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Islam was spread by sword

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)


One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

assalamo alikum wa rahmatullah wabarakatuh!

my second questoin is,as it is widely spread that islam was spread by sword an not by preaching in lively way,how will you negate this common concept?

it would be a great favour of yours if i recieve your answer soon.



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Islam was spread by sword

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


It is indeed an often-heard propaganda, misconception, and a fabricated challenge from some non-Muslims that Islam would not have hundreds of millions of adherents all over the world, if it had not been spread by the use of force. 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 and global spread of Islam.


1. Islam means peace.

Islam comes from the root word `salaam', which means peace. It also means submitting one's will to Allah Subhanah. Thus Islam is a religion of peace, which is acquired by submitting one's will to the will of the Supreme Creator, Allah Subhanah wa Taala.


2. Sometimes force has to be used to maintain peace.

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; but at the same time, Islam exhorts it followers to resist 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.


3. Opinion of historian De Lacy O'Leary.

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" (Page 8):

"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."


4. Muslims ruled Spain for 800 years.

History will testify that Muslims ruled Spain in excess of 800 years. The Muslims in Spain never used the sword to force the people to convert; for if they had, not a single non-muslim would have survived in Spain! The force was instead used later by the Christian Crusaders who came to Spain and wiped out the entire community of Muslims; so much so, that there was not a single Muslim in Spain who could openly give the adhan, the call for prayers.

5. 14 million Arabs are Coptic Christians.

Muslims were the undisputed rulers of Arabia for almost 1300 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 Arab who would have remained a Christian in the Arab lands.


6. More than 80% non-Muslims in India.

The Muslims ruled India for almost a thousand years. If they wanted, they had the power of converting each and every non-Muslim of India to Islam. Today more than 80% of the population of India are non-Muslims. All these non-Muslim Indians are bearing witness today that Islam was not spread by the sword.


7. Indonesia and Malaysia.

Indonesia is a country that has the maximum number of Muslims in the world today. The majority of people in Malaysia are Muslims. No muslim army ever went to these nations to convert the indigenous population of these two populated countries to Islam!

8. East Coast of Africa.

Similarly, Islam has spread rapidly on the East Coast of Africa. One may again ask, if Islam was spread by the sword, "Which Muslim army went to the East Coast of Africa?"


9. Thomas Carlyle.

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."


10. No compulsion in religion.

With which sword was Islam spread? Even if Muslims had it they could not use the sword to spread Islam because the noble teachings of the Glorious Qur'an declare it forbidden to convert anyone by force:


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 256: Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from error.


11. Sword of the Intellect.

The truth of the matter is that Islam was not spread by the sword of power, but it was spread to every corner of the world with ‘the sword of intellect’: the sword that conquers the hearts and minds of people.


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 16 Surah Nahl verse 125: "Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious."


12. Increase in the world religions from 1934 to 1984.

An article in Reader's Digest `Almanac', year book 1986, gave the statistics of the increase of percentage of the major religions of the world in half a 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 had increased only by 47%. May one ask, which war took place in this century which converted millions of people to Islam?


13. Islam is the fastest growing religion in America and Europe.

Today the fastest growing religion in America is Islam, the fastest growing religion in Europe is Islam; in fact, the fastest growing religion in the world is Al-Islam! Which sword is forcing people in the West to accept Islam in such large numbers? If truth be told, the sword of force and oppression is on the necks of the muslims all over the world today; and it is still, by far, the most practiced and fastest growing religion in the world today!


Islam is so strong in intellect and reasoning, 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."


Ambassador Herman Ellis, in a testimony in front of the committee on Foreign Affairs 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."


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale-Imran verse 19:Indeed, Islam in the ONLY right way of life in the sight of Allah.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 9 Surah Taubah verse 33:He is Allah, Who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the Right Way so that He may make it (Al-Islam) prevail over all the other ‘deens’, even though the pagans be much opposed to it.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your Brother in Islam,



Mohamed Ayyub

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