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Is Islam spread with the help of sword?

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by Peace4all, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. #1
    Among the most widely believed myths about Islam in the West today is the myth of forcible conversion to Islam. Many Westerners do believe that Islam is so widespread in the world today simply because of a "holy campaign of terror" carried out by the early Muslims to convert non-Muslims to Islam. Non-Muslims were offered the freedom to choose either Islam or death.

    In a discussion with a Baptist Minister he said to that "Muslims tend to kill non-Muslims and anyone who disagrees with them". In a syndicated column appearing in over 30 papers (on July 23rd, 1994) entitled, "Muslim persecution of Christians increasing" the author blames many Muslims countries for persecuting Christians then he quotes the Qur'an, "There is no compulsion in Religion" and ends the quote by rudely writing "Really?".

    How to confront such misconceptions? First, there is no need for us to be apologetic. We Muslims should search for the truth and present it as it is. This is how we have been instructed by Allah (SWT) "Say: the truth from your Lord and let him who will believe and let him who will reject."(18:29) Islam is the religion of the Truth. The Qur'an is the book of the Truth. "We sent down the Qur'an in Truth and in Truth has it descended." (17:105) "Put your trust in Allah for you are on the path of the manifest Truth."(27:79)

    Therefore, we should ask ourselves first, before we are asked by anyone else, what is the truth? Did Muslims really force others to convert to Islam? Is there any evidence for consistent forcible conversion throughout the Islamic history? As a matter of fact, there is no such evidence anywhere in the history of Islam. Many distinguised Western historians have attested this fact-- foremost among whom is Sir Thomas W. Arnold in his book, "The Preaching of Islam". Also there is Marshall G. Hodgson in his book, "The Venture of Islam", Albert Hourani in his book, "A History of the Arab People", Ira Lapidus in his book, "History of Islamic Societies", L.S. Starorianos in his book, "A Global Hisotry, the Human Heritage" and many others. In fact, there is substantial evidence to the contrary. We have already seen in a previous *khutbah* that Muslims were often seen as liberators of the oppressed people everywhere.

    The question that remains to be answered is why then so many people have chosen Islam throughout the more than 1400 years of its history. Islam has penetrated the Middle East, North Africa, Spain, West Africa, East Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Afghanistan, India, Western China, and the Malay archipelago. Islam in all these regions replaced so many other well-established religions: Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Paganism and animism. What are the reasons behind the triumph of Islam over all these religions in so many different places at so many different times?

    First and foremost, Islam is an amazing blend of simplicity and rationality: a very simple religion yet very rational at the same time. Professor Hodgson has explained the reasons for the popularity of Islam as follows: "Muslims made a personal appeal to people's religious consciousness. On the level of straight argument, they often put forward the populistic intelligibility of Islam. Muslims commonly ridiculed, in the name of intellectual good sense, the more mythically convoluted teachings of older traditions. This could seem attractively straightforward to people dissatisfied with taking things on faith from a learned priest whose mysteries they could not comprehend. A single Creator, to be worshipped by each person for himself, on the basis of revelation that had been given to a famous prophet whom millions already acknolwedged. This was at once intelligible and plausible."

    The unambiguous and uncompromising belief in the Unity, the Greatness, the Wisdom of God, the Creator of the universe, is unparalleled among other religions. The French professor Edouard Montet said, "The dogma of the unity of God...has always been proclaimed in the Qur'an with a grandeur, a majesty, an invariable purity and with a note of pure conviction which is hard to find surpassed outside the pale of Islam. A creed so precise, so stripped of all theological complexities and so accessible to the ordinary understanding might be expected to possess and does indeed possess a marvellous power of winning its way into the consciences of men."

