How Did Islam Spread In Arabia? (Correct answer)

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.

What are the reasons for the spread of Islam?

  • One simple reason for the spread of Islamic culture is that it offered a vibrant spiritual alternative to the pagan polytheism common to inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula. Ira Lapidus suggests that Islam allowed the nomadic herdsmen of North Africa to envision a more stable and cohesive society, which in turn made them more prosperous.

How did Islam spread in Arabia quizlet?

How did Islam spread in Arabia? Muhammad’s followers soon spread his message and the religion grew. He left Mecca for Medina and made his house the 1st mosque and eventually the people of Mecca accepted Islam.

Why did Islam spread so quickly in Arabia?

There are many reasons why Islam spread so quickly. First Mecca was connected to many global trade routes. Another important reason was their military conquered lots of territory. A third factor was the Muslims fair treatment of conquered peoples.

When did Islam spread to Arabia?

The start of Islam is marked in the year 610, following the first revelation to the prophet Muhammad at the age of 40. Muhammad and his followers spread the teachings of Islam throughout the Arabian peninsula.

How did Islam spread across Africa and Arabia?

Following the conquest of North Africa by Muslim Arabs in the 7th century CE, Islam spread throughout West Africa via merchants, traders, scholars, and missionaries, that is largely through peaceful means whereby African rulers either tolerated the religion or converted to it themselves.

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 caused Islam to spread throughout Arabia quizlet?

Through trade Arabs were influenced by many different types of cultures like for example they had traded with Jews, and Christianity and they were exposed to monotheistic religions and influenced the religion Islam which spread rapidly through the Arabian Peninsula.

How did Islam spread to India?

Islam arrived in the inland of Indian subcontinent in the 7th century when the Arabs conquered Sindh and later arrived in North India in the 12th century via the Ghurids conquest and has since become a part of India’s religious and cultural heritage.

How did Islam spread in Central Asia?

Arrival of Islam and Medieval period The Battle of Talas in 751 between the Abbasid Caliphate and the Chinese Tang dynasty for control of Central Asia was the turning point, initiating mass conversion into Islam in the region. Most of the Turkic khanates converted to Islam in the 10th century.

What was the impact of Islam on Arabia?

As Islam spread across the Arabian Peninsula and later across North Africa and the Middle East, it had an aggregating effect. The occupants of these areas had been nomadic tribes for a very long time. They were polytheistic and reaped all the political problems associated with polytheism.

Who wrote the Quran?

The Prophet Muhammad disseminated the Koran in a piecemeal and gradual manner from AD610 to 632, the year in which he passed away. The evidence indicates that he recited the text and scribes wrote down what they heard.

How was Islam created?

Although its roots go back further, scholars typically date the creation of Islam to the 7th century, making it the youngest of the major world religions. Islam started in Mecca, in modern-day Saudi Arabia, during the time of the prophet Muhammad’s life. Today, the faith is spreading rapidly throughout the world.

Who started Islam religion?

The rise of Islam is intrinsically linked with the Prophet Muhammad, believed by Muslims to be the last in a long line of prophets that includes Moses and Jesus.

How did Islam spread in North Africa?

Islam was spread to North Africa as a result of conquest over African tribes, missionary efforts by the Muslim people, and traders spreading the religion by ear. Although missionary efforts played a big role in the spread of the Islamic religion; traders who spread the religion by ear were the most effective.

What contributed to the spread of Islam in East Africa?

Islam became a major influence along East Africa, but the rise of the religion through trade first occurred in Somalia. The trade routes through the Nile Valley helped Islam spread from Sudan through Uganda. And maritime routes from Arabia across the Red Sea to major ports like Zanzibar spread Islam along East Africa.

How did Islam spread to West Africa?

Islam first came to West Africa as a slow and peaceful process, spread by Muslim traders and scholars. There were many trading partners in Sub-Saharan Africa. Gold was the main commodity sought by the North. Until the first half of the 13th century the kingdom of Ghana was a key trading partner with the Muslim North.

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 sophisticated centers of culture and science were established by the people of the Islamic world, who developed extensive mercantile networks, traveled, became scientists and hunters, became physicians and philosophers, and developed sophisticated 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • According to popular belief, some of these traders eventually moved in Indonesia and assimilated with the locals.
  • 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.
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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.

