Spread of Islam

Spread of Islam

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The Spread of Islam started shortly after the death of the Islamic prophet
Prophets of Islam
Muslims identify the Prophets of Islam as those humans chosen by God and given revelation to deliver to mankind. Muslims believe that every prophet was given a belief to worship God and their respective followers believed it as well...

 Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 in 632 AD
632
Year 632 was a leap year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 632 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Asia :* January 27 – Annular eclipse of the...

. During his lifetime, the community of Muhammad, the ummah
Ummah
Ummah is an Arabic word meaning "community" or "nation." It is commonly used to mean either the collective nation of states, or the whole Arab world...

, was established in the Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

 by means of conversion to Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 and conquering of territory, and oftentimes the conquered had to either accept Islam or pay tax (jizyah) for protection if they chose to not convert. Among others, the tax permitted the non-Muslim citizens to practice their faith, and ensure protection from outside aggressors. In the first centuries conversion to Islam followed the rapid growth of the Islamic world under the Rashidun
Rashidun Empire
The Rashidun Caliphate , comprising the first four caliphs in Islam's history, was founded after Muhammad's death in 632, Year 10 A.H.. At its height, the Caliphate extended from the Arabian Peninsula, to the Levant, Caucasus and North Africa in the west, to the Iranian highlands and Central Asia...

 and Umayyad
Umayyad
The Umayyad Caliphate was the second of the four major Arab caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. It was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty, whose name derives from Umayya ibn Abd Shams, the great-grandfather of the first Umayyad caliph. Although the Umayyad family originally came from the...

 Caliphs.

Muslim dynasties were soon established and subsequent empires such as those of the Abbasids, Fatimids, Almoravids
Almoravids
The Almoravids were a Berber dynasty of Morocco, who formed an empire in the 11th-century that stretched over the western Maghreb and Al-Andalus. Their capital was Marrakesh, a city which they founded in 1062 C.E...

, Seljuk Turks, Mughals
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

 in India and Safavids in Persia and Ottomans
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 were among the largest and most powerful in the world. The Islamic world was composed of numerous sophisticated centers of culture and science with far-reaching mercantile networks, travelers, scientists, hunters, mathematicians, doctors and philosophers
Islamic philosophy
Islamic philosophy is a branch of Islamic studies. It is the continuous search for Hekma in the light of Islamic view of life, universe, ethics, society, and so on...

, all of whom contributed to the Golden Age of Islam.

The activities of this quasi-political early ummah resulted in the spread of Islam as far from Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

 as Senegal
Senegal
Senegal , officially the Republic of Senegal , is a country in western Africa. It owes its name to the Sénégal River that borders it to the east and north...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 and Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, the latter containing the world's largest Muslim population. As of October 2009, there were 1.571 billion Muslims, making Islam the second-largest religion in the world
Major religious groups
The world's principal religions and spiritual traditions may be classified into a small number of major groups, although this is by no means a uniform practice...

.

Conversion


Increasing conversion to Islam paralleled the rapid military expansion of the Arab Empire
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

 in the first centuries after the Islamic prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

's death. Muslim dynasties were soon established in North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

, West Africa
West Africa
West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of the African continent. Geopolitically, the UN definition of Western Africa includes the following 16 countries and an area of approximately 5 million square km:-Flags of West Africa:...

, throughout the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

 and in Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

.

Phase I: The Early Caliphs and Umayyads (610-750 AD)



This was the time of the life of Islamic Prophet Muhammad and his early successors, the four rightly guided
Rashidun
The Rightly Guided Caliphs or The Righteous Caliphs is a term used in Sunni Islam to refer to the first four Caliphs who established the Rashidun Caliphate. The concept of "Rightly Guided Caliphs" originated with the Abbasid Dynasty...

 caliph
Caliph
The Caliph is the head of state in a Caliphate, and the title for the ruler of the Islamic Ummah, an Islamic community ruled by the Shari'ah. It is a transcribed version of the Arabic word   which means "successor" or "representative"...

s. However their institutionalized continuity was opposed by the Umayyad
Umayyad
The Umayyad Caliphate was the second of the four major Arab caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. It was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty, whose name derives from Umayya ibn Abd Shams, the great-grandfather of the first Umayyad caliph. Although the Umayyad family originally came from the...

s who later founded their own dynasty and declared themselves Caliphs (661-750).

In the first last century the establishment of Islam upon the Arabian peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

 and the subsequent rapid expansion of the Arab Empire during the Muslim conquests
Muslim conquests
Muslim conquests also referred to as the Islamic conquests or Arab conquests, began with the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He established a new unified polity in the Arabian Peninsula which under the subsequent Rashidun and Umayyad Caliphates saw a century of rapid expansion of Muslim power.They...

, resulted in the formation of one of the most significant empires in history. For the subjects of this new empire, formerly subjects of the greatly reduced Byzantine
Byzantine
Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...

, and obliterated Sassanid
Sassanid Empire
The Sassanid Empire , known to its inhabitants as Ērānshahr and Ērān in Middle Persian and resulting in the New Persian terms Iranshahr and Iran , was the last pre-Islamic Persian Empire, ruled by the Sasanian Dynasty from 224 to 651...

, Empires, not much changed in practice. The objective of the conquests was more than anything of a practical nature, as fertile land and water were scarce in the Arabian peninsula. A real Islamization therefore only came about in the subsequent centuries.

Ira Lapidus distinguishes between two separate strands of converts of the time: one is animists and polytheists of tribal societies of the Arabian peninsula and the Fertile crescent
Fertile Crescent
The Fertile Crescent, nicknamed "The Cradle of Civilization" for the fact the first civilizations started there, is a crescent-shaped region containing the comparatively moist and fertile land of otherwise arid and semi-arid Western Asia. The term was first used by University of Chicago...

; the other one is the monotheistic populations of the Middle Eastern agrarian and urbanized societies.

For the polytheistic and pagan societies, apart from the religious and spiritual reasons each individual may have had, conversion to Islam "represented the response of a tribal, pastoral population to the need for a larger framework for political and economic integration, a more stable state, and a more imaginative and encompassing moral vision to cope with the problems of a tumultuous society." In contrast, for sedentary and often already monotheistic societies, "Islam was substituted for a Byzantine or Sassanian political identity and for a Christian, Jewish or Zoroastrian religious affiliation." Conversion initially was neither required nor necessarily wished for: "(The Arab conquerors) did not require the conversion as much as the subordination of non-Muslim peoples. At the outset, they were hostile to conversions because new Muslims diluted the economic and status advantages of the Arabs."

Only in subsequent centuries, with the development of the religious doctrine of Islam and with that the understanding of the Muslim ummah
Ummah
Ummah is an Arabic word meaning "community" or "nation." It is commonly used to mean either the collective nation of states, or the whole Arab world...

, did mass conversion take place. The new understanding by the religious and political leadership in many cases led to a weakening or breakdown of the social and religious structures of parallel religious communities such as Christians and Jews.

The calipha of the Umayyad dynasty established the first schools inside the empire, called madrasas, which taught the Arabic language and Islamic studies. They furthermore began the ambitious project of building mosques across the empire, many of which remain today as the most magnificent mosques in the Islamic world, such as the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus. At the end of the Umayyad period, less than 10% of the people in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia and Spain were Muslim. Only on the Arabian peninsula was the proportion of Muslims among the population higher than this.

Phase II: The Abbasids (750-1258)



This was the time of the Abbasid
Abbasid
The Abbasid Caliphate or, more simply, the Abbasids , was the third of the Islamic caliphates. It was ruled by the Abbasid dynasty of caliphs, who built their capital in Baghdad after overthrowing the Umayyad caliphate from all but the al-Andalus region....

 Dynasty (750-1258), the second great dynasty with the rulers carrying the title of 'Caliph'.

Expansion ceased and the central disciplines of Islamic philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

, theology
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

, law
Law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

 and mysticism
Mysticism
Mysticism is the knowledge of, and especially the personal experience of, states of consciousness, i.e. levels of being, beyond normal human perception, including experience and even communion with a supreme being.-Classical origins:...

 became more widespread and the gradual conversions of the populations within the empire occurred. Significant conversions also occurred beyond the extents of the empire such as that of the Turkic tribes
Turkic peoples
The Turkic peoples are peoples residing in northern, central and western Asia, southern Siberia and northwestern China and parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds...

 in Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

 and peoples living in regions south of the Sahara
Sahara
The Sahara is the world's second largest desert, after Antarctica. At over , it covers most of Northern Africa, making it almost as large as Europe or the United States. The Sahara stretches from the Red Sea, including parts of the Mediterranean coasts, to the outskirts of the Atlantic Ocean...

 in Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 through contact with Muslim traders and slavers active in the area and sufi missionaries. In Africa it spread along three routes, across the Sahara via trading towns such as Chrisopolis, up the Nile Valley through the Sudan up to Uganda
Uganda
Uganda , officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is also known as the "Pearl of Africa". It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by...

 and across the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

 and down East Africa
East Africa
East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easterly region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. In the UN scheme of geographic regions, 19 territories constitute Eastern Africa:...

 through settlements such as Mombasa
Mombasa
Mombasa is the second-largest city in Kenya. Lying next to the Indian Ocean, it has a major port and an international airport. The city also serves as the centre of the coastal tourism industry....

 and Zanzibar
Zanzibar
Zanzibar ,Persian: زنگبار, from suffix bār: "coast" and Zangi: "bruin" ; is a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania, in East Africa. It comprises the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of the mainland, and consists of numerous small islands and two large ones: Unguja , and Pemba...

. These initial conversions were of a flexible nature and only later were the societies forcibly purged of their traditional influences.

