How Did Islam Diffuse? (Solved)

Islam spread through military conquest, trade, pilgrimage, and missionaries. Arab Muslim forces conquered vast territories and built imperial structures over time. The caliphate—a new Islamic political structure—evolved and became more sophisticated during the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates.


How did Islam spread diffusion?

The spread of Islam was accomplished through trade and conquest. Mecca was a center of trade. When camel caravans left Mecca, they carried Muhammad’s teachings with them. Islam diffused from Mecca and spread throughout the Middle East and into Central Asia and North Africa.

How did Islam spread so quickly?

The religion of Islam spread rapidly in the 7th century. Islam spread quickly because of the military. During this time, on numerous accounts there were military raids. Trade and conflict were also apparent between different empires, all of which resulted in the spreading of Islam.

What type of diffusion was Islam?

Islam spread mostly through contagious diffusion by military conquest into North Africa and Western Europe and through Arab traders traveling to Indonesia. Buddhism spread primarily through relocation diffusion by missionaries and was slow to diffuse outside the area of origin.

When did Islam diffuse?

Through the Muslim conquest of Persia, in the 7th century, Islam spread as far as the North Caucasus, which parts of it (notably Dagestan) were part of the Sasanid domains.

How did Islam spread through military conquest?

The military conquest was inspired by religion, but it was also motivated by greed and politics. But this mixture of motives combined to form a process that forged Islamic and Arab ideals and communities into a fast-growing religious and political identity.

How did Islam spread to Central Asia?

Islam came to Central Asia in the early part of the 8th century as part of the Muslim conquest of the region. Many well-known Islamic scientists and philosophers came from Central Asia, and several major Muslim empires, including the Timurid Empire and the Mughal Empire, originated in Central Asia.

What are 3 reasons why Islam spread so quickly?

There are many reasons why Islam spread so fast, however the main three reasons was trade, winning battles, and treaties. Trade Routes was an important part of how Islam grew so fast.

What is the basic message of Islam and why was it able to expand so successfully?

What was a common reason why Islam was able to spread? Value and Treatment: Conquered people liked Islam’s values and the way they would be treated under it so they decided to convert willingly rather than being forced to leading to more loyal citizens.

Why did Islam split into two factions?

Though the two main sects within Islam, Sunni and Shia, agree on most of the fundamental beliefs and practices of Islam, a bitter split between the two goes back some 14 centuries. The divide originated with a dispute over who should succeed the Prophet Muhammad as leader of the Islamic faith he introduced.

How did the world’s major religions diffuse?

Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are five of the biggest religions in the world. Through countless conflicts, conquests, missions abroad, and simple word of mouth, these religions spread around the globe and forever molded the huge geographic regions in their paths.

What are several ways we diffuse our culture to others around the world?

Cultural diffusion spreads as cultures interact with each other. Cultural diffusion can also happen through migration. If a large group of immigrants emigrates to a new country, they will bring their culture with them to the new location. Also, culture can spread through trade.

What are the core beliefs of Islam?

The religious obligations of all Muslims are summed up in the Five Pillars of Islam, which include belief in God and his Prophet and obligations of prayer, charity, pilgrimage, and fasting. The fundamental concept of Islam is the Sharīʿāh—its law, which embraces the total way of life commanded by God.

How did education help Islam spread?

Islam placed a high value on education, and, as the faith spread among diverse peoples, education became an important channel through which to create a universal and cohesive social order.

How was a successor to Muhammad chosen?

How was a successor to Muhammad chosen? Muhammad named his successor before dying. An angel was said to have revealed Muhammad’s successor. Muhammad’s successor was elected by the clans.

How did Islam change the world?

Islam quickly spread throughout the Arab Peninsula into the Middle East and across North Africa. Likewise, Islam spread peace, unity, equality, and increased literacy rates. Islam directly influenced society and altered the course of development in history and in today ‘s contemporary world.

Spread of Islam

  • Describe how Islam expanded throughout the world and how caliphs maintained control over conquered countries.

Key Points

  • Because of the rise of the Arab Empire in the years after the Prophet Muhammad’s death, caliphates were established, who ruled over enormous areas of territory while seeking converts to Islam. A large number of complex centers of culture and science were established by the inhabitants of the Islamic world, who developed extensive commercial networks, traveled, became scientists and hunters, became physicians and philosophers, and developed advanced mathematical and medical theories. Historians distinguish between two distinct groups of converts who lived at the same period. The first group consists of animists and polytheists from tribal communities in the Arabian Peninsula and the Fertile Crescent, while the second group consists of monotheistic inhabitants from agrarian and urbanized societies in the Middle East. The Arab conquerors generally adhered to the traditional middle-Eastern pattern of religious pluralism in their dealings with the conquered populations, allowing other faiths to practice freely in Arab territory, despite the fact that widespread conversions to Islam occurred as a result of the breakdown of historically religiously organized societies.


A position of Islamic leadership, most typically found in the context of a mosque’s worship leader and the Sunni Muslim community as a whole.


Zoroaster condensed the pantheon of early Iranian gods into two opposing forces, which led to the emergence of an ancient Iranian religion and religious philosophy in the eastern ancient Persian Empire when the religious philosopher Zoroaster wrote his religious philosophy. Because of the development of the Arab Empire in the years after the Prophet Muhammad’s death, caliphates were established over a broad geographic region. A major factor in the rise of Islam was the missionary operations of missionaries, notably those of Imams, who were able to readily intermingle with the local population in order to spread Islamic teachings.

Islam spread outwards from Mecca towards both the Atlantic and Pacific seas.

The establishment of Muslim dynasties was swift, and subsequent empires such as those of the Abbasids, Fatimids, Almoravids, Seljukids, and Ajurans, Adal and Warsangali in Somalia, Mughals in India, Safavids in Persia, and Ottomans in Anatolia were among the largest and most powerful empires in history.