  1. Islam, like Buddhism, was assimilated into the existing cultural and religious influences of the Southeast Asian areas in a similar way.
  2. Sri Lanka has an ancient monastic hospital system that dates back thousands of years.
  3. The Khwarazm region and the Silk Roads are intertwined.
  4. 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

However, while some earlier histories mention Islam being widely adopted beyond the Arab peninsula beginning in the mid-seventh century, in reality this did not occur for at least a century beyond that time period. According to Richard C. Foltz, the reason for this misunderstanding is due to a misinterpretation of the wordislam (which means “submission”), which has been used in Muslim histories to refer to the submission of one clan to the authority of another, rather than the spread of the Islamic faith in its proper sense.

To the contrary, Foltz claims that the act of submitting resulted in the formation of de facto non-aggression pacts between Muslim Arabs and their neighbors.

When the Muslim clans expanded into these territories, they had no difficulty ousting the Sassanian and Byzantine rulers and their soldiers; some communities, according to Foltz, even opened their doors to the Muslim Arabs and greeted them as liberators after the invasion.

Several other kingdoms ruled by Arab and non-Arab Muslim dynasties would come to dominate the entire world by 750, extending from Spain in the west all the way through northern Africa, across all of Persia and the entire Middle East, as far east as the eastern edge of the Tang Empire in the Tarim Basin, and crossing the Indus river into the Indian subcontinent.

  • Instead, they were bound together by governments that were based on the interpretation of Islamic law and had a common history.
  • For the most part, Muslims referred to their faith as “the Arab religion” (al-din al-‘arab), and they made little effort to convert non-Muslims to Islam.
  • 3 Consistently distinguishing between reigning Muslims and conquered non-Muslims provided for smoother government and ensured Muslims a favored position under the rules of each of the numerous Islamic nations in which they lived.
  • Fourteenth, non-Muslims were strongly encouraged to convert to Islam, particularly those who had previously held elite economic, social, and political positions.
  • Apart from that, the Arabs saw in those they conquered a natural aptitude for administrative work.
  • As government officials, it would appear that they should have converted to Islam, however they did not do so until after they began to advocate for the same rights as Arab Muslims.
  • As a result of this development, Arab Muslims began to see non-Arab converts asmawla (or “clients”), so elevating themawla to the status of honorary clan member.

6 By the middle of the ninth century, Muslims had gained control of the western part of the Silk Route, and trade had emerged as the second most important element in Islam’s growth.

7Muslim traders traveled as far as the Tang capital of Chang-an, as well as other cities in the Chinese empire, and even further to the east, to trade with the Chinese.

At 757, the Tang emperor handed Muslim troops lands in the western-most periphery of the empire as a prize for their assistance in putting down the uprising of An Lushan, and fifty years later Muslims were permitted to settle in Yunnan province.

8 Islam dictates that children of Muslim fathers must be reared as Muslims, which resulted in the establishment of a Muslim Chinese minority in certain locations during the Tang dynasty.

– John D.


Martin’s Press, 1999), p.

(2) Foltz, Richard C., Religions of the Silk Road: Overland Trade and Cultural Exchange from Antiquity to the Fifteenth Century (New York: St.


(3)Ibid., p.

(4)Ibid., p.

(4) Lewis, Bernad, et al (ed.).

II, Religion and Society (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987), page 224.

II, Religion and Society (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987), page 224.

(6 ) Ira M. Lapidus’s A History of Islamic Societies (Cambridge University Press, 1988) has the following passage: “A History of Islamic Societies” (p. 98). Foltz (1996), p. 96.

Teachers Guide – Muslims

Discussion and Activities
Beliefs and Daily Lives of Muslims
Islam Timeline

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.

  • In the year 570 C.E.
  • He is descended from a noble family and is well-known for his honesty and uprightness of moral character.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

BBC – Religions – Islam: Early rise of Islam (632-700)

The Muslim community grew throughout the Middle East as a consequence of conquest, and the expansion of the Muslim state that resulted offered a fertile environment for the newly revealed faith to take root and flourish. The religious inspiration for the military conquest was strong, but it was also fueled by wealth and politics. Men fought for the sake of their faith, the promise of loot, and the fact that their friends and other tribesmen were also engaged in combat. Hugh Kennedy’s 2001 book, The Armies of the Caliphs: Military and Society in the Early Islamic State, is a good example of this.

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The history problem

It is possible to find many narratives from this time period regarding the early Muslim conquests, although most of the material is inaccurate and written in a style that glorifies the conquerors and their god. Although they provide some insight into the big events of the seventh century, they are just incomplete explanations. However, this is not to suggest that the Muslims were not courageous or that their belief that they were carrying out Allah’s will was not significant: it was unquestionably.

