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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Was Islam Spread By The Sword?

This are common question among some of non-Muslims that Islam would not have millions of adherents all over the world, if it had not been spread by the use of force. There are also some polite questions which lead to the same meaning, like these question ask by my superior in my workplace. He asks me, "Is it true that Prophet Muhammad also being called a Warrior?"

The following points will make it clear, that far from being spread by the sword, it was the inherent force of truth, reason and logic that was responsible for the rapid spread of Islam. And conversion to Islam worldwide now is the fastest, double than Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism combined. It's the world's fastest growing faith.

1) Islam is Peace - Islam comes from the root word 'salam' which means peace. It also means submitting one's will to Allah. Thus Islam is a religion of peace, which is acquired by submitting one's will to the will of the Supreme Creator, Allah.

2) Sometimes force has to be used to maintain peace. Not each and every human being in this world is in favour of maintaining peace and harmony. There are many, who would disrupt it for their own vested interests. It is precisely for this reason that we have the police who use force against criminals and anti-social elements to maintain peace. Islam promotes peace. At the same time, Islam exhorts its followers to fight where there is oppression. The fight against oppression may, at times, require the use of force. In Islam, force can only be used to promote peace & justice.

3) Opinion of historian De Lacy O'Leary - The best reply to the misconception that Islam was spread by the sword is given by this noted historian in his book "Islam at the cross road" (page8) "Historian makes it clear however' that the legend of the fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever repeated."

4) Muslims ruled Spain for 800 years - The Muslims in Spain never used the sword to force the people to convert. Later the Christian Crusaders came to Spain and wiped out the Muslims. There was not a single Muslim in Spain who could openly give the 'azan' that is the call for prayers.

5) 14 million Arabs are Coptic Christians - Muslims were the lords of Arabia for 1400 years. For a few years the British ruled, and for a few years the French ruled. Overall, the Muslims ruled Arabia for 1400 years. Yet today, there are 14 million Arabs who are Coptic Christians i.e. Christians since generations. If the Muslims had used the sword, there would not have been a single Arabs who would have remained Christians (as what have being done by the Christian Crusaders on Spain)

6) More than 80% non-Muslims in India - The Muslims ruled India for about a thousand years. If they wanted, they had the power each of them to Islam. All these non-Muslims Indians bearing witness today that Islam was not spread by the sword.

7) Indonesia & Malaysia - Indonesia is a country that has the biggest number of Muslims in the world. The majority of people in Malaysia are Muslims. Which Muslim army went to Indonesia & Malaysia? The same is the case for China, which have more than 25 million Muslims and now growing very rapidly. Similarly, Islam has spread rapidly on the East Coast of Africa.

8) No Compulsion in religion - With which sword was Islam spread? Even if Muslims had it they could not use it to spread Islam because the Quran says in the following verses:
" Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from error." (Quran 2:256)

9) Sword of the Intellect/Truth - It is the sword of intelect that conquers the hearts and minds of people. The Quran says in Surah Nahl, chapter 16, verse 125:
"Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching;and dispute with them in ways that are best and most gracious."

10) Increase in the world religion - An article in Reader's Digest 'Almanac' year book 1984, gave the statistics of the increase of percentage of the major religions of the world in half century from 1934 to 1984. This article also appeared in 'The Plain Truth' magazine. At the top was Islam, which increased by 235%, and Christianity 47%, followed by other faiths. Please refer to the post, The Rise Of Islam-The Fastest Growing Religion, Al Quran - The Best Seller & The Islam - Europe Second Largest Religion. One may ask, which war took place in this century which converted millions of people to Islam

11) Islam is the fastest growing religion in America and Europe - Today the fastest growing religion in America and Europe is Islam. Which sword is forcing people in the West to accept Islam in such large numbers.

12) Many Western Scientists and Scholars converting to Islam - There are supprisingly many learned people and Scientists converting to Islamic faith nowadays. This is the results of their findings of so many scientific facts which is just known yesterday, already stated in the Quran more than 1400 years ago which proves that it is from God who created everything. So, they accept Islam by the Light Of Truth in the Quran and Islam, not by sword.

the famous historian, Thomas Carlyle, in his book "Heroes and Hero worship" refers to this misconception about the spread of Islam : "the sword indeed, but where will you get your sword? Every new opinion, at its starting is precisely in a minority of one. In one man's head alone. There it dwells as yet. One man alone of the whole world believes it, there is one man against all men. That he takes a sword and try to propagate with that, will do little for him. You must get your sword! One the whole, a thing will propagate itself as it can."

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