This is a vast subject with many different aspects. We can talk about the Islamic empires and their great empires and their great achievements in science and culture and knowledge. We can speak of the Islamic influence over the modern world.
All this will take a lot of time. We will address them over time inshaAllah.
Lets start today with a topic we do not often discuss.
We now have Muslims in all corners of the world. How did we get there?
How did Islam spread in its early days?
We will take a first look at the answer today.
Lets first look at where the muslims are now.
They number 1.6 billion, representing 23% of all people worldwide. There are two major branches of Islam – Sunni and Shia. The overwhelming majority (87-90%) of Muslims are Sunnis; about 10-13% are Shia Muslims.
Muslims are concentrated in the Asia-Pacific region, where six-in-ten (62%) of all Muslims reside. Many Muslims also live in the Middle East and North Africa (20%) and sub-Saharan Africa (16%). The remainder of the world’s Muslim population is in Europe (3%), North America (less than 1%) and Latin America and the Caribbean (also less than 1%).
Although a majority of the world’s Muslims live in Asia and the Pacific, only about one-in-four people (24%) in that region are Muslims. By contrast, the Middle East-North Africa region has an overwhelmingly Muslim population (93%), but they represent only about 20% of the world’s Muslims. Muslims also make up about three-in-ten people in sub-Saharan Africa, 6% of those who live in Europe, 1% of North Americans, and less than 1% of the population of Latin America and the Caribbean.
The 10 countries with the largest number of Muslims are home to fully two-thirds (66%) of all Muslims. The largest share lives in Indonesia (13%), followed by India (11%), Pakistan (11%), Bangladesh (8%), Nigeria (5%), Egypt (5%), Iran (5%), Turkey (5%), Algeria (2%) and Morocco (2%).9
Indonesia 210 million, India 176 million, Pakistan 167 million, Bangladesh 136 million, Nigeria 77 million
What can we conclude?
The Muslim Ummah is a globa lcommunity There are no limits upon the spread of Islam – many, many countries, throusands of languages and ethnicity and billions of individuals.
One of the fascinating aspects of Islamic history how did the muslims get to where they are right now, starting from the Arab Peninsula.
The growth can be directly linked to the successive muslim empires. There are fascinating histories for each of these dynasties. We will get to them another time.
After Muhammad (pbuh) died, a series of Caliphs governed the Islamic State: Abu Bakr (632-634), Umar ibn al-Khattab (Umar І, 634-644), Uthman ibn Affan, (644-656), and Ali ibn Abi Talib (656-661). These leaders are known as the "Rashidun" or "rightly guided" Caliphs in Sunni Islam. They oversaw the initial phase of the Muslim conquests, advancing through Persia, Egypt, the Middle East and North Africa.
The Umayyad dynasty (or Ommiads), whose name derives from Umayya ibn Abd Shams, the great-grandfather of the first Umayyad caliph, ruled from 661 to 750. Although the Umayyad family came from the city of Mecca, Damascus was the capital. After the death of Abdu'l-Rahman ibn Abu Bakr in 666, Muawiyah I consolidated his power. Muawiyah I moved his capital to Damascus from Medina, which led to profound changes in the empire. In the same way, at a later date, the transfer of the Caliphate from Damascus to Baghdad marked the accession of a new family to power.
The Abbasid dynasty rose to power in 750, consolidating the gains of the earlier Caliphates. Initially, they conquered Mediterranean islands including the Balearics and Sicily. The capital was moved from Damascus to Baghdad. Expansion continued, sometimes by force, sometimes by peaceful proselytising. The first stage in the conquest of India began just before the year 1000. By some 200 (from 1193 — 1209) years later, the area up to the Ganges river had fallen. In sub-Saharan West Africa, Islam was established just after the year 1000.
During the 16th and 17th centuries, in particular at the height of its power under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire was one of the most powerful states in the world – a multinational, multilingual empire, controlling much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia, the Caucasus, North Africa and the Horn of Africa.[
Starting from the Arab Penisula during the time of the Prophet (pbuh), the Islamic world expanded vastly in Asia, Africa and Europe.
While it was partly conquest, the muslims were also missionaries spreadin Islam.
And what attracted people to Islam was its message of equality and its simplicity.
And at the height of its powers during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman empire ruled over significant portions of Europe.
Islam began in Asia in the 7th century during the lifetime of its last prophet, Muhammad. A number of adherents of Islam have lived in Asia & specially South and West Asia since the beginning of Islamic history. Islam is said to have arrived in Manipur (Northeast India) in 615 AD via Chittagong which is part of present day Bangladesh's coast in the age of silk route (both onland and by sea) trades when Sa'ad ibn abi Waqqas (b.594-d.674 AD) and others namely Uwais al-Qarni (594-657), Khunais ibn Hudhaifa, Saeed ibn Zaid, Wahb Abu Kabcha, Jahsh and Jafar ibn Abu Talib preached there.
On the Indian subcontinent, Islam first appeared in the southwestern tip of the peninsula, in today's Kerala state. Arabs traded with Malabar even before the birth of Muhammad. Native legends say that a group of Sahaba, under Malik Ibn Deenar, arrived on the Malabar Coast and preached Islam. According to that legend, the first mosque of India was built by Second Chera King Cheraman Perumal, who accepted Islam and received the name Tajudheen. He traveled to Arabia to meet Muhammad and died on the trip back, somewhere in today's Oman. Historical records suggest that the Cheraman Perumal Mosque was built in around 629.
slamic rule came to India in the 8th century, when Muhammad bin Qasim conquered Sindh. Muslim conquests expanded under Mahmud and the Ghaznavids until the late 12th century, when the Ghurids overran the Ghaznavids and extended the conquests in Northern India. Qutb-ud-din Aybak conquered Delhi in 1206 and began the reign of the Delhi Sultanates. In the 14th century, Alauddin Khilji extended Muslim rule south to Gujarat, Rajasthan and Deccan. Various other Muslim dynasties also formed and ruled across India from the 13th to the 18th century such as the Qutb Shahi and the Bahmani, but none rivalled the power and extensive reach of the Mughal Empire at its peak.