  • In the wake of Islamic expansion in South and East Asia, Muslim cultures in the Indian subcontinent, Malaysia, Indonesia, and China developed into cosmopolitan and eclectic melting pots.
  • In actuality, little has changed for the people of this new kingdom, who were originally subjects of the drastically diminished Byzantine and annihilated Sassanid empires, save in name.
  • As a result, it was only in the following centuries that there was a true Islamization.
  • The first group consists of animists and polytheists from tribal communities in the Arabian Peninsula and the Fertile Crescent, while the second group consists of monotheistic inhabitants from agrarian and urbanized societies in the Middle East.
  • In contrast, “Islam was replaced for a Byzantine or Sassanian political identity as well as for a Christian, Jewish, or Zoroastrian religious allegiance” in sedentary and frequently already monotheistic communities, according to the authors.
  • When the religious and political leadership came to a new understanding, it resulted in the weakening or complete collapse of the social and religious institutions of rival religious communities such as Christians and Jews.
  • Expansion halted under the reign of the Abbasid Caliphate, and the major disciplines of Islamic philosophy, theology, law, and mysticism gained in popularity, as did the gradual conversion of the inhabitants inside the empire.
  • There were three routes across Africa: over the Sahara via trading centres such as Timbuktu, up the Nile Valley through Sudan and Uganda, and down East Africa via colonies such as Mombasa and Zanzibar.

Following a general pattern of nomadic conquests of settled regions, the Arab-Muslim conquests of Europe followed a similar pattern in which conquering peoples became the new military elite and reached a compromise with the old elites by allowing them to retain their local political, religious, and financial authority.

  • With its foundation in 670 CE by the Arab general and conqueror Uqba Ibn Nafi, the Great Mosque of Kairouan is the oldest mosque in western Islamic countries and serves as an architectural icon of the expansion of Islam in North Africa.
  • The Arab conquerors did not make the same error as the Byzantine and Sasanian empires, who had attempted and failed to impose an official religion on subject populations, resulting in hostility that made the Muslim conquests more palatable to the conquered peoples.
  • Religious tolerance typified the early caliphate after military operations, which included the looting of several monasteries and the confiscation of Zoroastrian fire temples in Syria and Iraq, and people of all nationalities and religions were able to mingle in public life.
  • In Iraq and Egypt, Muslim rulers worked in partnership with Christian religious leaders to achieve their goals.
  • Some non-Muslim communities, on the other hand, were subjected to persecution.
  • Zoroastrians were forced to pay an additional tax known as Jizya, and if they failed to do so, they were slaughtered, enslaved, or imprisoned as a result.

Jizya payers were exposed to insults and humiliation by the tax collectors, who demanded they pay the levy. In exchange for converting to Islam, Zoroastrians who had been kidnapped as slaves in battles were granted their freedom.

Did you know?: The Spread of Islam in Southeast Asia through the Trade Routes

The Silk Roads are among the most important routes in our collective history, and they are still in use today. The establishment of ties between east and west was made possible by the construction of these highways, which exposed varied regions to a variety of different ideas and ways of life. Notably, many of the world’s main religions, including Islam, were spread as a result of these contacts, which is noteworthy. Following the establishment of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century, the religion began to spread eastward through commerce, which was aided by the construction of the maritime Silk Roads.

  1. This allowed them to control the East-West trade routes that ran over the maritime Silk Roads, which linked numerous key ports in eastern Asian countries together.
  2. Due to these exchanges, Islam was able to spread even farther, reaching people living in significant coastal towns on the Indian Subcontinent and in China, as well as those living in more remote South-eastern islands such as modern Indonesia and the Philippines.
  3. Historically, Muslim traders traveling from the Arabian Peninsula to China’s ports had to transit via these islands in the southern hemisphere through the maritime Silk Roads.
  4. According to popular belief, some of these traders eventually moved in Indonesia and assimilated with the locals.
  5. It is possible to see archeological evidence of Islam being practiced by monarchs in the 13th century by looking at tombstones inscribed with dates according to the Islamic year of Sumatran Kings from the 13th century.

Furthermore, during the 13th century, contacts between Muslim merchants and the local population, as well as trade through the Silk Roads between the southern Philippines and other neighboring regions such as Brunei, Malaysia, and Indonesia, aided in the spread of Islam among the local population in those regions.

  • Islam, like Buddhism, was assimilated into the existing cultural and religious influences of the Southeast Asian areas in a similar way.
  • Sri Lanka has an ancient monastic hospital system that dates back thousands of years.
  • The Khwarazm region and the Silk Roads are intertwined.
  • The spread of Buddhism throughout South and Southeast Asia as a result of trade routes.

Sayyid Bin Abu Ali, a true representative of intercultural relations throughout the Maritime Silk Roads, was recently honored. Thailand and the Silk Roads of the Maritime Silk Roads The Greeks Have a Foothold in Central Asia Routes of the Maritime Silk Routes in Central Asia

How did Islam Spread? By Sword or By Conversion?

What was the method through which Islam spread? By Sword or by Conversion? That is the question. Submitted by: Sayyid Muhammed Rizvi (This book is an enlarged version of a discussion made on the “Islam in Focus” television show in May 2002, which is available online.) North American Shia Ithna-Asheri Muslim Communities (NASIMCO) published a report in 2006 / 1427.

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“Islam is a religious system that is terrible.” “It encourages the use of violence.” These are some of the most popular designations applied to Islam by right-wing Christian media outlets. This kind of prejudice is based on the historical myth that the Arabs compelled non-Arabs to convert to the Islamic religion. Recently, it was not unusual to find books illustrated with illustrations of an Arab riding his horse, sword in one hand and the Qur’an in the other, as seen in the picture above. So, let us examine how Islam expanded throughout the world: with the sword or through conversion.