The reasons why, by the end of the 10th century CE, a large part of the population had converted to Islam are diverse. One of the reasons may be that

"Islam had become more clearly defined, and the line between Muslims and non-Muslims more sharply drawn. Muslims now lived within an elaborated system of ritual, doctrine and law clearly different from those of non-Muslims. (...) The status of Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians was more precisely defined, and in some ways it was inferior. They were regarded as the 'People of the Book', those who possessed a revealed scripture, or 'People of the Covenant', with whom compacts of protection had been made. In general they were not forced to convert, but they suffered from restrictions. They paid a special tax; they were not supposed to wear certain colors; they could not marry Muslim women;."


It should be pointed out that most of these laws were elaborations of basic laws concerning non-Muslims (dhimmi
Dhimmi
A , is a non-Muslim subject of a state governed in accordance with sharia law. Linguistically, the word means "one whose responsibility has been taken". This has to be understood in the context of the definition of state in Islam...

s
) in the Quran. The Quran does not give much detail about the right conduct with non-Muslims, in principle recognizing the security of "People of the book" (Jews, Christians, and sometimes others as well) and demanding a separate tax from them (while exempting them from zakat
Zakat
Zakāt , one of the Five Pillars of Islam, is the giving of a fixed portion of one's wealth to charity, generally to the poor and needy.-History:Zakat, a practice initiated by Muhammed himself, has played an important role throughout Islamic history...

).

American historian Ira Lapidus points towards "interwoven terms of political and economic benefits and of a sophisticated culture and religion" as appealing to the masses. He writes that :

"The question of why people convert to Islam has always generated intense feeling. Earlier generations of European scholars believed that conversions to Islam were made at the point of the sword, and that conquered peoples were given the choice of conversion or death. It is now apparent that conversion by force, while not unknown in Muslim countries, was, in fact, rare. Muslim conquerors ordinarily wished to dominate rather than convert, and most conversions to Islam were voluntary. (...) In most cases worldly and spiritual motives for conversion blended together. Moreover, conversion to Islam did not necessarily imply a complete turning from an old to a totally new life. While it entailed the acceptance of new religious beliefs and membership in a new religious community, most converts retained a deep attachment to the cultures and communities from which they came."


The result of this, he points out, can be seen in the diversity of Muslim societies today, with varying manifestations and practices of Islam.

Conversion to Islam also came about as a result of the breakdown of historically religiously organized societies: with the weakening of many churches, for example, and the favoring of Islam and the migration of substantial Muslim Turkish populations into the areas of Anatolia and the Balkans, the "social and cultural relevance of Islam" were enhanced and a large number of peoples were converted. This worked better in some areas (Anatolia) and less in others (e.g. the Balkans, where "the spread of Islam was limited by the vitality of the Christian churches.")

Along with the religion of Islam, the Arabic language and Arab customs spread throughout the empire. A sense of unity grew among many though not all provinces, gradually forming the consciousness of a broadly Arab-Islamic population: something which was recognizably an Islamic world had emerged by the end of the 10th century. Throughout this period, as well as in the following centuries, divisions occurred between Persians and Arabs, and Sunnis and Shiites, and unrest in provinces empowered local rulers at times.

Conversion within the Empire: Umayyad Period vs. Abassid Period

There are a number of historians who see the rule of the Umayyads as responsible for setting up the "dhimmah" to increase taxes from the dhimmi
Dhimmi
A , is a non-Muslim subject of a state governed in accordance with sharia law. Linguistically, the word means "one whose responsibility has been taken". This has to be understood in the context of the definition of state in Islam...

s
to benefit the Arab Muslim community financially and to discourage conversion. Islam was initially associated with the ethnic identity of the Arabs and required formal association with an Arab tribe and the adoption of the client status of mawali
Mawali
Mawali or mawālá is a term in Classical Arabic used to address non-Arab Muslims.The term gained prominence in the centuries following the early Arab Muslim conquests in the 7th century, as many non-Arabs such as Persians, Egyptians, and Turks converted to Islam...

. Governors lodged complaints with the caliph when he enacted laws that made conversion easier, depriving the provinces of revenues.

During the following Abbasid
Abbasid
The Abbasid Caliphate or, more simply, the Abbasids , was the third of the Islamic caliphates. It was ruled by the Abbasid dynasty of caliphs, who built their capital in Baghdad after overthrowing the Umayyad caliphate from all but the al-Andalus region....

 period an enfranchisement was experienced by the mawali and a shift was made in the political conception from that of a primarily Arab empire to one of a Muslim empire and c. 930 a law was enacted that required all bureaucrats of the empire to be Muslims. Both periods were also marked by significant migrations of Arab tribes outwards from the Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

 into the new territories.

Conversion within the Empire: Conversion Curve

Richard Bulliet
Richard Bulliet
Richard W. Bulliet is a professor of history at Columbia University who specializes in the history of Islamic society and institutions, the history of technology, and the history of the role of animals in human society.-Early life and education:...

's "conversion curve" shows a relatively low rate of conversion of non-Arab subjects during the Arab centric Umayyad
Umayyad
The Umayyad Caliphate was the second of the four major Arab caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. It was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty, whose name derives from Umayya ibn Abd Shams, the great-grandfather of the first Umayyad caliph. Although the Umayyad family originally came from the...

 period of 10%, in contrast with estimates for the more politically multicultural Abbasid
Abbasid
The Abbasid Caliphate or, more simply, the Abbasids , was the third of the Islamic caliphates. It was ruled by the Abbasid dynasty of caliphs, who built their capital in Baghdad after overthrowing the Umayyad caliphate from all but the al-Andalus region....

 period which saw the Muslim population grow from approx. 40% in the mid 9th century to close to 100% by the end of the 11th century. This theory does not explain the continuing existence of large minorities of Christians in the Abbasid Period. Other estimates suggest that Muslims were not a majority in Egypt until the mid-10th century and in the Fertile Crescent until 1100. Syria may have had a Christian majority within its modern borders until the Mongol Invasions of the 13th century.

Phase III: Dissolution of the Abbasids and the emergence of the Seljuks and Ottomans (950-1450)


The expansion of Islam continued in the wake of Turkic
Turkic peoples
The Turkic peoples are peoples residing in northern, central and western Asia, southern Siberia and northwestern China and parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds...

 conquests of Asia Minor
Asia Minor
Asia Minor is a geographical location at the westernmost protrusion of Asia, also called Anatolia, and corresponds to the western two thirds of the Asian part of Turkey...

, the Balkans
Balkans
The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

, and the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

. The earlier period also saw the acceleration in the rate of conversions in the Muslim heartland while in the wake of the conquests the newly conquered regions retained significant non-Muslim populations in contrast to the regions where the boundaries of the Muslim world contracted, such as Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

 and Al Andalus, where Muslim populations were expelled or forced to Christianize
Christianization
The historical phenomenon of Christianization is the conversion of individuals to Christianity or the conversion of entire peoples at once...

 in short order. The latter period of this phase was marked by the Mongol invasion (particularly the sack of Baghdad in 1258) and after an initial period of persecution, the conversion of these conquerors to Islam.

Phase IV: Ottoman Empire: 13th Century - 1918


The Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 defended its frontiers initially against threats from several sides: the Safavids on the Eastern side, the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 in the North which vanished with the fall of Constantinople 1453, and the great Catholic powers from the Mediterranean Sea: Spain, the Holy Roman Empire, and Venice with its eastern Mediterranean colonies.

Later, the Ottoman Empire set on to conquer territories from these rivals: Cyprus and other Greek islands (except Crete) were lost by Venice to the Ottomans, and the latter conquered territory up to the Danube basin as far as Hungary. Crete was conquered during the 17th century, but the Ottomans lost Hungary to the Holy Roman Empire, and other parts of Eastern Europe, ending with the Treaty of Carlowitz (1699).

Phase V: (Post-Ottomans - present)


Islam has continued to spread through commerce, the activities of Sufi missionaries, and migrations; especially in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

.

By region



Arabia


At Makkah, prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 is said to have received repeated embassies from Christian tribes.

Asia


Soon after the death of prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

, all these provinces fell, one after the other, into the hands of the Muslims, who threatened, for a while, the entire extinction of Christianity in Western Asia. Due however to the tolerant attitude of the majority of the Umayyad
Umayyad
The Umayyad Caliphate was the second of the four major Arab caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. It was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty, whose name derives from Umayya ibn Abd Shams, the great-grandfather of the first Umayyad caliph. Although the Umayyad family originally came from the...

, and the Abbasid
Abbasid
The Abbasid Caliphate or, more simply, the Abbasids , was the third of the Islamic caliphates. It was ruled by the Abbasid dynasty of caliphs, who built their capital in Baghdad after overthrowing the Umayyad caliphate from all but the al-Andalus region....

 caliphs of Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

 and Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

 respectively, Christianity in the Muslim empire gradually began to experience a new and unprecedented level of revival and vigour. Nestorian and Jacobite
Syriac Orthodox Church
The Syriac Orthodox Church; is an autocephalous Oriental Orthodox church based in the Eastern Mediterranean, with members spread throughout the world. The Syriac Orthodox Church claims to derive its origin from one of the first Christian communities, established in Antioch by the Apostle St....

 theologians, philosophers, and men of letters soon became the teachers of the conquering Arabs, and the pioneers of Islamo-Arabic science, civilization, and learning. Nestorian physicians became the attending physicians of the court, and the Nestorian patriarch and his numerous bishops were regarded in Asia as second to none in power and authority.

Under the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphs, Christianity enjoyed, with few exceptions, great freedom and respect throughout all the Muslim Empire, as can be seen from the facts and data collected by Assemani
Assemani
Assemani is a family of Lebanese Maronites that included several notable Orientalists:* Giuseppe Simone Assemani * Stefano Evodio Assemani , nephew of Joseph Simon* Giuseppe Luigi Assemani , brother of Joseph Simon...

 and Bar-Hebraeus
Bar-Hebraeus
Gregory Bar Hebraeus was a catholicos of the Syriac Orthodox Church in the 13th century...