Despite the massive amount of words written, we have yet to discover the complete explanation for Muslim success.

Conversion by conquest?

Although it is impossible to determine if Islam was the driving force behind Muslim military development, one new book shows that Islam undoubtedly aided the rise of Muslim power.only one viable explanation exists for Arab success—and that is the spirit of Islam. The generous terms that the conquering troops frequently presented enabled their faith to be accepted by the subjugated inhabitants. Moreover, even though it was a young and upstart religion, its administration by simple and honest individuals was better to the corruption and persecution that were the norm in more sophisticated civilizations at the time.

  • Nafziger and Mark W.
  • And Islam reaped enormous benefits from the improbable military victories of the troops of Arabian Arabia.
  • Simply said, Islam may have accelerated the conquests, but it also shown far more long-term viability.
  • Islam at War: A History, edited by George F.
  • Walton, published in 2003.
  • Following the Ridda wars and the Arabs’ quick conquest of the majority of the Near East, the new religion was more clearly characterized as a monotheistic religion for the Arab people than it had been previously.

As is generally known, the Arabs made no attempt to force their religion on their new subjects, and in fact actively discouraged non-Arabs from converting to Islam at first. The Formation of Islam: Religion and Society in the Near East, 600-1800, by Jonathan P. Berkey, published in 2003.

The justification of conquest

Whether Islam was the driving force behind early Muslim imperialism or not, it could be used to offer justification for it in the same way that it had previously been used to defend Muhammad’s own actions against his adversaries. The Qur’an contains a number of passages that support military action against non-Muslims, such as:But when the forbidden months have passed, fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem; but when the forbidden months have passed, fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them (of war).

Qur’an 9:5 (from the Qur’an) You must fight all of those who deny the existence of Allah and the Last Day, as well as those who adhere to that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, and who refuse to recognize the religion of Truth (even though they are) of the People of the Book.

Considering that the armies of those days were not like contemporary armies – rather, they were more like an association of tribal mercenary groups that received no compensation and received their sole material benefit from the spoils of war – this is hardly unexpected.

After Muhammad’s death

When Islam was elevated to a political stature and given the function of both a political and a religious force by Muhammad, the military conquests served to solidify this position. For a caliph like Umar, it appears that he considered himself first and foremost as the leader of the Arabs, and that their monotheistic religion served as the religious component of their new political identities. The Formation of Islam: Religion and Society in the Near East, 600-1800, by Jonathan P. Berkey, published in 2003.

The conquest of Arabia

When Islam was elevated to a political stature and given the function of both a political and a religious force by Muhammad, the military conquests served to strengthen this position. It appears that a caliph like as Umar considered himself first and foremost as a leader of Arabs, and that their monotheistic religion served as the religious component of their new political identity. “The Formation of Islam: Religion and Society in the Near East, 600-1800,” edited by Jonathan P. Berkey and published by Cambridge University Press in 2003.

Expansion in the Middle East

The caliph Abu Bakr died in 634, and his successor was Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second caliph, who governed until his death in 644. After becoming the ruler of a vast, cohesive kingdom with a well-organized army, Umar utilized this position as a vehicle to advance Islam’s expansion throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Umar’s first operations were against the Byzantine Empire, which he defeated. Following the crucial Battle of Yarmouk in 636, the Muslim troops seized the erstwhile Byzantine realms of Syria, Palestine, and Lebanon, bringing them under their control.

It was made considerably simpler by the weakness of the Sassanid Empire, which had been devastated by internal disputes and a protracted battle with the Byzantine Empire when this conquest took place.

It was only a few years later that Muslim armies had already captured portions of Egypt to the south, as well as Anatolia and Armenia to the north.

Is proselytism still appropriate?

In order to see this content, you must have Javascript enabled as well as Flash installed on your computer. For complete instructions, go to BBC Webwise. In this debate, Christians and Muslims compare and contrast their respective histories of mission, conversion, and religious growth around the world. Is there a religion that has a monopoly on the truth?

The Rise of Islam – Livius

The events that occurred between 632 and 700 CE, when the Arabs conquered the Near East and exported, on the one hand, their Arabian identity and, on the other, their new monotheistic faith, are referred to as the rise of Islam.