The Qur’anic Perspective

Let us first consider the subject of “conversion by force” from the point of view of the Qur’anic tradition. This is what the Qur’an says about joining into the Islamic fold, and it is extremely clear: There is no compulsion in religion; indeed, the guidance has been distinguished from wrong. In this way, whoever rejects the idol and believes in God has grasped the most solid rope that can never break; God is All-hearing and All-knowing.” 256 (Surah al-Baqara, verse 256) The acceptance of Islam cannot be compelled; Islam seeks real believers, not hypocrites, as followers.

The Prophet of Islam has also been regarded as a source of inspiration rather than as someone who imposes Islam on others: “Thus, you remind (them), since you are merely a reminder; you are not a watchdog over them,” the author writes.

(Surah al-Baqara,2:119; Surah Saba,34:28) (Surah al-Baqara,2:119; Surah Saba,34:28) His function was simply to serve as a reminder to the populace of their inherent desire to believe in God.

The Prophet’s Example

On the basis of his mission to Mecca, the Prophet Muhammad’s life may be split into two parts: (a) the first thirteen years of the Prophet’s life in Mecca, and (b) the remaining eleven years of his life in Medina.

1. In Mecca

Mecca served as the Prophet’s headquarters for the first thirteen years of his ministry. Given that Muhammad and the Muslims were a minority in Mecca, the use of force was both unimaginable and historically impossible. Persecution compelled him to flee from Mecca to Medina, where he eventually settled.

2. In Medina

The Prophet spent the remaining eleven years of his life in Medina. Aws and Khazraj tribes were the bulk of the inhabitants in Medina at the time of the Prophet’s relocation to that city, and they were the tribes that were most open to Islam. It goes without saying that this acceptance or conversion of the people of Medina could not have been accomplished via coercion! The Prophet and his supporters in Mecca lacked the resources necessary to physically convert the inhabitants of Medina to their faith in Allah.

  • When the Prophet arrived in Medina, he discovered that the city was home to a small Jewish population that was adamant in its refusal to join Islam.
  • The following is an excerpt from the relevant section of the charter: The Jews who engage into this covenant will be safeguarded from all insults and vexations, and they will have the same right to our aid and good deeds as our own people.
  • They will be able to follow their faith with the same freedom as Muslims.
  • The perpetrators will be apprehended and punished.
  • The interior of Yathrib will be regarded as a holy space by everyone who embrace the terms of this Charter.

That the Prophet did not compel individuals to adopt Islam, but rather encouraged peaceful coexistence with adherents of other faiths, is unequivocal evidence of his non-violent approach.

The Wars During the Prophet’s Life

Is there any mention of the fights that the Prophet Muhammad engaged in after establishing his political authority in Medina? Was this done with the intention of forcing Islam on other people? Let us take a quick glance at the main battles that occurred during that time period:

2 AH, The Battle of Badr

Muslims faced out against the Meccan armies in Badr, which was 80 miles from Medina and 200 miles from Mecca at the time. The location and the circumstances make it very evident that the Meccan unbelievers were the aggressors in this situation.

3 AH, The Battle of Uhud

The city was named after a mountain located just outside of Medina. The Meccans had come to exact vengeance for their defeat at Badr.

5 AH, The Battle of Ahzab (or Khandaq)

The unbelievers from Mecca, working in collaboration with the Jews of northern Arabia, marched on Medina to launch an attack on the Muslims.

6 AH, The Peace-Treaty of Hudaybiyya

In the sixth year following the Prophet’s journey, accompanied by Muslims, he made the decision to travel to Mecca for pilgrimage. During the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, the unbelievers barred the Muslims from entering the city. After months of discussions, both parties agreed to a ten-year peace pact that was signed by both parties. It had far-reaching consequences, as you can see in the following passage: In the first place, the Muslims were primarily preoccupied with defending themselves against the Meccans (their external adversaries) and the Jews up to the signing of this pact in 1517.

For the second time, it wasn’t until the signing of this treaty that Muslims felt safe and secure enough to go to other regions and nations outside of Medina, as previously stated.

Third, during the sixth and ninth years of the Prophet’s travel, there had been so much propagation and missionary activity that practically the whole Arabian Peninsula had been brought into the fold of Islam–all without the use of force!

9 AH, the Conquest of Mecca

Only when the Meccans breached the terms of the peace treaty did the Muslims successfully seize control of the city of Mecca without resorting to bloodshed; later, in the ninth century AD, Mecca was proclaimed a holy city in which idol worship was prohibited. However, the idol-worshippers in Mecca were allowed a four-month grace period to remain and learn Islam at that time. If they were still not persuaded by Islam’s message, they would be ordered to leave the holy city of Mecca, according to Islamic law.

Two Phases of Prophet Muhammad’s Life

When the Meccans broke the terms of their peace accord, it was only then that the Muslims were able to take over the city of Mecca without resorting to murder; later, in the ninth century A.D., Mecca was proclaimed a holy city in which idol worship was prohibited.

However, the idolaters of Mecca were allowed a four-month grace period during which they might remain and learn Islam. It was planned to invite them to leave the holy city of Mecca if they were still not persuaded by Islam’s message after that. See Surah at-Tawba, verse 3 of the Qur’an.

The Conquests after the Prophet

Following the death of the Prophet Muhammad, the Muslims progressively expanded their territory to include Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and Iran, among other places. Iraq was captured by the Arabs in 633 CE, under the reign of Abu Bakr. When ‘Umar Ibn al-Khattab ascended the throne in 635 CE, Syria was invaded, followed by Palestine six years later, Egypt in 642 CE, and the eastern half of Persia two years later. While ‘Uthman bin ‘Affan reigned in Persia, the remainder of the country was captured.

