Jeffrey Boateng 10/22/04 Ap World History
The Spread Of Islam
The religion of Islam is a very unique monotheistic religion that is closely related to Judaism and Christianity. The word Islam means "submission to God" and Muslim means "someone who submits". Muslims follow the teachings of Muhammad, the Prophet. Muslims believe Muhammad was the last of the prophets behind Abraham, Moses, and Jesus thus linking the religions together. The Quran the Holy book of Islam itself tells of the prophets: "Remember, we gave Moses the Book and sent him many an apostle; and to Jesus, son of Mary, We gave clear evidence of the truth, reinforcing him with divine grace" (23:49-50). Muslims believe they worship the same God as Jews and Christians. Muhammad gave the Arabs the idea of umma a unified community which was bonded by religion. Through the umma Muhammad applied the law of God. At firs Muhammad did not attract many people and was forced to flee to Medina in hijra(immigration) in 622.
In Medina the Islam started to gain followers and by Muhammad's death in 632 had all the Bedouin tribes. By 642 The Muslims were able to defeat the Persian Empire at Nihawand. By the beginning of the eleventh century Islam's influence was as far as northern India. There are many reasons for the rapid spread of Islam. Muslim historians say the victories were thanks to God. The Arabs did believe in the jihad(holy war) so they were very loyal and felt religiously involved something their enemies could not match. Conflicts between the Byzantine and Sasanid empires allowed Muslims to advance. One example is the conquest of Syria, which was controlled by the Byzantine Empire. The Muslims saw that control of this area was vital in order to control nomadic tribes in the deserts...