It is located in the Yarmouk Valley. At first glance, the study of the origins and development of Islam appears to be very straightforward. After all, the military battles are well-documented in Arabic, Armenian, Byzantine, Latin, Persian, and Syrian sources, as well as in other languages and cultures. Aside from that, the narrative itself is plausible: during a crisis that followed Muhammad’s death (in the year 632 CE), caliph Abu Bakr (r.632-634 CE) restored order, and his successors Umar (r.634-644 CE), Uthman (r.644-656 CE), and Muhammad’s grandson Ali (r.656-661) enlarged the caliphate.

  • The conquest of significant towns like as Damascus (634), Jerusalem (638), and Ctesiphon (638) is clearly documented: (both in 637).
  • (643).
  • Qusair Amra, Qusair Amra It is possible to identify six vanquished kings: the Byzantine emperor, Roderic the Visigoth, Khusrau the Persian, and the Axumite Negus may all be named; the identities of two others are unknown.
  • In order to preserve the traditions of Islam as a result of the passing of the generation that had personally met Muhammad, the Quran and thehadith (stories about the prophet’s exemplary life) were both codified and written down by the caliph Uthman.

Two Problems

Avalanche-prone Yarmouk valley To look at it from a superficial perspective, studying the origins and development of Islam appears to be very straightforward. As a result, the military battles are well-documented throughout the world’s languages (Arabic, Armenian, Byzantine, Latin, Persian, and Syrian). Aside from that, the tale itself is plausible: during a crisis that followed Muhammad’s death (in the year 632 CE), caliph Abu Bakr (r.632-634 CE) restored order, and his successors Umar (r.634-644 CE), Uthman (r.644-656 CE), and Muhammad’s son-in-law Ali (r.656-661) enlarged the caliphate.

  • Several key towns have been captured and are well-documented, including Damascus in 634, Jerusalem in 638, and Ctesiphon in 638.
  • Arab troops attacked Persian territory in 638-651, Egypt in 639-641, Cyrenaica in 642, and Tripolitana in 642-645.
  • Within several decades, the Arab Empire’s borders would be extended to include the Pyrenees and the Pamir Mountains, which are almost 6,500 kilometers apart in distance.
  • It is possible to identify six vanquished kings: the Byzantine emperor, Roderic the Visigoth, Khusrau the Persian, and the Axumite Negus may all be named; the identities of two others are a puzzle.

In order to preserve the traditions of Islam as a result of the passing of the generation that had personally met Muhammad, the Quran and thehadith (stories about the prophet’s exemplary life) were both codified and written down by caliph Uthman.

  1. Because the Arab conquests require an explanation, the question will be rephrased as follows: The fact that important sources were written after the phase of Arab conquests (with a loosely defined Islam), during a second phase in which Islam received its formal doctrine, makes establishing Muhammad’s teachings difficult, and we do not know to which belief people converted, complicates the situation even further. Nonetheless, we shall make an attempt as follows:

The Conquest

When reading the Arabic texts, it’s easy to believe they’re telling us that the Arab conquests were brought about by a new religion. The believers were able to defeat any adversary because they were motivated by Islam. However, it is quite apparent that the formative phase of Islam took place following the conquests of the Islamic world. Muslim scholars believe that the consequences of their faith were only fully grasped after the prophet’s death, as previously stated. Even if religious fanaticism played no part, historians cannot ignore the fact that Christians served in Arabian armies and that Zoroastrians were employed as tax collectors throughout the period under consideration.

The Persian monarch is greeted by his Arab adversaries.

As a result of the Incense Route, various parts of the Arabian Peninsula were brought together, including the cities of what is now Yemen, towns and tribes along its northern route (e.g., Yathrib, Dedan, Hegra, and Tayma), and the Ghassanid and Lakhmid federations along the urban peripheries of the Roman/Byzantine and Sassanian Empires.

  • Arab tribes had penetrated the urban periphery in a parallel process: the Nabataeans had settled in Edom, the Itureans had established a minor state named Chalcis in the Bekaa valley, and other Arab communities had settled inPalmyra and the other cities on the rim of the Syrian desert.
  • The emergence of monotheism in the Arabian Peninsula was the result of a second phase.
  • The fact that it persecuted Christians is another proof of the prevalence of this monotheistic faith in the region.
  • note Despite the fact that many Muslims think Muhammad was the one who established monotheism, it is possible that he was the one who initiated a cultic reform inside a henotheistic sanctuary.
  • During the period 602 to 628, this conflict would span over a quarter of a century.
  • The growth of eschatological and Messianic thoughts is documented in both Christian and Jewish writings.
  • However, despite its victory, the Byzantine Empire was severely damaged as a result of the conflict.
  • This belief was not new.
  • Since the state could compel orthodoxy, it was not uncommon for the emperors of the fifth and sixth century to become engaged in church affairs.
  • It is said that when the Arabs entered Egypt in 639 CE, they were greeted with open arms by the Christian (Coptic) people, which despised the Byzantine government’s enforcement of theCreedofChalcedon.