  • We, on the other hand, have a different viewpoint on the conquests carried out by Muslims following the Prophet’s death.
  • Confusion arises when authors and historians view the growth of the Muslim/Arab Empire as the spread of Islam, the religion, as a result of the expansion of Islam, the religion.
  • In his book, A History of Islamic Societies, Ira M.
  • It has recently been revealed that, while conversion by force was not unheard of in Muslim nations, it was extremely uncommon.
  • 1 “In the vast majority of cities, the population maintained their traditional religious practices.
  • A notable passage from the late Marshall Hodgson’s famous book “The Venture of Islam” states: “There was no attempt to convert the peoples of the imperial provinces, who virtually all already subscribed to some sort of confessional religion.
  • As a religion, and as a result in terms of maintaining social order, Islam would be justified in its rule: it would justify the simple, fair-dealing Muslims in their replacement of the privileged and repressive representatives of the previous, corrupted allegiances.

Lapidus, has the following passage, which has been previously quoted: “The second principle.was that the conquered inhabitants should be as little disturbed as possible.” This indicates that, contrary to popular belief, the Arab-Muslims did not make any attempts to convert non-Muslims to Islam.

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Expansion of The Muslim /Arab Empire Versus Expansion of The Islamic Faith

My opinion is that some Muslim rulers really wanted for captured inhabitants to adhere to their old faith in order to assure a steady flow of needed cash into their own government coffers! They were not in the business of propagating or disseminating Islam or any other religion.

Examples from Muslim History

History gives enough evidence that Muslim empires were established via military force, but this does not necessarily imply that Islam was spread through military force as a result of the same. 1.Take the following example from India: Despite the fact that Muslims controlled India for around 800 years, the country never had a Muslim majority. The data themselves demonstrate that the growth of Islam in that region was not aided by the use of force. Dr. Khuswant Singh, a well-known Indian historian and journalist, has written about the early days of Islam in India in his book, A History of the Sikhs, which was published in 2012.

  • 4.
  • Indonesia, on the other hand, is the largest Muslim country in the world in terms of population.
  • Several explanations have been advanced by Lapidus to explain the spread of Islam in the Far East, including the importance of merchants, the importance of missionaries, and the relevance of Islam to the common people rather than to the governing elites.
  • A similar set of circumstances in the expansion of Islam has been documented on the African continent.
  • It was controlled by a Turkish caliph and regulated by the Milletsystem, which was a multi-religious, multi-cultural civilization with a multi-religious population.
  • Take, for example, Greece, a neighboring country to Turkey that was occupied by Muslim Turks for over 500 years, but you never hear or see any evidence of a significant Muslim minority among the Greeks, even now.

In the words of Professor Davison, a well-known historian of the Ottoman Empire, “It may even be claimed that the Turks were less repressive to their subject people than were the Prussians of the Poles, the English of the Irish, or the Americans of the Negroes.” In this time, there is evidence to suggest that emigration from independent Greece into the Ottoman Empire occurred because some Greeks felt the Ottoman authority to be a more accommodating ruler than their independent Greek counterparts.

“4.Islam is up against a powerful adversary in the form of a prejudiced media in Europe and the Americas.

Despite all of the obstacles, Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in the United States of America.

Currently, the company has a significant presence in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. This reveals a great deal about the spread of this religion throughout history and continues to do so now.

The Path of Future

However, while history gives enough evidence that Muslim empires were established via military force, this does not necessarily imply that Islam was propagated through force as a result. For starters, consider India as an example. Muslims dominated India for almost 800 years, although there was never a Muslim majority population in the nation throughout that time period. The data themselves demonstrate that the growth of Islam in that region was not aided by the use of military force. Dr. Khuswant Singh, a well-known Indian historian and journalist, has written on the origins of Islam in India in his book, A History of the Sikhs.

  1. 4.
  2. 3.
  3. Only Muslim businessmen and missionaries were able to promote Islam in that region.
  4. Five, it was via the attitude and behavior of Muslim traders that Indonesians first became interested in the religion of Islam, according to historical records.
  5. 3.Consider the Ottoman Empire, which was the last Muslim empire to exist.
  6. However, although the Ottoman Empire controlled a large area of Christian territory in Eastern Europe, it never compelled its Christian residents to convert to Islam; instead, they were allowed the freedom to live their lives according to their own religious traditions.
  7. If we were to compare the attitudes of Muslim rulers toward the minority who lived under their control throughout the nineteenth century—with the attitudes of Europeans and Americans toward their own minorities—I would venture to argue that the Muslims’ record would be far better.
  8. “4.Islam is up against a serious adversary in the form of a prejudiced media in Europe and the Americas.” Consider, on the other hand, the rise and spread of Islam in the Western world throughout the years.

A considerable presence in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany has already established. This reveals a great deal about the spread of this religion throughout history and continues to do so.

The Spread of Islam

Sources This is a gradual process. It is sometimes assumed incorrectly that as soon as a country came under the political dominion of Muslims or a Muslim state, a majority, or perhaps all, of its inhabitants began proclaiming Islam as their personal religion, whether by choice or by duress, regardless of when this occurred. Actual growth of Islam as a religion in any given country has always been a long, tedious process that has taken decades or, more often than not, hundreds of years to complete.

  • There is no such thing as religious compulsion.
  • Muslims believed that anybody who embraced Islam under coercion was just simulating believing and, as a result, was not serious in his or her professing trust in Allah.
  • Although it has happened in the past that non-Muslims have been obliged to convert to Islam, this has only ever been a verbal acquiescence to something that has not been thoroughly understood, rather than an immediate and total devotion to a new personal religion, as stipulated by the Qur’an.
  • Adherence to Islam has instead typically been voluntary throughout history, with the different peoples who have become Muslims having sought out the faith for themselves.
  • Although an individual may have accepted Islam, it may take a long time for him or her to study and implement its rites and laws, since he or she may pass through many distinct stages or degrees of understanding and practice over the course of time.
  • As a result, it is almost never feasible to identify a certain historical period that represents the core of normative Islam.
  • The Conversion Process is a series of steps.
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In the beginning, from around 612 to 622, he preached in public in Makkah, but after the migration to Madinah, he appears to have spoken solely in his own home, which later became the first masjid, and only to those who came to him out of a desire to hear his message.