    Besides its simple and rational creed, Islam offers an impressive set of rituals which has gained the admiration and, subsequently, the conversion of many non-Muslims. The second pillar of Islam, **salah**, the prayer, has been described as follows by Sir Arnold, "The religion of the Muslim is continuously present with him and, in the daily prayer, manifests itself in a solemn and impressive ritual which cannot leave either the worshipper or the spectator unaffected." Then Sir Arnold narrated the story of an Egyptian Jew who converted to Islam at the end of the 13th century mainly because of the sight of the **Juma'a** prayer. Actually, it is not only in the 13th century that people converted to Islam because of the prayers; it just happened a few years ago in Ottawa that a non-Muslim Canadian woman converted to Islam because of **Juma'a** prayers. She used to go to the Ottawa Mosque on Friday and pray among the sisters for several months. She loved the prayer and eventually she embraced Islam.

    In addition to the prayers, the other pillars of Islam, **Zakah**, **Hajj**,**Siyam**, have always been factors in attracting many hearts to Islam. Up until the present day, one still meets converts who were impressed by the social justice of Islam brilliantly expressed in the payment of **Zakah**. The genius of **Hajj** and **Siyam** has always been a determining factor in the conversion of many people. It is this union of rationalism and ritualism that explains the power that Islam has exercised over the hearts and minds of so many people. Islam simply gives the truth, neat and clear in a visible and tangible form. The neatness and clarity of Islam was presented to human beings in the form of a miraculous book, the Qur'an. The marvellous power and beauty of the words of the Qur'an have always been a decisive factor in conversion to Islam. The famous Jewish American convert to Islam, Maryam Jameelah, cited the Qur'an as the major factor of her conversion. After a deep study of both the Old Testament and the Qur'an, the contrast between the two scriptures became increasingly evident to her until she firmly believed that the Qur'an was indeed God's message to the human race.

    A conference of Christian missionaries in 1887 was discussing why Islam has almost swept away Crhistianity from the Middle East. What did Islam offer these people to forsake Christianity for good? One of the missionaries was insightful enough to say the following: "Islam brought out the fundamental dogmas of the Unity and Greatness of God, that He is mindful and Righteous. It proclaimed the responsibility of man, a future life, a Day of Judgement and stern retribution to fall upon the wicked, and enforced the duties of prayer, alms-giving and fasting. It replaced monkishness by manliness, it gave hope to the slave, brotherhood to mankind and recognition to the fundamental facts of human nature."

    The formidable rationalism, ritualism and clarity of Islam did not only lead the Christians of the Middle East to forsake Christianity and embrace Islam in the past. It continues to do so with Christinas in the West to the presnt day. An Australian-born Christain who converted to Islam four months ago and who was studying here with us at Queen's wrote in her story of conversion to Islam, "Christianity continued to be difficult for me. So much didn't make sense, the trinity, the idea that Jesus was God incarnate, the worship of Mary, the Saints, or jesus, rather than God. The priests told me to leave reason behind". The she went on to say, "Could Muhammad really be a messenger? Could the Qur'an be God's word? I kept reading the Qur'an, it told me that Eve wasn't alone to blame for the fall, that Jesus was a messenger, that people would question the authenticity of Muhammad's claim to revelation but that if they tried to write something as wise, consistent and rational they would fail. This seemed true. Islam asked me to use my intelligence to contemplate God, it encouraged me to seek knowledge." Then at the end of her sincere search for the truth she prayed to God saying, "Dear God, I believe in You, I believe in the compelling and majestic words of the Qur'an and I believe in the prophethood of your messenger Muhammad (SAW)."

    Another Muslim sister, from California, who was a practising Christian and an active member in her nearby Presbyterian church, wrote in her conversion story that despite her active affiliation with the church, she always had serious questions about the fundamentlas of Chrsitianity which did not make sense to her. She debated her questions with her friends but never came up with good answers. The church couldn't give them good answers either, they only told them to "have faith". All her questions were answered when she took a course about Islam. Listen to her own words. "This class brought back all of the concerns that I had about Christianity. As I learned about Islam, all my questions were answered. All of us are not punished for Adam's original sin. Adam asked God for forgiveness and our merciful, loving God forgave him. God doesn't require a blood sacrifice in payment for sin. We must sincerely ask for forgiveness and amend our ways. Jesus wasn't God, he was a prophet like all of the other prophets. This answered all of my questions about the trinity and the nature of Jesus. I found a teaching that put everything in its proper perspective and appealed to my heart and my intellect. It seemed natural. It wasn't confusing. I had been searching and I had found a place to rest my faith."