, according to which many Nestorian and Jacobite patriarchs from the 7th to the 11th centuries received diplomas, or firmans, of some sort from prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 himself, from Umar
Umar
`Umar ibn al-Khattāb c. 2 November , was a leading companion and adviser to the Islamic prophet Muhammad who later became the second Muslim Caliph after Muhammad's death....

, Ali
Ali
' |Ramaḍān]], 40 AH; approximately October 23, 598 or 600 or March 17, 599 – January 27, 661).His father's name was Abu Talib. Ali was also the cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and ruled over the Islamic Caliphate from 656 to 661, and was the first male convert to Islam...

, Marwan
Marwan
Marwan is an Arabic male name. It may refer to:-Given name:*Abu Marwan Abd al-Malik I Saadi, King of Morocco *Marwan I, Umayyad caliph...

, Al-Mansur
Al-Mansur
Al-Mansur, Almanzor or Abu Ja'far Abdallah ibn Muhammad al-Mansur was the second Abbasid Caliph from 136 AH to 158 AH .-Biography:...

, Harun al-Rashid
Harun al-Rashid
Hārūn al-Rashīd was the fifth Arab Abbasid Caliph in Iraq. He was born in Rey, Iran, close to modern Tehran. His birth date remains a point of discussion, though, as various sources give the dates from 763 to 766)....

, Abu Ja'far
Ahmad I bin Mohammed
Abu Ja'far Ahmad b. Muhammad was the amir of Sistan from 923 until his death. He is responsible for restoring Saffarid rule over Sistan, and was a great patron of the arts.-Ancestors:Abu Ja’far Ahmad’s father was named Muhammad...

, and others. (Shedd, op. cit., 239-241; Assemani, De Catholicis Nestorianis, 41-433 sqq; Bar-Hebraeus, Chronicon Ecclesiasticum I, 309, 317, 319, 325; II, 465, 625; III, 307, 317, 229, 433, etc.; and Thomas of Marga, op. cit., II, 123, note:)

Greater Syria


Like their Byzantine and late Sasanian predecessors, the Marwanid
Marwanid
Marwanid, , was a Kurdish dynasty in Northern Mesopotamia and Armenia, centered around the city of Amed . Other cities under rule were Arzan, Mayyāfāriqīn , Hisn Kayfa , Khilāṭ, Manzikart, Arjish. The founder of the dynasty was a Kurdish shepherd, Abu Shujā Bādh bin Dustak...

 caliphs nominally ruled the various religious communities but allowed the communities' own appointed or elected officials to administer most internal affairs. Yet the Marwanids also depended heavily on the help of non-Arab administrative personnel and on administrative practices (e.g., a set of government bureaus). As the conquests slowed and the isolation of the fighters (muqatilah) became less necessary, it became more and more difficult to keep Arabs garrisoned. As the tribal links that had so dominated Umayyad politics began to break down, the meaningfulness of tying non-Arab converts to Arab tribes as clients was diluted; moreover, the number of non-Muslims who wished to join the ummah was already becoming too large for this process to work effectively.

Palestine


The Muslim Saracen army attacked Jerusalem, held by the Byzantine Romans, in November, 636 CE. For four months, the siege continued. Ultimately, the Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem
Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem
The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem is the head bishop of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, ranking fourth of nine Patriarchs in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Since 2005, the Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem has been Theophilos III...

, Sophronius, an ethnic Arab, agreed to surrender Jerusalem to caliph Omar in person. The caliph, then at Medina, agreed to these terms and travelled to Jerusalem to sign the capitulation in the spring of 637. Sophronius also negotiated a pact with Omar, known as the Umariyya Covenant or Covenant of Omar
Covenant of Omar
The Covenant of Omar purports to be a treaty concluded between Islamic Caliph Omar ibn Khattab and the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Sophronius. The treaty outlines the rights and the limitations of Christians as "People of the Book" or "people of protection" to enjoy religious tolerance under Muslim...

, allowing for religious freedom for Christians in exchange for "jizya
Jizya
Under Islamic law, jizya or jizyah is a per capita tax levied on a section of an Islamic state's non-Muslim citizens, who meet certain criteria...

", a tax to be paid by conquered non-Muslims, called "dhimmis". Under Muslim Rule, the Christian and Jewish population of Jerusalem in this period enjoyed the usual tolerance given to non-Muslim theists.
Having accepted the surrender, Omar then entered Jerusalem with Sophronius "and courteously discoursed with the patriarch concerning its religious antiquities". When the hour for his prayer came, Omar was in the Anastasis church, but refused to pray there, lest in the future Muslims should use that as an excuse to break the treaty and confiscate the church. The Mosque of Omar, opposite the doors of the Anastasis, with the tall minaret, is known as the place to which he retired for his prayer.

Bishop Arculf
Arculf
Arculf , was a Frankish Bishop who toured the Levant in around 680. Bede claimed he was a bishop , who, according to Bede's history of the Church in England , was shipwrecked on the shore of Iona, Scotland on his return from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and was hospitably received by Adamnan, the...

, whose account of his pilgrimage to the Holy Land in the 7th century, De Locis Sanctis
De Locis Sanctis
De locis sanctis was composed by the Irish monk Adomnán, a copy being presented to King Aldfrith of Northumbria in 698...

, written down by the monk Adamnan, described reasonably pleasant living conditions of Christians in Palestine in the first period of Muslim rule. The caliphs of Damascus (661-750) were tolerant princes who were on generally good terms with their Christian subjects. Many Christians (e.g. St. John Damascene) held important offices at their court. The Abbasid caliphs at Baghdad (753-1242), as long as they ruled Syria, were also tolerant to Christians. Harun Abu-Ja-'afar (786-809), sent the keys of the Holy Sepulchre to Charlemagne, who built a hospice for Latin pilgrims near the shrine.

Rival dynasties and revolutions led to the eventual disunion of the Muslim world. In the 9th century, Palestine was conquered by the Fatimid dynasty of North Africa. Palestine once again became a battleground as the various enemies of the Fatimids attacked. At the same time, the Byzantine Greeks continued to attempt to regain their lost territories, including Jerusalem. Christians in Jerusalem who sided with the Byzantines were put to death for high treason by the ruling Muslims. In 969, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, John VII, was put to death for treasonous correspondence with the Byzantines. As Jerusalem grew in importance to Muslims and pilgrimages increased, tolerance for other religions declined. Christians were persecuted and churches destroyed. The sixth Fatimid caliph, Caliph Al-Hakim
Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah
Abu ‘Ali Mansur Tāriqu l-Ḥākim, called Al-Hakim bi Amr al-Lāh , was the sixth Fatimid caliph and 16th Ismaili imam .- History :...

, 996-1021, who was believed to be "God made manifest" by the Druze
Druze
The Druze are an esoteric, monotheistic religious community, found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, which emerged during the 11th century from Ismailism. The Druze have an eclectic set of beliefs that incorporate several elements from Abrahamic religions, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism...

, destroyed the Holy Sepulchre in 1009. This powerful provocation helped ignite the flame of fury that led to the First Crusade
First Crusade
The First Crusade was a military expedition by Western Christianity to regain the Holy Lands taken in the Muslim conquest of the Levant, ultimately resulting in the recapture of Jerusalem...

.

Persia and Central Asia


It used to be argued that Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of prophet Zoroaster and was formerly among the world's largest religions. It was probably founded some time before the 6th century BCE in Greater Iran.In Zoroastrianism, the Creator Ahura Mazda is all good, and no evil...

 quickly collapsed in the wake of the Islamic conquest of Persia
Islamic conquest of Persia
The Muslim conquest of Persia led to the end of the Sassanid Empire in 644, the fall of Sassanid dynasty in 651 and the eventual decline of the Zoroastrian religion in Persia...

 due to its intimate ties to the Sassanid state structure. Now however, more complex processes are considered, in light of the more protracted time frame attributed to the progression of the ancient Persian religion to a minority; a progression that is more contiguous with the trends of the late antiquity
Late Antiquity
Late Antiquity is a periodization used by historians to describe the time of transition from Classical Antiquity to the Middle Ages, in both mainland Europe and the Mediterranean world. Precise boundaries for the period are a matter of debate, but noted historian of the period Peter Brown proposed...

 period. These trends are the conversions from the state religion that had already plagued the Zoroastrian authorities that continued after the Arab conquest, coupled with the migration of Arab tribes into the region during an extended period of time that stretched well into the Abbassid reign.

While there were cases such as the Sassanid army division at Hamra, that converted en masse before pivotal battles such as the Battle of al-Qādisiyyah
Battle of al-Qadisiyyah
The Battle of al-Qādisiyyah was fought in 636; it was the decisive engagement between the Arab muslim army and the Sassanid Persian army during the first period of Muslim expansion. It resulted in the Islamic conquest of Persia, and was key to the conquest of Iraq...

, conversion was fastest in the urban area
Urban area
An urban area is characterized by higher population density and vast human features in comparison to areas surrounding it. Urban areas may be cities, towns or conurbations, but the term is not commonly extended to rural settlements such as villages and hamlets.Urban areas are created and further...

s where Arab forces were garrison
Garrison
Garrison is the collective term for a body of troops stationed in a particular location, originally to guard it, but now often simply using it as a home base....

ed slowly leading to Zoroastrianism becoming associated with rural
Rural
Rural areas or the country or countryside are areas that are not urbanized, though when large areas are described, country towns and smaller cities will be included. They have a low population density, and typically much of the land is devoted to agriculture...

 areas. Still at the end of the Umayyad period, the Muslim community was only a minority in the region.

