posted on Apr, 26 2011 @ 08:26 PM
The political influence of Islam after Muhammad (pbuh) died was partly spread through military conquest, however the religion of Islam did not
spread as a result of violence and conquest and often won converts as it presented itself as a sign of progress and a continuation of Christianity and
Islamic society was at that time a large, positive development compared to most other places. Unlike most other societies Islamic rulers offered
equality, protection of monotheistic religious minorities as well as the protection of peoples from the many tribal raiding parties and marauding
armies which existed at that time. The same way that Christianity initially offered protection of the poor and weary, took in persecuted peoples and
offered sanctuary, Islam done exactly the same. As far as the religion is concerned, at a time when most people couldn't read, weren't educated and in
many cases knew nothing of their own faith, Islam prioritised education, learning to read and recite the Quran and many other practices which were
initially surprising to many people.
Al-Andalus, Islamic spain is a great example of the initially tolerant and largely cosmopolitan society of the early Islamic empires. Religious
communities were compelled to follow their own laws, had their own courts and merely paid an extra tax, levied as a result of not having to fight in
the army or pay Zakat (alms)
Economically it would have also appeared as a welcome sight from many of the poorer peoples in which it's influence enveloped given the importance of
charity in Islam and the defense of the poor and the weak.
It's fair to say that the religion of Islam DID NOT spread by 'the sword', it's laws and customs would likely have been a welcome sight to many people
within both Christianity, Judaism and others who accepted Islamic rule and many accepted the Islamic religion. However, there are many cases where
there were clashes between the expanding Islamic empire and the already established empires in the area however it's important to note that every
religion in the world has this exact same history of clashing with the already established order, in that sense it is no different to the expansion of
Christianity throught the Roman/Byzantine empire, it won it's converts with it's theological arguments, not with a military conquest.
"Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects Taghut (evil) and believes in Allah hath grasped the
most trust worthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things. " (Qur'an 2:256)
edit on 26-4-2011 by
lifeissacred because: spelling