The propagation of Islam followed the introduction of Islam in the sub-sontinent and in many ways was more rapid because of it.
According to T.W. Arnold in The Preaching of Islam, by the 2nd century of the Islamic Calendar, Arab traders had been trading with the inhabitants of Ceylon. The same argument has been told by Dr. B.H. Burger and Dr.Mr. Prajudi in Sedjarah Ekonomis Sosiologis Indonesia (History of Socio Economic of Indonesia) According to the atlas by geographer Al Biruni (973 - 1048), the Indian or Indonesia Ocean used to be called the Persian Ocean. After the Western Imperialist ruled, it is replaced Persian Ocean to be Indian Ocean. They traded not only Arabian goods but also from Africa, India, and so on including ivory, fragrances, spices, and gold.
Soon, many Sufi missionaries translated classical Sufi literature from Arabic and Persian into Malay; a tangible product of this is the Jawi script. Coupled with the composing of original Islamic literature in Malay, this led the way to the transformation of Malay into an Islamic language.
The Aceh Sultanate was the most important, controlling much of the area between Southeast Asia and India from its centre in northern Sumatra. The Sultanate also attracted Sufi poets. The second Muslim power was the Sultanate of Malacca on the Malay Peninsula.
In China, four Sahabas (Sa'ad ibn abi Waqqas, Wahb Abu Kabcha, Jafar ibn Abu Talib and Jahsh) preached in 616/17 and onwards after following the Chittagong–Kamrup–Manipur route after sailing from Abyssinia in 615/16. After conquering Persia in 636, Sa'ad ibn abi Waqqas went with Sa'id ibn Zaid, Qais ibn Sa'd and Hassan ibn Thabit to China in 637 taking the complete Quran. Sa'ad ibn abi Waqqas headed for China for the third time in 650-51 after Caliph Uthman asked him to lead an embassy to China, which the Chinese emperor received
The history of Islam in the Horn of Africa is almost as old as the faith itself. Through extensive trade and social interactions with their converted Muslim trading partners on the other side of the Red Sea, in the Arabian peninsula, merchants and sailors in the Horn region gradually came under the influence of the new religion. Early Islamic disciples fled to the port city of Zeila in modern-day northern Somalia to seek protection from the Quraysh at the court of the Aksumite Emperor in present-day Somalia. Some of the Muslims that were granted protection are said to have then settled in several parts of the Horn region to promote the religion. The victory of the Muslims over the Quraysh in the 7th century had a significant impact on local merchants and sailors, as their trading partners in Arabia had by then all adopted Islam, and the major trading routes in the Mediterranean and the Red Sea came under the sway of the Muslim Caliphs. Instability in the Arabian peninsula saw further migrations of early Muslim families to the Somali seaboard. These clans came to serve as catalysts, forwarding the faith to large parts of the Horn region.
The victory of the Muslims over the Quraysh in the 7th century had a significant impact on local merchants and sailors, as their trading partners in Arabia had by then all adopted Islam, and the major trading routes in the Mediterranean and the Red Sea came under the sway of the Muslim Caliphs.
The Idrisid were the first Arab rulers in the western Maghreb (Morocco), ruling from 788 to 985. The dynasty is named after its first sultan Idris I. The Almoravid dynasty was a Berber dynasty from the Sahara flourished over a wide area of North-Western Africa and the Iberian Peninsula during the 11th century. Under this dynasty the Moorish empire was extended over present-day Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Gibraltar, Tlemcen (in Algeria) and a part of what is now Senegal and Mali in the south, and Spain and Portugal in the north.
Spread of islam 9 march 2014
The Spread of Islam
Syed Sajjadur Rahman
9 March 2014
The growth of the Islamic World
570-632 The Prophet (pbuh)
632 - 661 The Khalifas
661-750 The Umayyids
751-983 The Abbasids
984-1289 The Seljuks and the Fatimids
1290-1918 The Ottomans, Safavids and Mughals
Early Spread of Islam: South Asia
First contact legends (7 century)
Arab traders in Malabar (Kerala) – first mosque in
Silk route traders in Chittagong
Muhammad Bin Qasim’s conquest of Sindh (8
Qutubuddin Aybak captures Delhi (1206)
Alauddin Khilji extends Muslim rule to Gujarat,
Rajasthan and the Deccans (14 century)
Early Spread of Islam: South-East Asia
Arab traders first in western part of Indonesia, then to
Borneo and Java (7 century)
Bengali, Gujarati, Iranian Muslims (13 century)
Mindanao in the Philippines (15 century)
Iskandar, Malaccan dynasty (early 15 Century)
Early spread of Islam: Africa
First contact (7 century)
Horn of Africa - Trade and social interactions
across the Red Sea
Conquest of North Africa including
Mesopotamia and Egypt (632 -641)
Idrisid dynasty, Morocco (788-985)
Major causes of the rapid spread of Islam
Concept of equality
Gain acceptance with the Muslim conquerors
What should we look at next?