Islam was readily accepted by Zoroastrians who were employed in industrial and artisan positions because, according to Zoroastrian dogma, such occupations that involved defiling fire made them impure. Moreover, Muslim missionaries did not encounter difficulty in explaining Islamic tenets to Zoroastrians, as there were many similarities between the faiths. According to Thomas Walker Arnold
Thomas Walker Arnold
Sir Thomas Walker Arnold was an eminent British orientalist and historian of Islamic art who taught at MAO College, Aligarh Muslim University, then Aligarh College, and Government College University, Lahore. He was a friend of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, and wrote his famous book "The preaching of Islam"...

, for the Persian, he would meet Ahura Mazda
Ahura Mazda
Ahura Mazdā is the Avestan name for a divinity of the Old Iranian religion who was proclaimed the uncreated God by Zoroaster, the founder of Zoroastrianism...

 and Ahriman under the names of Allah
Allah
Allah is a word for God used in the context of Islam. In Arabic, the word means simply "God". It is used primarily by Muslims and Bahá'ís, and often, albeit not exclusively, used by Arabic-speaking Eastern Catholic Christians, Maltese Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Mizrahi Jews and...

 and Iblis. At times, Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 leaders in their effort to win converts encouraged attendance at Muslim prayer with promises of money and allowed the Quran to be recited in Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 instead of Arabic so that it would be intelligible to all.

A number of the inhabitants of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 accepted Islam through Umayyad
Umayyad
The Umayyad Caliphate was the second of the four major Arab caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. It was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty, whose name derives from Umayya ibn Abd Shams, the great-grandfather of the first Umayyad caliph. Although the Umayyad family originally came from the...

 missionary efforts, particularly under the reign of Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik
Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik
Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik 10th Umayyad caliph who ruled from 723 until his death in 743. When he was born in 691 his mother named him after her father....

 and Umar ibn AbdulAziz. Later, the Samanids, whose roots stemmed from Zoroastrian theocratic nobility, propagated Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

 and Islamo-Persian culture deep into the heart of Central Asia. The population within its areas began firmly accepting Islam in significant numbers, notably in Taraz
Taraz
Taraz , is a city and a center of the Jambyl Province in Kazakhstan. It is located in the south of Kazakhstan, near the border with Kyrgyzstan, on the Talas River...

, now in modern day Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

. The first complete translation of the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

 into Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 occurred during the reign of Samanids in the 9th century. According to historians, through the zealous missionary work of Samanid rulers, as many as 30,000 tents of Turks
Turkish people
Turkish people, also known as the "Turks" , are an ethnic group primarily living in Turkey and in the former lands of the Ottoman Empire where Turkish minorities had been established in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Romania...

 came to profess Islam and later under the Ghaznavids higher than 55,000 under the Hanafi
Hanafi
The Hanafi school is one of the four Madhhab in jurisprudence within Sunni Islam. The Hanafi madhhab is named after the Persian scholar Abu Hanifa an-Nu‘man ibn Thābit , a Tabi‘i whose legal views were preserved primarily by his two most important disciples, Abu Yusuf and Muhammad al-Shaybani...

 school of thought. After the Saffarids
Saffarid dynasty
The Saffarids or the Saffarid dynasty was a Persian empire which ruled in Sistan , a historical region in southeastern Iran, southwestern Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan...

 and Samanids, the Ghaznavids re-conquered the Afghan-Persian region and invaded the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

 in the 11th century. This was followed by the Ghurids and Timurids
Timurid Dynasty
The Timurids , self-designated Gurkānī , were a Persianate, Central Asian Sunni Muslim dynasty of Turko-Mongol descent whose empire included the whole of Iran, modern Afghanistan, and modern Uzbekistan, as well as large parts of contemporary Pakistan, North India, Mesopotamia, Anatolia and the...

 who further expanded the culture of Islam.

South Asia


See also: Mughal Empire
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

, Islam in India
Islam in India
Islam is the second-most practiced religion in the Republic of India after Hinduism, with more than 13.4% of the country's population ....



Contrary to popular belief, Islam came to South Asia prior to Muslim invasions of India. Islamic influence first came to be felt in the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

 during the early 7th century with the advent of Arab traders. Arab traders used to visit the Malabar region, which was a link between them and the ports of South East Asia to trade even before Islam had been established in Arabia. According to Historians Elliot and Dowson in their book The History of India as told by its own Historians
The History of India as told by its own Historians
The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians. The Muhammadan Period is a book with eight volumes written by H. M. Elliot and edited by John Dowson. The book was published in 1867-1877 in London. It is a well-known and reputed reference work for the history of medieval India. Despite being...

, the first ship bearing Muslim travelers was seen on the Indian coast as early as 630
630
Year 630 was a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 630 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Byzantine Empire :* Croats and Serbs settle in the...

 AD. The first Indian mosque is thought to have been built in 629 AD, purportedly at the behest of an unknown Chera dynasty ruler, during the lifetime of Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 (c. 571–632) in Kodungallur
Kodungallur
Kodungallur is a municipality in Thrissur District, in the state of Kerala, India on the Malabar Coast. Kodungallur is located about 29 km northwest of Kochi city and 38 km Southwest of Thrissur, on National Highway 17 . Muziris the ancient seaport at the mouth of the Periyar River was...

, in district of Thrissur
Thrissur
This article is about the city in India. For the district, see Thrissur district. For the urban agglomeration area of Thrissur see Thrissur Metropolitan Area...

, Kerala
Kerala
or Keralam is an Indian state located on the Malabar coast of south-west India. It was created on 1 November 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam speaking regions....

 by Malik Bin Deenar
Malik Bin Deenar
Mālik bin Dīnār was a Tabi‘in. He is mentioned as a reliable traditionist, transmitting from such author­ities as Malik ibn Anas and Ibn Sirin. He was the son of a Persian slave from Kabul who became a disciple of Hasan al-Basri...

. In Malabar, Muslims are called Mappila
Mappila
Mappila or Moplah refers to a Muslim community of Kerala, primarily in the northern region called Malabar, which arose in Malabar as a result of the pre and post Islamic Arab contacts. Significant numbers of the community are also present in the southern districts of Karnataka and western parts of...

.

H.G. Rawlinson, in his book: Ancient and Medieval History of India claims the first Arab Muslims settled on the Indian coast in the last part of the 7th century AD. This fact is corroborated, by J. Sturrock in his South Kanara and Madras Districts Manuals, and also by Haridas Bhattacharya in Cultural Heritage of India Vol. IV.

The Arab merchants and traders became the carriers of the new religion and they propagated it wherever they went. It was however the subsequent expansion of the Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent
Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent
Muslim conquest in South Asia mainly took place from the 13th to the 16th centuries, though earlier Muslim conquests made limited inroads into the region, beginning during the period of the ascendancy of the Rajput Kingdoms in North India, from the 7th century onwards.However, the Himalayan...

 over the next millennia that established Islam in the region.

Embedded within these lies the concept of Islam as a foreign imposition and Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 being a natural condition of the natives who resisted, resulting the failure of the project to Islamicize the Indian subcontinent and is highly embroiled with the politics of the partition
Partition of India
The Partition of India was the partition of British India on the basis of religious demographics that led to the creation of the sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan and the Union of India on 14 and 15...

 and communalism
Communalism
Communalism is a term with three distinct meanings according to the Random House Unabridged Dictionary'.'These include "a theory of government or a system of government in which independent communes participate in a federation". "the principles and practice of communal ownership"...

 in India. These are typically represented by the following schools of thought:
  1. That the bulk of Muslims are descendants of migrants from the Iranian plateau
    Iranian plateau
    The Iranian plateau, or Iranic plateau, is a geological formation in Southwest Asia. It is the part of the Eurasian Plate wedged between the Arabian and Indian plates, situated between the Zagros mountains to the west, the Caspian Sea and the Kopet Dag to the north, the Hormuz Strait and Persian...

     or Arabs.
  2. A related view is that conversions occurred for non-religious reasons of pragmatism and patronage such as social mobility among the Muslim ruling elite or for relief from taxes
  3. Was a combination, initially made under duress followed by a genuine change of heart
  4. As a socio-cultural process of diffusion and integration over an extended period of time into the sphere of the dominant Muslim civilization and global polity
    Muslim world
    The term Muslim world has several meanings. In a religious sense, it refers to those who adhere to the teachings of Islam, referred to as Muslims. In a cultural sense, it refers to Islamic civilization, inclusive of non-Muslims living in that civilization...

     at large.


Muslim missionaries played a key role in the spread of Islam in India with some missionaries even assuming roles as merchants or traders. For example, in the 9th century, the Ismailis sent missionaries across Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

 in all directions under various guises, often as traders, sufis and merchants. Ismailis were instructed to speak potential converts in their own language. Some Ismaili missionaries traveled to India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 and employed effort to make their religion acceptable to the Hindus. For instance, they represented Ali
Ali
' |Ramaḍān]], 40 AH; approximately October 23, 598 or 600 or March 17, 599 – January 27, 661).His father's name was Abu Talib. Ali was also the cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and ruled over the Islamic Caliphate from 656 to 661, and was the first male convert to Islam...

 as the tenth avatar of Vishnu
Vishnu
Vishnu is the Supreme god in the Vaishnavite tradition of Hinduism. Smarta followers of Adi Shankara, among others, venerate Vishnu as one of the five primary forms of God....

 and wrote hymns as well as a mahdi
Mahdi
In Islamic eschatology, the Mahdi is the prophesied redeemer of Islam who will stay on Earth for seven, nine or nineteen years- before the Day of Judgment and, alongside Jesus, will rid the world of wrongdoing, injustice and tyranny.In Shia Islam, the belief in the Mahdi is a "central religious...

 purana
Puranas
The Puranas are a genre of important Hindu, Jain and Buddhist religious texts, notably consisting of narratives of the history of the universe from creation to destruction, genealogies of kings, heroes, sages, and demigods, and descriptions of Hindu cosmology, philosophy, and geography.Puranas...

 in their effort to win converts. At other times, converts were won in conjunction with the propagation efforts of rulers. According to Ibn Batuta, the Khiljis
Khilji dynasty
The Khilji Sultanate was a dynasty of Turko-Afghan Khalaj origin who ruled large parts of South Asia from 1290 - 1320. They were the second dynasty to rule the Delhi Sultanate of India...

 encouraged conversion to Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 by making it a custom to have the convert presented to the Sultan who would place a robe on the convert and award him with bracelets of gold. During Ikhtiyar Uddin Bakhtiyar Khilji's control of the Bengal
Bengal
Bengal is a historical and geographical region in the northeast region of the Indian Subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. Today, it is mainly divided between the sovereign land of People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, although some regions of the previous...