The first two khalifahs decreed that most of Arabia’s population, who had previously been pagans, must convert to Islam; nonetheless, Christian and Jewish communities were permitted to survive in the region, notably in Yemen, where there are now Jews.

It was only Khalifah’mar ibn ‘Abd al-Aziz (reigned 717–720) who made an attempt to increase allegiance to Islam by sent missionaries to North Africa and other parts of the world.

Although many of these converts were motivated more by economic or social considerations than by personal spiritual fulfillment, their activities still expanded and eventually solidified public commitment to Islamic teachings and practices.

Thesemawali, who was more literate than the early kings, and a few Arabs were among the first to contribute to the huge amount of literature on Islamic law and faith that exists today.

As a result, Islam spread in spite of government leaders rather than as a result of them.

This was especially true during the period 661–750.

However, although the Berbers adopted Islam quickly, their process of Islamization, which has not been thoroughly documented, took a long time to complete.

The second significant expansion of Islam among non-Arabs occurred under the Umayyads as well, with the Iranians of Central Asia becoming the first to accept Islam about the year 720.

In North Africa, a Berber movement established a rival khilafah, therefore destroying the political unity of Islam, while in Central Asia, a revolutionary movement formed that led to the abdication of the Umayyads and the establishment of the Abbasids as the ruling family.


But some academics, such as Richard Bulliet, have suggested that only a small number of Egyptians converted to Islam before the year 700, and that the 50-percent milestone was not attained until the 900s, three hundred years after Islam was introduced into the country.

In Syria’s geographically isolated region, the task was considerably more arduous.

Iraq and Iran were probably more similar to the pattern of Egypt than Syria, but Islamization was also a slow process in both countries.

(Islam has only ever been expelled from Spain, Portugal, and the island of Sicily, which are the only areas where it has ever happened.) Islam handled Zoroastrians, Buddhists, and Hindus the same way it did Jews and Christians in the East, providing them with protection of life, property, and religious freedom in exchange for the payment of a fee.

Sind’s predominantly Buddhist population appears to have converted to Islam very quickly, spanning a period of around two centuries (712–900), a period during which Buddhism was completely eradicated from that region, as well as from Afghanistan and Central Asia for the most part.

All of the territories described up to this point were part of the khilafah, but following the khilafah’s collapse, Islam extended to lands that were not previously part of the organization.

Anatolia’s Islamic expansion was likely aided by the disaffection of the local populace with the Byzantine Empire, which had reigned oppressively in the region throughout its last era of existence there.

Although Islam began to spread in this region as early as the fifteenth century, the aversion of the populace to Ottoman bureaucracy, which had not had the same effect in Anatolia because the majority of the people there had already converted to Islam, appears to have slowed its spread in this region beginning in the fifteenth century.

  • In the beginning, the inhabitants of Bangladesh were Buddhists.
  • Aside from the northern states of Punjab and Kashmir, Hinduism remained the dominant religious system in the rest of India, with the exception of the majority of Punjab and Kashmir.
  • Despite the fact that Islam was established across the Malay archipelago after that time, it took centuries longer for the Islamization process to develop a version of Islam that was comparable to that of the Middle East, and the process is still happening today.
  • Islam grew beyond those countries and into China, where it was allowed to a certain extent by the Chinese empire.
  • Before the year 1500, Islam had expanded significantly over Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Gao was Muslim, at least in name, before 990, and became such by an act of its ruler.
  • Islamic expansion along the Niger began in earnest in 1076, when the Soninke of the Kingdom of Ghana converted to Islam.

Towards the east, the Kanem-Bornu region near Lake Chad also converted to Islam sometime after 1100.

This trend finally resulted in a stronger Islamization of religious practice.

By 1500, Islam had become well established throughout West Africa, including the Sahil belt and the Niger River valley, which included modern-day Nigeria.

At the fourteenth century, the inhabitants of Nubia in the Sudan, south of Egypt, progressively converted to Islam as a result of some immigration of Muslim Arab tribesmen and the teaching of Islam, as well as the collapse of the Christian monarchy in the area during that time period.

The State, as well as Islamization Muslim populations in areas where there is no dominant, centralized Muslim state have found that Islam spreads the best and the fastest in those areas.

Examples include the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans during 15th century, as well as the Sultanate of Delhi and the Mogul empire in northern India.

The opposite was true when Muslim political administrations were weak, decentralized, disorganized, or altogether absent. As a result, Islam as a religion prospered and was frequently disseminated to non-Muslims throughout these periods.


Sources Process that takes time. When a country comes under the political rule of Muslims or a Muslim state, it is commonly assumed that a majority of its population will begin to profess Islam as their personal religion, whether by choice or by compulsion. However, this is not the case in reality. In reality, the spread of Islam as a religion in a particular country has always been a gradual, slow process that has taken decades or, in some cases, centuries to accomplish. As a matter of fact, this process is still ongoing in the majority of Muslim-majority countries, where there are religious minorities whose numbers have steadily declined over the centuries, often from a point at which their faith was the predominant religion.