War and Christian infighting were important causes in the opening of the gates to monotheistic Arabs, who effectively took advantage of the situation.

Muhammad’s Teachings

Against the backdrop of the Sassanian Persians’ and Byzantines’ conflict, Muhammad had his first vision of the prophet Muhammad (610 CE). The Quran is comprised of his revelations, and the message may be stated in three sentences: there was only one God, the Day of Judgment was approaching quickly, and only those who believed would be saved. Everyone had a personal relationship with the Judge because judgment would be individual, which suggested equality; and of course faith had to be sincere, which implied that there were rules for prayer since it would be individual.

  1. The Meccans were idolaters, according to later authors, such as Muhammad’s eighth-century biographer Ibn Ishaq, who believed that the square surrounding the Kaaba (theharam) was filled with horrifying idols.
  2. TheHumsmovement, on the other hand, had already transformed the Kaaba into a shrine dedicated to the cult founded by Abraham, which was monotheistic in nature.
  3. Sole three traditional Arabian goddesses, known as the “daughters of God” (Allat, al-‘Uzza, and Manat), served as messengers between heaven and earth, and were therefore God’s only companions.
  4. note According to the context, the second half of this line must pertain to these daughters: Muhammad, a more extreme monotheist than his fellow Meccans, would have found their function as intermediates to be intolerable.
  5. A warrior from the Arab world The conflict between the Sassanids and the Byzantines took an unexpected turn at this point, when Heraclius launched a victorious counter-offensive against the latter.
  6. Muhammad was officially acknowledged as the new local leader of Yathrib.
  7. This is one possible reconstruction of Muhammad’s life and teachings, and it is not the only one.
  8. One thing that appears to be quite established is that Muhammad supported an Arabmonotheism (which differed from the monotheisms of the Jews and Christians) and that he thought that only monotheists would be saved on the Day of Judgment.

It appears as though the Arab invasion was the surface of a deeper tidal wave that was basically ecumenical, eschatological, and monotheist in nature, founded by an Arab prophet and accepted by other monotheists for a period of time.

The Dome of the Rock

Damascus, the Umayyad mosque, with the tomb of John the Baptist to the left. In 661 CE, following the killing of caliph Ali, control in the newly formed Arab kingdom was given back to the family of his predecessor Uthman, who became known as the Umayyads. As a result of their departure from the Arabian Peninsula, they chose Damascus as their home. Yathrib — now known as al-Madinah an-Nabawiyyah, “the city of the Prophet” – remained the home of Ali’s (and Muhammad’s) descendants, who maintained their claim to leadership.

  • The Umayyad leaders began to organize the caliphate as soon as they were no longer confronted with opposition.
  • Until then, believers had relied on existing structures for worship: the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, for example, had previously served as a Christian cathedral.
  • The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem A Quranic passage, “It is not appropriate for Allah that He should take himself a child,” is inscribed on the wall, which is a direct rebuttal of the Christian idea that Jesus was God’s son.
  • Early Islam had come to an end as an ecumenical, monotheistic movement, and it was no longer in existence.
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The Rise of Islam

The Tari-khaneh of Damghan is one of the world’s oldest mosques, having been built on the site of an ancient Zoroastrian shrine. The number of adherents to what was now an independent faith would gradually increase over the next generations. They would also be present for the construction of the first true mosques, the production of magnificent secular architecture, as well as for the criticism that would accompany these events. The four first caliphs (Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, and Ali) were now referred to as “correctly directed,” meaning that the Umayyad caliphs had not been rightly guided as they had been previously.

According to the traditional view, Shi’ite Islam arose as a result of a conflict between two competing families; yet, according to the traditional view, it was the manifestation of Persian opposition to Arab control and, as such, a notable form of Iranian nationalism.

The Umayyads often kept the laws and traditions of the subject nations unaltered, and they established a polity that was basically secular.

