظ القرأن الكريم, Kirkuk
  المدرسة الاسلامية التابعة للاوقاف, Zakho
  المدرسة الاصفية في الفلوجة, Falluja
  الجامعة الاسلامية, Baghdad
  الحزب الإسلامي العراقي, Bagdad
  جامع و مسجد ومدرسة محمد حاجي رشيد, Sulaymaniyah
  جامعة العلوم الإسلامية, Mosul
رابطة الفراشة الاسلامية, Hilla

  Al Farooq Mosque, Iskandariya
  Al mokhtar Islamic center, Duhak
  Al Yaqda mosqueجامع اليقظة, Mosul
  Al-Farooq Mosque, Hit
  Al-Kabeer Mosque, Falluja
  Al-Sawaf, Erbil
  AL-Shahfai, Erbil
  Albasrah Alkabeer Mosques, Basra
  AZADI MOSQUE, Dohuk Qadha
  Haj Hadii Mesjed, Kirkuk
  Haji Murad, Erbil
  Haji Yahya masjed, Erbil
  Islamic centre of sherqat, Sharqat
  Jalil Khaiat Mosque, Erbil
  khaled Bin Waleed Masjid, Baghdad
  Khudranya mosque, Sharqat
  masjid Ahmed bin Hanbal, Baghdad
  Ronaky Mosque, Erbil
  Salahadden Mosque, Dohuk Qadha
  مسجد المدينة المنورة, Baghdad
  مسجد الاقصى, Baghdad
  مسجد الرحمة الالهيه, Baiji
  مسجد الرسول الاعظم, Shatra
  مسجد ابن تيمية, Baghdad
  المسجد الكبير, As Sulaymaniyah
  الجامع الكبير, Dokan
  الجامع الكبير, Falluja Qadha'
  الجامع الكبير, Anah
  جمعية الخدمات الانسانية, Mosul
  جامع 12 ربيع الاول, Baghdad
  جامع فرج علي الصالح, Baghdad
  جامع ملوكي, Baghdad
  جامع مصطفى العمري, Baghdad
  جامع معاذ بن جبل, Ramadi
  جامع نجيب, Baghdad
  جامع نداء الاسلام, Baghdad
  جامع و جمعية عمر المختار, Baghdad
  جامع وهيب الفرج / زيونة, Baghdad
  جامع آل البيت, Mosul
  جامع أم القرى, Baghdad
  جامع الفاروق, Siniyah
  جامع الفاروق, Rawah
  جامع الفاروق الكبير, Haditha
  جامع الفتاح, Baiji
  جامع الفتح , Mosul
  جامع الفرقان, Dour As Shirka
  جامع القهارِ Alqhaar mosque, Baghdad
جامع القائم الكبير, Al Qa'im

  جامع القدس, Hamdan
  جامع القدس, Abul-Khasib Qadha
  جامع المنتفك, Basra
  جامع المعافى بن عمران الموصلي, Mosul
  جامع المعتصم بالله, Baghdad
  جامع المعراج, Zankal
  جامع النور, Siniyah
  جامع النوري الكبير, Mosul
  جامع النبي يونس, Mosul
  جامع النبي شيث عليه السلام, Mosul
  جامع الإمام الأعظم, Baghdad
  جامع الامام احمد بن حنبل, Baghdad
  جامع الاخوه الصالحين, Bagdad
  جامع الارقم بن ابي الارقم, Mosul
  جامع الارقم بن ابي الارقم, Mosul
  جامع الحى القيوم, Mosul
  جامع الحاج هميم اللافي, Ramadi
  جامع الحاج عبود, Nasiriyah
  جامع الحضرة المحمدية, Fallujah
  جامع الخير, Baghdad
  جامع الدهان, Baghdad
  جامع الدولة الكبير, Ramadi
  جامع الرمادي الكبير, Ramadi
  جامع الروضة المحمدية, Mosul
  جامع الرحمن, Baghdad
  جامع الزهيرية, Basra
  جامع الزهراء الكبير, Mosul
  جامع الزيدان, Baghdad
  جامع السيف, Hadithah
  جامع الشيخ رجب, Rawah
  جامع الشيخ عبد الجليل, Ramadi
  جامع الصنقر, Sanger
  جامع الصابرين, Mosul
  جامع الصحابة, Mosul
  جامع الطيران, Mosul
  جامع العاني,
  جامع العثمان, Basra
  جامع ابو بكر الصديق رضي الله عنه, Baghdad
  جامع ابراهيم الخليل حي الكندي, Mosul
  جامع بلال, Ishaqi
  جامع باب سليمان, Abu Al Khasib
  جامع باب سليمان, Abul-Khasib Qadha
  جامع بدر الكبرى, Ramadi
  جامع برهان الدين, Baghdad
  جامع تقوى الله, Baghdad
  جامع خالد بن الوليد, Ad Dawrah
  جامع راوة الكبير, Rawah
  جامع سنان باشا, Basra
  جامع صلاح الدين, Ramadi
جامع صالح الحافظ, Mosul

  جامع صديق رشان, Mosul
  جامع عمر الفروق, Basra
  جامع عاتكة الكيلاني, Baghdad
جامع عادلة خاتون, Baghdad

   Muslim Owned Business

  Al-Hijab, Erbil
  Dubi for islamic dresses, Baghdadiyeh
  فندق مصطفى السياحي, Nasiriyah
  محل حيدر الشرهاني, Shatra
  محل عطور سيد حسن, Shatra
  مركز المصمم المسلم, Kirkuk
صيدلية ذي قار, Nasiriyah

Islam in Iraq (   , September, 2008).
Info please (   September, 2008).
Islam Finder (  , September, 2008).
Anonymous, Documents from Representatives of Islamic Organizations in Iraq, September 2008.