, Muslim missionaries in India achieved their greatest success, in terms of number of converts to Islam.
Although we must take into consideration the fact that these are historians opinions, Gandhi a Hindu from India, has also stated:

"I become more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet, the scrupulous regard for pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers and his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle”

Southeast Asia


Even before Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 was established amongst Indonesian communities, Muslim sailors and traders had been often visited the shores of modern Indonesia, most of these early sailors and merchants arrived from the Abbasid Caliphate's newly established ports of Basra
Basra
Basra is the capital of Basra Governorate, in southern Iraq near Kuwait and Iran. It had an estimated population of two million as of 2009...

 and Debal
Debal
-Introduction:Debal was an ancient port located near modern Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. In Arabic, it was usually called Daybul it is adjacent to the nearby Manora Island and was administered by Mansura, and later Thatta....

, many of the earliest Muslim accounts of the region note the presence of animals such as Orang-utans, Rhinos
Rhinoceros
Rhinoceros , also known as rhino, is a group of five extant species of odd-toed ungulates in the family Rhinocerotidae. Two of these species are native to Africa and three to southern Asia....

 and valuable Spice trade
Spice trade
Civilizations of Asia were involved in spice trade from the ancient times, and the Greco-Roman world soon followed by trading along the Incense route and the Roman-India routes...

 commodities such as Cloves, Nutmeg
Nutmeg
The nutmeg tree is any of several species of trees in genus Myristica. The most important commercial species is Myristica fragrans, an evergreen tree indigenous to the Banda Islands in the Moluccas of Indonesia...

, Galangal
Galangal
Galangal is a rhizome of plants of the genus Alpinia or Kaempferia in the ginger family Zingiberaceae, with culinary and medicinal uses originated from Indonesia...

 and Coconut
Coconut
The coconut palm, Cocos nucifera, is a member of the family Arecaceae . It is the only accepted species in the genus Cocos. The term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which is not a botanical nut. The spelling cocoanut is an old-fashioned form of the word...

.

Islam came to the Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

, first by the way of Muslim traders along the main trade-route between Asia and the Far East
Far East
The Far East is an English term mostly describing East Asia and Southeast Asia, with South Asia sometimes also included for economic and cultural reasons.The term came into use in European geopolitical discourse in the 19th century,...

, then was further spread by Sufi missionaries and finally consolidated by the expansion of the territories of converted rulers and their communities. The first communities arose in Northern Sumatra
Sumatra
Sumatra is an island in western Indonesia, westernmost of the Sunda Islands. It is the largest island entirely in Indonesia , and the sixth largest island in the world at 473,481 km2 with a population of 50,365,538...

 (Aceh
Aceh
Aceh is a special region of Indonesia, located on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra. Its full name is Daerah Istimewa Aceh , Nanggroë Aceh Darussalam and Aceh . Past spellings of its name include Acheh, Atjeh and Achin...

) and the Malacca
Malacca
Malacca , dubbed The Historic State or Negeri Bersejarah among locals) is the third smallest Malaysian state, after Perlis and Penang. It is located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula, on the Straits of Malacca. It borders Negeri Sembilan to the north and the state of Johor to the south...

's remained a stronghold of Islam from where it was propagated along the trade routes in the region. There is no clear indication of when Islam first came to the region, the first Muslim gravestone markings date to 1082.

When Marco Polo
Marco Polo
Marco Polo was a Venetian merchant traveler from the Venetian Republic whose travels are recorded in Il Milione, a book which did much to introduce Europeans to Central Asia and China. He learned about trading whilst his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, travelled through Asia and apparently...

 visited the area in 1292 he noted that the urban port state of Perlak
Peureulak
Together with Samudera-Pasai, Perlak or Peureulak are earliest port towns converted to Islam, it is believed as early as 9th century. The location of Pasai and Peureulak is at Indonesia's Sumatra, Aceh province, Lhokseumawe or Lokhseumawe....

 was Muslim, Chinese sources record the presence of a Muslim delegation to the emperor from the Kingdom of Samudra (Pasai)
Pasai
Pasai, also known as Samudera and Samudera-Pasai sometimes called Samudera Darussalam was a Muslim harbour kingdom on the north coast of Sumatra from the 13th to the 15th centuries CE. It was believed the word Samudera derived from Samudra meaning ocean in Sanskrit...

 in 1282, other accounts provide instances of Muslim communities present in the Melayu Kingdom
Melayu Kingdom
Melayu Kingdom was a classical Southeast Asian kingdom that existed between the 7th and the 13th century of the common era. It was established around present-day Dharmasraya on Sumatera, Indonesia, approximately 300 km north of Palembang...

 for the same time period while others record the presence of Muslim Chinese traders from provinces such as Fujian
Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

. The spread of Islam generally followed the trade routes east through the primarily Buddhist region and a half century later in the Malacca
Malacca
Malacca , dubbed The Historic State or Negeri Bersejarah among locals) is the third smallest Malaysian state, after Perlis and Penang. It is located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula, on the Straits of Malacca. It borders Negeri Sembilan to the north and the state of Johor to the south...

's we see the first dynasty arise in the form of the Sultanate of Malacca at the far end of the Archipelago form by the conversion of one Parameswara Dewa Shah
Parameswara (sultan)
Parameswara , also called Iskandar Shah or Sri Majara, was a Malay-Hindu prince from Temasek who founded the Malacca Sultanate around 1402.-Etymology:...

 into a Muslim and the adoption of the name Muhammad Iskandar Shah after his marriage to a daughter of the ruler of Pasai.

In 1380 Sufi missionaries carried Islam from here on to Mindanao
Mindanao
Mindanao is the second largest and easternmost island in the Philippines. It is also the name of one of the three island groups in the country, which consists of the island of Mindanao and smaller surrounding islands. The other two are Luzon and the Visayas. The island of Mindanao is called The...

. Java
Java
Java is an island of Indonesia. With a population of 135 million , it is the world's most populous island, and one of the most densely populated regions in the world. It is home to 60% of Indonesia's population. The Indonesian capital city, Jakarta, is in west Java...

 was the seat of the primary kingdom of the region, the Majapahit Empire
Majapahit Empire
Majapahit was a vast archipelagic empire based on the island of Java from 1293 to around 1500. Majapahit reached its peak of glory during the era of Hayam Wuruk, whose reign from 1350 to 1389 marked by conquest which extended through Southeast Asia. His achievement is also credited to his prime...

, which was ruled by a Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 dynasty. As commerce grew in the region with the rest of the Muslim world, Islamic influence extended to the court even as the empires political power waned and so by the time Raja
Raja
Raja is an Indian term for a monarch, or princely ruler of the Kshatriya varna...

 Kertawijaya converted in 1475 at the hands of Sufi Sheikh
Sheikh
Not to be confused with sikhSheikh — also spelled Sheik or Shaikh, or transliterated as Shaykh — is an honorific in the Arabic language that literally means "elder" and carries the meaning "leader and/or governor"...

 Rahmat, the Sultanate was already of a Muslim character.

Another driving force for the change of the ruling class in the region was the concept among the increasing Muslim communities of the region when ruling dynasties to attempt to forge such ties of kinship by marriage. By the time the colonial
Colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

 powers and their missionaries arrived in the 17th century the region up to New Guinea
New Guinea
New Guinea is the world's second largest island, after Greenland, covering a land area of 786,000 km2. Located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, it lies geographically to the east of the Malay Archipelago, with which it is sometimes included as part of a greater Indo-Australian Archipelago...

 was overwhelmingly Muslim with animist minorities.

Inner Asia and Eastern Europe



One of the earliest introductions of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 into Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

 was through the work of an early 11th century Muslim prisoner who was captured by the Byzantines
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 during their war against Muslims. The Muslim prisoner was brought into the territory of the Pechenegs where he taught and converted individuals to Islam. Little is known about the timeline of the Islamization of Inner Asia
Inner Asia
Inner Asia has a range of meanings among different researchers and in different countries. Denis Sinor defined Inner Asia broadly as the homelands of the Altaic peoples and the Uralic peoples .German makes a distinction between "Zentralasien", meaning Mongolia, Tibet, Xinjiang, and...

 and the Turkic peoples
Turkic peoples
The Turkic peoples are peoples residing in northern, central and western Asia, southern Siberia and northwestern China and parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds...

 who lay beyond the bounds of the caliph
Caliph
The Caliph is the head of state in a Caliphate, and the title for the ruler of the Islamic Ummah, an Islamic community ruled by the Shari'ah. It is a transcribed version of the Arabic word   which means "successor" or "representative"...

ate. Around 600s and 700s, there were some states of Turkic peoples like Turkic Khazar Khaganate
Khazars
The Khazars were semi-nomadic Turkic people who established one of the largest polities of medieval Eurasia, with the capital of Atil and territory comprising much of modern-day European Russia, western Kazakhstan, eastern Ukraine, Azerbaijan, large portions of the northern Caucasus , parts of...

