In a recent Poll, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has defined, what joins and separates the Muslims. There is a 164 page report of the Poll that took 38,000 face to face interviews.
Based on how Muslims self-identify in the survey, the 38 countries where the questions were asked can be grouped into four categories: 1) predominantly Sunni; 2) mix of Sunni and Shia; 3) predominantly “just a Muslim”; and 4) countries with no prevailing sectarian identity. These categories do not fully overlap with regional divisions, but certain geographic patterns are evident. For example, countries without a clear, dominant sectarian identity are concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa in addition to Central Asia and across Southern and Eastern Europe.
According to the Poll, Forty eight percent in Sub-Saharan Africa call themselves as Sunni Muslim. But, the more dramatic feature of the region is that good 23% call themselves, ‘Just a Muslim.’ In addition to Muslims who identify as Sunni, Shia or “just a Muslim,” the survey finds substantial percentages of Muslims who express affiliation with other sects or movements. For instance, many Muslims, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, identify as Ahmadiyyas. This affiliation is most common in Ghana (16%), Tanzania, (15%), Cameroon (12%) and Liberia (10%).
These developments in Sub-Saharan Africa, as reported by the Pew Forum reminded me of a prophecy by the Messiah, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani, the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, which he wrote in a book, The Narrative of Two Martyrdoms, in 1903:
Ye all people, listen carefully, and remember, that these prophecies are from God Almighty, Who made the earth and the heavens. He will spread this, His Own Movement, in all foreign countries; with reason and argument, He will make it prevail everywhere. The days are coming–indeed they are very near, when, all over the world, there shall be only one religion which people will mention with respect. Allah will invest this religion, with extraordinary blessings even such as shall seem to be supernatural; and He will utterly disappoint those who long to see its destruction. And this dominance shall last for ever, even until the coming of Day of Judgment.
Hear well, and clearly, bear in mind that no one will come down from the heavens. The present generation will pass and then the children of their children also shall pass away, and they also shall not see the son of Mary coming down from the sky. Then Allah will cause a great uneasiness to spring up in their minds, that the time of the dominance of the cross also had gone by and the world had passed into another phase, another era, but Isa, the son of Mary, had not come down from the heavens. Then, all at once, so to say, people endowed with wisdom and discernment will get disgusted with this belief; and counting from this day, the third century will not be completed, when all those waiting for the appearance of Isa, among the Muslims, as well as the Christians, will give up this belief in a great disappointment and a pitiful disillusionment. Then, all over the world, there shall be only one religion, only one guide, only one leader. I have come but to sow the seed, and this task has been duly achieved at my hand. The seed shall now grow and multiply; it will come into bloom and bear fruit-and there is no one to stop it from doing so. (Tazkria-tulShahadatain)
Please note that the prophecy has a time scale of 300 years. By the Grace of Allah, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has enjoyed tremendous progress in all continents during the first 120 years of its history, starting in 1889 CE.