  • “There is no compulsion in religion,” says the Qur’an (2:256), a statement that acknowledges that no one can ever be forced to believe anything and commands Muslims never to attempt to compel others to believe in something.
  • Even in places where Muslim rule was established through conquest, the new rulers did not force the native populations to convert to Islam as a condition of their authority.
  • Non-Muslims were generally not taught about Islam by missionaries, as was the case with Christianity.
  • Assimilation.
  • People of different social classes or even entire social classes may have different understandings of Islam at the same time when such individual processes of religious assimilation are multiplied across a whole population.
  • Furthermore, many local nuances and differences persist even after a society has been Islamized for a long period of time, thereby ensuring the continuation of diversity within Islam for the time being.
  • For approximately twenty-three years, the Prophet Muhammad preached Islam in the Arabian cities of Makkah and Madinah.
  • It became the norm in Islam to deliver sermons in one’s own home or in the masjid.

While the khilafah imposed Islamic law outside of Arabia, it did not compel non-Arab inhabitants to convert to Islam; in fact, it did not even encourage them to do so for fear of a reduction in the state’s revenues from taxes levied on non-Muslims, which were a major source of revenue at the time.

  • Although there was a brief attempt to convert non-Arabs to Islam during the early khilafah (632–750), most non-Arabs became Muslims on their own initiative, sometimes migrating to Muslim military-camp cities where they were not supposed to live in order to embrace Islam.
  • Muslims who were not Arabs were sometimes mistreated by their patrons and rulers, and many of them devoted their lives to learning about their new religion as a means of self-defense and resistance against oppression—themes that recur frequently in the Qur’an and hadith.
  • Mawali also sought to spread Islam among their relatives and other members of their ethnic group, which was a goal for each group.
  • However, it is important to remember that, aside from the Arabs, the vast majority of the inhabitants of the Umayyad khilafah (which stretched from Morocco to China) during the years 661–750 were not Muslims.
  • However, it was not until the latter half of that time period, around 710, that the first significant spread of Islam among non-Arabs occurred, among the Berber (or Amazigh) population of North Africa.
  • Nonetheless, the process was well underway within a few centuries and Christianity was exterminated entirely from North Africa—as it was from no other part of the Muslim world—while Judaism survived as a small minority population.
  • The Umayyads were responsible for the first major spread of Islam to non-Arabs, which occurred under their reign.

While a Berber movement established a counter-khilafah, breaking the political unity of Islam, a revolutionary movement in Central Asia arose that led to the abdication of the Umayyads and their replacement by the Abbasids.


But some scholars, such as Richard Bulliet, have suggested that only a small number of Egyptians converted to Islam before the year 700, and that the 50-percent mark was not reached until the 900s, three hundred years after Islam was introduced to the country.

It took even longer in Syria because of its geographical location.

Iraq and Iran were probably more similar to Egypt’s pattern than Syria’s, but Islamization was also a gradual process in those countries as in Syria.

(Islam has only ever been expelled from Spain, Portugal, and the island of Sicily, which are the only places on the planet where this has happened.

In the West, Muslims were treated on an equal basis with Jews and Christians.

Buddhist practice in Sind declined much more rapidly than Hinduism, which declined much more slowly.

Since the year 1071, Anatolia (also known as Asia Minor) has been ruled by Turkish tribesmen who have only superficially Islamized themselves, and the region’s population has been gradually assimilating Islamic values for centuries.

Most Albanians and Bosnians, as well as some Bulgarians, converted to Islam after the Ottoman Turks conquered Southeastern Europe in the mid-14th century.

Continuing Spread Following the arrival of other Turkish tribesmen in India in 1192, Muslim rule spread throughout the country, including the area that is now Bangladesh, and the number of Muslims in the country steadily increased from that point forward.

But starting around 1300, they, like the Buddhists of Sind, converted quickly to Islam, resulting in the establishment of a Muslim majority in the region.

This is especially true outside of Punjab and Kashmir, which are located in India’s northwest.

Despite the fact that Islam was present throughout the Malay archipelago after that time, it took centuries longer for the Islamization process to establish a form of Islam that was comparable to that of the Middle East, and the process is still ongoing.

Islam spread beyond those areas and into China, where it was tolerated to a certain extent by the Chinese empire.

Sub-Saharan Africa was once a hotbed of Islamic activity prior to 1500.

Gao was Muslim, at least in name, before 990, and became so by an act of the ruler.

In 1076, Muslims conquered the Soninke kingdom of Ghana, extending Islam further down the Niger River.

Nearby Lake Chad was also converted to Islam shortly after 1100 in the Kanem-Bornu region.

Eventually, this process resulted in a greater Islamization of religious practice overall.

Within a few hundred years, Islam had gained widespread acceptance throughout West Africa, particularly in the Sahil belt and along the Niger River, which extended into modern-day Nigeria.

Due to some immigration of Muslim Arab tribesmen and the preaching of Islam in Nubia (in the Sudan, south of Egypt) as well as the weakening of the Christian kingdom in the region during the fourteenth century, the population of Nubia gradually became Muslim during that period.

Government and Islamization are two important concepts to understand.

It appears that non-Muslim populations viewed their powerful Muslim overlords as an alien force in such instances as the Ottoman Empirein the Balkans in 15th century or the Sultanate of Delhi and the Mogul empire in northern India in the sixteenth century, and thus refused to submit to Islam.

If not for material gain, most people who converted to Islam in such circumstances did so as a result of the efforts of itinerant Sufi preachers who were not subject to the authority of the state at the time.

The opposite was true when Muslim political regimes were weak, decentralized, disorganized, or completely absent. As a result, Islam as a religion flourished and was often spread to non-Muslims during these periods.

Teachers Guide – Muslims

Discussion and Activities
Beliefs and Daily Lives of Muslims
Islam Timeline
You might be interested:  Where Did Islam Emerge? (Solution)

Following the first revelation to the prophet Muhammad at the age of 40, the year 610 is commemorated as the beginning of Islamic history. Muslims all throughout the Arabian peninsula followed Muhammad and his companions in spreading the principles of Islam. Following the death of the prophet Muhammad, military expeditions were launched into what is now Egypt and other regions of North Africa, which were dubbed “futuhat,” which literally translates as “openings.” Islam expanded around the world through trade and business in various regions of the world.

