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THE SPREAD OF ISLAM

THE SPREAD OF ISLAM

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تاريخ النشر:

2011

isbn:

978-9933-401-43-6
عربية
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نظرة عامة

It is common knowledge that within less than a century after the death of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), Islam swept through many territories by overcoming great empires (Byzantium and Persia), replacing deep-rooted religions, and obtaining a substantial number of conversions. This decisive triumph came as a shock to the international order, especially to Christendom, which became more apprehensive about ‘the new aspirant rival.’ In relation to this, John Esposito says, ‘Islam’s early expansion and success constituted a challenge theologically, politically, and culturally which proved a stumbling block to understanding, and a threat to the Christian West.’As conflagrations can develop rapidly from a spark falling on dry brush, the phenomenal spread of Islam played the role of the ‘spark’ that caused a prolonged period of misunderstanding, confrontation, and disdain between Islam and the West. Who is held responsible for the many misperceptions and false images? Is the idea of Islamic conquest per se to be condemned? Or should condemnation instead be directed to accompanying violent means and oppressive measures, as some argue? On the other hand, is it true that Islam managed to sweep through regions without much bloodshed? In most battles, Muslim armies were numerically inferior to the armies of their enemies, yet they won. How did that happen? More surprisingly, why did the conquered people welcome the Muslim army and even sometimes provide assistance?