 (See Khazar-Arab Wars
Khazar-Arab Wars
The Khazar Arab Wars were a series of campaigns, usually grouped into the First and Second Khazar–Arab Wars, fought between the armies of the Khazar Khaganate and the Umayyad Caliphate and their respective vassals.During the 7th and 8th centuries the Khazar fought a series of wars against the...

) and Turkic Turgesh Khaganete
Turgesh
The Türgesh, Turgish or Türgish were a Turkic tribal confederation who emerged from the ruins of the Western Turkic Kaganate...

 who fought against the caliphate in order to stop Arabization
Arabization
Arabization or Arabisation describes a growing cultural influence on a non-Arab area that gradually changes into one that speaks Arabic and/or incorporates Arab culture...

 and Islamization
Islamization
Islamization or Islamification has been used to describe the process of a society's conversion to the religion of Islam...

 in Asia. From the 9th century onwards, the Turks (at least individually, if not yet through adoption by their states) began to convert to Islam. Histories merely note the fact of pre-Mongol Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

's Islamization. The Bulgars of the Volga
Volga Bulgaria
Volga Bulgaria, or Volga–Kama Bolghar, is a historic Bulgar state that existed between the seventh and thirteenth centuries around the confluence of the Volga and Kama rivers in what is now Russia.-Origin:...

 are noted to have adopted Islam by the 10th century under Almış
Almis
Almış iltäbär was the first Muslim ruler of Volga Bulgaria.Almış was a son of Şilki . He was a ruler of one of the Bulgar duchies, probably, the Bolghar Duchy. Initially, a vassal of the Khazars, he struggled for independence and unification of all Bulgar tribes and duchies. He sent ambassadors...

, to whom the modern Volga Tatars
Volga Tatars
The Volga Tatars are the largest subgroup of the Tatars, native to the Volga region.They account for roughly six out of seven million Tatars worldwide....

 trace their Islamic roots. When the Friar
Friar
A friar is a member of one of the mendicant orders.-Friars and monks:...

 William of Rubruck
William of Rubruck
William of Rubruck was a Flemish Franciscan missionary and explorer. His account is one of the masterpieces of medieval geographical literature comparable to that of Marco Polo....

 visited the encampment of Batu Khan
Batu Khan
Batu Khan was a Mongol ruler and founder of the Ulus of Jochi , the sub-khanate of the Mongol Empire. Batu was a son of Jochi and grandson of Genghis Khan. His ulus was the chief state of the Golden Horde , which ruled Rus and the Caucasus for around 250 years, after also destroying the armies...

 of the Golden Horde
Golden Horde
The Golden Horde was a Mongol and later Turkicized khanate that formed the north-western sector of the Mongol Empire...

, who had recently completed the Mongol invasion of Volga Bulgaria
Mongol invasion of Volga Bulgaria
The Mongol invasion of Volga Bulgaria lasted from 1223 to 1236.-The Mongol campaigns:In 1223, after defeating Russian and Cuman/Kipchak armies at the Battle of Kalka, a Mongol army under the generals Subutai and Jebe was sent to subdue Volga Bulgaria. At that point in history Genghis Khan's troops...

, he noted "I wonder what devil carried the law of Machomet there".

Another contemporary known to have been Muslim, was the Qarakhanid dynasty of the Kara-Khanid Khanate
Kara-Khanid Khanate
The Kara-Khanid Khanate was a confederation of Turkic tribes ruled by a dynasty known in literature as the Karakhanids or Ilek Khanids, . Both dynastic names represent titles with Kara Kağan being the most important Turkish title up till the end of the dynasty.The Khanate ruled Transoxania in...

 which lay much further east, and which was established by Karluks who were Islamizated after Battle of Talas
Battle of Talas
The Battle of Talas in 751 AD was an especially notable conflict between the Arab Abbasid Caliphate and the Chinese Tang Dynasty for control not only of the Syr Darya region, but even more...

. However, the modern day history of the Islamization of the region - or rather a conscious affiliation with Islam - dates to the reign of the ulus of the son of Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan , born Temujin and occasionally known by his temple name Taizu , was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death....

, Jochi
Jochi
Jochi was the eldest of the Mongol chieftain Genghis Khan's four sons by his principal wife Börte. An accomplished military leader, he participated in his father's conquest of Central Asia, along with his brothers and uncles.-Early life:...

, who founded the Golden Horde. Kazakhs
Kazakhs
The Kazakhs are a Turkic people of the northern parts of Central Asia ....

, Uzbeks
Uzbeks
The Uzbeks are a Turkic ethnic group in Central Asia. They comprise the majority population of Uzbekistan, and large populations can also be found in Afghanistan, Tajikstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Pakistan, Mongolia and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China...

 and some Muslim populations of the Russian Federation trace their Islamic roots to the Golden Horde and while Berke Khan
Berke
Berke Khan was the ruler of the Golden Horde who effectively consolidated the power of the Blue Horde and White Hordes from 1257 to 1266. He succeeded his brother Batu Khan of the Blue Horde and was responsible for the first official establishment of Islam in a khanate of the Mongol Empire...

 was the first Mongol monarch to officially adopt Islam and even oppose his kinsman Hulagu Khan in the defense of Jerusalem at the Battle of Ain Jalut
Battle of Ain Jalut
The Battle of Ain Jalut took place on 3 September 1260 between Mamluks and the Mongols in eastern Galilee, in the Jezreel Valley, not far from Ein Harod....

, it was only much later that the change became pivotal and the Mongols converted en masse when a century later Uzbeg Khan
Uzbeg Khan
Sultan Mohammed Öz-Beg, better known as Uzbeg or Ozbeg , was the longest-reigning khan of the Golden Horde, under whose rule the state reached its zenith...

 converted - reportedly at the hands of the Sufi Saint
Saint
A saint is a holy person. In various religions, saints are people who are believed to have exceptional holiness.In Christian usage, "saint" refers to any believer who is "in Christ", and in whom Christ dwells, whether in heaven or in earth...

 Baba Tukles.

Some of the Mongolian tribes became Islamized. Following the brutal Mongol invasion of Central Asia
Mongol invasion of Central Asia
The Mongol invasion of Central Asia occurred after the unification of the Mongol and Turkic tribes on Mongolian plateau in 1206. It finally completed when Genghis Khan conquered the Khwarizmian Empire in 1221....

 under Hulagu Khan
Hulagu Khan
Hulagu Khan, also known as Hülegü, Hulegu , was a Mongol ruler who conquered much of Southwest Asia...

 and after the Battle of Baghdad (1258)
Battle of Baghdad (1258)
The Siege of Baghdad, which occurred in 1258, was an invasion, siege and sacking of the city of Baghdad, the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate at the time and the modern-day capital of Iraq, by the Ilkhanate Mongol forces along with other allied troops under Hulagu Khan.The invasion left Baghdad in...

 Mongol rule extended across the breadth of almost all Muslim lands in Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

,and the caliphate was destroyed and Islam was persecuted by the Mongols and replaced by Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 as the official religion of the land. In 1295 however, the new Khan of the Ilkhanate
Ilkhanate
The Ilkhanate, also spelled Il-khanate , was a Mongol khanate established in Azerbaijan and Persia in the 13th century, considered a part of the Mongol Empire...

, Ghazan converted to Islam and two decades later the Golden Horde followed suit. The Mongols had been religiously and culturally conquered, this absorption ushered in a new age of Mongol-Islamic synthesis that shaped the further spread of Islam in central Asia and the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

.

In the 1330s the Mongol ruler of the Chagatai Khanate
Chagatai Khanate
The Chagatai Khanate was a Turko-Mongol khanate that comprised the lands ruled by Chagatai Khan , second son of the Great Khan Genghis Khan, and his descendents and successors...

 converted to Islam, causing the eastern part of his realm called Moghulistan
Moghulistan
Moghulistan or Mughalistan is a historical geographic unit in Central Asia that included parts of modern-day Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and the Chinese Autonomous Region of Xinjiang...

 to rebel. However during the next three centuries these Buddhist, Shamanistic and Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 Turkic and Mongol nomads of the Kazakh Steppe
Kazakh Steppe
The Kazakh Steppe or Kirghiz Steppe ecoregion, of the Palearctic Temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands Biome, is a vast region of open grassland in northern Kazakhstan and adjacent portions of Russia, extending to the east of the Pontic steppe and to the west of the Emin Valley steppe,...

 and Xinjiang
Xinjiang
Xinjiang is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China. It is the largest Chinese administrative division and spans over 1.6 million km2...

 would also convert at the hands of competing Sufi orders
Tariqah
A tariqa is an Islamic religious order. In Sufism one starts with Islamic law, the exoteric or mundane practice of Islam and then is initiated onto the mystical path of a tariqa. Through spiritual practices and guidance of a tariqa the aspirant seeks ḥaqīqah - ultimate truth.-Meaning:A tariqa is a...

 from both east and west of the Pamirs. The Naqshbandi
Naqshbandi
Naqshbandi is one of the major Sufi spiritual orders of Sufi Islam. It is considered to be a "Potent" order.The Naqshbandi order is over 1,300 years old, and is active today...

's are the most prominent of these orders, especially in Kashgaria where the western Chagatai Khan was also a disciple of the order.

North Africa

See also: Umayyad conquest of North Africa
Umayyad conquest of North Africa
The Umayyad conquest of North Africa continued the century of rapid Arab Muslim expansion following the death of Muhammad in 632 CE. By 640 the Arabs controlled Mesopotamia, had invaded Armenia, and were concluding their conquest of Byzantine Syria. Damascus was the seat of the Umayyad caliphate....

, Islamization of Egypt
Islamization of Egypt
The Islamization of Egypt occurred as a result of the Islamic conquest of Egypt by the Arabs led by Amr ibn al-Aas the military governor of Palestine. The indigenous Coptic population of Egypt underwent a large scale gradual conversion from Coptic Christianity to Islam. This process of Islamization...