  1. In the year 570 C.E.
  2. He is descended from a noble family and is well-known for his honesty and uprightness of moral character.
  3. According to Muslim tradition, Muhammad has a visit from the angel Gabriel while on seclusion in a cave in Mecca when he reaches the age of 40.
  4. Later, Muhammad is instructed to summon his people to the worship of the one God, but they respond with animosity and begin to punish him and his followers as a result of his actions.
  5. After facing persecution in Mecca, Muhammad and his followers flee to the adjacent town of Yathrib (which would eventually become known as Medina), where the locals welcomed Islam.
  6. Muhammad builds an Islamic kingdom in Medina, which is founded on the rules given in the Quran as well as the inspired direction he receives from the Almighty.
  7. Muhammad comes to Mecca with a significant number of his supporters in the year 630 CE.

The prophet orders the removal of all idols and images from the Kaaba, which is thereafter rededicated to the worship of God alone.

after a lengthy illness.

In 638 C.E., Muslims cross the border into the region north of Arabia known as “Sham,” which encompasses Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, and Iraq.

and rout the Byzantine army in the process.

Islam begins to expand over North Africa in the year 655 C.E.

This also marks the beginning of the Umayyad dynasty’s reign of terror.

The Islamic state eventually gains control over nearly the whole Iberian Peninsula.

by Charles Martel’s forces.

From 1000 C.E.

The European Crusaders capture Jerusalem from the Muslims in 1099 C.E.

Islam continues to spread throughout Asia as of the year 1120 C.E.

Turkey’s Anatolia region becomes the site of the formation of the first Ottoman state in 1299 C.E.

Around the year 1800 C.E., over 30% of Africans who were forced into slavery in the United States were Muslim.

The Ottoman Empire, the last of the Islamic empires, is defeated and destroyed at the end of World War I, marking the end of the war.

Traditional religious ways of life are under attack, and in some cases, have been completely obliterated.


Even while it is founded on some Islamic concepts, it also includes several innovations, like the designation or pronouncement of Elijah Muhammad as a prophet.

Some Palestinian and Lebanese refugees, including Muslims and Christians, have fled to the United States from their home countries.

Muslim students come from all over the world to study in the United States.

opened the door even wider for Muslim immigration.

Muhammad, the son of Elijah Muhammad, takes over as head of the Nation of Islam and successfully integrates the majority of his followers into mainstream Islam.

C.E. 1979 was a year of transition. Eventually, the Iranian Revolution leads to Iran becoming known as the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is the first attempt at an Islamic state in the contemporary age.

The Spread of Islam in Ancient Africa

The Islamization of West Africa began with the conquest of North Africa by Muslim Arabs in the 7th century CE. Islam spread throughout the region through merchants, traders, scholars, and missionaries, primarily through peaceful means, as African rulers either tolerated the religion or converted to it. Islam spread throughout the region through merchants, traders, scholars, and missionaries. As a result of this, Islam expanded in and around the Sahara Desert. In addition, the faith came in East Africa when Arab traders crossed the Red Sea and established along the Swahili Coast in a second wave of migration after that.

Supporters of traditional African beliefs such as animism and fetish, spirit and ancestor worship, as well as supporters of traditional African beliefs such as ancestor worship, shown sometimes violent opposition.

(Creative Commons BY-NC-SA) Although Islam spread slowly and quietly for at least six centuries in areas where there were economic ties with the larger Muslim world, particularly in the southern Mediterranean, the Persian Gulf, and the Arabian Sea, the religion continued to spread peacefully and gradually.

With religion came the introduction of new ideas, particularly in the fields of administration, law, architecture, and a variety of other facets of everyday life.

A Note on Islam

The rise of Islam in Africa was characterized by much more than only the transmission and adoption of religious concepts, it is maybe worth mentioning at the outset. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) General History of Africa, Islam is more than a religion; it is a comprehensive way of life that encompasses all aspects of human existence. Muslim teachings give direction in all elements of life – individual and social, material and moral (including financial), political (including economic), legal (including cultural), and national (including international).

III, page 20) Given the foregoing, it is probably more understandable why so many African kings and elites were willing to embrace a foreign religion, especially when that religion also carried with it tangible benefits in terms of governance and riches.

Geographical Spread

After the Umayyad Caliphate of Damascus conquered North Africa in the second half of the 7th century CE, Islam moved from the Middle East to take root throughout the whole continent during the second half of the 7th century CE. Through Islamized Berbers (who had been either pushed or coaxed to convert) it spread throughout West Africa in the 8th century CE, traveling from the east coast into the interior of central Africa, and eventually reaching Lake Chad, where it was eradicated. Meanwhile, the religion moved down through Egypt and then swung westward across the Sudan area below the Sahara Desert, where it is still practiced today.

Trade Routes Across the Sahara Aa77zz is an abbreviation for Aa77zz (Public Domain) Once the religion reached the savannah region, which stretches throughout Africa below the Sahara Desert, it was embraced by the governing African elites, however local beliefs and rites were frequently maintained or even incorporated into the new religion’s practices and ceremonies.

  • In the east, the faith spread via the Mali Empire (1240-1645 CE) and the Songhai Empire (1240-1645 CE) (c.
  • 1591 CE).
  • 900 – c.
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Muslims in East Africa were up against stiff competition from Christians, who were firmly entrenched in Nubia and states such as the Kingdoms of Faras (also known as Nobatia), Dongola, and Alodia, as well as in the Kingdom of Axum (first – eighth centuries CE) in what is now Ethiopia, among other places.