    My dear brothers and sisters, Islam is so strong and so self-assured that it does not need to use force to attract others to it. The moral and intellectual superiority of Islam over all other religions has manifested itself so clearly throughout the history of Islam. Despite all of the ills of Muslims everywhere, Islam continues to be the fastest growing religion on earth. Professor Huston Smith of the MIT in his book, "The Religions of Man" says, "In some areas where Islam and Christianity are competing for converts, Islam is gaining at a rate of 10 to 1."
    SEMrush
    Ambassador Herman Ellis, in a testimony in front of the committee on Foreign Affirs of the House of Represntatives of the United States Congress on June 24th, 1985, said, "The Muslim community of the globe today is in the neighbourhood of one billion. That is an impressive figure. But what to me is equally impressive is that Islam today is the fastest growing monotheistic religion. This is something we have to take into account. Something is right about Islam. It is attracting a good many people."

    Yes, something is right about Islam and that's why it has attracted so many people throughout its 1400 years of history.
     
    Peace4all, Mar 19, 2008 IP
    SEMrush
  2. browntwn

    browntwn Illustrious Member

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    #2
    When posting something that was written by someone else it is customary to provide a citation and identify the author.

    The article Islam spread by the sword? The myth and the reality was written by Sherif Mohammed. The original source is here or here
     
    browntwn, Mar 19, 2008 IP
  3. sturat.mitchel

    sturat.mitchel Banned

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    #3
    Who has written this article is not a problem here to discuss. He has shared knowledge with us and We should say him Thanks

    I don't think Islam is spread with the help of sword although many battles were there in those times but Islam is a good religion if Muslims follow it righlty
     
    sturat.mitchel, Mar 19, 2008 IP
  4. Rebecca

    Rebecca Prominent Member

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    #4
    To pretend as if there is not truth to that accusation would be misleading. Although it does happen, it is not commonplace. It would suck to have Muslim missionaries knocking on my door carrying swords.:(
     
    Rebecca, Mar 19, 2008 IP
    TechEvangelist likes this.
  5. ThraXed

    ThraXed Peon

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    #5
    He is talking about spreading Islam to other countries. In 2001, indonesia was already Muslim majority. Sorry that your propaganda didn't work.
     
    ThraXed, Mar 19, 2008 IP
  6. korr

    korr Peon

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    #6
    I think all government and religion is spread ultimately with violence and oppression.

    I cannot think of any type of either that has not finally resorted to war to expand its influence. It is not unique to Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Communism, Fascism, Democracy, Republics, Empires, etc...
     
    korr, Mar 19, 2008 IP
  7. Rebecca

    Rebecca Prominent Member

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    #7
    Thraxed, I think you should read the post again. He is talking about forced conversion to Islam, period. Not soley in converting an entire country to Islam. I am not really that interested in propaganda to any specific religion, just the truth.
     
    Rebecca, Mar 19, 2008 IP
  8. browntwn

    browntwn Illustrious Member

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    #8
    The article talks about forced conversion to Islam. Why is it propaganda to speak of those cases where someone was forced to convert through threats of violence?

    Do you think it is okay even in isolated cases?
     
    browntwn, Mar 19, 2008 IP
  9. darksat

    darksat Guest

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    #9
    Nah, they use AK47s nowdays.
    Sorry, couldnt resist.
    Personally I know more than enough overzealous muslims, and they dont use weapons, they just use peer preassure and the rest of the tricks that most religions use.
    I knew a girl who was hastled by muslim recruiters, they use the same tactics jehovas witnesses, christians, scientologists, and the rest of the pack of packs use. Intimidation, arguments, etc.
     
    darksat, Mar 19, 2008 IP
  10. ThraXed

    ThraXed Peon

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    #10
    These are isolated cases that happen in all religions, it is silly to single out Islam.
     