, Islamization of Sudan

In Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, the victorious Muslims granted religious freedom to the Christian community in Alexandria
Alexandria
Alexandria is the second-largest city of Egypt, with a population of 4.1 million, extending about along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country; it is also the largest city lying directly on the Mediterranean coast. It is Egypt's largest seaport, serving...

, for example, and the Alexandrians quickly recalled their exiled Monophysite patriarch to rule over them, subject only to the ultimate political authority of the conquerors. In such a fashion the city persisted as a religious community under an Arab Muslim domination more welcome and more tolerant than that of Byzantium
.

Byzantine rule was ended by the Arabs, who invaded Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

 from 647-648 and Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 in 682
682
Year 682 was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 682 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Europe :* Jarrow Priory is established by Benedict...

 in the course of their drive to expand the power of Islam. In 670, the Arab general and conqueror Uqba Ibn Nafi established the city of Kairouan
Kairouan
Kairouan , also known as Kirwan or al-Qayrawan , is the capital of the Kairouan Governorate in Tunisia. Referred to as the Islamic Cultural Capital, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city was founded by the Arabs around 670...

 (in Tunisia) and its Great Mosque also known as the Mosque of Uqba; the Great Mosque of Kairouan is the ancestor of all the mosques in the western Islamic world. Berber
Berber people
Berbers are the indigenous peoples of North Africa west of the Nile Valley. They are continuously distributed from the Atlantic to the Siwa oasis, in Egypt, and from the Mediterranean to the Niger River. Historically they spoke the Berber language or varieties of it, which together form a branch...

 troops were used extensively by the Arabs in their conquest of Spain, which began in 711
711
Year 711 was a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 711 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Europe :* April 30 – Ummayad troops led by...

.

No previous conqueror had tried to assimilate the Berbers, but the Arabs quickly converted them and enlisted their aid in further conquests. Without their help, for example, Andalusia could never have been incorporated into the Islamicate state. At first only Berbers nearer the coast were involved, but by the 11th century Muslim affiliation had begun to spread far into the Sahara
Sahara
The Sahara is the world's second largest desert, after Antarctica. At over , it covers most of Northern Africa, making it almost as large as Europe or the United States. The Sahara stretches from the Red Sea, including parts of the Mediterranean coasts, to the outskirts of the Atlantic Ocean...

.

The conventional historical view is that the conquest of North Africa by the Islamic Umayyad Caliphate between AD 647–709 effectively ended Catholicism in Africa for several centuries. However, new scholarship has appeared that provides more nuance and details of the conversion of the Christian inhabitants to Islam. A Christian community is recorded in 1114 in Qal'a in central Algeria. There is also evidence of religious pilgrimages after 850 AD to tombs of Catholic saints outside of the city of Carthage, and evidence of religious contacts with Christians of Arab Spain. In addition, calendar reforms adopted in Europe at this time were disseminated amongst the indigenous Christians of Tunis, which would have not been possible had there been an absence of contact with Rome. During the reign of Umar II
Umar II
Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz was an Umayyad caliph who ruled from 717 to 720. He was also a cousin of the former caliph, being the son of Abd al-Malik's younger brother, Abd al-Aziz. He was also a great-grandson of the companion of the Prophet Muhammad, Umar bin Al-Khattab.-Lineage:Umar was born around...

, the then governor of Africa, Ismail ibn Abdullah, was said to have won the Berbers to Islam by his just administration, and other early notable missionaries include Abdallah ibn Yasin who started a movement which caused thousands of Berbers to accept Islam.

Horn of Africa

See also: Islam in Somalia
Islam in Somalia
Nearly all Somalis are Sunni Muslims. Practicing Islam reinforces distinctions that further set Somalis apart from their immediate African neighbors, many of whom are either Christians or adherents of indigenous faiths....

, Islam in Ethiopia
Islam in Ethiopia
According to the latest 2007 national census, Islam is the second most widely practised religion in Ethiopia after Christianity, with over 25 million of Ethiopians adhering to Islam according to the 2007 national census, having arrived in Ethiopia in 615...



The history of commercial and intellectual contact between the inhabitants of the Somali coast and the Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

 may help explain the Somali people's connection with the Prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

. Early on, a band of persecuted Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s had, at the Prophet's urging, fled across the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

 into the Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa
The Horn of Africa is a peninsula in East Africa that juts hundreds of kilometers into the Arabian Sea and lies along the southern side of the Gulf of Aden. It is the easternmost projection of the African continent...

. There, the Muslims were granted protection by the Ethiopian negus
Negus
Negus is a title in Ge'ez, Tigrinya, Tigre and Amharic, used for a king and at times also a vassal ruler in pre-1974 Ethiopia and pre-1890 Eritrea. It is subsequently used to translate the word "king" in Biblical and other literature...

 (king). Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 may thus have been introduced into the Horn of Africa well before the faith even took root in its place of origin.

East Africa


On the east coast of Africa, where Arab mariners had for many years journeyed to trade, mainly in slaves, Arabs founded permanent colonies on the offshore islands, especially on Zanzibar
Zanzibar
Zanzibar ,Persian: زنگبار, from suffix bār: "coast" and Zangi: "bruin" ; is a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania, in East Africa. It comprises the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of the mainland, and consists of numerous small islands and two large ones: Unguja , and Pemba...

, in the 9th and 10th century. From there Arab trade routes into the interior of Africa helped the slow acceptance of Islam.

by the 10th century the Kilwa Sultanate
Kilwa Sultanate
The Kilwa Sultanate was a Medieval sultanate, centered at Kilwa , whose authority, at its height, stretched over the entire length of the Swahili Coast. It was founded in the 10th century by Ali ibn al-Hassan Shirazi...

 was founded by Ali ibn al-Hassan Shirazi (was one of seven sons of a ruler of Shiraz
Shiraz
Shiraz may refer to:* Shiraz, Iran, a city in Iran* Shiraz County, an administrative subdivision of Iran* Vosketap, Armenia, formerly called ShirazPeople:* Hovhannes Shiraz, Armenian poet* Ara Shiraz, Armenian sculptor...

, Persia, his mother an Abyssinian
Abyssinian
Abyssinian may refer to:* Abyssinian, Habesha people and things from parts of Ethiopia and Eritrea, formerly known as Abyssinia* Abyssinian , a cat breed* Abyssinian, a breed of guinea pig* The Abyssinians, a Jamaican roots reggae group...

 slave girl. Upon his father's death, Ali was driven out of his inheritance by his brothers). His successors would rule the most powerful of Sultanates in the Swahili coast
Swahili Coast
The Swahili Coast refers to the coast or coastal area of East Africa inhabited by the Swahili people, mainly Kenya, Tanzania, and north Mozambique...

, during the peak of its expansion the Kilwa Sultanate
Kilwa Sultanate
The Kilwa Sultanate was a Medieval sultanate, centered at Kilwa , whose authority, at its height, stretched over the entire length of the Swahili Coast. It was founded in the 10th century by Ali ibn al-Hassan Shirazi...

 stretched from Inhambane
Inhambane
Inhambane, Terra de Boa Gente is a city located in southern Mozambique, lying on Inhambane Bay, 470 km northeast of Maputo. It is the capital of the Inhambane Province and according to the 2008 census has a population of 65,837, growing from the 1997 census of 54,157...

 in the south to Malindi
Malindi
Malindi is a town on Malindi Bay at the mouth of the Galana River, lying on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya. It is 120 kilometres northeast of Mombasa. The population of Malindi is 117,735 . It is the capital of the Malindi District.Tourism is the major industry in Malindi. The city is...

 in the north. The 13th century Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 traveller Ibn Battuta
Ibn Battuta
Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Battuta , or simply Ibn Battuta, also known as Shams ad–Din , was a Muslim Moroccan Berber explorer, known for his extensive travels published in the Rihla...

 noted that the great mosque of Kilwa Kisiwani
Kilwa Kisiwani
Kilwa Kisiwani is a community on an island off the coast of East Africa, in present day Tanzania.- History :A document written around AD 1200 called al-Maqama al Kilwiyya discovered in Oman, gives details of a mission to reconvert Kilwa to Ibadism, as it had recently been effected by the Ghurabiyya...

 was made of coral stone
Coral
Corals are marine animals in class Anthozoa of phylum Cnidaria typically living in compact colonies of many identical individual "polyps". The group includes the important reef builders that inhabit tropical oceans and secrete calcium carbonate to form a hard skeleton.A coral "head" is a colony of...

 (the only one of its kind in the world).

In the 20th century, Islam grew in Africa both by birth and by conversion. The number of Muslims in Africa grew from 34.5 million in 1900 to 315 million in 2000, going from roughly 20% to 40% of the total population of Africa. However, in the same time period, the number of Christians also grew in Africa, from 8.7 million in 1900 to 346 million in 2000, surpassing both the total population as well as the growth rate of Islam on the continent.

Western Africa


The spread of Islam in Africa began in the 7th to 9th century, brought to North Africa initially under the Umayyad Dynasty. Extensive trade networks throughout North and West Africa created a medium through which Islam spread peacefully, initially through the merchant class. By sharing a common religion and a common transliteralization (Arabic), traders showed greater willingness to trust, and therefore invest, in one another. Moreover, toward the 18th century, the Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

 based Sokoto Caliphate led by Usman dan Fodio
Usman dan Fodio
Shaihu Usman dan Fodio , born Usuman ɓii Foduye, was the founder of the Sokoto Caliphate in 1809, a religious teacher, writer and Islamic promoter. Dan Fodio was one of a class of urbanized ethnic Fulani living in the Hausa States in what is today northern Nigeria...

 exerted considerable effort in spreading Islam.

