Did Islam Spread by the Sword? How Did Islam Spread Throughout the World so Quickly?

As Islam spread quickly throughout the world in such a short period, many assume that the sword spread Islam by way of holy wars. But was this the case? One must distinguish between the Islamic State Empire and the Islamic Faith to understand this. Let’s first address the Islamic State Empire.

When leaders of the Empire believed they could offer a system better suited for civilizations, they sometimes enacted their powers to expand their reach to other nations, thus benefiting the people in those nations. Empires spread their system using military force, a method of choice throughout history — as is the case with the many western countries that conquered nations in an attempt to extend their system of democracy to lands where — they believed — people were oppressed. The Islamic State Empire started as a small group of people who eventually grew in number and struggled their way to the top. To a certain extent, the Islamic State Empire expanded just as many other Empires expanded throughout history.

Like every other Empire, the Islamic Empire wanted its reach to flourish through political conquests. Without political conquest, they would not have become and remained a superpower. If nations exist where their people are oppressed, their leaders may be confronted for their wrongdoing — as no people deserve mistreatment. One of Islam’s main goals is to establish justice in the land and to invite others to know and accept the Message of God. People can hear the message of God without being forced into its acceptance. It would be a tragedy if the leaders of some nations prevented their peoples from hearing the Message of God.

Conquest was the law of the land, and Empires followed this edict to survive. Although most of the battles that Islams fought were defensive, fighting for the protection of their people, the Islamic Empire did expand its Empire by conquering other lands. The Islamic Empire expanded its justice domain by confronting other unjust Empires and letting others hear about Islam without forcing anyone to accept the faith.

Unlike many other Empires, Islam’s many rules ensure that everyone is treated with justice, boundaries are not crossed, and no injustice is done when they conquer a land. Islam prohibits Muslims from oppressing the people in their conquered lands or enslaving and selling them as other Empires did. The living situation of the conquered people should always be better in the wake of their conquest. Scholars state that offensive warfare should be avoided in this modern period and that striking peace treaties with other nations is the right approach.

Now we will address the manner in which the Islamic faith grew so quickly in such a short period. Were the citizens of the lands conquered by the Islamic State forced to convert to Islam? No. Forced conversion is not allowed in Islam, as stated in the Holy Quran:

“Let there be no compulsion in religion, for the truth stands out clearly from falsehood. So whoever renounces false gods and believes in Allah has certainly grasped the firmest, unfailing hand-hold. And Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing” (Quran 2:256)

Of course, the possibility of these nations’ peoples converting to Islam was a motivational factor for the Muslims to conquer these lands. Still, religious conversion was not the primary reason behind the conquest. Like all other Empires, they conquered land to attain political and economic power, reflecting the goals of other Empires. Barring the conquest of other lands, many people would continue to worship idols, fire, cows, the cross, and other false gods, placing those people in great danger of encountering hellfire in the afterlife. It’s imperative to reiterate that an Islamic Empire can expand a land, but forcing a religious conversion or committing genocide is never to play a role in this expansion, unlike the events of the Hindu and Christian crusades. Christian Empires forced citizens of their conquered lands to attend Christian schools and obliged citizens to convert, leave the land, or be killed.

When Muslims conquered lands, they treated the citizens of those lands like their brothers and sisters, spreading the message of Islam and inviting them to follow the faith. If they did not accept it, they would remain followers of their chosen religion and pay a Jizya tax as citizens — just like the Muslims paid an annual Zakat, the value of which is generally greater than what the non-Muslims would pay under Jizya.

The Jizya tax was necessary to fund public services, like the military, from which both Muslims and non-Muslims benefitted. Non-Muslims also derived many other benefits from paying Jizya, which is discussed in the next chapter.

The Islamic Empire also has the option to participate in the signing of peace treaties with other nations. The Empire never broke a signed peace treaty, as treachery is a severe crime in Islam.

To become Muslim, one must submit voluntarily to God. When Muslims conquered and ruled India for about 800 years, they never forced the Indian people to become Muslim but instead were given the right to practice the religion of their choice. Most Indians chose to remain Hindu in faith. Today, 80% of Indians are Hindu. When the Islamic State expanded to the land of Egypt, until the eleventh century, non-Muslims were dominant in this area. Muslims were, for all intents and purposes, the minority. Muslims also ruled Spain for about 800 years, and in this land, non-Muslims lived peacefully with Muslims and flourished.

Muslims ruled Arabia for more than 1400 years, except for brief periods when French and British forces ruled; yet millions of Arabs, now Christians and Jews, have ancestors who were Christians and Jews. Christian and Jewish minorities reside today in many Islamic countries, such as Egypt, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and more. Despite the truth of the Islamic Empire conquering their land, the existence of these people who never converted to Islam proves that the sword did not spread Islam.

Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim nation, was not conquered by the Muslim army. Instead, many Indonesians converted to Islam when Muslim traders visited Indonesia for business. The Indonesians were impressed by the Muslim traders’ civilized behavior and how honestly and kindly they dealt with them. These newly born friendships sparked their interest in Islam, and after researching the faith, they realized that this religion could emanate only from God and was not manmade. Therefore many converted. The Muslim army never reached the East Coast of Africa, but you will find many Muslims living in this region.

The Holy Quran and Hadith (saying of Prophet Muhammad, PBUH) administer many laws to preserve and teach regarding the treatment of non-Muslims living under Muslim rule with requisite justice and fairness. It allows Christians and Jews to maintain their court system under their Biblical laws, worship whomever they please, and live a life where they are not restricted — the religion appealed to non-Muslims, thus inspiring them to convert.

It’s important to note that Islam’s numbers have risen due to people’s attraction to the faith and what it teaches, not because of the sword. Therefore, the conversion rate from Christianity to Islam does not undergo sudden spikes; instead, it always rises gradually. The Islamic approach to converting people has always been inviting and welcoming in nature, demonstrating Islam through actions and words — not force or violence.


BUY ISLAMIC BOOKS by The Sincere Seeker Collection for Adults & Children on AMAZON:


FOLLOW The Sincere Seeker on social media to stay up to date👇

📖 Website ➡️ https://www.thesincereseeker.com/

📸 Instagram ➡️ https://www.instagram.com/thesincereseeker/

📲 TikTok ➡️ https://vm.tiktok.com/brsQ7u/

💙 Facebook ➡️ https://www.facebook.com/TheSincereSeekerChannel/

🎤 Podcast ➡️ https://apple.co/2R4z1Uy

🛒 Amazon Store ➡️ https://www.amazon.com/thesincereseeker ⬅️ 📚

🎥 SUBSCRIBE to The Sincere Seeker YouTube Channel & Turn on Notifications! 🔔

💥 https://goo.gl/ckDmLs 💥

Leave a Comment