The Quran and the Hadith serve as a guidance for the believers. In their quest of a fully Islamic way of life, they signaled the beginning of a new chapter in the history of the caliphate: an Arab state had been established, and from this point forward it would grow progressively Islamic.

Anjar, Umayyad town, South Street Qasr al-Hayr, Inside Qasr al-Hayr Qasr el-Kharaneh
Akaba, Umayyad fort, Wall Akaba, Umayyad fort, Ummayad mosque Qusair Amra, Bathhouse, Astronomical ceiling Qusair Amra, Throne hall, Bathing woman


There is a plethora of contemporary writing about the establishment of the Arab state and the rise of Islamic civilization. The novelsMahomet (1961) by Maxime Rodison and Patricia Crone’s revisionistHagarism(1977) by Patricia Crone take an entirely different approach to the subject issue. The book Muhammad and the Believers(2010), written by Chicago historian Fred Donner, is a well-balanced work that avoids the extremes. The book Arabia and the Arabs, written by Robert G. Hoyland, is about the unifying process among the Arabs prior to the birth of Islamic civilization (2001).

Arabian religion

Arabian religion, also known as Arabian beliefs, is a collection of polytheistic beliefs and practices that existed in Arabia prior to the advent of Islam in the 7th century CE. Arabia is used in this context to refer to the whole region around the Syrian desert, rather than just its borders. Palmyra’s religious system is not included in this analysis since it falls under Aramaic cosmology. The monotheistic religions that had already taken root in Arabia prior to the introduction of Islam are also briefly referenced in the text.

Nature and significance

For most of the gods in the polytheistic religions of Arabia, celestial bodies were affiliated with them at some point, and these bodies were endowed with abilities such as fertility, protection, and vengeance against adversaries. With the exception of a few deities who are shared by many different peoples, the pantheons exhibit a strong sense of regional distinctiveness. Many religious activities, on the other hand, were in widespread usage. It is instructive to examine these practices in light of their resemblances to those of the biblical world as well as those of the Islamic world, because Islam, while strongly condemning the idolatry of the pre-Islamic period, which it refers to as the “Age of Ignorance” (Jhiliyyah), has nonetheless adopted some of its practices in a refined form.

Sources of modern knowledge

The majority of what we know about pre-Islamic Arabia comes from archaeological and epigraphic material collected in the region itself. There are countless pre-Islamic ruins dispersed over the Arabian Peninsula, including ancient lines of elevated stone circles, cairns, graveyards, and other structures. In addition, there are more modern works like as walled villages, temple remains, and irrigation systems that have been discovered. A large number of rock faces have been etched with drawings.

These ancient artworks also portray strange ceremonial scenarios that appear to be based on a mythology that is yet unknown.

In addition to graffiti, there were less abundant monumental inscriptions from locations that were originally held by a sedentary population that were found mostly along the natural pathways used by nomads and caravaneers.

The author identifies himself by his given name and patronymic, as well as his tribe allegiance and genealogy.

Despite the fact that they are unimportant in themselves, such books, despite their large quantity, provide essential information about the gods and their traits, as well as about the people who worshipped them.

They have been meticulously etched in such a way that the level of evolution of the script permits them to be estimated dates, even when no specific date is specified on the inscription.

They may also be used to describe military operations.

However, other examples of a hitherto unknown sort of document, which have been discovered in Yemen since 1970, call into question the unilateral nature of the inscriptions.

Iconographic records such as sculptures and reliefs, seals, and coins also convey parts of a religion’s beliefs and practices.

In addition to the pre-Islamic poetry, which was just recently placed into writing, it includes the Qur’an, the sacred book of the Muslims revealed by their ProphetMuhammad, which takes a strong stance against idolatry and other forms of worship.

The Assyrian kings of the 9th to 7th centuries BCE recorded their wars against North Arabian monarchs (or queens) and tribes, occasionally mentioning the gods of the conquerors.

The oasis of Taym in the Hejaz (al-Ijz) was taken by the Neo-Babylonian king Nabu-naid (Nabonidus) in the middle of the 6th century BCE.

It is quite likely that Jews from the Babylonian Exile were among those forced immigrants, and that they were the ones who established the Jewish presence in Arabia at that time.

The war between Jews and Christians in Yemen in the 6th century is described by a number of Byzantine authors.

It wasn’t until the middle of the nineteenth century that significant discoveries of monuments and inscriptions began to be made. Major archaeological surveys and excavations in various regions of the peninsula did not begin until after World War II, and in many cases, not until the late 1970s.

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