A man named Muhammed that was from Mecca, a city of trade and religion, headed to a cave near Mt. Hira. In this cave, the angel Gabriel gave him the words of Allah. In the near future, Muhammed preached the words of God and spread it to many followers. Islam, a monotheistic faith in which they surrender themselves to Allah, or God, spread so quickly because of military conquest and expansion, the trade of goods and ideas, and the caliphs maintained justice and order along the Islamic Empire.
Islam spread through expansion because of the work of the caliphs and Muhammed. The first period of expansion occurred in the last years of Muhammed’s life, which occurred from 622-632 (Doc C). This is when he brought all of the tribes on the Arabian Peninsula into one large territory. They had taken over Medina and Mecca, as well as the western half of the Arabian Peninsula. The second period of expansion took place 30 years after Muhammed’s death when the four caliphs were in the rule.
(632-661) This time of expansion was known as “the time of the rightly-guided caliphs” (Doc. C). In this period, a great deal of the Middle East was taken over by the Islamic Empire. The third period of expansion was led by the Umayyad Caliphs. (661-750) During this period, the Islamic Empire was under the rule of the Umayyads (Doc. C). They took over Spain, France, Northern Africa, and India. From the information that was given, the caliphs and Muhammed took over much land alongside their powerful armies.
The people that were under Islamic rule either had to become Muslim or had to a pay tax called jizyah, and many could not afford this tax. Therefore, many people were forced to convert to Islam. Although this was true, many people converted voluntarily. The religion seemed appealing because of the benefits that came with it. A great number of people that lived in poverty were enthralled and fascinated by the fact of having a paradise-like afterlife. Many people lived lives of excruciating pain, hardship, and work. Other people who were conquered were interested in the five pillars and ideas of Islams. For example, self-defense and a right to your private property seemed fair and just to everyone. The religion of Islam spread so quickly because of the expansion of the empire through many diverse regions and areas.
Islam was spread through the influence of trading ideas and goods. Mecca, one of the holy cities of Islam, was an important center for trade because of its location (Doc. A). It is located near the Mediterranean Sea, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Mecca was very wealthy and prosperous because of how important it was for trade. Due to this, merchants went and came from the city of Mecca, as well as many people for pilgrimages to the Ka’ba, which is claimed to be the home of Allah. People from many places came to trade and also gained many ideas from Islam which they had enjoyed. They developed it where they lived and eventually gave exposure to religion. Many Muslims merchants left Mecca for trade. They spread the ideas and words of Islam along the Silk Road and many other trading routes. Other traders and merchants learned the words of Islam and possibly converted to it as well. Trade played an important role in the spread of Islam.
The final and most important way that Islam spread is the maintenance of order and justice by the caliphs. The responsibility of a caliph is very rigorous and large, and it takes a lot of responsibility. One of these duties is to make sure to maintain justice and order (Doc. E) throughout the Islamic Empire. As it states in the Ordinances of Government, “To execute judgements between litigants and to settle disputes between contestants so that justice may prevail and so that none commit or suffer injustice.” This means that justice shall be served equally and fairly among all people. The caliphs also maintain religion along with Islam. This means that they should clarify any misunderstood or confusing sections of Islam. It also means that they will penalize anyone that doesn’t practice Islam without paying the jizydah. Another duty of the caliph is that they must defend their land from intruders (Doc. E). By doing this, they must keep everyone and their properties safe from harm or injury (Doc. E). The final duty of a caliph is that they must use legal penalties and punishments (Doc. E). The caliphs must enforce the law among the Islamic Empire so that everyone and everything is at peace and order. The laws and duties helped spread Islam because the empire must be in order and peaceful before they conquer other lands and spread their ideas. The final reason as to why Islam spread is because of the way that the caliphs maintained justice and order among the Islamic Empire.
Throughout history, Islam has been a big influence on many people and it spread very quickly. Although the religion of Islam was highly criticized by the Meccans in the beginning, it spread very quickly because of military conquest and expedition, trade, and by maintaining order and peace throughout the ummah.