Islam’s present day relevance is due to it being one of the world’s most talked about religions. It is also one of the largest religions in the world. Islam has followers in all areas of the globe. (Zissis, 2007) Islam first began spreading in 610 CE and has not stopped. Today, India’s population includes approximately 150 million Muslims and Islam has contributed greatly to the area and its people. (Kennedy, 2007) The spread of Islam is vast and instead of focusing on the entire realm of Islam’s range, I will put an emphasis on the Mughal Dynasty and it’s impact on the spread of Islam.
The Religion of Islam views Muhammad as the last prophet. He proclaimed revelations that he understood to be from God. Muhammad believed that Gabriel was sent by God to deliver these revelations. His companions recorded those revelations and they are known as the Qur’an. After receiving the revelations, Muhammad shared the Qur’an with the people of Mecca. Muhammad tried to persuade people to abandon their polytheistic religions. (Hussain) Polytheism is a religion in which you worship multiple Gods. The local Meccan powers did not appreciate this and Muhammad and his early followers were persecuted. (Mazhar-ul)
While Muhammad was successful at converting people to Islam, they were often people of the lowest class or slaves. After more than a decade of prosecution and harassment from the Meccans, many Muslims emigrated to Medina. This is where Muhammad established political and religious authority over his old and new followers. A Constitution of Medina was devised and it brought all the groups into one massive society. The formulated statement set up security, certain freedoms, Medina’s sacredness, a tax system and a judicial system. In 629, Muhammad took over Mecca and when he died in 632, he had brought all of the tribes of Arabia together. (Buhl) While Muhammad was alive, the question of who was in control was never in question. However, after his death people were more uncertain. Abu Bakr was made the first caliph and he helped expand Islam.
Islam has been spreading slowly since the early 7th century. It started to spread directly from Muhammad via his preaching and sharing of his beliefs. Islam spread to Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq as well as Egypt quickly after Muhammad’s death. Then Islam spread to North Africa as well as Turkey. (Page, 2001) Islam’s beliefs are based on the five pillars. If one is to truly become part of the Islam religion, they must fulfill all five of the pillars prior their death. The five pillars of Islam are Shahadah, Salat, Zakat, Sawm and Hajj. These pillars consist of sincerely reciting the Muslim profession of faith, performing ritual prayers, paying a tax for the poor, fasting and a having a pilgrimage to Mecca. (bbc.co.uk, 2009)
The continual spread of Islam was done either by its empires spread or by willing conversion. By sword does not reference directly to individually forcing each person to convert. It is more...