    ThraXed, Mar 19, 2008 IP
  11. iatbm

    iatbm Prominent Member

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    #11
    In middle ages muslims didn't force or kill non-muslims to convert to islam but they did make their life miserable(non-converters) and on the other side treated "converters" very well ! "converters" became local power. So while we cannot say they killed non-converters they on the other side made sure that a lot of people converted so they became "normal" citizens.

    Well half of the post of OP is BS. Talking about simplicity and all that. It was the way I presented in this post ;)
     
    iatbm, Mar 19, 2008 IP
  12. ST12

    ST12 Active Member

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  13. ST12

    ST12 Active Member

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    #13
    How do you know that? What history books did you read?

    Turkey is a 99% muslim country? How do you think they reached that number of islamisation provided they were occupying so many countries at one point with so many religion groups?

    Even these days non-muslims are not treated equially in muslim countries as the muslims are.

    This guy is spreading Islamic propaganda here.
     
    ST12, Mar 19, 2008 IP
  14. iatbm

    iatbm Prominent Member

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    #14
    ST12 - If you kind of read my post you will see they had "techniques" to convert non-believers to islam. It was good way. All converters became priviliged citizens and had local power over non-converters. But after battle and conquer they rarely introduced islam with sword...

    Yea I read many books :)
     
    iatbm, Mar 19, 2008 IP
  15. ST12

    ST12 Active Member

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    #15
    I am sorry to pop up some baloons here, but do you really believe, that somebody who didn't even know how to read and write can be the only one and forever the only one, the most perfect and best human ever that came on Earth?
    Sorry, I don't think so. Every man with average brain capabilities can learn reading and writing without much problems.
    Alright I am not God, I could still be wrong.
     
    ST12, Mar 19, 2008 IP
  16. ThraXed

    ThraXed Peon

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    #16
    Please people, instead of saying "half of this article is BS" or "it is propaganda" please provide some reference to back up your claim so it actually holds some weight, because untill any of you do the article still stands.
     
    ThraXed, Mar 19, 2008 IP
  17. iatbm

    iatbm Prominent Member

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    #17
    Hmm I don't know where you are going at with this post of yours. I just presented historic fact about how for example Ottoman empire enforced islam. They used politics for that more than sword...

    Btw I am born christian but am non-believer ;)
     
    iatbm, Mar 19, 2008 IP
  18. iatbm

    iatbm Prominent Member

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    #18
    Because we cannot learn abou history from one article and it is not our thing to learn instead of you pointing to the articles and references on the internet or listing books. Go to library and search for place where history books are. Then search for letter I ! Saying that islam was spread because of simplicity and what not is simply ignorant.
     
    iatbm, Mar 19, 2008 IP
  19. ThraXed

    ThraXed Peon

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    #19
    I'm not having a go at you mate, I'm just saying that generally to have any weight on a statement you should provide a reference, saying go to the libary isn't much help lol. It is generally accepted among historians that Islam was not spread by the sword, (Indonesia, the largest Muslim country, who invaded them?), it is just a myth made up by preists who are hurt at the fact that Islam is soon to overtake Christianity. :)
     
    ThraXed, Mar 19, 2008 IP
  20. browntwn

    browntwn Illustrious Member

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    #20
    Well, this thread is about Islam, so that is what we are discussing. First you ignore these cases, now you dismiss them as isolated. Even if they are isolated, they are still wrong.

    Do you condemn efforts to convert people to Islam through force or violence?


    Do you have any reference for your claim that all religions do this? I am curious about forced conversions to Judaism and Buddhism. Care you share the examples that support your claim?

    Any support for your claim that is was made up by priests?
     
    browntwn, Mar 19, 2008 IP