“History makes it clear, however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever repeated,” De Lacy O’Leary in ‘Islam at the Crossroads,’ London, 1923.
When the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) died in 632 CE – he was the effective leader of all of southern Arabia. By 711, the Muslim Arabs had swept completely across North Africa to the Atlantic Ocean. In less than 100 years, the Bedouin tribesmen, inspired by the word of the Prophet (pbuh), had carved out an empire stretching from the borders of India to the Atlantic Ocean — the largest empire that the world had yet seen.
Some anti-Islam and ignorant of Islamic history have said that the fast spread of the new Faith was as a result of this empire was the sword. Swords, while used by Muslim armies, cannot account for the spread of Islam. One example is sufficient to challenge the thesis that Islam was spread by the sword – Indonesia is the largest Muslim (212 million) country, with its people living on about 3000 islands spread over a distance of about 3000 miles. No Muslim armies landed in Indonesia. Islam spread across Indonesia with the example of Muslim traders.
Rev. Dr. T.W. Arnold, in his famous book “The Preaching Of Islam”, has testified to this fact by saying that Muslim armies conquests could not be the sole result of their numerical strength because they were always ‘out-numbered’ by Christian and Persian armies. It was the co-operation of the local Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians population, who were fed up with their cruel rulers and took Muslim armies as their ‘liberators’.
Islam comes from the root word ‘salaam’, 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.
Each and every human being in this world is not in favour of maintaining peace and harmony. There are many, who would disrupt it for their own vested interests. Sometimes force has to be used to maintain peace. It is precisely for this reason that we have the police who use force against criminals and anti-social elements to maintain peace in the country. Islam promotes peace. At the same time, Islam exhorts it 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 and justice.
The best reply to the misconception that Islam was spread by the sword is given by the noted historian De Lacy O’Leary in the book “Islam at the cross road” -: “History makes it clear however, that the legend of 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 myth that historians have ever repeated.”
Muslims ruled Spain for about 800 years. The Muslims in Spain never used the sword to force the Christian and Jew SERFS (Slaves) to convert. Later the Christian Crusaders came to Spain and wiped out over five million Muslims and Jews. There was not a single Muslim in Spain who could openly give the Adhan.
Muslims were the lords of Arabia for a long time. For a few century the British and the French ruled. Overall, the Muslims ruled Arabia for 1400 years. Yet today, there are 20 million Arabs who are Coptic Christians. If the Muslims had used the sword there would not have been a single Arab who would have remained a Christian.
Indonesia is a country that has the maximum number of Muslims in the world. The majority of people in Malaysia are Muslims. May one ask, “Which Muslim army went to Indonesia and Malaysia?”
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! On the whole, a thing will propagate itself as it can.”
Today the fastest growing religion in America is Islam. The fastest growing religion in Europe in Islam – Which sword is forcing people in the West to accept Islam in such large numbers?
Finally, reader should not confuse the peaceful spread of Islam with Zionists’ Muslim-bashing, such as, “Is Islam a religion of peace?” Of course Islam is NOT a religion of submission to oppressors and imperialist, therefore, it’s not a religion of peace.