  • In addition, the Sultanates of Adal (1415-1577 CE) and Ajuran (1415-1577 CE) were two prominent Muslim states in the Horn of Africa during the same period (13-17th century CE).
  • Islam achieved greater instant success on the Swahili Coast, which is farther south.
  • As the native Bantu peoples and Arabs mingled, so did their languages, and intermarrying became popular.
  • From the 12th century CE, when Shirazi merchants arrived from the Persian Gulf, Islam began to become more firmly entrenched in Europe.
  • Curtin, a historian, describes it thus way: “In the end, the Muslim faith emerged as one of the most important determinants of Swahili identity.
  • Despite the fact that Islam was a huge success on the coast, it had little effect on the peoples who lived in the interior of East Africa until the nineteenth century CE.
  • A significant number of people were adamant in their refusal to accept this new religion in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
  • In the following centuries, the Christian Portuguese came in Africa, on both the west and east coasts, where they posed a serious threat to the growth of Islamic civilization.

Kilwa has a magnificent mosque. Richard Mortel is a fictional character created by author Richard Mortel in the 1960s. Mortel’s character is based on the fictional character of the same name created by author Richard Mortel in the 1960s (Public Domain)

Reasons For Adoption

Beyond true spiritual commitment, African leaders may have recognized that adopting Islam (or seeming to do so) or at the very least tolerating it would be good to trade relations with other countries. Both Islam and trade have long been interwoven, as illustrated in this section of the UNESCO General History of Africa: Islam and Trade. A well-known truth about Islam and trade in Sub-Saharan Africa is that they go hand in hand. The Dyula, Hausa, and Dyakhanke were among the first peoples to be converted when their respective nations came into contact with Muslims since they were the most commercially engaged peoples in their respective countries.

  1. Islam, a religion that originated in the commercial community of Mecca and was proclaimed by a Prophet who himself had worked as a merchant for a long period of time, presents a set of ethical and practical prescripts that are intimately tied to the conduct of business.
  2. (Volume III, page 39) However, there is no indication that the kings of theGhanaEmpire themselves converted to Islam; rather, they accepted Muslim traders and Ghanaians who chose to convert during their reign.
  3. Two towns existed: one was Muslim and featured 12 mosques, while the other, which was just 10 kilometers distant and connected by several intermediary structures, served as the royal home and contained many traditional cult temples, as well as a mosque for passing merchants.
  4. Mansa Musa is the illustrator.
  5. In the following centuries, several monarchs followed suit, most notably Mansa Musa I (r.
  6. Mosques were constructed, such as Timbuktu’s Great Mosque (also known as Djinguereber or Jingereber), and Koranic schools and institutions were formed, all of which swiftly garnered international renown and prestige.
  7. A clerical elite arose, many of whose members were of Sudanese descent, and many of them commonly served as missionaries, bringing Islam to the southern areas of West Africa and expanding it throughout the region.
  8. In proportion to the increase of conversions, an increase in Muslim clerics from outside was recruited, resulting in the expansion of the faith throughout West Africa.

Finally, Muslim clerics were frequently of great assistance to the community in practical daily life (and thus increased the appeal of Islam) by offering prayers on demand, performing administrative tasks, providing medical advice, divining – such as the interpretation of dreams – and creating charms and amulets, among other things.

  1. This might very well have been the most essential element in the adoption of the Kingdom of Kanem in the late eleventh century CE.
  2. Another advantage of Islam was that it provided literacy, which was a hugely important tool for empires that relied on commerce to build their riches.
  3. Carsten ten Brink is a Dutch businessman.
  4. 1464-1492 CE) was vehemently anti-Muslim; however, King Mohammad I (r.

The rural inhabitants of Songhai, like their counterparts in Ghana and Mali, remained steadfastly committed to their traditional beliefs.

Accommodating Ancient African Beliefs

However, as previously said, traditional indigenous traditions continued to be practiced, particularly in rural populations, as documented by travelers such as Ibn Batuta, who visited Mali in 1352 CE. Furthermore, Islamic studies were done, at least initially, in Arabic rather than native languages, which further limited their appeal outside of the educated clerical class of towns and cities. It may have been because African rulers could not afford to completely dismiss the indigenous religious practices and beliefs that were still held by the majority of their people, and which very often elevated rulers to divine or semi-divine status, that Islam did eventually take hold, though it was a distinct variation of the Islam practiced in the Arab world.

Ancestors were still honored, and in certain places, women were given more privileges than they would have had under strictly sharia rule.

Sankore Mosque, TimbuktuRadio Raheem is a local radio personality.

Cultural Impact

Islam had tremendous influence on many elements of everyday life and society, albeit these effects varied depending on the period and region in which they occurred. The arrival of Islam resulted in a broad deterioration of the social standing of various tribes in ancient African cultures. One of the most significant losers was the metalworkers, who had long been held in magical regard by the general public due to their abilities in forging metal. A similar statement may be made about individuals who discovered and mined valuable metals such as gold and iron.

Also true is that in some cases oral traditions retained their cultural integrity, and as a result, we are presented with a parallel history, such as the biographies ofSundiata Keita(r.

1230-1255 CE), the founder of the Mali Empire In various African communities, men and women’s roles have evolved in the past, with some African societies formerly granting women a more equal standing with males than was the case under Muslim legislation.

Some of the more cosmetic alterations included the use of Muslim-friendly names in place of Christian names.

In addition, clothing has altered, with women in particular being pushed to wear more modestly, and teenagers being encouraged to hide their nudity.

However, there were slight regional variations in the religion, just as there were in the religion itself.

The introduction of Islam brought with it a plethora of technological advancements, including writing, numbers, arithmetic, measures, and weights.

Along with archaeology, these writers have made significant contributions to the reconstruction of ancient Africa following the European colonial period, during which every effort was made to obliterate the history of the continent lest it conflict with the racist belief that Africa had been waiting for civilisation for eons before it was discovered.

Did you like reading this article? Prior to publication, this paper was checked for correctness, dependability, and conformance to academic standards by two independent reviewers.

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