Spread of Islam in the 7th CE to12th CE

Essay by ante14221University, Bachelor'sA+, June 2003

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The main topic of this essay is The origins and development of Islam as a religion and culture. This essay will show what factors helped Islam spread rapidly through out the Arabian Peninsula and beyond. Islam had begun to spread rapidly among the Arabs by the time of Muhammad's death in 632 CE. This growth helped stimulate Arabs to the surge of conquest, and armies quickly spread through the Middle East, including Persia, though the Byzantine Empire long held out amid reduced Asian territory. North Africa was another early conquest. Conquests by Muslim Arabs gradually turned into a more general spread of Islam in its Middle Eastern--North African heartland and beyond. There were many factors which contributed to spread of Islam. This essay will describe the factors accountable for the remarkable spread of Islam from the seventh century to the twelfth century.

Muslims compelled new cultural contacts from 700 CE onwards as a result of conquests, far-reaching trade, and increasingly, missionary activity.

Two primary patterns were involved. One way of spreading Islam was through conquests. Another way was through missionary teachings and through traders. The movement of Sufism was another way of spreading Islam; it was only emerged after the later caliphs because of their material interest and lavishness.

Islam spread to other cultures in circumstances of military conquest, even though the religion was tolerant of other beliefs. Muslims rarely forced people to convert to their religion, often preferring to charge a special tax on minority communities instead. The tax charge was input for the protection of the community in case of war. Arabs for a time sought to reserve Islam for their own people alone, while tolerating local religions; but many people in the conquered regions sought access, some of them adopting Arab language and culture in the process.