Hispania /Al-Andalus



The history of Arab and Islamic rule in the Iberian peninsula is probably one of the most studied periods of European history, but the variety and quantity of writing has not escaped the prejudices of the authors. For centuries after the Arab conquest, European accounts of Arab rule in Iberia were negative. European points of view started changing with the Protestant Reformation, which resulted in new descriptions of the period of Islamic rule in Spain as a "golden age" (mostly as a reaction against Spain's militant Roman Catholicism after 1500).

The tide of Arab expansion after 630 rolled through North Africa up to Ceuta in present day Morocco. Their arrival coincided with a period of political weakness in the three centuries old kingdom established in the Iberian peninsula by the Germanic Visigoths, who had taken over the region after seven centuries of Roman rule. Seizing the opportunity, an Arab-led (but mostly Berber) army invaded in 711, and by 720 had conquered almost all of the peninsula. The Arab expansion pushed over the mountains into southern France, and for a short period Arabs controlled the old Visigothic province of Septimania (centered on present-day Narbonne). The Arab Caliphate was pushed back by Charles Martel (King of the Franks or French) at Poitiers, and Christian armies started pushing southwards over the mountains, until Charlemagne established in 801 the Spanish March (which stretched from Barcelona to present day Navarre).

A major development in the history of Muslim Spain was the dynastic change in 750 in the Arab Caliphate, when an Ummayad Prince escaped the slaughter of his family in Damascus, fled to Cordoba in Spain, and created a new Islamic state in the area. This was the start of a distinctly Spanish Muslim society, where large Christian and Jewish populations coexisted with an increasing percentage of Muslims. There are many stories of descendants of Visigothic chieftains and Roman counts whose families converted to Islam during this period. The at-first small Muslim elite continued to grow with converts, and with a few exceptions, rulers in Islamic Spain allowed Christians and Jews the right specified in the Koran to practice their own religions, though it is true that non Muslims suffered from political and taxation inequities. The net result was, in those areas of Spain where Muslim rule lasted the longest, the creation of a society that was mostly Arabic-speaking because of the assimilation of native inhabitants, a process in some ways similar to the assimilation many years later of millions of immigrants to the United States into English-speaking culture.

The Islamic state centered in Cordoba ended up splintering into many smaller kingdoms (the so-called taifas). While Muslim Spain was fragmenting, the Christian kingdoms grew larger and stronger, and the balance of power shifted against the taifa kingdoms. The last Muslim kingdom of Granada in the south fell to Christian conquerors in 1492. In 1499, the remaining Muslim inhabitants were ordered to convert or leave (at the same time the Jews were expelled). Poorer Muslims (Moriscos) who could not afford to leave ended up converting to Catholic Christianity and hiding their Muslim practices, hiding from the Spanish Inquisition, until their presence was finally extinguished.

Balkans

See also: Rumelia
Rumelia
Rumelia was an historical region comprising the territories of the Ottoman Empire in Europe...

, Balkans
Balkans
The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...


In Balkan history, writing the question of conversion to Islam was, and still is, a highly charged political issue. It is intrinsically linked to the issues of formation of national identities and rival territorial claims of the Balkan states. The generally accepted nationalist discourse of the current Balkan historiography defines all forms of Islamization as results of the Ottoman government's centrally organized policy of conversion or dawah
Dawah
Da‘wah or Dawah usually denotes the preaching of Islam. Da‘wah literally means "issuing a summons" or "making an invitation", being the active participle of a verb meaning variously "to summon" or "to invite"...

. The truth is that Islamization in each Balkan country took place in the course of many centuries, and its nature and phase was determined not by the Ottoman government but by the specific conditions of each locality. Ottoman conquests were initially military and economic enterprises, and religious conversions were not the their primary objective. True, the statements surrounding victories all celebrated the incorporation of territory into Muslim domains, but the actual Ottoman focus was on taxation and making the realms productive, and a religious campaign would have disrupted that economic objective.

Ottoman Islamic standards of toleration allowed for autonomous "nations" (millets
Millet (Ottoman Empire)
Millet is a term for the confessional communities in the Ottoman Empire. It refers to the separate legal courts pertaining to "personal law" under which communities were allowed to rule themselves under their own system...

) in the Empire, under their own personal law and under the rule of their own religious leaders. As a result, vast areas of the Balkans remained mostly Christian during the period of Ottoman domination. In fact, the Eastern Orthodox Churches had a higher position in Ottoman Empire, mainly because the Patriarch resided in Istanbul and was an officer of the Ottoman Empire. In contrast, Roman Catholics, while tolerated, were suspected with loyalties to a foreign power (the Papacy). It is no surprise that the Roman Catholic areas of Bosnia, Kosovo and northern Albania, ended up with more substantial conversions to Islam. The defeat of the Ottomans in 1699 by the Austrians resulted in their loss of Hungary and present-day Croatia. The remaining Muslim converts in both elected to leave "lands of unbelief" and moved to territory still under the Ottomans. Around this point in time, new European ideas of romantic nationalism started to seep into the Empire, and provided the intellectual foundation for new nationalistic ideologies and the reinforcement of the self-image of many Christian groups as subjugated peoples.

As a rule, the Ottomans
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 did not require followers of Greek Orthodoxy to become Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s, although many did so in order to avert the socioeconomic hardships of Ottoman rule or because of the corruption of the Greek clergy. Indeed, the Greek Church hierarchy burdened Christians with extraordinary tax, and made them purchase, at high rates, the right of a Christian burial as well as other sacrament
Sacrament
A sacrament is a sacred rite recognized as of particular importance and significance. There are various views on the existence and meaning of such rites.-General definitions and terms:...

s. The clergy were even said to carry off children and sell them as slaves. Another cause for conversion was the condition of the Greek church, which according to Thomas Walker Arnold
Thomas Walker Arnold
Sir Thomas Walker Arnold was an eminent British orientalist and historian of Islamic art who taught at MAO College, Aligarh Muslim University, then Aligarh College, and Government College University, Lahore. He was a friend of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, and wrote his famous book "The preaching of Islam"...

 arose to an "ecclesiastical despotism which had crushed all energy of intellectual life under the weight of dogmatism that interdicted all discussions in matters of morals and religion." According to Arnold, others turned away from the Greek Church and converted to Islam because of Islam's clear, intelligible teachings as opposed to the Christian doctrines which sparked endless discourse on such "trivialities as the use of leavened or unleavened bread in the Blessed Sacrament
Blessed Sacrament
The Blessed Sacrament, or the Body and Blood of Christ, is a devotional name used in the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Catholic Churches, Old Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches, to refer to the Host after it has been consecrated in the sacrament of the Eucharist...

."

Islam was not spread by force in the areas under the control of the Ottoman Sultan. Rather Arnold concludes by quoting a 17th century author who stated:
Meanwhile he (the Turk) wins (converts) by craft more than by force, and snatches away Christ by fraud out of the hearts of men. For the Turk, it is true, at the present time compels no country by violence to apostatise; but he uses other means whereby imperceptibly he roots out Christianity...


According to a historian,
We find that many Greeks of high talent and moral character were so sensible of the superiority of the Mohammedans, that even when they escaped being drafted into the Sultan's household as tribute children, they voluntarily embraced the faith of Mahomet
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

. The moral superiority of the Othoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 society must be allowed to have had as much weight in causing these conversions, which were numerous in the fifteenth century, as the personal ambition of individuals.


One by one, the Balkan nationalities asserted their independence from the Empire, and frequently the presence of members of the same ethnicity who had converted to Islam presented a problem from the point of view of the now dominant new national ideology, which narrowly defined the nation as members of the local dominant Orthodox Christian denomination. Thousand of Muslims chose to leave, and in some cases were expelled, to what was left of the Ottoman Empire. This demographic transition can be illustrated by the decrease in the number of Mosques in Belgrade
Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

, from over 70 in 1750 (before Serbian independence in 1815), to only three in 1850.

As an example of what most indigenous Muslims endured when the new Christian nation-states emerged in the 19th century, peninsular and Cretan Greeks, who saw themselves as Greek first and spoke the Greek language, eventually were still forced to leave Greece. In the long run, with the exception of Bosnia, Albania, and Kosovo, the vast majority of descendants of Balkan converts to Islam emigrated to Turkey and integrated themselves into Turkish society. Bosnia, Albania, and Kosovo like many other nations were also attacked by other nations to forcefully leave Islam, or else persecuted. In Albania, atheist regimes were so intense that Albania was eventually declared the first atheist state, under Russian rule which was under people such as starling who was influenced by Karl Marx's atheist theology.

Immigration


Since the 1960s, many Muslims have migrated to Western Europe. They have come as immigrants, guest workers, asylum seekers or as part of family reunification
Family reunification
Family reunification is a recognized reason for immigration in many countries. The presence of one or more family members in a certain country, therefore, enables the rest of the family to immigrate to that country as well....

. As a result Muslim population in Europe has steadily risen.

The writer Bat Ye'or
Bat Ye'or
Bat Ye'or is a pseudonym of Gisèle Littman, née Orebi, an Egyptian-born British writer and political commentator who writes about the history of non-Muslims in the Middle East, and in particular the history of Christian and Jewish dhimmis living under Islamic governments.She is the author of eight...

 stated in her book "Eurabia
Eurabia
Eurabia is a conspiracy theory about the alleged Arabization and Islamization of Europe, and the European leaders' alleged capitulation to Islamic influences.-Origin of the term:...

" that Muslims may become a majority within a few generations due to continued immigration
Immigration
Immigration is the act of foreigners passing or coming into a country for the purpose of permanent residence...

 and high birth rates. This theory has been criticized, however. Many suggest the claims are built on unreliable claims and that fertility rates of Muslims will eventually decrease and that immigration to European nations could be limited.
A Pew Forum study, published in January 2011, forecast an increase of proportion of Muslims in European population from 6% in 2010 to 8% in 2030.